The Spring-like thaw we saw in my area over the last week or two seems to have pushed some people into a pseudo spring cleaning mode! There has been a surge of used games showing up in thrift shops, and I also got to venture to a nearby city and pillage the wares there as well. It feels so good. Like, Chuck-Mangione-as-a-cardboard-cutout-in-the-Megalo-Mart-in-King-of-the-Hill feels so good.
I have found a couple of cool new stores lately and try to go to them whenever I’m travelling. Since they’re both still new-ish in the video game department, there’s not a lot of new stock flooding in, so I struck out at the same store I wrote about a few posts ago. However, another store that just recently started selling games had a few little gems I was interested in. I saw Alundra 2 there, but decided to pass. I haven’t heard amazing things about it, and there were other things I wanted more. The first I picked up was Legend of Legaia for PS1. Despite being in a multi-disc case, it’s only a 1-disc game! I find that sort of thing frustrating since we are constantly having to modify our CD rack to fit more double disc games! I’ve read online that this was done because the manual was quite thick and wouldn’t fit in a one disc case, but my goodness. We are quickly running out of space! I paid $50 for Legend of Legaia, which was about par with what I could’ve found it online for delivered to my house. Though it was more than I wanted to pay, I felt compelled to spend the cash there because I wanted to support an independent business that has been around for over 30 years and is going through some growing pains!
The disc has light scratching and a rental label plastered around the hole, as well as some permanent marker on there that I can’t get off no matter what I try. The manual and case are in excellent shape though!
The second game I got from that store was the GBA version of Tales of Phantasia. I’m not sure if I regret this decision or not after reading up about how horrible this particular port of the game is, but I’m definitely feeling disheartened knowing I might have picked up a flop. Recently, I had been perusing reproduction cartridges of games that didn’t see official English releases on the SNES, and Tales of Phantasia (along with Star Ocean and many others) is one I’ve been meaning to get for a long time. My problem is that reproduction cartridges are way too overpriced at $55! I understand that there is a lot of craftsmanship that goes into making repro carts, but there’s a part of me that’d rather spend the money on an Everdrive or equivalent and put the ROMs onto an unofficial cartridge myself rather than pour money into someone else’s pocket to do it for me. The person who owned the cartridge before me played pretty far into the game, so it can’t be that bad, right? Right? Anyone play the GBA port?
I was actually a bit freaked out after getting the cartridge home and having a closer look at it. There’s no number stamp indentations on the label, and I thought for a moment that I had accidentally picked up a bootleg. Turns out that this game just didn’t have that particular feature! Thank goodness. It would’ve been more salt in my wounds over this one.
While travelling, I stopped off to visit my parents and found a Japanese copy of a Nintendo magazine in the basement. I don’t remember where it came from, but I remember looking at the cover at the time I got it and wondering what most of the games were. Flipping through now, I can identify most of the games. All of the art inside of it is absolutely adorable.
A little while back, I also ordered Dragon Quest VIII for PS2 from eBay because it was a decent price at $30, shipping in. It came to me in practically brand new condition along with a demo disc for Final Fantasy XII. I keep hearing lots about Dragon Quest VIII lately because it is apparently being remade for the 3DS, but dammit, I haven’t even gotten around to playing the original release yet! I’m in the same boat with FFVII as well! I’ve really gotta hustle and get some of these old games played before they hit their 10/20/30 year anniversary marks…
Either way, I love the Dragon Warrior/Quest series and am always looking to collect games that are a part of this franchise’s legacy. I once missed out on an opportunity to buy the first four games for NES for $150, but was too little too late with my phone call to the seller. Someone else had phoned 10 minutes prior, scooped the deal and swooped in. I have the first game now and the GBC release of the third, but I’d like to play them all someday!
Now onto my favourite kind of discoveries: thrift store discoveries! These all came from a local Value Village and were wonderful to see since the glass case shelves have been pitifully empty for months. This store sells their games at about 50% of what eBay prices are, so though it’s not always an amazing deal, it’s still a deal! I found a few things for Playstation and NES.
First up was the Spyro Collector’s Edition for PS1. I have yet to enjoy any Spyro games, and the only Spyro game I owned before this was scratched up very badly. I got the scratched game for a few bucks at a yard sale and though it plays the title screen, I’m nearly positive it wouldn’t play all the way through. The Collector’s Edition came with three games with fun white-label cases and a box (here we go with more CD shelf mods… oy). All the discs were beautiful and looked as if they’d never been played with flawless manuals as well. I got this for $50.
Given that one of the only Sim games I’ve dabbled in is Sim Tower, whenever I find other Sim games at a good price I buy them up. I got my boyfriend the Sim City 2000 collector’s edition not long ago at a swap event, but I found three Sim titles along with King’s Quest VI for $2 each and in pristine condition. The most exciting game in there for me is Sim Ant. I’ve watched some reviews on it, and the idea of slowly building up an ant army and overthrowing a Terrible Human Overlord seems like a good time. I’ve got the big box copy of KQVI from my childhood, and I’d have to say that it’s one of my favourite games of all time. This second copy is going to a friend that’s been looking for it for a long while, but I’m glad to have found it in such good condition for them.
And because I’m a bit of a Nintendo fangirl, I saved the best for last! There were many cartridges available, but many were games I had already. The only other one that was there that I didn’t have and didn’t end up buying was Donkey Kong Country 2 for SNES. I haven’t played the first one yet. Because I see it pretty often, I held off. Enough about what I didn’t buy and on to what I did.
The first thing I got was Joe & Mac for NES. My boyfriend has seen this game at swaps for close to $40 and passed on it because of the price. When I saw this copy for only $20, I snagged it so he could put that part of his collecting to rest. I played a level or two while testing it out and I think I’m probably the worst at this game ever.
I also found a copy of The Flintstones: The Treasure of Sierra Madrock for SNES priced at $50. Whenever I see a high price tag like that and I haven’t heard of the game before, I’m off to the internet to see what the game is all about. It has rave reviews a far as I could find and is apparently pretty rare, so I picked that one up as well. I played a little bit of it when I got it home and cleaned it up (it was filthy!) but find it strange that if you’re in a 1 player game that you take turns playing as Fred and Barney, but if you’re in a 2 player game, each person takes one character. I haven’t read the manual or anything so there’s probably a good reason for this, but I couldn’t identify it from the short play session I had with the game.
The last game I found was Kiwi Kraze for NES, also priced at $20. This game is probably one of the most adorable games I’ve ever seen and is on par in cuteness with Kirby for me. The little Kiwi, armed with a bow and arrow is fighting to save his Kiwi friends from terrible beasts. The game is a lot of fun! I found out that it was a port of an arcade game called The New Zealand Story. Some of the graphics and colour schemes are a bit ugly at times (lots of baby poo browns and yellows), but I spent a good hour or two hammering away at this the night I brought this home.
So there it is! I’m so happy to have finally found some good stuff! I hope that you are all doing well at beating back your backlogs with whatever implement you’ve deemed appropriate, and that those of you that are waiting for new games to come out are somehow containing yourselves. I preordered The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Wii U, so I’m excited for that to make its way into my hands.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll hopefully have more to post soon!