A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Retro Game Store Trip

A person I am friends with on Facebook had a store "liked".  A retro game store.  One about a 90 minute drive away which is kind of three times what I am normally comfortable driving.

Well in the late summer they opened an expansion store 15 minutes closer.

Again, I have been lazy and hemming and hawwing about driving so far.

Even though both places have been showing such a wealth of awesome stuff I would love to have.  (Price permitting of course!)

Well last week the closer one put up a picture of new arrivals including a game I wanted dearly, like a Top Five goal for that platform.

(Shadow of the Beast, Turbo Grafx Super CDROM.  It basically fixes all the flaws with the overly hard Amiga version, improves the graphics AND music, plus gives continue and life options to make the game a bit less hard.  While keeping proper speed.  Compared to the US Genesis version which runs too fast and is pretty impossible even when slowed down.  And has less pretty graphics.  The Turbo Super CD or FM Towns versions are THE definitive and best versions of this classic Amiga game.)

Heck, have some screenshots of the Genesis and Turbo versions from emulators.
(I tried getting some Amiga shots but Amiga emulation is fussy.  I really need to invest in Amiga Forever.  I bought a version way back when but like a real Amiga emulating it can be trying.  Its like the Genesis version pretty much just your character is more grey and turns around SLOWLY.  And 1 button control meaning Up on the joystick is Jump as was the wont of so many UK Microcomputer games.)

Genesis version which is very close in looks to the Amiga original. 

Turbo version!  More colors and detail to the sprites!  Tighter control!  More forgiving collision detection!  MUCH faster turning than the Amiga original!  More animation frames on everything!

 Not only that, but in Genesis and Amiga Shadow of the Beast Life Points are maxed at 12.  In Turbo you can start with more or less and either way some healing potions take you beyond your starting level.  Plus Credits for extra continues!

They usually just have "call for pricing" which sort of irks me and made me wonder if the prices would be rather.. high.  Like upper end ebay high.  (Not Amazon reseller high because that is being stupid.)

I decided to go down and check it out.  Just because.  It was mostly a straight run there on the highway, albeit an hour and fifteen minute one with no stops.  And I had errands to run.  (I ended up being out and about for 7 1/2 HOURS total all things considered.)  Luckily the mall I go to was on the way so I could stop in and get a bite to eat at the food court and check out their retro stores.  (Which are usually more expensive than Ebay for the popular or rare stuff.  More reasonable on the middle of the road stuff.)

Got myself some chow and even an action figure.  (The Alien ReAction.. Alien Xenomorph.  Picture a late 70s Kenner Star Wars.  Now picture Alien's cast done up like those.  These are basically the figures Kenner was supposed to put out but didn't because it was the late 70s and an R movie.  Toys weren't for us idiot manchildren back then.)

Back on the road and past New Haven and I was there.  (Thank goodness for the iPod Touch and podcasts!)

 Its in a nice little commercial plaza in an area packed with such things. Unlike this photo, it is quite classy.  A bridge I took near New Haven was really cool looking.  Nice concrete cylinder suspension styled bridge or something.


 Some of the more popular games are under glass, but with large pricing stickers so people like me don't have to ask as many stupid questions when we forget our glasses in the car.  (Or like one of the mall stores, even with them on my face I couldn't tell most of the prices!  BIG STICKERS.)

Thankfully most of the stickers come right off the cart or case.  The prices were very competitive and reasonable with those mall stores, and in some cases cheaper than Ebay or website forum sellers!  

(Sadly seeing this picture already makes me want to go back and buy MORE.  And I am not even a big NES guy!)

 Import games!  Atari 2600-7800!  Intellivision!  Coleco!  

 They obviously carry modern stuff too.  But Wii games or oohing over the arcade cabinets?  Yes I think we all know which one matters.  (Its the arcade cabs.)

 A Sears branded Pong game system!  Is it wrong I kind of want it?  (Yes but no.)  And if its not obvious they also sell some toys at this store.  

 This is the first time I have EVER seen a Microvision in the wilds.  The first portable game console.  Reasonably priced.  Sadly these machines are generally all doomed to die in the long run.  A fair price on the woodgrain 2600.  But I have a 7800 that I think just needs a new power cable.  (They had quite a few power and video cables here but I don't recall seeing any 7800 ones.)

 The first time I have ever seen a PC Engine SuperGrafx game in the wild.  If I had the machine I so would have bought it.  A couple of the mail order era INTV Intellivision carts (I think), and some Genesis and Master System heat. Loose TG16 cards.  (As I was looking at the boxed ones above.)  I kind of want Gunboat, Falcon, and Ordyne but I more want boxed versions.  Reasonable prices for the loose ones though!

 A picture more for my friends on IRC to see.  I went on a date with a lady once.  She complained about walking to this bookstore from this viewpoint.  That was a terrible date.  My driveway is longer!

I am not showing everything in the store just because that would be creepy, possibly useful for crooks, and kind of boring.  

I spent some time talking with the nice people working in the store and thankfully left with a lot of loot!

Let's look at it eh?

 Two of the games I got with my NES for Christmas 1986 back in my hands!  The criminally underrated Gyromite (which is a great game without the ROB robot toy it was designed to work with), and Hogan's Alley a light gun title.  (I have a composite monitor, and a couple RF tube TVs.  I am set to still lightgun for years to come!)  Magic of Schezerazade which is a great RPG and Zelda styled action adventure combined into one fun game.  And Track & Field II which is my favorite of the "Button Masher Olympics Game" genre.

 A little Atari 2600 love!  Finally I have a set of Paddles for Kaboom and uh.. Gi Joe!  (Whenever I get them.)  A boxed but no manual 2600 Space Invaders.  Which may be the first videogame I ever played.  EVER.  (Its at least my first memory of videogames.  I was like 5.)  Haunted House which is a good little game, and a nifty metal Space Invaders arcade cabinet with a tiny baggie of candy inside.  

(An IRC friend of mine known only as "Acid Police" would probably store.. other things in there.. :P)

It will go great with my existing Pac Man Candy Cabs:

Gamera likes Pac-Man.  He can play it with one hand.  Stupid monsters hurting Gamera.

 Quartet and Ghost House for the Master System!  And said Shadows of Beastly things.  Plus the nifty little back of the store's info card.

 The front of the info card down at the bottom.  And they had a deal going for some platforms of BUY 2 GET 1 FREE.  5 bucks each for C64 Times of Lore, Knights of the Old Republic, and a Quake II Mission Pack?  And one game is FREE?  Yes sir, I think I will do this.

(If I had more money to burn I would have bought a LOT more.  But bills and responsibility over fun.  Because its just smarter that way!)

 A couple clue books!  Another one for my Dragon Warrior/Quest collection, (the one main line DQ series game I don't actually own!) and La Pucelle Tactics a fun SRPG I need to get back to some day.

The prices were overall good, the staff was great, the store looked nice.  I will certainly go there again!  (And maybe get a group to go down and also stop at the Westport store so I can grab all of their sweet sweet Atari 8 bit computer goodies.  That I can afford!)

See?  Some of us LIKE old computer games.  These are some of my more recent computer game pickups but not from the above run.  (Some I have had for months now.  I am bad about updating my collection pictures.)  Epic Pinball for DOS!  The legendary Age of Adventure single or multiplayer RPG duo!  Field of Fire another SSI wargame.  (This one basically SSI's equivalent to the legendary Squad Leader hex and chit wargame I don't get to play nearly enough.) Loose cart Atari 8 bit computer carts I mostly got because they were cheap.  And cheaply bought Skyrim for modern PCs.  15 bucks NOW beats whatever price it originally retailed for.

See I buy cheap to play and own and enjoy and share with the Internet via these sorts of blog posts or my photocomics or my few Youtube Let's Plays.  I buy cheap new games or old and try to get value and FUN for my money.  As the prices above show, its worth skipping a couple silly Lattes for hours of gaming fun. Or how absurd going to the movies is nowadays.

Retrogaming is FUN.  Exploring a new store and going places you would never go just to see what they have is all part of it.

Now to plan for another trip to this store and the one beyond...

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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/