The Wicked Console Stack

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This is a stack-up of the consoles that I currently have- though that Sega Mega Drive (which wasn’t faulty since I used the packed-in NES power adapter which thankfully didn’t fry it) will be given away as I’ll use a modded Japanese unit which can play games from all over the world. Having a Japanese Mega Drive is awesome too as it sports that reddish look- which coincidentally is the design I thought was here in Europe too but ultimately I was proven wrong. I will keep that awesome box and the controllers that came with it though, and I’ve bought new refurbished controllers for it too. I took this picture right before our move into the house.

As you can see there is a box with Wii U peripherals beneath the Wii U unit- as I couldn’t balance the consoles in a better way and since the two stacks would look off I opted to put that beneath those three consoles to make it look better.

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J&L Games, New York City

When in New York I stumbled upon this gaming store called J&L Games, by chance, and decided to check it out since I haven’t entered other areas who had retro game stores. The bigger chains didn’t really have that huge selection of NTSC games that I could play on my systems (which are games for the Gamecube, NES, the Game Boy lineup, Nintendo DS, and PS Vita) and now that they’ve ventured into newer platforms, that unfortunately are region locked, I don’t have that many reasons to enter those stores anymore. There might be the odd Nintendo DS game being clearanced (such as Aliens: Infestation which was a steal at 10 bucks) but now I can’t even seem to find that kind of games either. There only are “Language” games and stuff like “Driving School” and “Stop Smoking” games. That’s nothing to waste my money at. So imagine my glee when seeing this store!

I’ll give you a rough walkthrough, and even though the prices were what you could imagine in a game store with a physical location, with Ebay prices being what they are, I still thought that it was worth entering. Most of the new games were decently priced too.

IMG_5730When entering you can see some Wii U games and peripherals at the left, and they had a nice selection too. That Mario figure at the back was for sale too! As with all the images in this post, you can enlarge the image by clicking it, or by opening it in a new tab (right click and choose to open it in a new tab). The setup was clean and tidy. No dust on the shelves either! I’ve never seen that many Wiimotes with special designs in the same place either. That’s neat.

 

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They also had lots of Amiibo’s for about 15 bucks each. They usually went for close to 20 bucks in the GameStops I visited, so I was impressed that they didn’t charge more for them. Some, like the Villager and other “rare” and elusive ones were priced at about 45 bucks or so, if I recall correctly. I can’t figure out the prices on the tags as they’re invisible in this picture. I didn’t get any, even though they’re signicifantly cheaper when compared to Sweden, since the only one I want is the Wario one, The others aren’t interesting to me at all, though Mega Man and Samus are awesome.

IMG_5733They had this huge Mario (statue?) at the entrance. I took a picture with it but I don’t want to show off my face like this on the Internet, you know, all those things they told you about that kind of stuff when the Internet was still young still affects my mind. Anyhow, this didn’t seem to be for sale, and I can’t really imagine how you’d take this one with you. I’d reckon shipping would be cheaper if you’d just pay for an extra plane seat for it! Not to mention I’d guess something like this would cost between 200-500 dollars. That’s not any money I’d like to pay for a Mario figure. A Wario one is a different story though…

IMG_5734Look at all these Game Boy games!! When getting into retro territory the prices tend to skyrocket, as was the case with these games, and even among those who were decently priced I didn’t find anything I liked too much, or I already had them. The same goes for the Game Boy Advance games. I didn’t get any loose Nintendo DS games, I only ever bought a loose cart since it had the manual before (Sonic Colors) so I stayed away from them. This reminds me, I need 20 more clear Nintendo DS cases… There are some Game Boy games of mine who still need custom boxes, and one “82 in 1″ compilation (Lies!! There are only 10 unique games or so in it!) that needs a custom case design.

IMG_5738Games everywhere! They had games for the following platforms, though I may have missed one or two of them: NES, SNES, GB, GBA, PS, PS2, PS3, PS4, GCN, N64, Genesis, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, NDS, N3DS… Did I miss something? Yeah, I’m sure I missed something. Anyhow, you get the big idea. The NES games did cost a fair bit, as they pretty much only had quality titles in great condition, and most of the quality GCN titles too, though Wario World had the standard price which is seen both in the US and Europe (around 20 dollars or so). They also had a few boxed NES games too.

IMG_5740The Game Boy systems carried a hefty price tag of around 60-80 dollars, though I’d guess the pro is that you can try them out and feel them before buying them. They also seemed to be in good condition. I eyed that Game Boy Printer but got cold feet as I’m hoping to get one for cheaper. They also had a good few Japanese import titles, something taht isn’t too common I’d believe. I only saw imports in Pink Gorilla, though I’ll admit I didn’t look to carefully for them in other stores either. I have a Yellow Brick Game Boy (follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow, follow, follow follow, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy) and would like to get my hands on one with the original colors and the transparent one.

IMG_5741And here you have the Playstation Vita games, who were decently priced. Can you spot The Walking Dead: The Second Season?

I hope you liked this virtual tour of sorts. Make sure to visit the store, the prices may match other physical game stores but the experience was great. I think I’d have bought more games if I hadn’t decided to buy selected titles instead in January.

Game Hunting: Hunting in US and Canada

Gameboy Case

Gameboy Carrying Case, Game & Watch Gallery and Wario Blast:

I got these from Al’s Video Games and Music in Seattle. I’ve been looking for such a case for a long time and Wario Blast has been on my list too, I wrote about them here. Both games are very fun and well worth what I gave for them, and I’m showing off the case on our bookshelf at home. I think I got the case for half of what it costs around here.

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Zelda: Collectors Edition, Mario Party 4, Pac Man 1 and 2, Luigi’s Mansion:

Here’s the amazing story of how I got these games:

I walked into a Salvation Army store in Vancouver (I know, on my vacation, right?) as they’re a good source of finding video games for a decent price. I look through their selection and there honestly weren’t any good video games on display… until I followed one of the basic rules of game collectors: check the DVD and Blu Ray department!

Lo and behold! They had a good selection of Gamecube games…

My hands started to shake. I sweated profusely. They had The Legend of Zelda: Collectors Edition there for 5 bucks. Quickly, to not someone else get it, I grabbed it and held on to it tightly. Then I saw Luigi’s Mansion… and then Mario Party 4, both also for the same price each! And then I threw in Pac Man for good measure.

I honestly had to take a few deep breaths because of the adrenaline that coursed through me, it took a long time for me to finally understand that I actually had found these games for such a good price, I mean, I didn’t even expect to find anything in there. I paid for them and then when I exited the place I wanted to shout my lungs out, out of sheer excitement and happiness of my once in a lifetime find.

Being the nice guy I am I gave my brother Mario Party 4, as I already have the 5th game in that series.

Nintendo DS Games

Zendoku, Aliens Infestation and Blue Dragon Plus:

The first game, Zendoku, I bought from the discount bins of Future Shop in Victoria, Canada. It only cost a couple of bucks and looked interesting enough to warrant a purchase. It seems to basically be a Sudoku game with action elements.

The second game, Aliens Infestation, I bought from Walmart. It looks like an awesome platformer where you control a few guys wandering about killing off aliens. I had to get it since it looked really interesting, and in these days where Internet tells you everything there is to know about a game, it feels good to take a chance on a title that looks promising, without having your experience being tainted by reviews of people who hold a higher standard for the games they use to play.

The third game, Blue Dragon Plus, is the sequel to Blue Dragon, another game designed by Akira Toriyama. The first game has gotten good reviews, and I’d have gotten it if I had an Xbox… which I don’t. It’s a strategy RPG which seems pretty fun, but I haven’t played enough of it to have a full opinion about it. I bought it from a Gamestop in Victoria.

That’s it for now! Smell ya later!

Game Hunting: Eye See Tamagotchi’s Crossing Legends

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Tamagotchi:

I bought this from a guy from the Swedish equivalent of Craigslist complete in box and in tip top shape. This is a more advanced version of the smaller original Tamagotchi which one could buy for more than 10 years ago, and it’s actually a pretty fun game. I already bought it in the US, but this one was CIB! As a Gameboy collector (with no intentions of ever owning a complete set) I had to go for this one.

This is what I wrote about it back in September last year:

I always wanted this game in the midst of the Tamagotchi craze and now I’ve got it. It’s basically Tamagotchi, but with a save function (no more Tamagotchi leaving you because of neglect when the teacher takes it away from you for playing it during the class) and that’s a great plus. The downside is that you’ll need to have your Gameboy on when waiting for the lil’ bastard to sleep. On a sidenote I never owned a Tamagotchi, I had a clone called My Little Puppy. It had four buttons as opposed to one. I remember it making the game being much easier. My brother had a genuine Tamagotchi though, his cost roughly 25$ at the time and mine only 20$, and since I’d bought more crap for my allowance and been set back 5 dollars I couldn’t afford the more imaginative original. While his could grow and metamorphose into a different creature depending on whether you treated it well or not, mine remained a dog throughout the game. But it had an extra button!  By the way, remember that awesome Tamagotchi song that was played to death on the radio? Got it stuck in your head now? Mission accomplished! 3$.

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Final Fantasy Legend:

I bought this from the same dude as mentioned above, and this is a near mint condition copy of the game. Considering what the game goes for over here it’s a steal, and the dude even told me that a lot of people had asked for the game. But since I was first he was kind enough to let me have it- and I really appreciate such honesty.

I’m looking forward to play this gem, which also goes by the name Makai Toushi SaGa in Japan. While not a true part of the Final Fantasy series, this game has been praised as has the rest of the entries in the so called SaGa series.

The cover really tells of a legend unfolding right on your dark sickly-green monochrome brick Gameboy Dot Matrix screen. That’s magical.

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Animal Crossing:

This is the first Animal Crossing game ever made. Originally ambitiously created for the N64, it was postponed to be released on the Gamecube instead, which also explains the kind of dated N64 graphics which has given the series its charm.

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I got this NTSC version by the same dude described above, for a great deal considering it contains all inlets and the exclusive Animal Crossing Memory Card, which many copies are missing. I got the NTSC version since the PAL ones were much more expensive, also it really doesn’t matter which one you’ve got if you already have a Freeloader.

This one will be real fun to play. I’ve been told one will be stuck in the game 24/7 after starting it, so I’ll save it for a holiday.

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Playstation 2 Eye Toy:

I quickly found out that Police 24/7, which I wrote about here, would be much more enjoyable with a Eye Toy, so I got one for 1£, shipping included, from Tradera. That’s rad, and this one was in a very good condition.

Game Hunting: NES Galore!

In Vegas, of all places, we went video game hunting (knowing that US games are way cheaper than in Europe mostly).

First place we hit up was Game World (description and a small tour to follow in a separate post). The owner was really nice and the service was good, and the stock not too shabby, we found a lot of good NES titles and, though I didn’t end up buying any, there were a lot of good Gamecube and Nintendo DS titles there for good prices, as well as some arcade cabinets and retro demo stands.

Anyhow, we ended up buying a few NES titles that easily would’ve cost 2-3x more in Sweden, so a good haul I say:

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Super Mario Bros./ Duck Hunt:

If you haven’t heard of this game chances are you’ve lived under a rock in an area without electricity. Why did I buy this, you say? Because I didn’t have Super Mario Bros.!! We used to have it but the cartridge got lost, so we bought this Game Pak and it works like a charm. The price tag: 7 $. I’m sure I could’ve gotten it much cheaper but not at home so I got myself this one. That roughly translates to 4,5 £, which isn’t all too bad.

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Startropics:

This is an action-RPG that’s in a relatively modern setting (the early 90’s to be exact, as one of the girls you speak to in the first town explicitly states how proud she is to be Miss 1990 or 1991). You’re a young man with a Yo-Yo that’s supposed to save your father, and then you go on an epic quest to save…something. I haven’t got the plot down as of yet, but I’ve heard great stuff about this game and from what I’ve played of it, this seems to be a really good game with a lot going for it. The price tag? 7 $. Nice.

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Snake Rattle & Roll:

There are a lot of people remembering playing this game as kids, and I’ve actually been recommended the game by Stephanie of Misprinted Pages (who incidentally just booted up her own Video Game themed blog Lost Pixels). I really liked this one, I played it with my bro, but man can it be challenging when it comes to the tight controls and the psuedo-3D environments. It plays fairly well, though, and is a blast to play.

It’s platformer where you control the snakes Rattle and Roll through a fiendish landscape where you eat pieces of enemies and tounge-stab them to death, very much as Tao Bai Bai did to General Blue:

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Only this time you’re backed up by awesome 50-60’s rock tunes in 8-bit! For 7$ I went for it.

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Gotcha! The Sport:

I only bought this game because of two reasons:

1) The game is a Light Gun game which I haven’t heard of, nor do I think it was released in Sweden

2) The cover sports an awesome dude with a cocky smile

I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a paintball game, or lasers etc., but I feel it’s downplaying the actual theme of the game. While I don’t have Light Guns (I’ll get some though) and don’t have an old TV, I only booted it up to see what it was like, and you simply see a lot of enemy soldiers shooting at you and you have a few seconds to shoot them first. That’s warfare, and I’d hardly call it a sport.

Price tag: 5 $

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Fester’s Quest:

The title screen doesn’t exactly set the mood for the rest of the game which is insanely difficult and dark. Also, it’s called “Uncle Fester’s Quest” on the title screen, but for some reason they dropped “Uncle” on the cover of the cartridge.  It’s a fun but challenging game which some love and some loathe, me being somewhere in between. I remember this from a friends’ from when we were kids, and it’s a must have for the NES in my opinion. And for 5 $ I didn’t hesitate.

Then we went to A Gamer’s Paradise, to the South Store, where we scored some gold, well, at least I did score some real gold.

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Legendary Wings:

This is a game that frequently is on lists of forgotten NES gems, of games that are really good but not well known. This particular one I got to know through Let’s Get!!’s Halloween Special episode where Eric plays a frightened Luigi in the episode Top 10 Goriest 2D Bosses, and also presents the game in his Valentines Day Special.

It’s a vertical shooter that through some segments shifts to a horizontal shooter, and instead of controlling a plane you control something immensely more badass:

An angel with a gun.

And the game is made by none other than Capcom, so there you go, I had no problems forking out 9 $ for this one.

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Mendel Palace:

This is a game that was produced by Game Freak, believe it or not. The art style reminds closely of that in the early Pokémon series as it was designed by none other than Ken Sugimori, the Art Director of the company.

It’s a fun puzzle game. especially in 2-player, where you turn floor tiles to defeat enemies and to clear the level. Unfortunately my copy freezes right after selecting the level, which means that I’ll have to try to fix it… cleaning the pins hasn’t helped, but if you know some way to fix this I’d be very grateful if you’d share that knowledge with me. As you can see: it cost 7 $.

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Pinball:

A Black Box Series classic, this game is not the best Pinball game for the NES, but not really that bad either. As with most early pinball games it turns stale rather fast, but for what it is it’s a really fun and entertaining game. For 3 $ I couldn’t stand it up, so I bought it.

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Zelda II: Adventure of Link

Here’s the gold I was speaking about. No, I didn’t get actual gold, duh, I got a gold colored cartridge. It’s in a noticeably used condition, but works very well and cost me 14 $. Compare that to 40-50 $ in Sweden and you have me by the horns, I had to buy this one.

 

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Mega Man Anniversary Collection:

This game wasn’t even released in Europe, and all version are US imports that cost between 20-40 $, add shipping to that price and you’ll have to cough up 60-70 $ for a copy.

The game contains all Mega Man games up until Mega Man VII, and aside from the fact that they’ve swapped the A and B buttons, making it more of a challenge, they’re well worth the 25$ I paid for it.

And I also visited a store in Los Angeles, Entertainment Exchange, where I only found one game I’d been searching for at a reasonable price:

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Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2

I’ve already spoken about the first game in a previous post, and I’ve looked forward to get a copy of the second game, which is harder to get by in Europe, for a long time. I found one copy for 20 $, and compared to a price tag of 30-40$ around here I got it. I’m looking forward to playing this one!

 

Images: Tao Bai Bai killin’ General Blue from: http://thedragonballblog.blogspot.se/