Swap season has officially begun! This year I had some time to sit down and make a hefty list of things I should be looking for thanks to a bunch of recommendations from people on Twitter, as well as some personal research. As usual, my list was populated with mostly retro RPGs, but also a few platformer titles like Karnov for the NES. Some of the usual games I’ve been hunting for are still on there after several years of searching, like Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom for NES. I am still kicking myself for not picking it up for $60 a few years ago when I saw it because I haven’t seen it again since!
Anyway, it doesn’t seem to matter how much list-making and planning I do, the results of any swap meet are always going to be dependent on what is there and how free and loose I’m feeling with my cash in a given day. We also brought along a huge tote of trades with us in anticipation of any big purchases, and thankfully that was a great idea and paid off enormously.
The first game I picked up was Uninvited for NES. There had been lots of chatter about this game online via discussions about Deja Vu and Shadowgate, two other games in that series that I already own but unsurprisingly haven’t played. Univited popped onto my radar for the first time when a friend of mine did a playthrough on her YouTube channel. The first-person point-and-click is certainly something I gravitate towards, and with a mild horror setting, count me in! I had checked game prices on eBay for this one and decided to hold out until the swap to see if I could find it for cheaper. My patience paid off and I found what appeared to be the only copy there for around $60.
The rest of the games here I traded for. I had a bunch of common games for NES, PS1 and Game Boy that I was able to trade for a total asking price of about $750 Canadian for the next four games. Call me crazy, but turning doubles and triples of common games into some really excellent rarer ones is something I never hesitate to do! Onwards!
Firstly, I found a copy of Syd of Valis for the Sega Genesis. I think of all the games I picked up, this one was the most overpriced especially given its condition. The price tag was $55 and it goes online for cheaper than that, but for trade, I didn’t mind so much. A lot of the people at the swaps now recognize my boyfriend and I as regulars that make a point to get out to these things, so we’re often getting thrown a deal here and there. Rapport building is something I do not just for the benefits of nepotism, but because I’m genuinely looking to network out there with like-minded people and maybe make a few friends in the process. Who knows?
Here’s a photo of the game! At this size, you can definitely see some of the gouges and scuffs on the label. The game works like a charm the first time every time, but I don’t really know many Genesis games that don’t. Either way, it’s a fun RPG-like action game that I’m sure I’ll enjoy playing some day.
Though I keep forgetting to post about it, we did find a Sega Saturn last summer with a bunch of sports games. I had never managed to find any affordable Saturn games in any genres I like since that time, but thankfully a specific seller had a Saturn RPG and a couple of Sega CD games I wanted. The game I picked up for the Saturn was Shining Wisdom, an action RPG from Working Designs. Working Designs has its claws in me. Every time I pick up an RPG I don’t know much about and think I might want to play it, it turns out to be from Working Designs. Anyway, the game was in great condition with no visible mars or issues physically, though I’m always terrified to invest in disc media. It’ll inevitably degrade like the floppy discs of yesteryear, but I hope that it’ll live throughout my lifetime. For reference, the asking price on this one was $200, but the person I bought from dropped it down to $170 in trade value.
Vay for Sega CD is a pretty cool game with a mature rating, something I’ve rarely seen on older generation console games. Unsurprisingly it is an RPG from Working Designs that as far as I understand has not been rereleased at any time and is still a Sega CD exclusive. This disc was a little more beat up than the others, but it seemed to play without too much issue when I tested it out. Hopefully it won’t stall on me partway through the game though. The asking price on this game was $100, priced to reflect its condition.
Just as a side note, I did acquire full-sized game posters for Shining Wisdom and Vay from my friend’s game collection last year.
Last but not least was the most expensive game of the bunch with a whopping price tag of $400: Popful Mail for Sega CD. I’ve heard this game touted as a holy grail of sorts for people collecting Sega CD and it’s consistently making its way to the top of many best game lists for the console. And guess what? It’s another Working Designs game! Because I got this one for trades that I acquired in game lots at lower than market prices, I didn’t pay anywhere near $400 for this game. I love when that happens. Testing it was a little scary because it seemed to be rubbing inside of my Sega CD console, leading me to believe that the disc was warped. Thankfully we tried a backup Sega CD (yes, we have a few of those) and it worked flawlessly.
I also need to say just how charming these 3 CD-based games look. They take everything I love about the 16-bit era and clean it up and polish it to be lovelier than I ever thought possible. I am aware that Sega CD games can be burned and played and deliver the same experience as the actual discs, but there’s something about owning the game and its manual that still appeals to me. Other games like Snatcher that run almost double what Popful Mail does I’ll likely never have the opportunity to own unless someone gave it to me as a gift or I found it at a yard sale, but I have no problem burning ludicrously priced games to play them. In this case, an opportunity to get these games for a discount presented itself, so I jumped all over it.
I have another swap post to make shortly, so hopefully you aren’t sated on these gentle acquisitions. Stay tuned!
As always, thank you very much for reading. I hope you’re all having a great start to the week!