Friday, January 24, 2014

The quest for the Golden Nintendo Cartridge is guaranteed to give you a case of the feels....

"One Friday afternoon in 2010, Pat Contri got the Facebook message of every video game collector's dreams. A friend who worked at the local game store started texting him cryptic photographs of something a customer had just traded in.
He stared at the blurry, gray-and-green pictures. What at first looked like a row of shelves, he eventually realized, was a close-up of several exposed DIP switches. Just then, like a Tetris block dropping neatly into place, it clicked. Contri slammed his finger on the "Call" button.
"You better not be fucking with me," he said the second his friend Ian picked up. On the other end of the line, Ian sounded like he was hyperventilating."

The Portland Gaming expo and swap-meet, YEEHAW!

Holy Toledo! Is that a near-mint PowerPad? Is that an original Dragon Quest 4?? Is that a fucking Vectrix?! We must be in some alternate universe of super wicked games an memorabilia!....Or in the convention room of the DoubleTree Hotel, downtown... Yeah, it's that one.

Welcome to the Portland gaming expo and swap-meet! Where classic gaming enthusiasts, nouveau-retro designers, and crafty nintendo-swag retailers collectively clean out their basements to bring you the best of our mutual memory space. Pacman doilies litter the tables, mint condition box art is preserved behind cases, it's just about enough to make you rob the place.

Never have I seen so many dusty Mario Bros/Duck Hunt splits. Whoever paid over .0666 cents for that game, post 1988 should feel like a complete asshole. Every table had at least 30 of them. That said, the games of rarity I found at some of these booths were unbelievable. UNOPENED Gumshoe copies for NES, 1st release Japanese Goemon games in box, Donkey Kong unopened (its right there in the pic!). Totally nuts. Some of these games top out at like $140 bucks. True collectors pieces. The one game I was looking for above all though, Dragon Quest 3 was scooped up a day before. Almost every major table had one copy for just under $300 (not unfair considering the consistently rising ebay prices of over $500 new..) which was apparently purchased by a "group of old men" within the first 3 hours of business. Creepy.

There was even a mods table! I got to play Super Mario World: Return to Dinosaur Land, one of the most celebrated mods of the Mario franchise. I didn't buy it but I vowed to dl and play it later on. Glad I did. Totally fun.

[Check out my new favorite Mario World Mod HERE]

Sunday, January 19, 2014