|By Eric Kennedy||Sunday, 22 Nov 2009|
This last week was pretty average for me: I found a decent amount of games, had a couple trips where I found nothing, and also ran across some truly hard-to-find items. I actually stumbled upon a very rare NES gem early in my hunting, and was never able to match the awesomeness of that as the week went on.
Still, I’m not disappointed with this haul in the least. I kept almost exclusively to thrift stores this time around, with the exception of an excursion to a Canadian game store that yielded two decently priced Game Boy games amidst their rows and rows of overpriced games. $25 for a loose Super Castlevania IV cartridge? Aww, come on!!! The interesting thing about this batch of finds is that it’s heavily slanted towards Game Boy games. I don’t mind that at all, as they’re starting to get cheaper finally, and it’s easy to find undiscovered gems in that particular library. Now then, let’s start off with something basic…
Find: Super Mario 64 (N64) Price/Condition: $3 / Excellent Where at: Value Village Why: A game this well known makes good fodder for trading or eBay, especially at a price under five bucks. A clean cartridge makes it a must-grab. Deal or Not a Deal? Definitely a deal, as the game is easily worth $10 to most people.
Find: Spyro the Dragon (PS1) Price/Condition: $4 / Good, with case and manual. Where at: Goodwill Why: This platformer franchise is pretty solid, possibly even better than Sony’s bandicoot series. It’s an easy enough decision to make. Deal or Not a Deal? Any of the three Spyro games on the PS1 is a good deal for under five bucks, when complete.
Find: CosmoTank (GB) Price/Condition: $4 / Excellent Where at: Willow Video in Surrey, BC Why: To be honest, I was desperate to find anything at this store. Most of it was overpriced, but I wanted to have a souvenir from my trip, so I took a chance on a cheap Atlus game. Turns out it’s a pretty good tank’em-up. Not bad at all! Deal or Not a Deal? I’m not sure how long this game will hold my interest, and you could probably get it for a buck or two less, but this is a fair price.
Find: Rolan’s Curse 2 (GB) Price/Condition: $3 / Fair (label is badly faded) Where at: Willow Video Why: I knew Rolan’s Curse was a Zelda-ish adventure game, so I figured this was worth the money. Strangely, they had a copy of the first game priced at $13.99. I felt like I was getting one over on them by picking up the second quest for significantly cheaper. Also, would you just look at that dragon in the label art? Fierce! If he’s not in the game, I will be supremely disappointed. Deal or Not a Deal? Games that even hint at being fantasy-related tend to go for at least fifteen dollars, so this is a good deal. Maybe they felt the bad label knocked the price down, but it’s not a big deterrent for me.
Find: Motocross Maniacs (GB) Price/Condition: $3 / Excellent, with plastic case. Where at: Value Village Why: This was actually a purchase for a friend. I know how fun this Excitebike clone is, and I asked him if he wanted a copy for three bucks. He quickly answered “Yes!”, knowing a good bargain when he hears one. Deal or Not a Deal? Not an amazing deal, but still a cheap find and a fun game.
Find: Raging Fighter (GB) Price/Condition: $4 / Excellent Where at: Goodwill Why: I was lured in by the awesome label artwork and bad-ass title (and the fact that Konami published it), but upon playing this game I learned that it is, in fact, dog poop. It’s a fighting game on the Game Boy, and as you would expect, it moves pretty slowly and lacks depth. Not a good game. Deal or Not a Deal? Not a deal. I made a bad call on this one. This game is worth maybe a dollar, not a penny more.
Find: Hyper Lode Runner (GB) Price/Condition: $3 / Near Mint Where at: Value Village Why: Shout out to our good editor Zach on this one, who recommended this game in response to my Amazing Penguin review. I grabbed this one as soon as I saw it, and so far his assessment that it’s a fun Game Boy action-puzzler holds true. Deal or Not a Deal? Depends on how much you like black-and-white action-puzzlers. For those that do, this is a great deal!
Find: Official Sega Saturn Arcade Stick Price/Condition: $5 / Excellent Where at: Value Village Why: One look at this piece of hardware told me I had to get it. Great button layout, smooth design, looks comfy and easy to use; I’m in looooooooove! I tested it out, and it works great. Nice that it’s an official Sega product, too. Deal or Not a Deal? Fantastic deal! Just the cost of having this thing shipped would run you more than I spent.
Find: Konami Beatmania Controller (PS2) Price/Condition: $7 / Excellent Where at: Value Village Why: It’s no surprise that this thing caught my eye. I’ve never played Beatmania, but I figured something this exotic must go for at least $20 normally. A quick check of eBay confirmed my suspicions. A nice little oddity to come across in a thrift store. Deal or Not a Deal? Great deal, doubly so for anybody interested in trying out Beatmania (I still have no idea whether or not the game is any good).
Find: Iron Tank / Alpha Mission (NES) Price/Condition: $2.50 each / Good Where at: Value Village Why: Iron Tank is one of those games I played very briefly as a kid. It seemed fun, but we were borrowing, so I only had a short time to check it out. Call it an unfulfilled desire, but I had to find out how the rest of the game was. Oh, and Alpha Mission is a shoot’em-up, which is usually a good pick-up in my book. Deal or Not a Deal? Five bucks for two NES games is pretty standard, and these games are decent and worth the money.
Fire ‘N Ice (NES) Price/Condition: $5 / Near Mint, with manual! Where at: St Vincent De Paul Thrift Store Why: This is the kind of find that I live for! Fire ‘N Ice is a superb action-puzzle game, and on top of that, it’s very hard to find. I’ve only ever seen two copies in my lifetime, and I bought them both. It goes for a lot more than this on eBay, and adding it to my collection gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling, especially with the manual and dust cover included. Deal or Not a Deal? I probably don’t need to say it, but this is a hell of a deal!
Well, I didn’t shell out a ton of money like I did like week, which was a good thing. The thrifts were very dependable, and they look to be even better next week with Black Friday sales coming up. Now would be a good time for some of you to get out and give your local thrift stores a shot, as almost all of them are running half-off sales. Here’s hoping for some rock-bottom prices on rare games. Luck to us all, and until next time, keep sifting through those overpriced games until you find the diamond in the rough.