Game Hunt (01/24/10): Year End Round-up
By Eric Kennedy Sunday, 24 Jan 2010

Fellow hunters, I have returned! It’s been a while since I put together a game hunt article, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been resting on my laurels. On the contrary, December and January have been very kind to me, with a surprise “After Christmas” sale at Goodwill, and good fortune all around. Lots of real quality stuff here, and I mean lots, so let’s get right to it!

Find: Warlocked, Chase HQ, Wario Land, Avenging Spirit (Game Boy)

Price / Condition: About $5 each / Loose carts in excellent condition

Where at: Play N Trade

Why: I’ve been stopping by this Play N Trade store every now and then, since I have some store credit to use, and was waiting for something worthy to show up. Turns out they had a whole bag of Game Boy games in the back that they couldn’t fit on the shelf. After digging through it, I found some solid titles for my GB library. Warlocked is an admirable attempt at Warcraft on the GBC, and Avenging Spirit is a game I took a chance on just because of the goofy cover art. Turns out it’s a port of a pretty original platformer, in which you play a ghost who possesses enemies and uses them to fight your way through each level. Cool! Chase HQ is a fun, unique racing-type game, and Wario Land is obviously good.

Deal or Not a Deal? The price is nice on Warlocked and Wario Land for sure, but maybe not so much on Chase HQ and Avenging Spirit, little-known games that you might expect to get for a couple bucks. Thankfully, I didn’t actually shell out much of my own money, so overall it was a great deal for me.

Find: Game Boy Color system with cleaning kit

Price / Condition: $6 / Excellent. Screen looks great, buttons don’t stick.

Where at: Deseret Industries Thrift Store

Why: Even though a Game Boy Advance will play GBC games, it’s still necessary to have a bonafide GBC system on hand for certain situations (card-popping in Pokemon TCG, for instance). Sadly, the one I own is pretty beat-up and missing the battery cover, so I was more than happy to pick up a better looking unit with the cleaning kit (which I had never seen before).

Deal or Not a Deal? Fantastic deal, especially since the Game Boys you find at thrift stores tend to be beat to hell, and this is less money than you would pay for one from a game store.

Find: Prime Time NFL Football Starring Deion Sanders (Genesis)

Price / Condition: $2 / Good, contacts need some cleaning though.

Where at: Goodwill

Why: I know, I know… I really shouldn’t be wasting money on a sports game. The only justification I can give here is that I like Deion Sanders. Silly reasoning, I know. Fun fact: this is the same game as Joe Montana Football; they just put Deion’s name on it after the Montana license ran out. I’m sure it won’t get as much play time as Tecmo Super Bowl, but at least I can pretend that I’m “Prime Time” in this one.

Deal or Not a Deal? Not a deal. I don’t condone paying any money for sports games. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between.

Find: Fallout Tactics (PC)

Price / Condition: $5 / Box is pretty beat-up, but it’s got the manual and reference card.

Where at: Value Village

Why: I’ve heard good things about the Fallouts series. I’ve never tried any of them, cuz I’m a bit leery of lengthy RPGs, but this won me over because I love tactics games.

Deal or Not a Deal? The sad thing is, I could’ve bought the Fallout Collection with all three games for only a little more money.. Still, I’d probably never play the other two games, and $5 isn’t bad for a complete PC game.

Find: Diablo: Hellfire (PC)

Price / Condition: $3 / Disc and jewel case only, disc in near mint condition!

Where at: Goodwill

Why: This actually marks the THIRD time I’ve found this rare Diablo expansion mixed in with the regular CDs at Goodwill. This was sort of an “unofficial” add-on released by Sierra. It’s not bad, but it’s no Diablo II, either. However, it is hard to come by, and I snatch it up whenever I see it.

Deal or Not a Deal? Definitely a deal, as you’re not likely to find it anywhere outside of eBay, which will cost you more than I paid for sure.

Find: Magic: The Gathering Battlemage (PS1)

Price / Condition: $4 / Disc only, decent condition.

Where at: Value Village

Why: This is a perfect example of how brand association can influence you into making bad purchases. I used to love playing this card game in my younger days, so I figured this would be a good way to relive some of that nostalgia. Wrong. They managed to not include anything that made the card game fun, and instaad gave us a crappy bastardization. I don’t even know what genre this stinker fits into. Oh well, it’s by Acclaim. I should have known better.

Deal or Not a Deal? Wasted money, ‘nuff said.

Find: ASCII Fighter Pad (SNES)

Price / Condition: $5 / Excellent

Where at: Goodwill

Why: I’ve said it before: I’m a sucker for strange or exotic controllers, especially if they’re made by ASCII. The fact that this might help me enjoy Street Fighter 2: Turbo even more is just icing on the cake.

Deal or Not a Deal? A fine deal on a good controller. I’ve only seen two of these in all my hunting, so I assume they’re somewhat rare.

Find: Suikoden Action Figure

Price / Condition: $3 / In original packaging, but said packaging is starting to fall apart.

Where at: Value Village

Why: I’m not a huge mark for this RPG series, but I always find it hard to pass up an action figure in the original packaging (which I’m seeming to find a lot of in my travels). This figure is actually from Suikoden III, which I’ve never played (only finished the first game), so I’ll probably just end up selling or trading it.

Deal or Not a Deal? Considering the ridiculous amount of money that the games themselves can go for, this is not too much to ask for related memorabilia.

Find: Mario Kart: Double Dash (GC)

Price / Condition: $4 / Complete, excellent condition.

Where at: Goodwill

Why: You could almost call this one the black sheep of the Mario Kart family, but I think it has enough supporters to offset it’s detractors. Personally, I think the game is rather good, and probably better than Mario Kart Wii. I actually thought the two-driver mechanic was pretty cool.

Deal or Not a Deal? Like I said, regardless of where some people place it on the Mario Kart totem pole, there is a lot of demand for this. It will usually go for much more. Excellent deal.

Find: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC)

Price / Condition: $3 / Complete, excellent condition.

Where at: Goodwill

Why: Somebody must’ve decided that they didn’t want their GameCube Mario games anymore, cuz I found this next to Double Dash. I don’t know much about it, but figured the quality is at least going to be high enough to exceed the low price tag. I’ve never had a chance to play a Paper Mario game, and this is the perfect opportunity.


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or Not a Deal? Usually, if a game has “Mario” in the title, that will jack up the price considerably. Ditto if it’s an RPG. Apparently, whoever was pricing games at Goodwill that day didn’t follow these conventions. Bless their heart.

Find: Dark Savior (Saturn)

Price /Condition: $2 / Complete, cracked case, but otherwise good.

Where at: Goodwill

Why: I bought this one was because it was a cheap Saturn game that looked interesting. Come to find out that it’s part of the same series as Landstalker (a great Zelda-esque game for the Genesis). What a delightful discovery! This is the kind of find that makes me happy.

Deal or Not a Deal? While not very rare, or in high demand, this was a dirt-cheap steal!

Find: GamePro Presents Sega Genesis Greatest Tips

Price / Condition: $1 / A little worn, but still decent.

Where at: Value Village

Why: My collection of vintage hint books and strategy guides continues to grow. Check out this compendium of “pro tips” from that one magazine that wasn’t quite as good as EGM (but we all still read). Books like this are fun, especially when they’re semi-official.

Deal or Not a Deal? It’s not very valuable, but I didn’t pay very much for it either. Acceptable.

Find: Leisure Suit Larry’s Greatest Hits and Misses (PC)

Price / Condition: $4 / Jewel case and disc only.

Where at: Half Price Books

Why: YES! I already own anthology discs for King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest and Quest for Glory. Nabbing this collection is the last link in reliving all of my old PC adventuring days, and the fact that I already own an awesome hint book for the series makes this doubly sweet. It would have been nice to get the box and manual, but I don’t see Leisure Suit Larry in stores very often. Had to grab it.

Deal or Not a Deal? This is more of a moral victory for me. Not an amazing deal, but a good personal find.

Find: X-Men Legends (GC)

Price / Condition: $5 / Complete, but has a stupid GameStop sticker on the case.

Where at: Value Village

Why: This is strictly to satisfy my curiosity as to how good an X-Men action RPG could be. I’m crossing my fingers…

Deal or Not a Deal? This is just a little less than you’d have to pay for it elsewhere, so not a bad deal.

Find: Kid Dracula (GB)

Price / Condition: $3 / Almost mint!

Where at: Goodwill

Why: Here’s a cute Konami platformer that I don’t see around very often. It’s a bit of a spoof on the Castlevania series; the first level contains a happy-go-lucky rendition of the revered “Vampire Killer” theme. How could I resist?

Deal or Not a Deal? For a fun, obscure game that is hard to come by, three dollars is a steal!

Find: Shenmue (DC)

Price / Condition: $5 / Complete and near mint!

Where at: Goodwill

Why: Everybody talks about what an amazing and unique game this is, so I was pretty giddy when I found this at Goodwill. I can’t wait to find out if this is really one of the best Dreamcast games of all time.

Deal or Not a Deal? To be honest, it doesn’t command an exorbitant price tag, but finding it in this condition at this price is pretty rare in itself. Finds like this allow me to add some real gems to my collection.

MEGA Find: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2), Kingdom Hearts (PS2), Kinetica (PS2), Final Fantasy X (PS2), DDRMAX (PS2), Suikoden IV (PS2), Final Fantasy IX (PS1), Final Fantasy VII (PS1), Bomberman: Party Edition (PS1)

Price / Condition: $5.50 each / Almost all of them complete and near mint!

Where at: Value Village

Why: Wow, ok…. So somebody wanted to get rid of all of their best Playstation games, and decided craigslist is too much work. Which is good news for me, cuz I ended up paying about $50 for this stack of games, and FFVII alone would run you about that much at most places. When I got out to my car with my loot, I actually yelled so loud in triumph that I made a passer-by jump.

Deal or Not a Deal? It gets tough to rank my finds after all the hunting I’ve done, but I’m pretty sure this will be remembered as one of my best. Not much else to say here, other than the fact that Kinetica is the only really questionable purchase in this lot. I got caught up in the moment, and bought a game that could very well suck hard. Even so, everything else in the deal offsets that.

What a way to cap off a great year of hunting! I bolstered my collection with top-notch titles for several different systems, and found enough valuable stuff that I was able to recoup what I spent to get them. I didn’t even have time to mention the armful of cheap SNES cartridges that I picked up at Goodwill, which helped push me closer to the halfway mark of owning every SNES game. The “day-after-xmas” half-off sale was really clutch, and served to intensify my anticipation for the President’s Day sales. I was anxious before, but now I’m absolutely rabid! We’re less than a month away! Hey, maybe I’ll find something truly amazing, like uh… Earthbound for five bucks? Who knows… I’ll probably have dreams about it. I’ll be counting the days until then.

3 Responses to “Game Hunt (01/24/10): Year End Round-up”

  1. Andrew Raub Says:

    Man, you managed to get great deals on some stuff I’ve considered a few times. I almost bought a GBC not too long ago, and for $6 I sure would have. Same with Shenmue. I don’t know if I’d like the game enough to warrant anything more than a few bucks. Those GC games were a steal.

  2. Eric Kennedy Says:

    Yeah, there’s a chance that Shenmue has been overhyped, and it will bore me to death. That’s why I was glad to get it for $5; sort of a low-risk venture.

    I’m still flabberghasted that I got Double Dash and Paper Mario so cheap. Even if they weren’t half off, that still would have been a hell of a deal

  3. Zach Patterson Says:

    that’s my favorite paper mario game too. it’s a lot of fun.

    also, double dash is a classic. raub can vouch for the amount of fun we had with that throughout college. great, great party game.

    as for shenmue, it has a certain charm, but i couldn’t get too interested for whatever reason. luckily, i bought the sequel and it comes with the entire first game in DVD movie form! huzzah!

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