Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thrifty Gaming

In these recessionary times, it can seem an extravagance to spend 50 or 60 bucks on a brand new retail game. The nice thing about being an older gamer is that there are plenty of worthwhile games we never had a chance to play back in the day when they were the state of the art. And if we've kept our old systems around, old games can sometimes be found dirt cheap at garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores.

They may not be THE classic games whose reputation and rarity has made them highly collectible. And one usually has to sift through a lot of obsolete sports titles -- as the fundamental rules of gameplay have not really changed much over the years, but the technology and rosters have, EA NHL '95 and the like are a dime a dozen. Sports gamers tend to go for the latest and greatest, and nostalgia aside there isn't really a compelling reason to go back to most vintage titles.

Anyway, I was reminded of the value of shopping around and keeping an open mind yesterday evening when we stopped by a local thrift store while questing for set and prop items for an upcoming play. The game bins and CD racks had quite a few games on hand, for a variety of platforms. Maybe 20% of them were non-sports titles, and most were complete with box/case, media and manual; physical condition appears solid, although I haven't tested them out yet. I managed to pick up:

Genesis - Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Rings

Philips CD-I - Video Speedway (curiosity value)

Playstation - Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (re-release in CD case), Builder's Block (odd Taito/Jaleco puzzler), Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Armored Core, Namco Museum Volume 3 (later release emphasizing Ms. Pac-Man and Dig Dug after discs 2, 4, and 5 bombed)

Dreamcast - World Series Baseball 2K2 (a sports game, yes, but I don't own a modern baseball game and I don't find a lot of Dreamcast titles in the wild; the copy of Virtua Tennis I also spotted there was missing the game disc)

NES - Infiltrator (no box, but the manual is present)

9 games worth trying out, at least. Grand total at the checkout?



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