Game exchanges/swaps are hands-down my favourite thing to do on a weekend. Where I live they roll out every few months in cities that are at least a few hours away, so it takes a little bit of planning to make them happen on a regular basis. Thankfully, we managed to get to one yesterday and it was absolutely glorious.
My boyfriend has been looking for a Sega CD for a very long time. He has had a few different opportunities to pick one up in town, but they’ve either been absolutely filthy/poorly taken care of, extremely expensive, or the person selling didn’t end up following through with the deal. Today though, we found one in excellent shape that came along with a model 2 Genesis and almost all the hookups. It was missing the second boxy power adaptor required for either the genesis or the Sega CD portion. You’re reading that right. Even though the console and the Sega CD add-on physically connect to one another, each part needs its own source of power. That means two giant adaptors to plug into the wall! Thankfully we have extra Sega stuff at home! We’ve had bad luck tracking down extra cables at swaps in the past. The Sega CD, model 2 Genesis console, two controllers (one is just the worst…) and all the hookups came to us for a decent price of $80. The photo below shows the setup with our model 1 Genesis, which has better sound and picture quality compared to the later releases of the console.
My boyfriend also picked up one Sega CD game: Jurassic Park. We learned that burned games will also work in the Sega CD, so that’s an added plus. I’m sure we’d both go broke trying to collect the well-loved and worthwhile games for that system.
I didn’t personally pick up any consoles today, but I did luck out tremendously in the games department. There was one vendor that had several bins of $5 NES games, and we found two in there that felt worthwhile to pick up: Solstice, and Amagon. Solstice is a game I’ve dabbled in before and enjoyed, while Amagon was my boyfriend’s pick. Given their level of difficulty in puzzle solving and gameplay mechanics, they’ll be a nice play for a rainy day. Many of the games in the $5 bins had their original prices on them, and the guy had about 15 copies of Top Gun priced at $12.95 each! No wonder they weren’t selling! On the NES front, I also managed to find the manual for StarTropics for $3. I picked the game up at the last swap. I’m a bit of a manual junkie. If I can find them for games I own, I normally get them.
There was a really kind vendor who seemed a little desperate to part with some of his PS2 RPGs today. He had Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon and Final Fantasy VII, but they’re ones I already own. He did have two that I didn’t already have: Vagrant Story and Wild Arms 2. I shied away from them initially because the inserts and booklets weren’t in very good condition, and disc one of Wild Arms 2 was in questionable shape. He had them both priced for a pretty significant deal, so after some convincing on his part, I couldn’t turn them down. It worked out to about $15 for each game. Vagrant story is complete with a torn insert and missing front/back page of the English manual, while Wild Arms 2 comes with an incomplete insert and no manual. I have no regrets!
Very excitingly, I’ve finally finished my Zelda collection. I don’t own a 3DS or care to at this point in time, so when I say my collection’s complete, I mean main entries in the series that don’t include A Link Between Worlds or Triforce Heroes. The last game I needed to find was for the GameCube, and it was The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. The vendor had it priced for $55, but with a little discussion and appealing to his kind side, he dropped it down to $40 for me. The disc is in okay shape with a few little surface scratches, but overall the case and manual are in excellent shape. It even came with its Nintendo Power subscription insert, which is always fun to read!
I have never looked to Sega for RPG titles but I’ve heard great things about the Phantasy Star series. I once had an online stranger offer me all four of the Phantasy Star games for $45 US. My Common Sense got in a big fight with Dangerous Internet Temptation that day, let me tell you. A part of me desperately wanted to say, “Sure, random man. Here is my address. Feel free to send me games and I will send you a money transfer with all my personal banking information.” Buuuut at the end of the day, I was completely uncomfortable with that arrangement and have been looking for the games ever since to fill that void in my soul. I have Phantasy Star for the Wii Virtual Console, but I have yet to play it because I’m holding out for when I have all of them. Today, I conveniently ran into a smokin’ deal for Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom. The vendor wanted $30 for the game, case and its manual. They’re all in amazing shape, and though he wouldn’t move from his price at all, I caved and picked it up. I can’t win them all, and I still think that $30 for it in that condition is a wonderful price.
As you know, I’m always hunting for SNES RPGs. I’ve amassed quite a few in the last couple of months, but there are some that I still want to pick up. Today at the swap, I saw some overpriced Act Raiser carts as well as overpriced Soul Blazer. I didn’t end up getting either of those at $50 and $100, respectively. They’re that much online, and I could’ve saved a tank of gas and sat at home and waited for them instead of having to deal with other humans if I wanted to pay that price. The One That Got Away today was a $40 Secret of Evermore cartridge. I would’ve asked the guy to go down from $40, but by the time I saw that everyone else’s prices were higher than his, his copy had sold. Oh well.
Do not despair though… I did strike gold today in the SNES department. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about my love of Faxanadu for NES, but I’ve always been searching for games that are similar to it in gameplay and style. It’s a sidescrolling action RPG for those of you that are unfamiliar with it, and it has a rockin’ soundtrack to boot! Many people say that Zelda 2 is similar, but it’s just not the same: Faxanadu has magic spell acquisitions, but it also deals with armour and weapon upgrades as well as a numeric levelling system. Did I mention the soundtrack? It’s one of my favourites. At the swap, I found Ys III: Wanderers from Ys, a game that came up in my research about games that are similar to Faxanadu. It was in good condition and priced at $25. When I asked the vendor if he’d take $20, he looked at the label and contacts and said, “I’m sorry, this game is very clean. The lowest I can go is $23.” I had never had game cleanliness come into play as a factor in a purchase, so some hilarious banter ensued. I ended up taking it. I’m sure it’ll be a great game!
Last but certainly not least, I want to talk about my favourite acquisition of the day. I have been playing E.V.O. Search for Eden for about a week now using the modded Xbox’s emulation capabilities and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this charming little game. Because it’s never seen a re-release and the fact that it’s a bit rare has forced an exceptionally steep price on the game. The cartridge alone goes for $300 Canadian online, and a complete version probably goes for close to $1000. Not wanting to ever spend that much money on a single cartridge or boxed game, I opted for Trade Bait: doubles and triples of some games that I could use against the cost of a high-priced game. I brought in two mediocre copies of Mario Kart 64 (one had the dog teeth marks all over the plastic and the other had a faded label from chemical applications), two decent grey cartridge copies of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (I have the gold one and could bear to part with them), as well as a copy of Paper Mario for the N64.
I saw three copies of E.V.O. at the swap. Two were each priced at $320 and $350 while the third was priced at $300. There was a fourth boxed copy for $500, but the box was in wretched shape and the vendor gave me the willies: think skittish guy with dead eyes that talks too fast and might be literally on cocaine. The vendor with the $300 game was the same one from the last swap that had had a copy of E.V.O. for $280 because of “shifts in the market”. I remembered this and asked him if he’d be willing to drop the price to $280 right away, but he asked me to come back in an hour to see if it had sold yet (I knew it wouldn’t). After an hour passed, our negotiations began. Surprisingly, even though the Trade Bait Mario Kart 64 cartridges were sub-par, he gave me $35 x 2 for them. I was expecting $20 each, so that was a nice surprise! He offered me $30 x 2 for the two copies of Ocarina of Time which is what I expected, and another $35 for Paper Mario. I felt a little cheated on the Paper Mario since I had spent $50 on it, but I was sitting pretty overall. That brought me up to $165 in trades, and I asked if he’d take an even $100 for the remaining cost. He said yes! I feel like I got a really nice condition E.V.O. cartridge for $100, though really it was that plus the cost of the games I traded in. I definitely didn’t pay $165 for all of them, so I did get a bit of a discount in the end. I am extremely happy with the purchase!
Now do you see why this swap was glorious? The next one is in a few months, so I’ll have a chance to get a proper list together by then. Maybe I don’t need to spend so much time preparing after all!
Thanks for reading!