Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kyh's Finds

As I continue this journey deeper and deeper into retro gaming, I've become more intrigued by game collecting. Sure, it's easy enough to find most stuff on the internet (I certainly do more than my share of trolling through Ebay), but by searching through physical bins in places near you, that's when it becomes really exciting. Before I continue, I have to give most of the credit for my new obsession to The Game Chasers. They do not currently have their own website, but you can find their stuff on RetrowareTV and Blip. They tote themselves as American Pickers for video games. It's great stuff.

I hope to make this a regular column as I find more and more cool stuff. Unfortunately, I live in a tiny community and the nearest town with a Gamestop has no independent video game stores. Thus, I'm forced to resort to the many thrift stores in the area. It's not so bad, just very hit or miss. All of my finds today come from Goodwill.

Sigh. How I love to beat up the pedestrians.
A couple of months ago, I went into my local Goodwill (which happens to be by my dentist) and saw a PS2 behind the counter. I was mesmerized and knew I wanted it. When I asked the price, the lady told me $45. I didn't have the money, so I passed on it (it ended up selling several weeks later, though I did get one more chance to drool over it). It was the set of Xbox games, though that really got my attention. I knew these would be more in my price range.

Among the small stack of mostly sports games, one particular title caught my eye. Grand Theft Auto III. On the Xbox was where I learned to love this series (Vice City, I believe), so right away I wanted it. When I asked the lady how much, she said $2.99. Hey, three bucks ain't too bad. The manual and map are in excellent shape and the disc only had a few tiny scratches. So I bought it. Quite a pleasing game chasing experience.

Aww, childhood memories . . .
Fast forward to a week or two ago, and I'm in the same Goodwill, hoping for another satisfying find. I knew they didn't have anything in their case (this time I did have the cash for a PS2), so I just wandered around their basic electronics section. I'm just hoping for maybe an accessory or extra controller, but lo and behold, I find a PSOne underneath an adding machine. I couldn't believe myself, this was one of the systems I had growing up (well, the earlier version, at least)! I didn't see any of the cables, but I did find the instruction manual and a third party controller. $4.99 for the system, $2.99 for the controller. Not bad, I'll take them.

In my excitement and eagerness to find those dang cables, I continue scouring the shelves. Double jackpot! I found a lone Sega Genesis under some more junk! I couldn't believe that I'd found these systems on the same day in the same store. Sure, they're relatively common consoles, but if you only knew the isolation I live in, you'd understand. $4.99 for this system as well, why not.

Completely new territory for me.
I looked over each system carefully to make sure I wasn't just dumping my money into total crap. The latch for the PS door stuck a little, but nothing too bad, and the laser crystal looked pretty clean. Especially considering the gunk on the rest of it. Nothing a little rubbing alcohol couldn't fix. The Genesis looked to be in even better shape (perhaps surprising considering how much older it is than the PS). I opened the dust cover and it looked clean in there. Clean enough to play an old cartridge, at least.

I took my treasure up to the counter to pay. There were a few people ahead of me, so I glanced behind the glass as usual. Hey! That looks like a Playstation A/V cable! Sure enough, it was. The guy let me have it, and in my excitement, I forgot to ask if I could get some kind of discount for buying both systems. Ah well, $13 for all that isn't bad at all. Another pleasing game chasing time.

A few days later, I did go back to Goodwill to see if I could find the other cables I needed for the consoles but didn't see them. I'm pleading with you readers, if you know where I can find them for cheap (or perhaps, have them laying around your house), please let me know! I know where I can get PS A/V cables $1 apiece . . .

I'd love to hear about your own game chasing experience, if you'd like to share in the comments below.

P.S. - I got the gig at The Punk Effect. Look out for my articles there. Or if you follow me on Twitter, I'll tweet when they go up.