My god, it’s been over two months since I’ve written one of these. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t feeling up to doing my usual thrift store trips. Then the bug, the urge to go thrifting hit me a few days ago, and thankfully I lucked out. It’s gonna be a bit short, but I snagged the following items over the course of yesterday and today:
ABC Sports Presents: The Palm Springs Open (CD-i, $1.99)
Parasite Eve (PS1, $2)
El Matador (PC, 75¢)
Play TV Legends: Sega Genesis Volume 1 (Plug and play console, $4.99)
First, I never thought I would ever find a CD-i game in the wild. At a Goodwill, no less!
The CD-i was Philips’ attempt to make a CD-based game system. It didn’t do so well, even with amazing infomercials like “A Day with Sid, Ed and the CD-i.” Seriously, watch that infomercial if you get a chance, it’s incredibly corny.
The most notable things it’s known for are the weird interactive CDs, game show adaptions like Jeopardy! and Name That Tune, and of course, those Nintendo-licensed games that have been talked about to death like Hotel Mario and Link: The Faces of Evil.
For a long while the system wasn’t much of a big seller, but increased exposure to the FMVs in the Nintendo CD-i games alongside certain Angry Gaming YouTubers caused the prices of the system to jump exponentially, from sub-$100 to nearly $500 in some cases. It’s ridiculous.
The Palm Springs Open has never been opened. Which doesn’t mean much, really, but you don’t see find unopened games often. I should probably give this to someone who’s more into golf games than me, but with the ridiculous prices of the CD-i, I’d probably be better off keeping it.
Just when I thought finding a CD-i game was a treat, finding Parasite Eve at the bottom of a CD rack at the front door of a different thrift store was even better. I’ve had fairly good luck with this place from time to time, such as finding old video game comic books, and this time it didn’t disappoint.
I had heard good things about the Parasite Eve games — at least, the first two — so I decided to grab this one for posterity. This is one of the early releases of the game where they packed a bonus disc with a playable Xenogears demo and trailers for Bushido Blade 2, Brave Fencer Musashi and Final Fantasy VIII.
Admittedly, I had a brainfart when I saw this game at first: The back of the case said it had 3 discs. I was actually worried thinking this copy was missing a nonexistent disc three. It wasn’t until I realized that the game was two discs and the demo was disc 3. I almost passed it up until I realized my mistake. I believe the usual price for Parasite Eve is in the $10-15 range, so I was genuinely surprised to get this at such a cheap price.
There were a few PC games there at that local thrift store, but this one caught my attention the most. El Matador is a third-person shooter taking place in South America, where you play a DEA agent trying to stop a drug empire. I played the demo to this years ago, and it’s very much Max Payne clone. In fact, the game felt like Max Payne 3 before the actual Max Payne 3 existed. Any game that attempts bullet time and heavy action is okay in my book.
It gets even better: Hidden inside the box were receipts for this game from EB Games around downtown Portland. The previous owner bought this and The Legend of Spyro, then returned El Matador the next day for some reason to get Spyro: A Hero’s Tail and Tak: The Great Juju Challenge instead. This is a nice snapshot to see where this came from.
While the price on the box says $3, I got these towards the end of last month, where the store does discounts. I lucked out and got 75% off, thus this Max Payne clone only cost me 75¢! That’s the best bargain I’ve probably gotten in a very, very long time.
After the initial finds, I passed up the last item at the same Goodwill I found the CD-i game, but then realized my mistake and got it the next day. Released by Radica Games in 2003, this is one of many plug and play TV games that was incredibly prevalent in the early 2000s.
I have a few of these systems: One with Atari 2600 games by Activision, another with arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man, a Wheel of Fortune one, even a Commodore 64 model that I think was only available on QVC or something. There was a time where I considered doing something with these, but I never got around to it.
I honestly picked this up because I thought the small model 2 Genesis box was kinda cute. It comes with Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Flicky, Kid Chameleon and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. Because, hey, it ain’t a Genesis/Mega Drive compilation without Altered Beast and Golden Axe! They should’ve added Columns to complete the set.
I will say that I had hell getting it to work at first: the screw holding the battery case was stripped, thus it had to be drilled out to even be opened, and then finding out one of the battery contacts was corroded. After an hour and a half of cleaning to get it to work, it sprang to life and worked perfectly fine. Despite that, the sound quality in this is pretty mediocre, almost like the infamous AtGames Sega consoles, but not nearly as bad.
According to Sega Retro, there were further installments of the Play TV Legends series, including a Sonic the Hedgehog-focused compilation, and one that had Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition and came with two controllers. Even Europe got a special edition plug and play Mega Drive that featured Sensible Soccer and Cannon Fodder! Because of course they would.
After all that ordeal, $5 for this cute little device was kinda worth it. I passed it up at first because of a similar brainfart moment like with Parasite Eve: I noticed the 6V power jack, but completely missed the battery cover. I was thinking it required a power cable, and I doubt they had the missing cable. Clearly my mind was off that day.
All in all, I did pretty well. That’ll probably be the last things I’ll buy for myself this holiday season. Hope that you guys find some good stuff yourself this holiday season. Or any time of year, really.