Contrary to my perception of normal thrifting trends for this time of year, this particular spring/early summer has been incredibly slow with respect to game hunting. I’ve had pitiful luck at yard sales and haven’t seen hock shops turning over much of their stock at all. Thrift stores have also been quiet lately. So quiet in fact that it’s taken me months to acquire enough new games to warrant writing a proper post. In a way, it’s good for me. I spent plenty on acquiring my friend Joe’s collection and am not as willing to part with my cash as easily these days. On the other hand, it’s also frustrating not finding any deals because I love and live for deals!
I’ve been finding stuff primarily from Sony and Nintendo. I’ll start with Sony because why not?
You might know that I recently played through Ys: The Vanished Omens on the Sega Master System and loved it. The second Ys game is one that didn’t see a translated North American release for many years, but there is a compilation disc for PSP that has both the first and second game in the series. Though I’ve ordered a reproduction cartridge of Ys II for NES, I was really happy to find the PSP game for $20 at a hock shop. I’ve usually seen it for at least double the price. When I was testing the game, the updated graphics were actually really beautiful. I got a little teary-eyed hearing the orchestrated theme during the opening cinematic. And man, just when I thought that overworld music couldn’t get any better, it got metal! What a track!
Now that you’re all thrashed out, here’s a photo of the game. You’ll see that it came along with its manual. The disc and its UMD plastic case thing are both pristine. I can’t believe what a deal this was. I’m convinced when hock shops get their stock in that they price it for the moment and then never look at that price again. It’s either a blessing or a curse, and in this case the skies opened up and illuminated this game in holy light. I will take the game for 66% cheaper than the internet any day!
At the thrift store weeks ago, I scooped up a rare-ish game for PS1 called The City of Lost Children. It sold very poorly in the North American market when it was released but saw success in other regions. Apparently it’s based on a movie, a dark and scary movie about kidnapping children and stealing their dreams. I’ve been looking for the movie to have a gander but haven’t had much luck finding it. The game looks pretty macabre from what little I’ve seen of gameplay videos online. Though I get freaked out pretty easily playing scary games, it might be a fun time! I’ll have to play with all the lights on.
Additionally, I found two PS2 games. Because I’m a ridiculously huge fan of Peanuts, I couldn’t resist picking up Snoopy vs. the Red Baron for $7. You might recall I also found the Atari version of this game within the past year. I wish there were more Peanuts games available. Though I love Snoopy, I’ve always wanted to see a game featuring Charlie Brown. He is hands down my favourite on the show. I also feel the need for a King of the Hill video game, but I digress.
I was a little lucky on my next purchase, Drakengard 2. I don’t have the first game and didn’t find out about the series until very recently, but it was something that seemed interesting to me. Prices for that game online are completely outlandish at $60+, but I managed to get my copy for $40. It might not seem like huge savings, but I went for it anyway. The game came with its manual as well and the disc looks like it has never been played. I love when that happens!
Now for a little jump into some Nintendo games. The first two were both for the Game Boy, and they are Pac-Man and Balloon Kid ($10 for both). This version of Pac-Man is a pretty faithful port of the original awesomeness of the arcade game, but Balloon Kid was a game I hadn’t heard of before. It turns out that it’s actually the next game after Balloon Fight for NES, which is a game I don’t currently own other than on bootleg compilation cartridges. Unlike Balloon Fight, Balloon Kid has side-scrolling levels to maneuver through while you collect balloons. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, it reminds me a lot of Hello Kitty World for the Famicom – maybe that’s a re-skin. It’s a short little adventure I’m looking forward to embarking on. I have a soft spot for Game Boy games in general, especially the classics like Super Mario Land and Kirby’s Dreamland.
The next Nintendo game I picked up is The Legendary Starfy for Nintendo DS. I don’t usually buy a lot of DS games, but the protagonist’s cuteness on the box cover has been drawing me in for months now. I caved at a yard sale where I saw it for $5. I’ve played a little of the game for fun, and though Starfy’s cries and exclamations come in somewhere between Navi’s annoyingness and Kirby’s adorableness, it’s still a fun adventure. It’s probably something I’ll pick up and play casually over the next few months.
Lastly, I found one GameCube game: Mario Kart Double Dash!! This is a game I’ve been wanting to find for ages, and as usual, when it rains something for me it also pours that same thing. As a minor spoiler for a future post, I’ve already found a copy of this game in the game collection I bought recently and was quite happy to add it to my (previously) tiny collection of GC games. At $30 with a 30% off coupon, I couldn’t bear to pass up a second copy. Like many of the other games I’ve found over the past few months, the disc was in nearly perfect condition. I really love Mario Kart games, so I’m sure I’ll warm up to this one after a few laps. I’ve heard it’s a fan favourite.
Phew. That was a long wait sitting on some great games to tell you all about. Hopefully the pace for game hunting picks up again soon. We seem to be travelling a lot on weekends, so I haven’t gotten around to yard sale-ing for a few weeks in a row. Who knows how many boxes of boxed Earthbounds I’ve missed out on?
Thank you for reading!