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Thrift shop finds

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Thrift shop finds

by Angry Jedi » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:38 am

Part of our mission statement involves "parachuting into the bargain bins", so occasionally I like to pay a visit to CEX, a UK-based retailer that specialises in preowned video games. It's not exactly a thrift shop, I'll admit, but it's as near as dammit with the prices you can get PS2 games for now these days.

Speaking of which, yesterday's find was something I've been looking out for for ages: a game called Spy Fiction, which is, as the name suggests, an espionage title. Released in 2003 by Sega, Sammy Studios and Access Games, those who looked deeper into the wonderful world of Deadly Premonition will know that this is SWERY's previous game, and a title that passed by almost completely unpromoted when it was first released.

Cost to me? 75p. For that price I'll happily take a punt on it, even if it ends up being complete crap. Consider it added to my Pile of Shame.

Anyone else had any great bargain bin finds recently (or not so recently)? Share 'em here!
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Re: Thrift shop finds

by Alex Connolly » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:03 am

I haven't had the chance to bin-dive over the last couple of years, and interestingly, outside of specialist stories, the second-hand Japanese market is not what it used to be. A lot of the big second-hand stores that carried games have now either merged with other businesses or shuttered completely. It's quite sad.

I did enjoy snagging a lot of the PSP shmup compilations, as well as a slew of NeoGeo Pocket and Wonderswan games for next to nothing. All of those went into gift packs for friends back home, as my days as a collector are over.
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Teryn

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Re: Thrift shop finds

by Teryn » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:00 pm

Hm. This categorizes nearly 100% of my game purchases before I took advantage of GOG sales with a pre-loadable "credit" card, which actually acts more like a debit card with relatively reasonable fees compared to the "real" thing.

One game I wish I hadn't sold back in the day was Splinter Cell for the GCN, which Ubisoft had actually sold quite cheaply back then in two-for-one deal with Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. After spotting it for $9.99 at a new local game store downtown, it seemed a great opportunity to relive some frustration on the Wii.

It was really much better than I'd remembered, and much longer (the abrupt end kind of sucks, though). Burnside's voice for Sam Fisher is dark and humourous, and the in-game politics of the era made much more sense than when I was a teenager. Never played another SC series game, but someday I hope to remedy that.

Oh, and these GOG sales are wonderful! Picked up some gems that work in Wine, which is more or less a basic Windows compatibility layer that I run Windows games in, though I must be sure that other Wine users have reported that these games mostly work before making any purchases.

On that note, now that GOG is selling native Linux games or Linux ports of games, some of which never even had a port before, it's much easier to feel on top of gaming, or at least to more easily enjoy older games previously only on Windows. Many of the games they're selling are already using Wine or DOSBox (which are free open source programs) to wrap the games, I know I'm mostly paying for the "just works" aspect, which can be finicky.

I was particularly intrigued by the Dark Fall series, it looked like a mix of Myst's pre-rendered scenes and a mystery game. That's precisely what it was, though some of the English accents are a bit hard to understand at times. On the other hand, some voices are deliberately messed up, as it is a game about a place that's haunted.

Made a big pile to play from these GOG sales (is that a Pile of Shame?), but some of the purchases were actually future-proofing, don't have a system that will actually run them, yet. Very happy to have what will run, though, like Fallout 1 and 2, Uplink: Hacker Elite, and The Shivah HD.
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Re: Thrift shop finds

by A.I Impaired » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:17 am

The value village chain over here has been a veritable treasure trove of Classic PC games. Full boxed copies of omikron, mdk2, outcast, freespace 1 and 2, the longest journey, Gabriel knight 2, Warcraft. In terms of jewel cases, over the past 10 years I have found about 80% of the PC games I have heard of but never bought from the 90s. Almost all the rest I own on GOG. It's a beautiful collection. Many of which do not run easily on modern systems....
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Re: Thrift shop finds

by RedSwirl » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:56 am

Maaaaan I'm gonna have to think a minute to recount everything I've found at retail bargain bins. Well, specialty retro stores would be more accurate.

For starters, around 10 years ago GameStop used to actually deal in retro games going back as far as the NES and I was able to manage some impressive finds. Stuff like Bomberman 64, Winback, and most notably a basically-new copy of Vagrant Story for $20. Even in more recent times I was able to grab the occasional obscure PS2 gem for around $20.

After that there was another store that was sort of GameStop's last real competition in the US when it came to specialty video game stores. I don't even remember what the store was called but its one advantage compared to GameStop was it had a more respectable bargain bin after GameStop ceased selling games from more than one console generation back. This store is where I managed to find Mega Man Legends 2, which I think Capcom has confirmed it won't ever be able to sell on PSN outside Japan. Almost grabbed the Colony Wars games too but I didn't know enough about them.

Slightly more recently there used to be a Play N' Trade near my barbershop whenever I took the 45-minute drive down there. There are still a few Play N' Trades in the US and as far as I know it's the last "chain" to specialize in retro games. This is where my NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1, and Dreamcast libraries started to really grow. It's where I finally found games like Mischief Makers, WCW vs NWO Revenge, Snowboard Kids, Space Harrier II, Evil Zone, G-Darius, Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon, and Grandia 1 (those last three before they showed up on PSN for a fraction of what I paid).

Then you've got Otakon every year in Baltimore, where some local retro shops set up stands. Almost every year I go there I walk away with some obscure NES or Genesis game. Over several years I got stuff like Guerrilla War, Ranger-X (complete with box and manual), Revenge of Shinobi, Mystic Defender, Typing of the Dead factory-sealed with the keyboard for $18, and so-on. If you're willing to exhibit complete disregard for your wallet you can get some much better stuff up there. Every year I go I'm taunted by copies of games like Mother 3 or Vib Ribbon for like $200. And you better believe they got every obscure piece of gaming hardware you can think of.

Finally, there's eStarland. Mainly eStarland is a website like Play-Asia, but I happen to live a short drive away from its sole distribution center. I lived near this place for 10 years before stumbling upon it. At the end of an obscure road across from the Korean grocery store I find a one-story office building with a sign in front of it listing the names of a bunch of businesses, and at the bottom is "games and anime." I take the sidewalk around to the side door past the loading garage. Through the side door there are arrows on the floor winding you through the building's basement finally leading to a door with an anime poster on it. Inside is a roughly 10-square-meter room where all the walls are lined with game cartridges and discs with an online order computer and a clerk buried in the middle. Further in the back there are some model kits and JAV DVDs. This is pretty much my first option for finding retro games today. Depending on how much you're willing to spend they get the latest import stuff too.

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