Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thanks for the games!

Six months ago, I was a retro gamer in possession of NES carts but no Nintendo. Then -- an irony I foresaw -- the cosmic pendulum swung the other way, and now, well, now I am in custody of three machines capable of turning Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges into hours of fun. It never rains but it pours, you know? Weeks prior to my latest retro game party, a long-absent friend finally bequeathed his childhood NES into my arms. But, wouldn't you know it -- no power cable! Cord and transformer arranged -- dang it, pin connector problems and no time to perform the surgery before the party! Then friend #2 brought over a Retron 2 -- playing NES or SNES carts -- for the party in exchange for a surplus PlayStation 2 I sent him home with at the previous party. It enjoyed place of pride hooked up to the big-screen projector all night, a position typically reserved for the a PS2 or something a bit more graphically dazzling. Instead, we rocked out late into the night with Marble Madness and especially Bubble Bobble. Friends 3 were in conflict, celebrating their housewarming that night... but they knew they had game materials for me to inherit, and finally, inherit them I did:
In addition to the (working but cordless, but I already solved that problem) NES, this lot includes a Zapper (which I'm told doesn't function correctly in conjunction with modern televisions), the still-hotly-sought-after Advantage joystick, and a massive pile of games - more than shown here, after I separated four or five duplicates in my existing collection. (The game tally here: Advance Wars - Dual Strike for the Nintendo DS, when they were doing the "cute" business of finding "DS"-abbreviating taglines to append to every game, for the PS2: Burnout 3, DDRMax2, Front Mission 4, Gran Turismo 3, Gran Turismo 4, SSX Tricky, Tony Hawk's Undeground, and the formidable (two 2-disc sets, though in one case it was just a soundtrack) JRPGs Growlanser Generations and Phantom Brave... plus a couple more NES carts, the generally unremarkable (but appreciated!) Top Gun and Days of Thunder as well as, sticking out of the NES' cart slot there, the 3-in-one of Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt and World Class Track Meet -- a pack-in for NES bundles including both the light gun and the DDR-mat-presaging Power Pad invented by Bandai.)

I'm at the weird point in my collecting where my most exciting lots are no longer finds at thrift stores or garage sales, but friends basically getting out of the old games hobby for good and passing their torch into my bonfire. Will my own collection (now weighing in at some 800 games, Mobygames reports) suffer a similar fate or will I continue to grow it indefinitely? Only time will tell. But until then, please don't forget that I am open to receiving any and all old games (caveat, on owned platforms -- otherwise, down that path lies madness. Though in the fullness of time, I will eventually own working machines of every style and format) that you may care to relieve yourself of.

That said, it's about time I give something back to the game enthusiast community that has enriched me so much. We're approaching a season of steep sales on bundles of games from digital storefronts, and already I have a pile of surplus Steam codes for games I already own. As a reward for loyal readers, and also as a little investigation into whether I HAVE any (I know, there are a few loyal commentators, but the good money has it on the vast majority of my hits being Google Images surfers who never see a word of this loving, painstakingly composed prose -- and a very occasional flood of reference-seekers from Reddit), I'll here kick things off with an offer for the Dreamcast Collection: a $23 value, including PC-playable versions of Sega Bass Fishing, classic driving game Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure DX, and the game I bought the collection for -- Space Channel 5 part 2. First to comment to me with their Steam username gets me trying to bequeath my surplus code for that collection to them. This just might be the only blog post you'll read all day that could impart a product of $23 value to you! If there are multiple takers, don't worry -- I have more codes waiting for other products. (But Rowan, you insist, nothing else will hold up as well as Sega Bass Fishing!)