Tag Archives: Shopping

Retro Game Stalking In Japan Part One: Den Den Town

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Japan is often referred to as the ultimate Mecca for video game fans. For years now people from all over the world have made the trip in search of retro gaming gold. Recently I decided to head back to Japan and see what I could find. There are two places in Japan where you can find the bulk of retro gaming paraphernalia; the very famous Akhihabara in Tokyo and Den Den town in Osaka.

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First up I hit Den Den town aka Niponbashi. Den Den town is an area the size of several city blocks filled with nothing but store after store catering for the Otaku (nerd). One of my favorite shops to hit up is called A-Too Recycle Media shop. In here you will find games from the MSX computer to the Sony Play Station. Mostly what I like about the shop is that their prices are quite affordable. This is the place where I have found such greats as a cheap copy of Holy Diver, several of the Namcot numbered series, a boxed original Famicom, the Negcon controller and tons of great and unique Famicom carts. In the corner of the shop at the back they have a bargain bucket where you can always find something unique. For example this time out I found a couple of Super Gameboy controllers for the SNES. Continue reading

Charity Shop Pickups (31/March/14)

Today has been a good day for a bit of Charity shopping! Check out this! I got a whole bunch of BradyGames and Prima guides on some classic adventure games, plus a copy of Diablo 2 and Grand Theft Auto 2 for the PC.

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The books are in great condition, and I got them all for less than £1.50 each, considering that their RRP back in the day were $20 a pop! The original price tags are still stuck on them! And yes in US dollars, they must have come from the States, and then donated to the shop.

I own all these games thanks to GOG.com! Now when I get stuck on a certain part of these games I can find out the solution! I know, there’s the internet, but there’s something nice about guide books, especially guides that are in good condition and really cheap! Not to mention the money went to the British Red Cross. So all’s good!

I rule at shopping!

Seriously! I’m officially calling the 3rd Sunday of March “Awesome Shopping Sunday”. I can’t believe what I managed to swag up! To start it off, I barely got a wink of sleep last night, so at about 6:30 am, I got into the shower, got dressed, and actually got to the local car boot sale when it starts at 7:00 am, as opposed to the other times I get there, which is sometimes 9 or 10 am. Seriously though, even though I didn’t get a huge supply of games, people are selling off DVDs at 50p a disc! I mean man, maybe Netflix really is destroying the physical video media market if the customers are willing to sell their films and TV Box sets it dirty low prices!

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Not only did I get a butt ton of DVDs, but I got an awesome Homer Simpson tin toy I got for a fiver that I found can sell up to £60 on eBay! Continue reading

Pickups Update

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OK I picked up a big box copy of Settlers 3, to be honest I don’t recall seeing this game in a DVD case anyway. And I got a boxed PlayStation Multi tap and non-dualshock PS1 controller. I got these from a local charity shop that’s only five minute away from me. The same place that I got a copy of the GameBoy Color version of Elevator Action. I got all this for £11. Not the cheapest charity shop purchase in the world. But a boxed controller and multi tap is a pretty good find!

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What was interesting about the controller was that I noticed the spelling for grey is “Gray”. Meaning that this controller must have come from the US.

Local Gaming Store Goodness

OK OK, I’m terrible at blogging at the moment, it’s six days into a new month and I haven;t written anything new due to a certain Gun of Icarus Online game. And soon the new Sim City game will turn me into a chronic mouse potato. To be kind of honest, I’ve been a mouse potato for a long… time, heh! Anyway, today I went into town today and noticed a store with a Virtual Boy in the window!

I would have taken a picture of it, but I have a thing for not taking photos in shops, mainly because it annoys the crap out of my when people do it at my work; so I’m relying on Google for an image. There was an asking price on a tag that said “Higher than £100”, and when I went to ask them if they wanted £110 for it, they replied that someone has asked £180 for it. The system comes with five games, Vertical Force, Red Alarm, Virtual Boy Wario Land, Panic Bomber and Mario Clash. Weirdly no Mario Tennis to be seen; but each game were fully boxed with it’s manual, though it wasn’t clear if it the console itself with boxed as it wasn’t seen, and foolishly I didn’t ask. The Nintendo Virtual Boy is a bit of a black sheep in the eyes of Nintendo and gamers, as it’s Nintendo’s least selling console. It was released in Japan and the US between the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64 due the N64’s delays. It was simply released to keep Nintendo fans happy before they finally release the Nintendo 64 in 1996, but it suffered from low sales, and Nintendo lost a lot of money as some stock was returned to them. Due to this, the Nintendo Virtual Boy was not released in Europe and the UK, so to see one over here is a big deal, especially to someone like me who lived on Nintendo products as a kid. £180 might sound a little steep, but considering that the games are complete in box, it’s not too bad, though I wish there was a Teleroboxer game including in that price.

Not only was there a Virtual Boy in this place, they even had one of these!

A Grandstand Scramble!

Again, due to my manners, based on working in a shop myself, I didn’t take a picture of it, but they had a complete in box Grandstand Scramble that they were very nice to let me play, and dang! This thing looks like it was brand new, well, maybe not for the little bit of metal tape peeling of the corner of the bevel, but the unit itself was immaculate! I flicked the power switch and oh yes, it’s VFD, Vacuum Fluorescent Display, meaning that this thing is bright, really bright! These things would last for generations and still display a strong bright display! Play this game, it’s not quite the same as the Konami Arcade classic, but it’s a decent attempt at it. simply put, you’re a spaceship moving right, and the screen slowly scrolls, as enemies appear from the right hand side of the screen and head towards you, you have to shot them before they shoot you, so you have to dodge their lasers, but just like the arcade game there are enemy bases you can take our by dropping bombs on them. The bombs aren’t quite like the Scramble arcade game, rather than arcing forwards and then down, the bombs in this game just drop down from under your space ship. Bombing the bases give you points. I played this a little and I like it, despite the fact there’s no mountains and terrain in the game. I asked them what they wanted. The shop keeper said he got it for £37 and wants profit for it, so £40 or £45 would be a good guess at what he wants for it. Which isn’t a bad price considering that that RetroGames.co.uk want £40 for just the game on it’s own; that and it’s very scratched on the bottom of the game.

Before I end this blog, let me tell you a little bit about this store that I found these game. It’s a shop called Cambridge Toys and Games. They used to be located in a not so great part of town, but now they’ve gone up in the world in now located in Burleigh Street, right near the Grafton Centre.

They’re a good business that doesn’t focus too much on profit, and support the community. Providing second hand toys of very good quality at good prices. But they sell a lot of games too, mainly modern stuff, but as I mentioned above, they do sometimes hold some nice retro goodies too, so it’s well worth having a look if you’re in Cambridge!