I had the pleasure of going to another swap last weekend, and just for a bit of context, it was about double the size of the one that we went to late last month. Not only are there more vendors at this event, but the day is more video game-focused rather than having a lot of toy or art vendors that don’t pique my interest as much. We have also gotten our arrival timing down to an art where we get there just slightly after the event opens. We avoid the line and we also get in on some of the goodies before they all get snatched up! I was pretty happy at what I was able to find at this one, but sadly my boyfriend came away with only a Pandora’s Box, an arcade emulation box with a Jamma connector that can be played on our home-made arcade cabinet. He was actually pretty sad about the downgrade in quality for some of the games he loves like Neo Turf Masters, but I think there should still be a few gems hiding amongst some of the junk. Hopefully.
As many of you know, I’ve been after NES games for a long while now, especially RPGs. Just when I think I’ve finished my list of games I want to buy for the NES, someone goes and informs me of one I haven’t seen before. The most recent example of this was a friend’s video review of Destiny of an Emperor. It actually looks like a really interesting game that is a breath of fresh air from the turn-based games I’ve been playing lately. I also found Karnov which I could’ve sworn I had already but didn’t. I’m really bad at it, but hopefully I’ll get better after a few attempts at it. Other great games I tracked down at this swap included Faria: A World of Mystery and Danger, an uncommon action RPG that I’ve been dying to find but could never find it under $100. Its label had some snags and was a little beat up, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the other labels on games I’ve bought in the past. Magician was also available for purchase. I’m a little torn at whether or not I’ll like Magician since it has a miserable food system that can get to be quite onerous from what I’ve read about the game, but the music captivated me from the moment I turned on the system. The game is really beautiful too. I need to play more of it! Last but not least from the NES games was Ultima Exodus, the third game in the Ultima series. Even though I’ve been playing Ultima IV for a long while now, I think I’m a bit addicted to the difficulty and tedium of that game and want more of it somehow. I’ve stopped questioning how my brain works by this point, but the Ultima series is quickly becoming one of my favourites. Altogether, I paid $110 for these five games. A steal!
Another cool game I discovered for the first time recently was Comix Zone for the Sega Genesis. This game took my breath away when I watched a friend streaming the game one weekend afternoon. The game unfolds on the pages of a comic book and your character fights bad guys as he moves from panel to panel. The aesthetic is just indescribable for something of its age and I initially thought the game was from a much more modern system. The difficulty level is pretty high on this one and I’m not usually very good at beat ’em ups, but this might be a good place to start. Considering it was only $10, I couldn’t pass it up!
I did also run into a game for the Sega Master System that I had been looking for pretty casually. Penguin Land is a puzzle game that involves you moving your egg to safety without cracking it. I’m usually not drawn to puzzle games but this one really made me smile when I saw some gameplay footage of it. Plus, the penguin looks like Penta who stars in several games I’m a big fan of. I only paid $15 for this one with its case and manual.
I found a few games for the Game Boy Advance as well, the first being Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak. This one has been on my list for a while, and you may recall me picking up a few other games in the series like Ham-Hams Unite! and Ham-Ham Games. I’ve been watching a lot of Hamtaro lately and I’ve fallen back in love with the show. The characters are pretty fleshed out and the writing is pretty good, and Ham-Ham Heartbreak is just an extension of all of that. I came up empty-handed looking for this game at the last couple of swaps, but I lucked out at this one. I snatched the cartridge up for $25. Unfortunately toward the end of the day, I saw another copy for $20, but considering the deals I got on other things throughout the day, it didn’t put me too far behind. I am no longer losing sleep over it.
Some other Game Boy Advance games that I picked up were a little more in line with my regular fare, and the first was Fire Emblem. I never expected to buy this game complete, but since I don’t really play a ton of strategy RPGs, passing up a decently priced virtually mint copy with the manual was not really an option for me. I picked it up for $100, and though I probably could’ve found it a bit cheaper if I had waited, I was able to buy it from a friend of mine that I’ve gotten to know over the past few years going out to these things. He cut me a deal on another game, so I didn’t feel bad not getting a super discount on this one.
Another game for the Game Boy Advance I had been interested in finding for a while was Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand. The weird cartridge you see in the photo has a light sensor in it that is used as one of the game’s mechanics. By using literal sunlight, your character can vanquish dark enemies that are susceptible to light. It’s a neat thing, and I think you can trick the cartridge into believing it’s daytime by using a full UV spectrum light. We have one of those hanging around, so it’ll be an experimental process seeing if everything is working properly. I paid $60 for this one.
Lastly, I picked up a copy of Thousand Arms for the Playstation. I already have a copy of this game, but I wanted to pass another copy along to a friend. It was there and in beautiful shape, so I couldn’t say no!
And that’s that! What a fun game swap that was. I’m looking forward to the others that will be happening over the next few months around these parts. As usual, here’s a group photo of all the games I found. Sadly there was nobody with a huge bin of manuals, but hopefully next time!
Thank you all very much for reading, and happy almost-weekend!