Here we've got... Rayman 3 and My Street for the PS2, Resident Evil 4 and Odama for the Gamecube, and DOA 3, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, TMNT Mutant Melee, the Capcom Classics Collection volume 1, and Taito Legends for Xbox. $20 for 9 games. He had more, and I nearly came back for more -- priced at about half of my "buy" price threshold -- but these were the games I was most interested in. I feel bad leaving garage sales with nothing but scorched earth left in my wake, as I am sure there are other dudes cruising around from sale to sale hoping to find a game or two.
I was especially excited to see Resident Evil 4, having experienced it for a brief spell at an old Video In all-night video game orgy party and later acquired a second-hand copy of my own ONLY TO FIND that it only included a single one of the game's two discs. (I do hear that the game goes sharply downhill by disc 2, however.) Also, discovering things like Odama (the world's best voice-controlled pinball/Japanese military sim from the person who brought us SimTower and the Dreamcast's Seaman) is pretty much the carrot for my random crate-digging. Is it any good? Who knows, but they sure weren't afraid to try something new!
The emulated arcade compilations are also taking a higher profile in my collection, with retro appeal and often multiplayer packed in. (Also, it doesn't hurt that if a particular game isn't to your taste, you can switch tracks without having to even swap discs. Just go back to the main menu and pick another selection!) And then, today, my toddler's part-time nanny -- a PhD in children's literature -- was having her garage sale before getting deported. (It's a long story.) And there, among gems of children's literature, was this work sticking out like a sore thumb:
"Together! That's it!" cried Mario. He ate his last magic Red Mushroom. In an instant he began to grow! Held high by the giant Mario, Luigi carefully aimed the last Fire Flower at the wooden trapdoor. "It's working!" he cried. "I couldn't have reached it without your help." "And I couldn't have opened it without yours," said Mario graciously.The text gives the impression that the book was written by someone who had perhaps read the Super Mario Bros. manual but had never played the game. (Red Mushroom Proper Noun? Fire Flowers single-shot like Saturday night specials?) At least it has a redeeming message of fraternal teamwork. Mario has a certain King Kong-like demeanour in the second illustration, and it's funny how the artist has to make Toadstool emote with her gestures because the writers keep failing to give her any spoken lines.
It's hard to explain why I buy things like that. There's not even any point in asking "is it any good?" because how good can it possibly be? Speaking of which... I couldn't pass up picking up a $3 copy of the board game adaptation of the 1st-person graphical adventure game that smashed sales records and incidentally abolished my beloved system of 3rd-person graphical adventure games (which we have already just established weren't actually that good.) You saw its comic book adaptation, now play the board game!