Since there are pretty long gaps between the spring and autumn game swaps in my province, there’s a lot of reliance on local discoveries for continuous, year-round game hunting. Although most of my luck swings between being dry as a desert and as wet as beach sand, it has consistently been on an upward swing over the past few weeks. With the exception of a few purchases coming to me from online, most things I found after a store that closed a few years ago reopened again (woohoo!)
First up were a few games I found at a game shop. You may recall a long while back that I found a copy of Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, and I only picked up this second copy because the store owner must’ve made a mistake on the price: he was selling it for $2 instead of the normal going rate of $30ish. I didn’t end up correcting his mistake since he didn’t give me a birthday discount… how terrible of me, I know. Sigma Star Saga is another game I’ve been looking for for a long while. It’s supposed to be an RPG-shooter hybrid… maybe something in the same vein as The Guardian Legend? It was an intriguing game when I first found out about it, so I’m glad to finally own it.
Staying in the handheld variety, I also found a couple of Game Boy/Game Boy Color games from all different places. Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear I jumped on after over a year of seeing it priced for $7.99 in a local shop. I worked up the courage to offer the guy $5 cash and he took it! For some context, this person’s hock shop has been notoriously overpriced and unwavering with haggling in the past, and I have rarely spent any money there. It took a lot of courage to save those few dollars! Bionic Commando came from a video game shop, and I scooped it up after finally playing through the NES game and loving it. It seems to control the same way so far, so that’s a relief given how long it took me to learn the controls in the other game. Catrap was a really neat little puzzle game I bought from eBay with catchy tunes and an interesting puzzle-solving mechanic where you can’t jump, but you can shove things around to maneuver around the level and kill enemies. I need more Game Boy in my life.
I only lucked into one NES game, and it was Baseball Simulator 1.000. I initially thought it was Baseball Simulator 1000, which obviously sounds way cooler. It was in the case at the thrift store, and through the glass and obscured by a few other things, it looked like baseball in space. Unfortunately it looks like it’s just regular baseball with a few bells and whistles, but it’s promising because there are apparently some interesting modes to try.
For the Nintendo DS, I found a game called Magical Starsign, an RPG I hadn’t heard too much about until I was perusing through some of my E3 2006 stuff. I saw some promotional materials for it and decided to look further into whether or not it came to market, and sure enough, there it was! From what I can find online, it’s praised as being a totally great game that I haven’t heard many people talk about before. I’m also able to stream DS games now, so I’m hoping to play it that way with people one of these days.
I was also lucky enough to get my hands on a few free DS cases and manuals for Harvest Moon DS Cute and Harry Potter, Years 1-4. The guy in town that re-opened his shop was kind enough to gift these to me with another purchase I made from him, and I think the Harvest Moon game is pretty expensive, but will be much less pricey to acquire without needing to get the case and manual. Hiding in between the two games is a copy of Kirby Super Star Ultra. I had been hoping to find a copy complete, but this store also had it priced for a few dollars. I couldn’t let it go for that, even if it was just loose!
At a Salvation Army store, we chanced upon a few Sega Genesis sports games. There were some I had and some I didn’t yet, but what was more interesting to me were the coloured cases they came along in. These had pricing stickers on them from Zellers, a long defunct Canadian department store that I used to frequent a lot as a kid. That was pure nostalgia fuel for me. The games were $1 each with the case, so I thought it was totally worth it!
In addition to the sports games, there were quite a few PC games to be had. My boyfriend got a few things as well, but I ended up picking up a compilation of Sim games. I think the only one we already had was Sim Ant, so the rest are brand new to me. I love the idea of Sim games but I’m also worried to get sucked in and never come out again. SimTower is the one game I played a lot as a kid and replaying that lately was a ton of fun and something I had a hard time putting down.
One really, really wonderful purchase I made was EGG: Elemental Gimmick Gear for the Sega Dreamcast. It’s an action RPG on a console filled with arcade ports, shooters and brawlers, and one of the last games I was truly pining for on the system. The disc was in immaculate condition, and conveniently, I was able to get it locally from a couple that was driving through town one day and were willing to get together on their journey. They were some of the nicest people I’ve ever had a gaming-related transaction with. I hope to spontaneously have an opportunity to deal with them again sometime.
The Resident Evil 10th Anniversary Collection game to me just in time to get ready for the Halloween season. Even though it’s still a bit early, the weather here lately has cooled off substantially. It’s fall in my heart! This box set came with three Player’s Choice Resident Evil games, including the first game, Resident Evil Zero, and Resident Evil 4. I haven’t played a single RE game, but I’ve been told they’re worth owning if I can ever get brave enough to try them out.
For more horror fun, I picked up Clock tower 3 for a smooth $1 from the Salvation Army. The disc is a little beat up but hopefully if/when I decide to sit down with it, it’ll play okay. It’s a game I know literally nothing about. Does anyone know if it’s a good game or not? I also found Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch as well as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (the EU version?) at the thrift store here for $5 each. Both were unfortunately missing their manuals, but I’d never seen either of those games up for grabs out my way before. With the re-release of Ni No Kuni coming out for Switch, I thought now would be a fantastic time to add that one to my collection. Now if only I could get my PS3 to be quieter… it sounds like a rocket ship taking off it’s so loud!
With the news of Duck Tales Remastered getting pulled from digital stores, I decided to pick up the physical copy for Wii U before the price went up. I snuck in just in time it seems. I have yet to play the original on NES, but I do own the Famicom version! It’s such a beloved game for so many that I’m shocked I haven’t run into it sooner, but there is so much to play these days! Sega Superstars Tennis is a game someone recommended to me a long while back, so when I saw it for a few dollars at a consignment store, I went for it. It’s so weird seeing this game generations slate of mascots since I haven’t played much of anything more recent than the Genesis. Hopefully it’s going to be a fun time!
Last but not least, I bought a terribly beat up copy of the game guide for Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance. It was only $3, and given that I’ve never played a strategy RPG, I very well may want a copy of this hanging around when the time comes. Hopefully it’ll stay together until then!
And there it is: another set of games to go on the shelf and into the queue to be played eventually! There is one last swap we’re planning to get to before the snow flies, so stay tuned for those updates. I hope you’re all staying warm with the turn in the weather, if it’s any different out your way. There’s something so calming about fall settling in, but also a sadness that comes along with saying goodbye to summer.
As always, thanks so much for reading!