Games these days can be so much more than just something to pass the time in front of the TV; for some it is a profession in which they earn large some of money for beating other people. Some of us players like to getting deeply involved with an online RPG and treat it almost like a second life, and we don’t have the time to get into that here. But then there are people like me; people who have a love for not only things that represent the here and now but things that stand as a testament to gaming’s glorious past. We are the collectors and we have a winding and treacherous road to follow if we want to avoid being taken for all we are worth. This article will give 5 tips for the start-up retro/import games enthusiast to send you on the right road towards a haul of gaming treasure fit for the hall of fame.
1. Just because it is rare, does not mean it is good
There are so many games out there that are so rare they are nearly impossible to get hold of; but just because people are looking for them does not mean that they will like what they find. Titles like “Cheetahmen 2” are a prime example of a game that is not only hard to find, but also hard to play; glitchy and broken with enough bad level design to make a gamer devour their own hands in a bid to take away the painful memories etched into their eyes. Don’t pay over the odds for something you won’t enjoy unless it is purely just to take pride of place on a shelf; collecting is not always about playing, and that is a distinction you will have to be aware of from the start if you want to start a horde worth having.
2. eBay is not the only place to find your prized possessions
Often in this modern age people forget that there are places out there in the real world that can have just as many bargains as the virtual shops we frequent so much. Places like pawn shops and games stalls in town markets can have some amazing gaming items that they don’t even know are rare at all. I have often wandered around a local pawn shop and picked up some great Dreamcast games or maybe a limited edition Game Boy for a steal of a price just because nobody else has thought to look there. The lesson here is that online shopping is not a one stop shop, sometimes that crumby little shack down the street has a diamond in the rough just waiting to be plucked. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
3. Do your research
The last thing you want to do is go online and spend £50 on a Japanese copy of Street Fighter vs X-Men only to find that your PAL Sega Saturn just can’t seem to play it. With a little bit of online reading you can find all of the accessories that you will need to make sure whatever you buy will be the right product for you. YouTube is your friend here, with a wealth of retro and import gamers with masses of knowledge on how to go about playing the games that you want to play. You might also want to dig out some old gaming magazines… they have lots of information that has sometimes been lost to the hands of time.
4. Shop around for the best price
So you have seen a copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga on eBay for £300? What a bargain; such a rare game for such a great price… until you see it on Amazon Marketplace an hour later for £50… and then you start crying… along with your wallet.
5. When you start out, start with a theme
Sometimes, I think it can be overwhelming with so much choice and so many consoles to collect for; so why not start with a theme? Start out collecting Atari games… or maybe some stuff from a certain franchise, like Metroid or Metal Gear. What ever you do, just make it something that makes you happy, because after all this is a hobby all about the individual. Don’t get crushed by the weight of a thousand different games all calling for your cash, make sure you set your sights early as this will make hitting your target a lot easier.
Well, there are my tips for starting out your very own Aladdin’s cave of wonders, full of great memories and crowning glories. Just remember; all great journeys start with a single step; just make sure you put your good foot first.