Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Famicom Game Collection at the New Year

Another year is at an end. I thought this might be a good time to do a little review of the state of my Famicom game collection.

At the moment I have a little over 700 different Famicom carts, roughly 2/3 of the total. I say `roughly` because unfortunately I lost my checklist a few months ago and since then have had to basically guess which ones I need when making purchases. At some point I`ll have to create a new one.

Anyway, that means that my progress was pretty slow this year as I already had over 600 different carts at the end of 2010. That is to be expected though, the more carts you have the harder it gets to find the ones that you still need.

My Famicom collection at the moment is scattered throughout my apartment in a variety of nooks and crannies. Basically anywhere I could put them. My favorite games I keep on my little custom built Famicom cart shelf, which is still decorated for Christmas:
Other games that I like but which didn`t quite make the cut for the shelf go in this box:
Or in this little side table:
Or here in this little space on the other side of the sofa:
Or just in front of the TV:
I also have a big pile on a shelf in the spare room. I used to store the entire collection there but since we got the dog I`ve only been able to use a little corner of it, right next to the Slave 1 there:
These are games that I basically don`t play anymore. There are a few good ones in there, but its way too much of a pain to find them. I keep the colorful ones facing out as I think it makes the room look a little brighter.

Rounding out the collection is this box, where I keep the overflow from the overflow from the overflow:
Oh and of course my ever expanding Complete in Box Famicom collection, which is getting quite big. I really wish I had a way to display these, that is another thing that will have to await our moving into a bigger place someday:
In addition to all of that I have my doubles. I`ve actually sold quite a few of them over the past few months, but the pile is still impressive:
And that is about it for my Famicom collection!

This will in all likelihood be my last post here for 2011. I hope you all have a nice New Year!

Related Posts:
- Boxed Famicom Games and the Problem of Collection Creep
- First Famicom Carts of 2011
- Wall of Famicom
- Famicom Fort

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tsutaya: Worst Retro Video Game Section Ever

Another place I stopped at during my Christmas shopping last week was the Tsutaya downtown. Tsutaya is a major nationwide chain that started out primarily as a rental video/game/CD place, but now a lot of their locations also sell a variety of items, from used books to retro video games.

Just to provide a little autobiographical digression here I actually purchased a PlayStation 2 at a Tsutaya way back in 2001 when they were still relatively new and expensive. What can I say? I was young, irresponsible and had a steady job that paid a decent income (oh how I do miss those days). That was the only time in my life that I have actually purchased a video game console in the prime of its life, every other one I either received as a present as a child (Commodore Vic-20, NES) or have purchased as a retro console in the past couple of years (Famicom, Mega Drive.....well, everything in this blog basically).

About a year after that I actually had a rather serious bicycle accident in front of a Tsutaya that I had just returned a movie to and ended up with a broken elbow (very painful thing to break, BTW).

Er....why am I providing you with all this minutia? Oh yes, what I wanted to say was simply that until very recently despite having a lengthy history with Tsutaya I had never realized that they also sold retro games. This is because most of them including the ones I had frequented in the past didn`t. Somebody on Famicom World mentioned that their Tsutaya sold retro video games a couple months ago though and this got me interested. So I decided to start checking out all the Tsutaya in town whenever I happened to be passing by just in case.

So far the only one that has had any is the one downtown. It is quite a posh place, even the escalators are very bright and sparkly:
The retro game section is on the top floor. This is it:
The contrast with the rest of the store could not be starker. The interior is very modern and tasteful. They have nice bookshevles in the bookstore floor with a little coffee shop. The modern video game section looks fantastic with loads of fancy displays. The retro game section is.....

A steel basket with a bunch of Famicom and Super Famicom carts thrown into it.
Not only is the presentation subpar, the selection is absolutely awful. Every Famicom cart they had was either sports, pachinko or Mahjong except for one copy of Tetris, which had a really messed up label. The Super Famicom games were exactly the same: not a good one in the pile.

The only upside is that they charge a flat 100 yen each, which is reasonable. Anybody else out there live near a Tsutaya with a retro video game section? I`m curious if they all suck as bad as this one.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Famicom Crap I Came Across but did not buy while Christmas Shopping!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We had a great one here with lots of presents and merriment had by all.

Unlike last year I did not actually get any video game stuff this year. While doing my Christmas shopping at shops like the Loft, Village Vanguard and InCube, however, I did come across some kind of interesting Famicom themed stuff. I didn`t actually buy any of it, but I had my camera with me so I took a few photos and thought I`d put them up in a post here.

The first was the FC Mobile, which I found in Village Vanguard:
Basically its a mobile device that plays Famicom carts. It looks cool on the box, but I`m always reluctant to buy these knock off type things as quality is always a big question. Also it doesn`t have rechargable batteries so you have to use the old fashioned ones. At 3,980 yen (about 50$) the price was also a bit high, given that you can buy an original CIB Famicom for about that much, even less.

They also had a Super Famicom/ Famicom Famiclone called the Game Combo:
The price tag is a bit difficult to read in the photo but I think it was about 6000 yen (75$). Already having a Super Famicom and a Famicom I have no need for this, but I could almost see it being worthwhile for someone who doesn`t, assuming that it is of decent quality (which is always a question mark with these Famiclones).

This thing also caught my eye and I have no idea what it is:
It is SKMT by a company called Lanstrum. It caught my eye because the design of the box is an obvious nod to the early Famicom game boxes. This carries over to the back:
It seems to be a CD, but I`m not sure if it is a music CD or PC game software or what. I thought it was interesting too that the character on the front cover art is wearing a Power Glove and carrying a weapon that looks like the Super Scope for the SFC.

Anyway, the only thing I would have considered actually purchasing was this:
Its a cell phone case shaped like a Famicom controller. My cell phone is a flip one so I don`t think I could use this, but I thought it was kind of cool and if I ever did get a cell phone case then this would be it.

At another store, InCube, these things caught my eye:
They are Dragon Quest puzzles. The boxes are almost identical to the Famicom boxes for these games, right down to their size:
630 yen each (about 8$). I`m not a Dragon Quest fan nor am I a fan of game related merchandise unless it is some really old, obscure thing. Still, I thought these looked kind of nice.