I’m sure anyone who collects Mega Drive/Genesis games is aware of the inexplicably ‘elite games’ that are often listed for prices wildly higher than most other games. Through out the years as I’ve shopped online I’ve gotten familiar with many of these over prices games. And it has always been discouraging.
I’ll want to add a game to the collection for various different reasons. A game might be an excellent game to play or it might just have some really nice artwork and look great nuzzled into the collection. Or sometimes I start wanting a game just because I can’t have it.
Like many of us, I’ve been watching ebay for a long time and it is really very rare to find a good deal for any of these expensive games. I get the impression I might have lucked out on my copy of Sailor Moon that I bought a while ago with a Super Key.
I don’t remember when I first heard of Play Asia but I decided to give them a closer look. I browsed what they had and I saw the games below but the prices were only a bit cheaper than the typical ebay prices. It felt like a dead end. But not wanting to give up I thought about what size of a transaction would give me significant buying power. My thinking was if I was able to put together a large enough order I could make an offer at a very reduced price. So I made my wish list and emailed an offer.
Below are the games I was trying to score including the asking price listed by Play Asia’s web site. They total $554.10 USD plus shipping. I offered them $360 USD plus shipping… my offer was rejected.
Panorama Cotton (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 139.90 (~140.65 CAD)
El Viento (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 59.90 (~60.22 CAD)
Gunstar Heroes (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 39.90 (~40.11 CAD)
Wonder Boy in Monster World IV (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 54.90 (~55.20 CAD)
Splatterhouse Part 2 (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 49.90 (~50.17 CAD)
Splatterhouse Part 3 (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 59.90 (~60.22 CAD)
Metal Fangs (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 34.90 (~35.09 CAD)
Mystical Fighter (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 59.90 (~60.22 CAD)
Double Dragon II: The Revenge (For Mega Drive™, Japan, NTSC J)
US$ 54.90 (~55.20 CAD)
To Play Asia’s credit they were very nice and polite. They did not berate me for making such an offer. In fact, as good business people, they took the time to exchange emails and they made a counter offer.
They offered me eight of the above games for $320 USD plus shipping. That was for all but Panorama Cotton. Or all nine games, including Panorama Cotton for $440 USD plus shipping. This was trouble for me. Panorama Cotton was clearly the most expensive game in this lot but because it is one of those inexplicably over priced games and for no other good reason I wanted it most of all.
I inquired about shipping for nine games and they quoted me $26.90 USD.
So for nine games (including Panorama Cotton) with shipping in mind; there web site asking price would have cost me $65 per game.
My offer would have landed me with a price of $43 per game.
And Play Asia’s counter offer would set the cost per game at $52 each.
Doing a quick calculation in my head I can see that $52 per game is more than my typical goal of $20 per game. It’s really a lot more.
However, Play Asia did do better than meeting me half way. For a time I was on the fence… not sure if I should spend the money. It was a lot of money to consider forking over all at once for some retro video games. I even emailed them again with my own counter offer. Offering just $20 less but they wouldn’t go for it.
So in the end I pulled the trigger 😛 And I’m pretty sure I’m content with this. I may do something similar again with Play Asia when I can afford to and when they have some exciting prospects for the collection. However, it’s very possible that I’ll never again have a set of Pick-Ups as exciting as this bunch.
Here are some brief impression of these games including a picture of each:
Panorama Cotton – Excellent Condition – One of the first games I got for the Genesis was Space Harrier II and I loved it. For the era the graphics rocked and the game was able to keep my attention for a long time. I use to enjoy beating it on a regular basis. Games like After Burner and Galaxy Force which were similar didn’t really capture me. Some how, and I can’t explain it, they didn’t feel as engaging or as fun. When I first saw Panorama Cotton I was struck by now great it looked. That combined with a nice little 16-bit sound track it was the first time I felt like there was a worthy successor to Space Harrier 2.
How is Panorama Cotton? It’s actually pretty good. If you like Space Harrier 2 I do believe you’d enjoy Panorama Cotton. The one issue I had with it is that it’s easy to lose track of what you’re looking at. There is so much going on that it’s easy to lose focus on your character and as a result you’ll start flying into things and taking damage. And when that starts happening you might also notice that your little Witch’s (the main character) voice is a tad on the annoying side. But for the price it’s not worth it for the game alone; only for crazy collectors.
And (unfortunately) I think I have set a new record for the most money I have spent on a single game. Even though I consider the per game cost of an order; according to Play Asia, in their minds they sold me Panorama Cotton for $120.00. Ouch… that beats out my bootleg copy of Tetris that I paid $100 for.
The wife keeps promising to sign up to my blog… but with any luck she’ll remain uninterested and miss out on these details 😛
Gunstar Heroes – Excellent Condition – Wow. What can I say. This game really surprised me. It is excellent. I think it might be one of the best platformer/shooters for the Mega Drive. Lots of action and variety in weapons and attacks, load of bosses and mini bosses and it’s also two player. I knew this one was popular and it only took about four minutes of playing to understand why.
Wonder Boy in Monster World IV – Excellent Condition – From my Sega Master System days I have always loved Wonder Boy. And for a long time I’ve wanted Monster World IV to complete the set. I’m sure I’ll need to find an English version in order to properly play this game and I am looking forward to That. However, it feels really very satisfying to finally get this authentic Japanese version into the collection. For the last few years I’ve seen the price of this game rise from $40 to $60 or more. So some time ago I think I could have done better but still, I’m glad now to check this one off the list.
Splatterhouse Part 2 – Excellent Condition – Walk from left to right, punch and smash anything in your way. Who knew how fun this game would be?! A simple and good looking game with a simple story that is just fun. I haven’t played much yet but already I’m very interested in it and thrilled to have it in the collection.
Splatterhouse Part 3 – Excellent Condition – Wow. This game rocks. While testing this game I got sucked in. It’s fantastic. It shares a lot of similarities with Part 2 but the major difference is it’s not a left to right platformer. Like Golden Axe it has an isometric view vs. pure side view and this takes the game to the next level. This game is really very amazing.
Metal Fangs – Excellent Condition – I think it sucks. At the start of the game there are a lot of options for customizing your race car and selecting drivers which seemed very cool but when it came to game play it was terrible. It could be that there are details I’m not aware of but it’s not all that interesting. I know it’s somewhat rare and now it’s in my Sega Collection🙂
Mystical Fighter – Very Good Condition – I want to say this one is in Excellent Condition but with three small signs of wear on the sleeve and the cart label that is starting to peal off so I can’t. However, over all it does look good. And on top of that it’s also a very good game. It’s an isometric game and it’s very much like Golden Axe. In my opinion it’s not quite as good but it’s still a very good game. It’s not a button masher. You have useful moves and tactics that play a part. The graphics are a bit plain and a lot of the sprites are re-used but it still manages to look good. And with little extras like hidden areas in many of the levels it’s really a worth while game.
Double Dragon II – Good Condition – So far this one sucks. It could be that I haven’t given it enough time but the controls were so counter intuitive that I didn’t have a good experience with it. I died for the first time when I encounter the fourth enemy. The fourth! This is the kind of game were you need to plow through hordes of baddies and I barely made it two screens into the game.🙂
I’m still a bit confused but here about how I think the controls work. Instead of having one button for punch and one for kick and letting you face whomever you want to hit one button is assigned to attack right and the other to attack left. Is it just me or is this a little nuts? Maybe someday I’ll go back and try to figure out what the heck happened. Like in one of my previous posts about touching up Splatterhouse Part 2 I also touched up Double Dragon II. This is how my Double Dragon II looked before I took my sharpies to it.