Game Hunt (08/29/10): Gamecube mega-haul, MGS3, and…Mick & Mack?
By Eric Kennedy Sunday, 29 Aug 2010

Hey hey, guys! I’m back to semi-regularity with these articles, now. I’ve been working on not spending quite so much time or money at thrift stores (so as not to have my wife calls Hoarders or something), but that doesn’t mean I can’t still put together compelling game hunt articles. I’ve learned to be a bit more discerning with my dollar, but I’m still finding some unique stuff that should pique your interest, along with some cheap grabs on good games. Let’s try something different this week, and start off with a McDonald’s product endorsement…

Find: Mick & Mack as the Global Gladiators (GEN)

Price / Condition: $4 / With case and manual, but the manual is warped.

Where at: Half Price Books

Why: I think the intro speaks for itself:

Wow. This is what happens when target marketing filled with “hip” catchphrases meets overused sampling. I’ll bet the executives at Virgin thought kids would just eat this stuff up… which makes me wonder, did we, at some point, actually think this crap was cool? It seems to me we always laughed at this kind of stuff, and maybe that was the point. Moving on, this is a slightly-better-than-mediocre platformer, that controls decently, and looks and sounds good. Where it loses point is level design, as it lacks a certain finesse. They mostly rely on throwing a bunch of enemies at you, without any sense of purpose, and they were even unoriginal enough to pull the “pallette swap” trick as soon as the second level. It may get better as it progresses, but I’m guessing they were banking more on the McDonald’s tie-in (and the totally radical music) to sell this game.

Deal or Not a Deal? It’s complete, which is nice since I love to collect Genesis cases. An okay deal.

Find: Quake (PC)

Price / Condition: $2.50 / Still sealed! A few small dents in the box.

Where at: St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store

Why: This was a no-brainer. I have a hard time passing up anything in factory sealed condition, especially if it’s cheap, and Quake is certainly popular enough to make it worth money. I waffled over whether or not I should open it for myself just to get that new game smell, but in the end I decided that the opened copy I already have will suffice.

Deal or Not a Deal? It sold for $27 on eBay, so this definitely paid off. Usually sealed games are a safe bet, as long as there’s some demand for the game in general. People love the idea of something that’s never been touched.

Find: ChoroQ (PS2)

Price / Condition: $2 / Another one still in the shrink-wrap!

Where at: Pawn Xchange

Why: I included this as a contrast to the previous find. I knew very little about this game, other than it’s a Car-PG (yes, a racing game with RPG elements), but the collector in me couldn’t resist picking up a cheap, still-sealed game. I actually own the sequel to this game, which is supposed to be the better of the two, so I’ll probably just stow this away until I feel like opening a below-average game.

Deal or Not a Deal? This one is pretty worthless on eBay, so this was not a deal. Thankfully I didn’t waste too much money.

Find: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)

Price / Condition: $2 / Complete and in excellent condition.

Where at: Pawn Xchange

Why: I used to own this game, and have played through it in it’s entirety. While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Metal Gear Solid 2 (mostly due to the lengthier cut scenes and more ridiculous story), it was still a good game with some great moments. I wanted to get it back in my collection.

Deal or Not a Deal? Although there are plenty of copies of this game to be found, this is the cheapest I’ve ever seen it, so it was a good deal.

Find: How To Master The Video Games

Price / Condition: $0.75 / Cover is a little dirty, but the pages look good.

Where at: Value Village

Why: This book dates all the way back to the year I was born, 1981, and it provides an intriguing look into very early video game writing. The introduction actually touches on a familiar debate: are video games bad for kids?. Almost thirty years later, and we still haven’t put that discussion to rest! The meat of the book provides an analytical approach to getting better at (mostly) Atari games, and it even includes a section with exercises you can do while not playing video games, to improve your reflexes. Perhaps the most dated thing about this book is the title, and it’s superfluous use of the word “the”, which makes it sound like Bill Cosby came up with the name.

Deal or Not a Deal? Hey, it didn’t even cost me a dollar. If I ever decide to become a master at Space Invaders, I’ve no doubt this book will more than pay for itself.

Find: Advance Wars 2 Nintendo Power Guide (GBA)

Price / Condition: $2 / Beat-up spine, but otherwise good.

Where at: Half Price Books

Why: I’ve already acquired the game itself, but haven’t played it yet, so this is perfect. I’m gonna have to put up a shelf for my strategy guides soon, but I feel they’re worth the space. There’s just something more satisfying about using a real book, rather than a GameFaqs walkthrough, to get through a game. Sure, it’s not as cool as calling a 1-800 help line, like we did in my day, but its less annoying than having to run back to the computer whenever you can’t figure something out.

Deal or Not a Deal? Usually, official strategy guides for good games such as this would fetch a price closer to $10, so this was a solid deal.

Find: Pinball Quest (NES)

Price / Condition: $5 / A little dirt on the cart, and some scratches, but a clean label.

Where at: Pawn Fathers

Why: I was wowed right off the bat when I laid eyes on this game, just because I’ve never, ever seen it before. I had heard a friend talk about it, and the idea of a pinball RPG certainly intrigued me, so I decided to grab it.

Deal or Not a Deal? I probably paid a couple bucks more than I should have, especially since I don’t know if it’s any good or not. It did come with a vintage Funcoland dust sleeve, though!

Find: Turn and Burn, Whizz, Space Football (SNES)

Price / Condition: $10 for all three / Poor to good. Some ugly looking labels in there.

Where at: Game Dawgz in Aberdeen, WA

Why: A little story goes along with these carts… My wife and I were on a trip to the Washington coast, and on the way there I saw a store called Game Freaks, in the small, podunk town of Aberdeen. Even though the uncreative name should’ve been a giveaway, I decided to stop and have a look. My suspicions were confirmed, as it was run your typical scuzzy craigslist reseller, with questionable customer service skills and atrocious prices ($40 for a loose Shining Force cart). I left that store pretty quickly, and when we reached the ocean, I found yet another store with awful prices and idiotic salespeople (the guy kept telling me “ooh, that’s a collector’s item” whenever I asked about a game’s price). I didn’t end up buying anything there, either, which was pretty frustrating. So when, on our way back home, I encountered a third and final store called Game Dawgz, I was desperate. Thankfully, their prices were much better, and the guy even gave me a “buy two, get one free” deal. So, even though these aren’t the prettiest of cartridges, I was satisfied with picking up three uncommons for my SNES collection. More importantly, I had something to show for my game hunting efforts in a strange land.

Deal or Not a Deal? Whizz and Space Football are actually decent, if somewhat odd, games. The poor condition takes some of the steam out of these finds, though. I’d say mediocre at best.

Find: Mr. Do! (GB)

Price / Condition: $3 / A little yellowing on the plastic, but the label looks great!

Where at: Pawn Fathers

Why: This is another game I’d never seen in the wild before, and I knew that it was somewhat valuable due to it’s semi-rarity. It’s a remake of an arcade game originally released in 1982, with “remix” features that you can toggle on and off (although they amount to pretty minor changes). I tried it out, and it seems

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like a fun game, playing like a more complex version of Dig Dug. It’s also for the Super Nintendo, though, so I’m not sure if I’m gonna keep this version.

Deal or Not a Deal? It’s easily worth at least ten bucks, so this was a very good deal on a hard-to-find game.

Find: Ultimate Unauthorized Nintendo Game Boy Strategies

Price / Condition: $1 / Very good!

Where at: Value Village

Why: I have a lot of soft spots for various forms of cheesy video game memorabilia, but perhaps my biggest soft spot is for “unauthorized” guides from the Nintendo era. These books are usually so unashamedly cheesy that they make for a very entertaining, and nostalgic, read. This particular volume bucks that trend a bit, as its fairly well written, with only a light layer of cheese. It covers a lot of games, and although the strategies aren’t very in-depth, they do include as much info about the game as possible, and even have screen shots for most of them. There are fun facts about things like the battle of 1942, the origin of Batman, and even a section in back for those simplistic handheld games made by companies like Tiger (what a strange thing to include).This is one of the better books of it’s kind that I’ve come across.

Deal or Not a Deal? Super cheap, and surprisingly better than I expected. What a deal!

Find: Ocarina of Time: Master Quest, Mario Party 4, Resident Evil, Super Smash Bros Melee, Luigi’s Mansion (GC)

Price / Condition: $50 / All complete and in excellent condition!

Where at: Pawn Fathers

Why: This deal required a little bit of haggling, but pawn shops are always willing to negotiate, which is why I’ve come to appreciate them more than thrift stores in some ways. I asked the guy how much they charged for their GameCube games, since I saw Luigi’s Mansion, and have been thinking about adding it to my Cube collection.. He said they all have different prices, but if I wanted a bunch of them, I could make an offer. Feeling somewhat reckless, I grabbed a stack of the best ones that I could find, and said “How about thirty bucks for these five?”. He took a look at the games, added up the “normal” prices written on the insides of the cases, and then countered with $50 for all of ‘em. I declined at first, just because I wasn’t sure if I should be dropping a Ulysses S. Grant on video games. After thinking it through, I figured that I could make a decent profit on everything except Luigi’s Mansion, and thus justify the purchase.

Deal or Not a Deal? Not as amazing as some of my other “big hauls”, but this is still a great deal in my opinion. Five AAA GameCube titles for $50 is good, as all of these are worth more than ten bucks each. The Zelda bonus disc is especially valuable nowadays. If my estimates are correct, I should be able to double my money, all the while netting myself a free copy of Luigi’s Mansion. Score!

That’s it for this round. It’s funny that I started off talking about trying not to spend as much money on game hunting, and then ended with a story about spending fifty bucks in one place. Somebody get me some help! Or bid on my auctions, hehe… Anyway, Labor Days sales are approaching, and hopefully that means I’ll be able to show off some finds that are both super-thrifty and super-rare. As always, let me know what you thought about this week’s finds in the forums. See you around!

3 Responses to “Game Hunt (08/29/10): Gamecube mega-haul, MGS3, and…Mick & Mack?”

  1. Zach Patterson Says:

    good god, that song….

    also, really great deal on those gamecube games. that zelda disc is worth some serious dough, and smash bros games never lose their value. also, i have a serious soft spot for Luigi’s Mansion. such a cool, underrated game. and the RE-make scares the fuck out of me. crimsonheads are terrifying.

  2. Eric Kennedy Says:

    Well, I didn’t make quite as much money on the cube games as I thought… Mario Party and Smash Bros made about 9 each, but Ocarina and RE got about 22 each. In the end I still got myself a free copy of Luigi’s Mansion, but what I should’ve tried to do was get 3 games for 30 instead of 5 for 50. Stuff like Mario Party and Smash Bros holds value reasonably well, but the problem is there are so many copies on eBay at any given time that sometimes you’ll only get a couple bids.
    Not sure on the value of Mr Do, either, as it went unsold at $10. Trying again, hopefully I’ll have better luck. If not, it’s a fun GB game.
    So lesson learned, I need to be even MORE careful with my dollars.

  3. Zach Patterson Says:

    damn, surprised smash bros went so low. RE sounds about right at least.

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