Tagged: thrifting

The most ridiculous light gun I own: The Silent Scope Light Rifle.

It’s been a rough month for me, folks. Admittedly the drive to write wasn’t quite there for most of the month until fairly recently, and I do have some actual posts prepared to be published in October.

But for now, I’m gonna write a fairly short post. This is about something I found unexpectedly at a Goodwill. A rare relic of a bygone era. Probably one of the goofiest video game controllers I own. In a sense, this is part “here’s something interesting I own,” part “I Bought Stuff!”

I know light guns aren’t supposed to resemble real firearms anymore, but this looks so goofy.

No, this isn’t a super soaker or Nerf gun, though I can’t blame you for thinking that. This is the Silent Scope Light Rifle, a light gun made for the original Xbox. I bought this for $7, and in hindsight it probably was one of the more impulse purchases I made that I have a small bit of regret. I’ll explain why in a bit.

I won’t go into a long history about the genre as there’s much better places for such things, but here goes. Light gun games were all the rage during the 8 and 16-bit eras. Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman, Lethal Enforcers, those American Laser Games that practically show up on every system like Doom or Resident Evil 4 does these days… They were fairly popular.

Then, oddly, it slowed down. At least, on home consoles. They still got light gun games, but at a much reduced rate. Some cases like Area 51 on the PlayStation didn’t even support a light gun, opting for PS Mouse support instead, which completely ruins the fun.

It was still thriving in arcades thanks to Time Crisis and later stuff by Raw Thrills like the infamous Target: Terror. But short of Namco bringing out the GunCon 2 for a Time Crisis II port and support for games like Capcom’s Resident Evil: Dead Aim, it was practically a ghost town for light gun games during the PS2/Xbox era. Until the Wii briefly brought the genre back into the spotlight for a brief moment.

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I Bought Stuff! 4/16/2018 – One place, three cool things.

I don’t go to thrift stores all that often anymore. I’ve bought too many things over the years that I should write about, but haven’t gotten the time to. It also doesn’t help that thrift store hunting is an adventure in and of itself, so I think I can’t just hit one. But I did just hit one, and it was good to me.

I’ve mentioned Deseret Industries down in Portland before. It’s where I found a bunch of old demo discs from the 90s and 2000s for real cheap. I’ve found PC games I’d never expect to find, even stuff like a cardboard long box copy of NFL Gameday fairly recently. For some reason, this store tends to give me the best luck in finding stuff I wouldn’t expect to find otherwise, whereas I could go to the same Goodwill and be lucky to find a single thing I want, let alone several.

But enough about that, what’d I get?

Well, that’s an unexpected spread of games.

$1 each:

  • Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold (PC)

  • Chronomaster (PC)

  • Concentration (PC)

Mad Dog II is the sequel to Mad Dog McCree, the fairly popular laserdisc-based light gun game. It’s probably American Laser Games’ most iconic game, next to maybe Crime Patrol or Who Shot Johnny Rock. The sequel is however mostly forgotten, however it didn’t stop American Laser Games from porting it to every system known to man after its arcade run had finished.

I honestly bought this more as a lark. These games are fairly simple, easy to memorize, and beatable within 10-30 minutes. It’s just a novelty, through and through. Continue reading…

I bought stuff! 4/18/16: Finding leaks and filling in the cracks.

Sometimes you get bored and lack motivation to do something. What do you do when you’re me, someone who writes silly things on the internet and looking for dumb stuff to write about? That’s right, time to do some thrift store shopping.

I will admit that most of the items I found this time around are random curiosities more than anything. There are some fairly common and interesting things in here, however, and may be something to write about in future blog posts. If all else fails, it’s a good document of all the junk I get and how I got it.

I roamed around the Oak Grove/Oregon City area for this, checking two chain thrift stores and a Goodwill, plus a special hobby shop on the edge of Oregon City. Let’s rock.

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There’s a post-it over Quake III Team Arena because the CD key would otherwise be visible. Can’t let you steal my CD key for a 20-year-old game.

$4: Four random CDs:

  • Quake Mission Pack No. 2: Disillusion of Eternity (PC)

  • Shellshock: ‘Nam 67 (PC)

  • Quake III Team Arena (PC)

  • Disney Karaoke Series: The Cheetah Girls (music CD)

My first hit was a local chain thrift store. I thought I was gonna strike out, but the CDs I got have some interest.

I had Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon, but not the second expansion, Dissolution of Eternity. Now I have both. I remember not hearing too many great things about this one compared to Scourge, but hey, might as well get it to complete my Quake collection.

I also snagged Quake III Team Arena, aka that one game when id Software saw how popular Unreal Tournament was and realized their game didn’t have many team modes, so they hastily put out a paid expansion. Again, I bought this because I wanted to have the complete Quake III experience. Nowadays, Quake Live pretty much covers that Quake III/Team Arena void, so this is more for collection’s sake.

The third and final game is Shellshock: Nam ’67, one of the many Vietnam War games that came out in the early to mid 2000s. This game is notable for being made by Guerrilla Games, the guys who’d be later known for the semi-popular Killzone series. This was the sole game they made before Sony bought them around 2004. I don’t know if this game’s any good, but it can’t be that bad, can it?

Then there’s the last one: A Cheetah Girls Karaoke CD. This is probably the weirdest of the lot, but I bought it because it’s a Karaoke CD that supports the CD+G format that I covered a long while back here. Sadly it’s a different form of CD+G than the stuff featured in the Rock Paintings album, so I couldn’t get lyrics or music to show up. It appears I didn’t know much about this stuff as I thought.

Hopefully I’ll never have to explain why I own a Cheetah Girls CD.

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I Bought Stuff! 8/22/2014: A whole mess of gaming junk.

Holy crap, when’s the last time I publicly documented my game finds on the blog? Seems like it was just last year when I wrote about find a “NOT FOR RESALE” copy of Streets of Rage 2, and a 20 minute video that about 3 of you watched. Let’s resurrect this old series, because I got some good stuff this time around.

Throughout most of 2014, I’ve found a bunch of cheap games, mostly junk like Eye Toy: Antigrav, licensed games based on The Great Escape and Starsky & Hutch, old PC games such as Mickey’s Word Adventures, even recent Game Informer issues for 50 cents each. If you’re following me on Twitter, you might’ve seen these already.

Funny enough, I found Mickey’s Word Adventures after taking advice from YouTuber LGR. After mentioning him on Twitter, I found out one of my finds were in a viewer finds segment of his “LGR Thrifts” show. I was floored when I saw it too, I didn’t expect it to be featured in the slightest. (It’s at the end of this episode, if you’re wondering. Look for the magazines on green bedding.)

Back around job, while I was doing some job hunting, I went into my local Bi-Mart. I’ve mentioned Bi-Mart before when I wrote about Atari Hot Wheels, and the place hasn’t changed one iota: It still feels like I stepped into a supermarket that hasn’t changed its look since 1985. While perusing their games section, I found several copies of this gem that I didn’t know got a GBA version.

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Man, remember when the Rabbids were a thing? I can’t say I miss them.

– Rayman Raving Rabbids (GBA, $6)

I’m finding sealed Game Boy Advance games. In 2014. Even the guy at the counter was surprised, mentioning some war fighting game and a World of Warcraft expansion that had been at the store also collecting dust for years. He then went on to say “Somebody made the wrong call on this one.” At least this copy of Raving Rabbids has a home now. I bet there’s still plenty of copies, provided they haven’t been thrown into a dumpster yet.

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I Bought Stuff! 10/2/2012: Convention finds edition.

Since I just got back from going to two conventions in the course of a month, it’s about time for me to show that I Bought Stuff. It’s gonna be a double-header this time around: We’re gonna be covering not only the stuff I got from last weekend’s haul at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, but also what I stumbled upon after PAX back in early September. It’s gonna be a fun one, indeed.

A bunch of Sierra and some Pat Sajak for your Tuesday. (or any day, really.)

Police Quest 2: The Vengeance (DOS, $3)

The Colonel’s Bequest (DOS, $3)

Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters (PC, $3)

I got these three games the day after PAX ended, on Monday. I had some free time to kill before I had to get to the train station to get home, so I had a doughnut at Top Pot Doughnuts — highly recommend you do so if you’re visiting Seattle — and found a Value Village several blocks away from where the main convention center was. After poking around the store that was in an old building complete with freight elevators, I found these three gems.

Police Quest 2: The Vengeance and The Colonel’s Bequest are classic Sierra-published games. This was back in Sierra’s heyday, when they made a whole bunch of adventure game titles. Granted, most of them have not aged well primarily due to their obtuse puzzle mechanics, but finding complete box copies of both games is a treat.

The Colonel’s Bequest was the first game in a mystery series starring Laura Bow, which she returned in another Sierra game a few years later, The Dagger of Amon Ra. I have no idea where this ranks on terms of quality Sierra games, but judging how I didn’t hear of this until I bought it, I assume it’s one of the forgettable ones.

Police Quest 2 continues the same silly stuff that other Police Quest games did where you had to follow every step of police procedure to the absolute letter. I preferred the later spinoff series SWAT, which went from being a bad FMV game to a strategy game to a solid squad FPS that rivaled Rainbow Six in its day. As an unexpected bonus, Police Quest 2 had extra 5 1/4″ copies somebody made presumably to give to a friend. Funny, considering the original disks are also inside. I guess somebody didn’t watch Don’t Copy That Floppy.

Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters, on the other hand, was more of a gimmick purchase. It had never been opened, and one copy there had a dozen GameStop price stickers on it, going from $20, to $10, to $5, to $2 by the end of it. This is the Wheel of Fortune host’s first foray into making video games after having a weird aversion to appearing in Wheel of Fortune games for a solid two decades. At least he eventually got over that.

This casual game is a hybrid of crossword puzzles mixed in with elements from The Joker’s Wild. Put into a sleek casual games package, it’s an interesting little game made around the time of the casual games boom. There was another game under the Pat Sajak Games label named Trivia Gems, but I don’t know if that ever got a retail package. Bet both of those games are worth looking into.

The rest of my PAX swag was a shitload of buttons, energy drinks, cards and promo stuff, followed by Guitar Hero: Van Halen. I mean, when Dan Amrich (then of Activision and One of Swords in 2012, currently at Ubisoft) just hands them out for just showing up at a panel, you can’t resist. Then again, I heard that lots of people got copies of that game, apparently they had excess stock.

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I Bought Stuff! 8/29/2012: Pre-PAX Edition.

So, the Penny Arcade Expo is coming up. That popular video game thing in Seattle that has all the cool video game and nerd-culture related things that’s right in my neck of the woods.

But instead of packing and getting ready to hop on a train tomorrow, I decided to go check some thrift stores and hope to find some interesting stuff. And I definitely found some of that. This will be a small, but interesting haul indeed.

Quite the bizarre combination on hand here.

  • Virtua Fighter (32X, $3)

  • Metal Head (32X, $3)

  • The LucasArts Archives Volume IV: The Star Wars Collection Volume II (PC, $5)

Over the years I’ve amassed a fairly small collection of 32X games, that ill-fated add-on for the Sega Genesis that was pretty much the Beginning of The End for Sega. I have a fair share of the ones people remember like Doom and Virtua Racing Deluxe, but a few other games elude me primarily because of how popular they are, like Knuckles Chaotix. In hindsight I should’ve grabbed it when they were $30 for a loose cartridge, because it’s definitely much higher these days.

Virtua Fighter really doesn’t need much explanation: A 3D fighting game in the infancy of 3D graphics in arcades. The 32X version is likely an acceptable version of that game, but probably not the most ideal version to play these days. I’m not even big on fighting games, but I consider this significant enough to own.

Metal Head is basically a first-person shooter in a mech. While not particularly new — stuff like MechWarrior existed for years before this — it’s something unexpected for the 32X, and had some surprisingly good 3D out of it. A shame it was put onto this dying system.

Both of the Goodwills I went to had a surprisingly influx of NES, SNES and Genesis games, but most of them were the common licensed schlock or sports games. I even saw the infamous Pit Fighter for the SNES, but I’d rather not waste my money on garbage I’d only own for the novelty value.

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I Bought Stuff! 7/31/2012: Video game… comic books?

I really should be getting prepared for a camping trip (as I originally wrote this). Instead I went to some thrift stores and found some interesting finds. But first, some GameStop finds.

Surprising no one, finding interesting stuff at GameStop is a crapshoot. While I did find Perfect Dark Zero for a ridiculous $2, Boom Blox was considerably less ridiculous at $13. I’m trying to burn off the excess store credit I have with GameStop so I don’t have to do much business with them anymore, especially with some of their terrible business practices.

Since I bought games on the Steam Summer sale from a few weeks back, I suddenly had games on systems I didn’t need. Such as a shrinkwrapped copy of Saints Row: The Third for Xbox 360. GameStop wanted $18 credit for it, so I opted to try my luck with my reliable Video Game Wizards, a local Portland game store I’ve talked about in the past.

Since it was unopened, they offered me $14 in cash or $21 in store credit. I opted for the store credit, which was more than GS was gonna give me. I then rebought 007: Agent Under Fire007: Everything or Nothing and 007: Nightfire all on the PlayStation 2 for a total of $8. I’m trying to replace my multiplatform released games from the GameCube with PS2 or Xbox equivalents, mainly because most of the multiplatform ports on the GC suck control-wise or for other reasons.

2020 update: As time goes on I realized that this wasn’t necessary for some games, and I ended up selling most of these back years later. I still follow this rule for some multiplatform games, but only on ones I don’t already have elsewhere.

Sometimes when I’m in downtown Portland, I poke my head inside a couple thrift stores in the area, as I’ve gotten a few interesting things from them in the past. Like one time I found a Japanese copy of Hot Shots Golf 2 for the PlayStation.

My usual thrift store haunts in downtown Portland were a bust, except in one store. This thrift store had a comic book I saw, which I decided to snatch up immediately. While I was there, I decided to thumb through their surprisingly vast comics section. I then walked out with about $2.40 of comic books. I’m no comic book nerd, the last comic I bought was Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog many years ago, but I couldn’t pass these up.

Hellgate, Timecop and Mass Effect… what a combination.

 

$2.40 for seven comics:

  • Mass Effect: Redemption issue 1

  • Mass Effect: Invasion issue 3

  • Mass Effect: Evolution issue 4

  • Hellgate: London issue 0

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic – The Lost Suns issue 5

  • Timecop issues 1 and 2

It was the Mass Effect: Invasion issue that caught my eye and made me thumb through their comics. With the exception of Timecop — that’s based off the cornball Jean-Claude Van Damme film of the same name — they were all video game tie-ins.

The Hellgate: London one was especially interesting, considering that game was an absolute bust at this point, only living on through a Korean acquisition.

It also seems these were done as special editions, as my 5 minutes of Google searching revealed that every comic series here was a 4-5 issue special edition rather than a regular series. Two of the comics were a mere quarter, while the rest were 50 cents each. Coupled with the thrift store doing an end-of-month drawing where they cut a random percentage off the sale — mine was 20% — meant that I spent $2.40 for all seven.

Coincidentally all the comics I bought are published by Dark Horse Comics. Hell, about a good 95% of the comics on sale there were Dark Horse-published. This is an amusing coincidence, as Dark Horse Comics’ main office is in nearby Milwaukie, Oregon. I’ve gone past there a few times, and I didn’t know they were the king of licensed comics. Well, with the exception of Timecop, they can’t all be winners.

I should eventually see how cheap it would be to complete the set, or at least find these online to read. While I may not be big on Mass Effect or Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’m down for reading some interesting video game stories. Sure beats reading the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog stuff again.

I Bought Stuff! 4/25/2012: Some ’90s PC nostalgia.

Before I started this blog, I used to document my thrift store hauls and finds on my more personal blog. Now with a more centralized place to write about my video game-related things, I’ll start writing about them here. The stuff I’m about to show you will show some insight into ’90s era PC gaming, as well as a bunch of demo discs with free games on it. Because, hey, who doesn’t like free games? As my experience with getting one from GameStop earlier this year proved…

More freebies than you can shake a stick at!

25 cents each:

  • PCGAMES.EXE’s July/August 1998 demo disc

  • Computer Gaming World’s November 1999 demo disc

  • PC Gamer’s July 2000 demo disc

  • Computer Gaming World’s March 2001 demo disc

  • A shareware copy of Wolfenstein 3D

One place I stumbled upon had a few demo discs. Did I say a few? I mean 50 demo discs. For 25 cents each. From the early days of PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World to lesser known ones like that PCGAMES.EXE disc up there, which I could find no information on who published these. I only grabbed a few of these since I really didn’t need every demo disc, just ones that seemed appealing. Hell, for 25 cents each, I had to resist from buying all of them. Somebody must have dumped their old PC gaming collection.

The first one on the upper left is from Computer Gaming World’s November 1999 issue. It has demos of games like Freespace 2 and Midtown Madness, but what really caught my eye was that it had a trailer for Halo. Yes, that Halo. Back before it was a first-person shooter title for the Xbox, it was once going to be a third-person shooter that was supposed to be a PC and Mac game before Microsoft snatched it up for the console’s 2001 launch. The trailer on the disc is almost identical to the one featured below, the only difference being a slight change in the intro. I thought it was an interesting piece of nostalgia, and it seemed even in 1999 that Halo theme was in full force.

 

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