As gaming leaves its subculture roots and breaks into the mainstream, so to has game retailing.
Supermarkets are now among some of the biggest gaming retailers and sit alongside the core retailers of Gamestation, Game, HMV and CEX. All of these are great for games from the current generation, but fall short when it comes to the older or more niche titles. Since Gamestation was taken over and subsequently stripped of any character by Game, it is often easiest to to turn to the internet. However there does remain a last bastion to scratch the itch for the discerning gamer – independents.
Much like in the music scene, small one off shops dotted around the country can offer some of the most rare and interesting titles on offer. Locally to me I have two independent shops. One has just opened directly on my high street – Game XBoy. Forgetting the terrible name, they offer a decent enough selection of current generation titles, at competitive rates. Often I find that these shops are best for second hand games where they can offer decent prices. However the real fun is to be found in their last generation games on offer. In this range they stock Gamecube, Xbox and PS2. I spoke them today about the possibility of PS1 but this seemed to be off the cards for now.
Today I purchased a veritable 3 layer trifle of games on all of these systems.
Legend of Zelda Collectors Edition – Gamecube
Now, to none game fanatics this may seem a bit strange, I own all these of games on the original consoles. I also own the 2 disc version of Wind Waker that has most of these games included. For this very reason I could never bring myself to pick this version up. It is now quite rare to see this in a shop, I regret that decision. When I saw it today I knew I had to snap it up. The price was good too (£9.99) checking ebay it is currently selling for around £30 +.
The box is not in good condition (despite my arty farty photos) and has multiple scratches and tears. However the sleeve itself is in perfect condition. I will at some point switch it into a better condition box (which will be slightly trickier than normal as it is made of blue plastic and not the normal black). The manual is also a little creased but at the price point I think it is fair.
Capcom Classics Collection – PS2
Tongue twisters aside this was an unusual pick for me. It primarily caught my eye because I have seen similar emulation packs fetch very high prices (Namco collection on PS1 I am looking at you). Whether this is because they are comparatively rare or people just like them, I am not sure. Emulator compilations do sort of fly in the face of games collecting as they can never recapture the magic of the original. However at £3.99 I thought it was worth a punt. A quick google seems I may have been on the right track, there are actually 2 editions, this being the first. Both still command an unreasonable high retail value new for a dead format (~£20). Perhaps one to watch in the future.
Currently my PS2 is not set up so I cannot play this, I am however considering picking up an original PS3 so I can play PS2 games wire-free.
Magic the Gathering – Battlegrounds – Xbox
I bought this primarily as a bit of fun, my mate Daffy loves Magic and is a fan of the new incarnations on XBox Live Arcade. I thought if it works on 360 we could have a bash. To my suprise the game actually has some good reviews, I am a fan of strategy games so it may even turn out to be a good distraction. It was a mere £3, nothing ventured, nothing lost, so to speak.
That wraps up today’s purchases from Game Xboy. It’s important to keep these independents in business for games exactly like the three above – Tesco is not likely to stock them any time soon. I am going to travel up to around my area and visit a few more shops. So expect more of these updates!