|By Eric Kennedy||Sunday, 15 Nov 2009|
I thought it might be hard to follow up last week’s haul, and while I didn’t find anything approaching the rarity and wow-factor of the Miracle Piano, I found some really neat stuff, and lots of it. Not to mention more no-brainer deals that fell into my lap in the last couple days. Last week also marked my return to the crap shoot that is the pawn shop. Deals can be found there, no doubt, but often times all you’re greeted with is a handful of overpriced common cartridges and way too many Playstation 2 and Xbox games. They came through for me this time, though. Without further ado, I bring to you my last two weeks of game hunting! Brace yourself, this one is a bit larger than the last…
Find: Nintendo 64 Cartridge Holder Price/Condition: $2 / Decent outside, dirty inside, but nothing a little elbow grease won’t remedy. Where at: Value Village Why: Let’s start off with something neat. One of the down sides of game hunting so much is that your collection can start to get unruly and disorganized. Needless to say, I’m always on the lookout for creative ways to store my stuff, especially if it’s official merchandise. This was a natural fit for my game room. Deal or Not a Deal? I have no idea how much these things cost new, but it had to be more than two bucks. This is a great deal on a very useful accessory!
Find: Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PS1) Price/Condition: $5 / Complete, excellent condition. Where at: Value Village Why: This makes a nice follow-up to my last article, when I found the first Crash game. I’ve read generally positive things about the third game, and Sony has a good track record of improving their key franchises with each sequel (the third Spyro the Dragon is pretty much the best, for example). Seems like a good game to have, and it’s nice to complete the trilogy (I already own the second game). Deal or Not a Deal? If I was little less sure about the quality of the game, maybe not a deal. Since it looks to be pretty fun, five bucks isn’t too much to ask for it complete.
Find: Marble Madness (NES) Price/Condition: $2 / Good, clean label. Where at: Value Village Why: Even though this game is really, really tough I feel it should be a part of every NES collection. I’ve just been waiting to find it cheap enough. I can’t really justify spending five bucks or more on a game that will drive me to insanity if I try to beat it. Deal or Not a Deal? Two bucks is the right price for this one. It’s not something I’ll play a lot, but will enjoy busting out from time to time. A nice deal, more so for Marble Madness experts (which I am not).
Find: Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (GEN) Price/Condition: $3 / Near Mint! Where at: Value Village Why: I already have this one, but my cart is beat-up, and it’s one of my favorite Genesis games. I always like to improve the condition of my collection when I know I can trade/sell the extra copy. Ah, I love the smell of near mint cartridges in the morning! Deal or Not a Deal? This game
is awesome, and the cartridge looks beautiful. DEAL!
Find: RoboWarrior (NES) Price/Condition: $1 / Good Where at: Al’s Music Video & Games Why: I used to frequent this second-hand shop more often, because I would find deals on good games if I looked hard enough. Now, no matter how hard I look, I can’t find anything other than mostly dirty games at higher-than-eBay prices. I picked up the cheapest game I could find, just so I didn’t feel like I wasted a trip. It’s got robots; it’s gotta be worth a buck! Deal or Not a Deal? I dunno. I haven’t played it yet, but apparently it’s made by Hudson, and bears a resemblance to Bomberman. Probably worth the dollar I spent, but not really a deal. Push.
Find: Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock Edition (PS1) Price/Condition: $3 / Complete, beat-up case, but the discs aren’t too bad. Where at: Goodwill Why: This game will always hold a special place in my heart, because it legitimately scared the crap out of me as a teenager. I almost feel like I don’t have to play any of the other RE games since this one is so good! I don’t see it very often at a low price, so I jumped on this deal quickly. Deal or Not a Deal? Steal! I woulda paid the same price for just the discs!
Find: Starfox 64 (N64) Price/Condition: $5 / Excellent Where at: Deseret Industries Thrift Store Why: This is widely regarded as a classic Nintendo 64 title, and I didn’t yet have it in my collection. I’ve passed up enough slightly more expensive copies that I finally bit on this one. Deal or Not a Deal? I’d say that’s about the right price. You’d have to hold out for a long time to find it any cheaper.
Find: Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA) Price/Condition: $4 / Excellent Where at: Pawn Xchange Why: From what little I’ve played so far, it seems like an amazing remake of the first Metroid. Cheap Game Boy Advance games are hard to come by, let alone good cheap games. I was very surprised to see this one priced so low, but like I said, the pawn shops are very hit-or-miss. I also picked up Zelda: Four Swords for the same price, so I made out very well this time around. Deal or Not a Deal? D-D-D-D-Deal! Under five bones for a GBA remake of a classic Nintendo game is almost unheard of!
Find: Gyromite (NES) Price/Condition: $2 / Excellent Where at: Pawn Xchange Why: I honestly have no idea if this game is any good, but there’s a little bit of excitement involved any time you find a Gyromite cart. You see, early production runs of this game included a Japanese converter in the cartridge, so there’s a chance that you’ll get a useful tool in addition to the game. I figured, if nothing else, I’d add another old-style NES label to my collection. Deal or Not a Deal? Well, I opened it up, and there was no converter. So it’s not a deal, unless this game is a great deal of fun, even without R.O.B. Probably not.
Find: Nintendo 64 Game Secrets (1999 Edition) Price/Condition: 42 cents / Fair Where at: Value Village Why: This find illustrates the upside of buying game strategy guides at thrift stores: sometimes, they’ll charge you the magazine price instead of the normal book price. I own almost all of the games covered in this guide, so it will serve as a very handy reference. Deal or Not a Deal? I was expecting to pay up to two or three bucks for this, so getting it for almost nothing felt like stealing.
Find: Tricks of the Nintendo Masters (NES & Game Boy) Price/Condition: $3 / Good Where at: Goodwill Why: I have a soft spot for vintage Nintendo guides, and this one has all the quirky charm of NES-era hint books that I love! I’m always looking for great coffee table or bathroom material, and really, how can you not love that cover? What is that, Robocop fighting Mecha Godzilla? Oh, how I miss the days of innocence… Deal or Not a Deal? Depends on how much you enjoy reading these laughably bad attempts at cashing in on a huge fad. They are almost one-of-a-kind finds, though. I always pick them up if they’re under ten bucks.
Find: MadCatz Blaster (PS2 Light Gun) Price/Condition: $4 / Good Where at: Value Village Why: I already own one of these guns, and have come to appreciate just how well it works with the Time Crisis series. The button placement is perfect, and it’s much lighter than the GunCon (which becomes a major factor after playing the game for a while). There was no way I could pass up having a second gun for awesome two-player action! Deal or Not a Deal? Totally a deal. This is a great gun, and a quality piece of hardware. Cheaper than the GunCon, too.
Find: Rebelstar: Tactical Command (Game Boy Advance) Price/Condition: $3 / Good Where at: Value Village Why: This was a total shot in the dark. The only thing I was going off of was the word tactical in the title, and the Namco logo on the label. Deal or Not a Deal? Well, as it turns out, this is a turn-based combat game with a decent story. It probably didn’t get great reviews, but I love turn-based strategy more than most. I’m just not sure if the combat system is up to snuff. Only time will tell if this one was a deal, or just a waste of a cartridge.
Find: Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout (NES) Price/Condition: $4 / Good, has rental stickers. Where at: Deseret Industries Thrift Store Why: The Kemco Bugs Bunny games are generally pretty good puzzle-platformers. I deliberated on this one for a week, going back home to look up screen shots and check the rarity. It’s uncommon, and looks to be more of the same goodness as the Game Boy games, so I decided it was worth adding to my NES library. Deal or Not a Deal? You could probably find this one cheaper, and not everybody is a fan of this type of game. A mild deal.
Find: Resident Evil 4 (GameCube) Price/Condition: $13 / Sealed! Where at: Goodwill Why: The funny thing about this find is that this particular Goodwill had all of their games in the display case priced at $13. So I had to choose between a dirty copy of Super Mario Bros 3, Pokemon Red, or a brand new copy of a top ten GameCube game. Yes, the deliberation process was much quicker this time. Hehe. Deal or Not a Deal? It’s not like sealed copies of RE4 are impossible to find, but you’ll generally pay closer to $20 to get them. This was a pretty good deal.
Find: ProPad (SNES Controller) Price/Condition: $2 / Good, the buttons don’t stick, but two of the turbo switches are kinda loose. Where at: Goodwill Why: I like to give different controllers a shot if they meet certain criteria: they have to be cheap, they need to have a comfy design and/or button layout, and the buttons shouldn’t stick. This one hit all the marks, plus it has a cool see-through casing. Sweet! Deal or Not a Deal? I played around with it a bit, and it feels good. The d-pad is great, and the shoulder buttons have a better feel than the standard issue controller. I wouldn’t pay much more for it, maybe three bucks, but it’s a deal!
Find: Naki Action Pad (6-button Genesis controller) Price/Condition: $1 Each / Brand New! Where at: Goodwill Why: This controller meets all the same criteria as the last one, plus it touts the fact that it’s good for fighting games, and in brand new condition. Can’t pass it up! Deal or Not a Deal? They feel very nice, possibly outclassing the standard 6-button controller completely. Super deal, and a neat find!
Find: You Don’t Know Jack: Mock Two (PS1) Price/Condition: $3 / Good, complete. Where at: Value Village Why: I’m a huge fan of the You Don’t Know Jack series, so I try to get my hands on as many possible iterations as I can. I’d never even seen a copy of this game up until this moment in time. I didn’t have to think about it. Deal or Not a Deal? Somewhat hard to find, and a fun, unique party game, all for under five bucks. DEAL!!!
Find: Jumping Flash (PS1) Price/Condition: $2 / Good, complete, and the cardboard isn’t beat up. Where at: Goodwill Why: It’s not often that I get a chance to grab a longbox PS1 game (that isn’t a sports game), and I’ve heard this one is quirky and cute. Pretty much a no-brainer. Deal or Not a Deal? Killer price on an early Playstation game. Deal!
Find: Doom II (PC) Price/Condition: $3 / Good, disc and jewel case only. Where at: Value Village Why: I’ve been searching long and hard for a physical copy of this game for nostalgic reasons. Twice, I thought I found it, only to realize they were Mac versions. Major sad face. When I finally found a PC copy, I grabbed it and thanked my lucky stars. It’d be nice to have a boxed copy, but I’ll take this for now. Deal or Not a Deal? Considering the fact that you can pretty easily download this game now, it’s not really a deal. I purchased this purely for personal reasons.
Find: Huge Stack o’ Boxed Genesis Games! Price/Condition: $4 / Varies, some complete, some not. Where at: Value Village Why: Sometimes, when I see a big stack of games at a thrift store, my eyes bulge out and I get all greedy. I deliberated long and hard over which ones I should leave behind, but in the end I got almost everything they had. Some good stuff in there, but some unknown games as well (hey, Garfield might be a good platformer). I’m just a sucker for boxed Genesis games, and Turrican, Ristar, and Lost Vikings are all excellent games. Deal or Not a Deal? Tough to say. I probably shouldn’t have spent $40 on Genesis games, but the cases look so nice on my shelf. In hindsight, I should’ve left Wacky Worlds, Mortal Kombat 3, Lion King, and possibly Decap Attack behind. This was still a pretty awesome find, just because it’s not often that you see a stack of boxed Genesis games at a thrift store.
Find: Donkey Kong Country 1, 2, 3, Super Mario Kart, Yoshi’s Island Price/Condition: $5 Each / Some of them a little dirty, but easily cleanable. Where at: Deseret Industries Thrift Store Why: Yeah, I went and saved the best for last. In contrast to the last big stack of games, this one is made of pure platinum hits. It’s nice to finally have a copy of DKC 3, and the rest of the games are way too good to pass up at that price, even as doubles. Deal or Not a Deal? Whooooooooaaaa! Monster deal!
Needless to say, I had some really good luck these past couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean my bank account isn’t hurting! I’ll have to do some serious soul searching to decide which ones I want to keep, and which ones will end up being sacrificed to the eBay Gods. It’s the only way I can keep the hunt going at this pace. My next haul will probably be a bit smaller than this one, but I’ll try to make it every bit as exciting. Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep searching for those stacks and stacks of cheap games.