Revenge of Video Games New York
Last year I chronicled a trip to New York, specifically the video game mother load that is Video Games New York. Well warm weather has returned and so another trip to New York seemed in order! While the trip consisted of a number of non-gaming related activities (I'll save you from stories of glowing lobster heads), I'll just detail the the video game moments. Unless you'd like to see a glowing lobster head.
Last time I visited the shop, I was overwhelmed by the amount of games. Literally shelves and shelves devoted to each console! Used games were out in the open, while hundreds of sealed games sat behind glass. The last time I had seen that many sealed Dreamcast games in one place was GameStop in 2001. Still, I had a sneaking suspicion that the reason why so many games go unsold is because of another factor. I ruled out ghosts and assumed the games were marked up to insane prices. After checking the tags, I was mostly correct.
VGNY is great, don't get me wrong, but the prices were and still are selectively insane. I can understand why a sealed 'Capcom vs. SNK" is priced at $60, but do they really have to charge $10 for used copies of NFL2k when they clearly have over two dozen of them? A new in box late production model Dreamcast went for $160, used VMUs (sans cap) were $15, used lightguns were $50 to $60. For the most part, $10 is the lowest used game price, even for the crappiest of crappy games. A disc-only copy of the first 'Tony Hawk' might be $7, but that's as low as they'll get. So forget about picking up 'Razor Freestyle Scooter' for a few bucks as a laugh.
Having this knowledge of inflated prices, I came prepared with a list of games that I had my eyes on as well as the average ebay prices for said games. That way, if I were to spot 'Stupid Invaders' for $25, I'd know that on ebay it can be found for $30 and I'd be making a wise choice to pick it up at VGNY. Unfortunately, I didn't encounter anything from my list at VGNY that I couldn't get for a half to three quarters of the price on ebay.
Fortunately, and this is the HUGE positive I have about VGNY, there is always a treasure to be found. Something that slipped through the cracks and avoided a crazy price. Last year I snagged 'Illbleed' and 'Floigan Bros', this year I found a PAL copy of 'Headhunter' for $25 and the XBOX version of 'Sonic Riders' for $9. VGNY also stocked a number of copies of 'Wind & Water Puzzle Battles', 'Rush Rush Rally Racing', 'DUX' and 'Last Hope Pink Bullets'. For the most part, the indy games were on par with their online prices. Though $60 was a bit much for the 'Rush Rush Rally Racing Deluxe Edition'.
While I didn't leave VGNY with the pirate's bounty I was hoping for, I did leave knowing I was a smart shopper. Not as cool as a pirate though...
After my visit to VGNY, I hit up eBay on my iPod and went shopping. I couldn't end the day with buying only one Dreamcast game! I found a sweet Dreamcast game lot and placed a bid. Four days passed and the auction countdown began, and so too began a bidding war. In the end my top asking price became too much for them and I won a lot of three games I didn't have: 'Tech Romancer' (complete), 'Record of Lodoss War' (complete) and 'Bangai-O" (disc only). I also won two games I already had: 'Soul Reaver' (complete) and 'Sonic Adventure' (disc only). Total price: $39.
I had once rented all three games, and loved each of them. It's nice to have them in the permanent collection. 'Tech Romancer' especially. I've always loved games that truly take advantage of the VMU. Capcom seemed to have been masters at VMU utilization, whether it be mini-games in 'Tech Romancer', item trading in 'Power Stone 2' or the health bar display in 'CODE: Veronica'.