I can see myself going down a dark dangerous path and discovering a world that might be too much to handle for a man such as myself. It’s not the overrun planet of Sera. It’s not the ridiculous world of a Dark Souls. It’s the world of retro game collecting and I’m in big trouble. It wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t a store minutes from my house that has thousands of old games and game systems. It even has those newer all in one consoles that play NES, SNES, and Genesis games. While I have yet to buy one of those, the idea of each system being collected into one plastic box is extremely intriguing. Which, in itself, is a huge problem for me.
The one thing stopping me from skipping along the dangerous road is the fact that the all-in-one console isn’t exactly the best way to experience those old games. If I’ve learned anything from Josh Lee, and actually listened to what he had to say, it is to stay way from those boxes. Apparently, not all the games will work. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t buy one of the old systems they do have for sale, right?
Around the end of March, early April (also known as Wrestlemania season), I got the itch to play the old THQ published AKI developed wrestling games. So I went to this local store and traded some old 360 games that I’d never play again. With that trade I bought a Nintendo 64, WWF Wrestlemania 2000, WWF No Mercy, NFL Blitz, and a GameCube memory card all for $25. Not a terrible deal if you ask me. Now there isn’t a huge library of N64 games that I’d like to acquire (or in some cases reacquire) but it was a kind of start into retro game collecting. Something that I have been able to resist for the most part.
Then a couple of weeks ago I ventured back into the store looking to specifically buy a PS2 because I wanted to replay Final Fantasy XII. It was a game that I bought when it first came out but never got very deep into the game and wanted to rectify that situation. As I headed to the store I didn’t know if they would have a copy of the game or even a system to sell, but that didn’t matter. I knew I could find something to whet my appetite. So right away I walked to the PS2 section and couldn’t find a copy. Disappointed I walked over to the glass case where the store displays the old games that are still boxed. They have a nice collection of old games still in their original packaging. That’s when I came across a sealed copy of FFXII. Now of course the sealed copy doesn’t mean that much to me because I saw the store’s sealer in action during my visit but it was nice to find a copy.
As I walked past the DS case, I saw a few games in there that I would like to play, so the dream of buying a PS2 once again was rapidly leaving the realm of possibility. I brought in some games to trade and I couldn’t get everything I wanted with the price the store quoted me so I had to make some sacrifices. And buying a console was that sacrifice. Though I didn’t get the PS2, you better believe I snatched up that copy of FFXII. You know, for the future.
So my total haul for the day was 3 DS games: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Final Fantasy IV (the polygonal remake), and Professor Layton and the Curious Village. I also bought Final Fantasy XII for the PS2 and Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3. If you haven’t played Valkyria Chronicles (review) try to get a copy. It’s the greatest game Sega has made in years.
Excuse me, What’s my motivation?
Even though the 64 could have (and still might be) been the catalyst into retro game collecting, I believe I controlled myself pretty well the last visit. I only bought games that were one generation old, and even bought a current generation game! Besides, they aren’t really games I’m collecting. I bought these games because I wanted to play them. Not have them sit on a pretty shelf for display. I’ll get some use out of these games. At least that’s what I am going to keep telling myself. The fact that I don’t plan on getting rid of any of these games hasn’t exactly sunk into my brain yet. On the surface I realize and accept my motivation but deep down I don’t want to admit it.
I know that it’s only the beginning. There are systems and games I want to own but once I collect those, what’s stopping me from collecting games I don’t really care about. Once you get on the hunt and satisfy that craving of finding a great deal it’s hard to stop. At least for me. So if that day comes and you find me buying huge lots of NES games on eBay please don’t hesitate to organize an intervention for me. I’ll be happy to accept Gamer’s Anonymous into my life and try to help curb my addiction to collecting games. Luckily I’m not there yet, but these gateway games can’t be a good start.
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