|By Eric Kennedy||Tuesday, 8 Dec 2009|
Well, Black Friday Sales have come and gone, and it turns out even thrift stores are getting in on the action nowadays! Goodwill lowered blue tags to 99 cents, and offered 40% off pink and green, which isn’t bad. St Vincent de Paul had everything half-off, which was even better, but they tend to have less games on average than most other thrifts (although I have certainly found some great stuff there). I hit the sales early, and although I made out alright, all it really did was whet my appetite for the far more lucrative President’s Day sales. Goodwill typically runs the same sale as they did for Black Friday, but Value Village also gets in on the “half-off everything” madness, which leads to a lot of good finds. Anyway, onto what I’ve picked-up in the last two weeks; let’s start off with a hearty helping of cheap strategy guides.
Find: Shannara Prima Strategy Guide (PC) Price / Condition: $2 / Excellent Where at: Goodwill Why: Back when I was big into the Shannara fantasy novels, I remembered hearing about a PC game based on the series. It stayed in the back of my mind as something I wanted to try, and about six months ago I finally found a cheap copy to add to my collection. I’m excited from reading just a little bit of the strategy guide, because it looks to be an all new story set in the same world. It might in fact be a lackluster game, but I’m a sucker for all things Shannara. Deal or Not a Deal? I gambled on this one, since there was no price tag, and I thought they would charge me between fifty cents and a buck. Two dollars is more than I think this guide is worth (since I’m sure virtually nobody has played this game), but I was already at the register and a dollar difference is not a huge deal.
Find: Escape From Monkey Island Prima Strategy Guide (PC) Price / Condition: $0.79 / Excellent Where at: Goodwill Why: I still haven’t played any of the games in this series, but I love Lucas Arts point-and-click adventures, so I definitely plan on trying them at some point. Might as well prepare by picking up a guide on the cheap. Deal or Not a Deal? Under a buck is a hell of a deal, even if I don’t own the game.
Find: Mortal Kombat Deception Brady Games Strategy Guide (multi-platform) Price / Condition: $0.50 / Good (wear and tear on the cover and spine) Where at: Half Price Books Why: Another nice find in the clearance section! MK Deception marks the point where Midway finally brought this franchise back to relevance, with a solid fighting engine, and a content-packed collection of modes. I’ve owned the game for a while now, and having the guide for all the moves is a handy tool when it comes to fighters. Deal or Not a Deal? Superb deal! I’ll gladly pay under a buck for almost any strategy guide.
Find: Vagrant Story (PS1) Price / Condition: $2 / Fair, with demo disc, but… Where at: Deseret Industries Why: I was pretty excited to see this on the shelf mixed in with other cheap CDs, but… It only has the demo disc. Grrr, darn it! Oh well. I knew it was too good to be true. I bought it anyway, cuz the demo disc has some interesting stuff on it and is in near mint condition. Plus, people are always looking for the pieces to complete their Square RPGs, and this makes good trade fodder. Fun fact: I actually played the Threads of Fate demo, and was very surprised that I’ve never heard of this game given how fun it is. So now I’m on the lookout for that one. Thanks demo disc! Deal or Not a Deal? No, not really a deal, but a worthwhile pick-up for little money anyway.
Find: The Land Before Time: Return to the Great Valley (PS1) Price / Condition: $1.79 / Fair, case is busted but it’s complete. Where at: Goodwill Why: Amazingly, this case still had the game disc in it! I mean, how could a thief pass up the opportunity to nab this PS1 gem? All sarcasm aside, this game set off my “hilariously bad” radar, and lived up to my expectations. It’s geared towards the young’ns, and features an annoying Pitri who follows you around every step of the way and offers the same advice over and over. Are kids really this stupid? C’mon! Also funny is that just one person is credited for all of the voice acting, and you can imagine how that turned out: lots of lame imitations. Another fun fact: The voice actress’ name is Lani Minella, and she is an absolute workhorse for video game voice acting. She’s done some pretty high profile stuff, such as Diablo and World of Warcraft. How she got stuck with this stinker is beyond me. Maybe her kids are big fans of the movie… Deal or Not a Deal? Not a deal, but my cousin and I got some big laughs out of playing this.
Find: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (PS2) Price / Condition: $3 / Good, complete. Where at: Goodwill Why: I’ve been on a real Crash Bandicoot roll lately, picking up just about every game in the series. Figured I might as well grab this one, since the quality level seems pretty consistent with this franchise. They won’t blow you away every time, but I haven’t run into a Crash game that flat out sucks. Yet. Deal or Not a Deal? Even though I haven’t tried it out, it’s a good deal since it’s complete and under $5.
Find: God of War (PS2) Price / Condition: $4.19 / Beautiful manual and a scratch free disc! Where at: Goodwill Why: This game has been lauded as one of the finest action games on the PS2, but I never bought into the hype for some reason. Now, at a bargain basement price, I’m ready viagra prank to give it a shot. Deal or Not a Deal? It goes pretty cheap on eBay, but coming across a good-looking, complete copy for less than the price of a Subway footlong is a solid deal.
Find: Dream Web (PC) Price / Condition: $0.99 / Complete, but the outer box is pretty beat-up. Where at: Goodwill Why: As mentioned earlier, I love PC adventure games, and this one looks to be pretty trippy and/or scary. It comes with a journal written by the game’s main character, so you can tell the developers were working hard to create the perfect atmosphere. Looks quite promising! Deal or Not a Deal? For the PC game collector, finding a fully complete PC game is a wonderful feeling. Paying next-to-nothing makes it a great deal!
Find: Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords (PC) Price / Condition: $2.39 / Very good, and it’s complete! Where at: Goodwill Why: Another genre that I’m a sucker for is sim games on the PC. I couldn’t pass it up, cuz it resembles Master of Orion II (which is one of my top ten favs of all time), and it turns out I was right. One person on the net described it as “Master of Orion’s little brother”. Exactly what I was hoping for! Deal or Not a Deal? A good deal for me, perhaps not so much for people with short attention spans. These games take a loooooooooooooong time to play.
Find: Age of Mythology (PC) Price / Condition: $1.79 / Box is a little smashed, but it’s also complete. Where at: Goodwill Why: From the guys who brought us Age of Empires. Do I really need to say any more on this one? Deal or Not a Deal? Not that hard to come by, but two dollars is cheap enough to call it a deal.
Find: Golden Tee (Plug ‘n’ Play) Price / Condition: $2.50 / Very good, but no adapter. Where at: St Vincent De Paul Why: This game is big in the bar scene, but I’ve never been brave enough to feed it quarters because a) I don’t like golf games that much, and b) I would probably suck at it. Being
able to play it for free, on the other hand… Sure, why not? Deal or Not a Deal? Worth it for the novelty factor alone. Let’s hope it actually works, though. Need to find a power supply…
Find: Konami Justifier Light Gun (Sega Genesis / Sega CD) Price / Condition: $3 / Good, seems to be slightly inaccurate though. Where at: Value Village Why: I mistakenly thought that buying this would allow me to play two players in Lethal Enforcers, but I should have done my research first. Turns out you need the pink gun, which plugs into the bottom of the blue one, for 2P mode. Dang it! Deal or Not a Deal? Not a deal, unless I’m able to offload this on eBay for some cash. We’ll see.
Find: Earthworm Jim best place to buy cialis online Action Figures Price / Condition: $2.50 each / Beat-up, but in original packaging. Where at: St Vincent De Paul Why: cialis for pulmonary hypertension Thankfully, I have the presence of mind to almost always check the toy section of every thrift store, and it yielded this neat set of Earthworm Jim figures. Too cool to pass up! Deal or Not a Deal? They aren’t worth much, but they usually charge you around five bucks for packaged cialis pharmacy price action figures at the thrift store. This ain’t bad.
Find: Super Nintendo System w/ Controller Price / Condition: $0.99 / Pretty dirty, and no hook-ups. Where at: Goodwill Why: Normally, the thrift stores want a ridiculous amount of money for naked consoles (this one was originally priced at 19.99). Grabbing one at a discount price was my way of finally sticking it to them! Deal or Not a Deal? Well, I managed to clean it up, and pair it with some extra controllers and hook-ups that I had, which helped it sell for $30 on eBay. Not bad!
Find: MLB featuring Ken Griffey Jr, Top Gear Hyperbike, Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes (N64) Price / Condition: $1.50 each / Loose carts in decent condition Where at: St Vincent De Paul Why: This is a situation where I took a chance on some N64 games that looked to be pretty ho-hum, but were cheap. I was particularly interested to see how this Ken Griffey game stacked up next to the SNES classic (the one with awesome music, not the Rare game). It’s actually pretty good, with a full roster of American League players, responsive controls that aren’t too complicated, and the beloved home run derby. Top Gear Hyperbike runs pretty smoothly with the expansion pak, and Sarge’s Heroes is a decent third-person shooter that edges towards bland at times. All in all, not a bad bunch of games for the price. Deal or Not a Deal? Picking up three playable N64 game under five bucks is a deal any way you slice it.
Find: Judge Dredd (SNES) Price / Condition: $2 / Clean cart, good label. Where at: Half Price Books Why: The only reason I picked up this game is because it was cheap, and I needed it for my complete SNES collection. Imagine my surprise when I popped it in and discovered that it’s actually pretty decent! The developers seemed to take a lot of care in designing a quality game, because the animation is fluid, the story is well presented with slick cutscenes, and there’s a fair amount of depth in the run ‘n gun gameplay. I can’t say right now if the quality continues past the first level, but regardless, the fact that it is anything but a forgettable movie cash-in is a big shocker. Deal or Not a Deal? A pleasant surprise, and a good deal.
Find: Knights of Xentar, The Elder Scrolls: Arena, Crusader: No Remorse, Space Quest Collection, X-Com UFO Defense (PC) Price / Condition: $3 each / All with manuals in near mint condition, but no boxes. Where at: St Vincent De Paul Why: Here, I basically stumbled upon a righteous treasure trove of meaning of cialis commercial classic PC games. I was a little disappointed that they were in plastic baggies with no boxes, but whoever donated them took excellent care of everything. Arena and the Space Quest games bring back fond memories of my early DOS days, and Crusader and X-com are two games that I’ve always wanted to try out. Knights of Xentar just looks like a right old hoot, because it’s a comedically pornographic RPG. This was my favorite haul of them all! Deal or Not a Deal? It’s difficult to gauge the value on old PC games, since most of them have reached abandonware status and can be downloaded for free. That being said, it means a lot to me to have the original documentation for these classics, so it was a special kind of deal for me.
Wow, that ended up being very PC-centric! Not that I’m complaining, but it would have been nice to see some more Genesis or Super Nintendo games. I’m happy that my collection of novelty items is growing, but first I
have to find a power supply for that Golden Tee, and a place to display those Earthworm Jim figures. My game room is already getting crowded; maybe it’s time to finally install some shelving… Until then, keep your schedules free for those awesome President’s Day sales!