Well, that didn’t take long. It was only just last month when I wrote ‘Collecting like it’s 1998!‘ where I discovered that I no longer have Rolling Thunder 2 for the Japanese Sega Mega Drive. I owned the game once (in 1998) and it had cost me $10 CAD. Then over the years something happened and I no longer had it. I started missing the game and I wanted it back. On eBay getting it back would cost me about $70-$80 CAD. I realized then that I didn’t miss it that badly. So I tried to put it out of my mind. Better to have loved and lost than to have never–Hells No! I want it back!
But I didn’t have a plan. eBay is the only consistently reliable place to find old games like this. But the convenience comes with a giant premium. And for the second time I have recently closed my eBay account. So again I tried to put Rolling Thunder 2 out of my mind.
Then while having a fun day with the wife and some of the family exploring our local China Town my wife reluctantly pointed out A&C Games sitting directly across the street from where we were. I had been to this store at it’s old location and honestly I did not visit it often because it’s typically very expensive for the games that I’m looking for. But just browsing would still be pretty fun even if I didn’t buy anything. So I ventured in…
As I walked in I was immediately impressed with the amount of Retro Video games they had. I asked where they kept their Sega Genesis games and they showed me. They had a lot; maybe 150 boxed games. The condition of the games ranged from just OK to good. Most of the interesting titles were priced at about $80 CAD each. My enthusiasm started to wane. I then asked to see their Turbo Grafx-16 games and they showed me; and I saw some $25 sports games. Then I looked for Sega Master System and Dreamcast games; they had them too. And then I found stack of Neo Geo MVS carts; all commons (but good games) for about $80-$120 each. Everything I asked or looked for was found; which was pretty cool. And even though I hadn’t seen any Mega Drive games while browsing the Genesis section I decided to ask if they had any Japanese Sega Mega Drive games; and they said ‘yes, right this is way please’.
Japanese Sega Mega Drive games must be in less demand. These prices were better. $20 was a common price among the 20 or 25 games that I saw. And to my surprise one of those games was a very excellent condition Rolling Thunder 2. However, it did cost me $50 CAD plus tax (~ $38 USD) which is still a lot of money but better than eBay and it came complete with instant gratification.
How good is Rolling Thunder 2? It’s a solid action platformer. Not amazing but still a good game. The boss fights are a bit weak and simplistic. Not simplistic as in ‘easy’ but just uninspired. The game does provide level codes at the end of each stage so you can continue where you left off rather than starting from scratch each time. It’s the type of game where you’ll need to remember enemy attack patterns in order to get through a stage. It may look easy but it will provide a good challenge and it has a great James Bond feel to it.
The next find was very unique for me. In my experience is it exceptionally rare to find PAL Mega Drive games (European Releases) in Canada. I have only two other PAL games and this is only the second time I’ve found a PAL game locally. The first time was decades ago and I passed it up.
There are two problems with having a PAL game in North America. First, CRT TV’s (Tube TVs) in Europe support different standards than CRT TV’s in North America. As a result of this if the game in question was built for the 50 Hz PAL standard it might not display correctly on a 60 Hz NTSC TV (and vice versa). Second, if the game is region locked a North American Sega Genesis will not be able to load the game at all.
In the case of The Ottifants I discovered that it is region locked and my Sega Genesis cannot play it. Fortunately I do have a Super Key and I was able to get around the region locking.
The first stage of The Ottifants reminded me of Castle of Illusion Staring Mickey Mouse. And although a competent platformer (from my brief time with it) The Ottifants is not as good. For $20 plus tax it was still worth picking up just for kicks. It’s also in very good shape and it will be something a little bit unique in my collection.