Gaming Stores

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Dark_Fairy
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Gaming Stores

Postby Dark_Fairy » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:13 am

I just decided to make this topic after a new gaming store just opened up in my town. I happen to love game stores. Even though most of the time these places have online prices for their games, these places are just so fun to look in! So I thought, why not make a topic so others can share their experiences with game stores?

This particular gaming store that just opened up was also back in my hometown, so it's nice to see it over here in my new town. It's a chain of retro game stores called Game X Change. Aside from that, there are other local places that I've been to as well. Dave's Video and Disc Replay are the other two places that come to mind. There is a Dave's Video here and in my hometown. Disc Replay is about an hour and a half from where I live, but it's a nice little gaming store too.

But what's really cool about this Game X Change is that they have Japanese imports! I though it was so cool to see so many famicom and super famicom games! I've never actually seen super famicom games in person. What really shocked me was seeing the Japanese Mega CD version of Lunar TSS! They also had a Working Designs game in there called Elemental Gearbolt. I had never heard of it. I almost got it, but when I asked the guy if I could have a closer look at it, the game case was in awful shape. It still had the instruction manual, but the case was too awful. I ended up only walking out with a copy of Banjo-Kazooie since I had gotten rid of my copy a long time ago, I kind of wanted the original thing back. The store owner had all kinds of neat decorations too. Final Fantasy figures, displays, and old nintendo power posters in the glass cases. The good news is that this place is literally right next to the mall I work in, so I can already tell I'll be going there a lot. Not to really buy things, but to gawk at all the awesome stuff. XD

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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Werefrog » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:50 am

I avoid game stores like the plague. Ugh... no I don't want to subscription to Game Informer. I miss Funcoland.

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Shiva Indis
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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Shiva Indis » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:49 pm

I think I've seen some of these shops but I haven't checked them out. Elemental Gearbolt is a remarkable game, but you'll need a light gun if you don't already have one.

Here's me griping about game stores:

I might be able to total the cumulative time I've spent in entertainment software stores in years (thanks to employment). But that was nearly a decade ago and they make me uncomfortable now. The untidy ambiance you find in these shops (even national chain stores in my area) hasn't really changed but I find it harder to accept now, and dealing with the staff is an incompetence/elitism/high-pressure-sales-tactics roulette. Ugh.
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Dark_Fairy
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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Dark_Fairy » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:41 pm

I guess it's a good thing I passed on that Elemental Gearbolt right now since I don't have a Playstation light gun. Maybe in the future if I run across a better one I'll pick it up though. I'm sure I'm can get a light gun for a fair price somewhere...hopefully. XD

I love stores that sell classic games because it's so fun to look at them. Usually those guys who work in those type of stores are actually pretty cool and know what they're talking about (at least in my experiences with the stores that sell retro games). However, I completely forgot about EB Games/Gamestop when making this thread. When it comes to Gamestop, I avoid it like the plague myself. Gamestop just irritates me, especially since they shove their Game Informer and Power card thing or whatever it is down your throat. I know they are pushed to sell the things, but it's still annoying. I unfortunately ended up walking out with both the stupid magazine subscription and the stupid power card thing around a week ago.

Story was, I ended up having to go to Gamestop to preorder a game. I could just have preordered off of Amazon like I normally do with newer games these days, but the particular game I wanted to preorder, DmC: Devil May Cry, has a Vergil DLC for free thing going on if you preorder the game from them. So I knew I'd unfortunately have to go to Gamestop and preorder the stupid game. The guy kept talking to me and I finally gave in and got the stupid card when all I wanted was to preorder my game. >__>

Now, I never had a problem with EB Games. But my EB Games back in my hometown back in the day had an amazing manager, and still does (even if they are Gamestop now). They had the best ratings in the district apparently around a year ago (I tried to apply for a job there, glad I didn't get it actually). That doesn't surprise me since that is the only Gamestop I never minded going to since the guys were always super nice and never annoyed me.

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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Sonic# » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:59 pm

I know a few board members have worked at game stores in the past.

I don't often go to stores, a combination of being a poor graduate student and spending most of my time on my studies, social life, and games. When I do, the game store in the mall is a mainstay, trumped only by a bookshop. (A mall that lacks both of these things is not worth my time.)

I used to go to them more frequently. I liked the variety, the chance of running across a rarer older game. One time, I went to a game store in a mall I didn't ordinarily go to (in Nashville), and found Xenogears. Another time, years after its release, I found a lightly used copy of the Arc the Lad Collection, complete with inserts.

The people were also a reason for going when they were sharp and kind. I've always known what I was looking for or have preferred to browse, but there have been a couple of occasions where they actually did help me save money.

The spaces though have always been rather tacky, and that's gotten worse over the years. I remember the sparse layout of the Babbages, games laid neatly with their front boxes faced outwards, so that I could see each one. Earthbound, Sonic & Knuckles... Then I remember the clutter when the 32-bit systems came in, and they really took to used games. All the PC peripherals. It's gotten even more cluttered in most places I've seen since - a wall of boxes without any space in between, trays full of used games, and at some lucky stores the smelly residue of years of traffic. (Or in one memorable case, the Subway which owned the space before the Gamestop.) When I went to the UK, I noticed much the same thing with the few game stores I went to.

I'll keep going on occasion, because I believe that in-person storefronts fulfill certain needs and expectations that an online storefront by design cannot do, but I don't really like them as stores. I like them most for what they have to offer: selection, convenience, expertise.
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Dragonmaster Lou
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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Dragonmaster Lou » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:41 pm

Generally, I'll only go to a gaming store if I happen to already be in the mall/shopping center/etc., and want to browse the used game selection for the random bargain diamond in the rough that I may have missed. Typically it's a case where I'm with my spousal overunit and she wants to go shop for something I don't care about, I'll tell her "let me check out the game store and I'll meet you when we're both done."

If I'm buying new, I almost always buy online.
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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby GhaleonOne » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:00 am

We've had Game Xchanges here in Wichita since at least 1999. Way back then me and my buddy went in there a lot. We knew an employee who used to get us good deals and let us know when rare stuff came in that we would want. Sadly, I haven't been in a game store in probably 5-6 years at this point. I haven't played a new RPG in years... lack of time has killed my gaming habits in recent times.
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Dragonmaster Lou
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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Dragonmaster Lou » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:19 pm

GhaleonOne wrote:We've had Game Xchanges here in Wichita since at least 1999. Way back then me and my buddy went in there a lot. We knew an employee who used to get us good deals and let us know when rare stuff came in that we would want. Sadly, I haven't been in a game store in probably 5-6 years at this point. I haven't played a new RPG in years... lack of time has killed my gaming habits in recent times.

I hear ya. I have a huge backlog myself... I'm hoping to get more into it...
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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Alunissage » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:39 am

Dark_Fairy wrote:I guess it's a good thing I passed on that Elemental Gearbolt right now since I don't have a Playstation light gun. Maybe in the future if I run across a better one I'll pick it up though. I'm sure I'm can get a light gun for a fair price somewhere...hopefully. XD

I'd forgotten we have this until I ran across it earlier today. It supports the Dual Shock (analog and non-); no light gun required. Granted, I've never played it (shooters are SO not my thing), so I can't say how playable it is with a regular controller.

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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Dark_Fairy » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:35 am

Alunissage wrote:I'd forgotten we have this until I ran across it earlier today. It supports the Dual Shock (analog and non-); no light gun required. Granted, I've never played it (shooters are SO not my thing), so I can't say how playable it is with a regular controller.


Oh, that's actually good to know. If I have trouble finding a light gun if I ever decide to get Elemental Gearbolt in the future, then I could always use the controller. Granted, I would probably want to play it with the light gun since the controls would probably be awkward with the controller.

On an unrelated note, I picked up a Puyo Puyo game for the Super Famicom, Pokemon Trading Card Game for the Gameboy, and Resident Evil 2 for the N64 at Game X Change today. Resident Evil 2 is a gift for my dad (who has currently stolen my copy of Resident Evil 4). It's an early Christmas present for him. :P

Of course, I only spent around $20. If I had more money, I would have spent more since their prices for stuff are actually slightly cheaper than online. But being a college student rips the money out of you 99% of the time. I somewhat feel your pain, Sonic#. Except you have it worse being a grad student.

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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby parappa » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:24 am

I live in Vancouver, Canada and it seems like the independent game store industry here more or less died along with the big game studios. Since 2008 we lost EA Black Box, Backbone, Propaganda, UbiSoft Vancouver, and Radical almost closed (which is almost impossible to imagine! they were one of the first big games studios to open here) but it seems like they've been turned into Bungie Vancouver. Slant Six Game has pulled out of console dev (their last game was Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City) and is focusing on mobile games now. I'm sure I've missed some.

I used to shop at a Play N Trade on West 4th, but it shut down after less than a year. I think that was in 2009. There was a used game shop near Gastown called Cheeky Monkey, but he went out of business after a year around the same time. Then Gamedeals tried opening a Gastown location, which made me incredibly happy--I even scored a cheap copy of Castle Shikigami 2 there, and a copy of Tenka Fubu for Sega CD--but they shut it down within months and moved everything back to their location in New Westminster. Even the freakin' EB Games in Pacific Center mall closed. I guess after EA Black Box left the area, they weren't getting enough business just from tourists and such.

Mostly I try to buy my games from the EB Games near Cambie and West Broadway. The staff is friendly and they all recognize me now. I'd prefer to deal with a more independent shop but there are none left. Also I try to buy my movies from Videomatica on W 4th instead of ordering them on Amazon all of the time, but it's a losing battle. Retail is a dying relic and I'm just living in the past, I guess.

Back in 2005 I used to live in Edmonton, Alberta and I shopped at the EB Games in Edmonton Center mall there all of the time. I was seriously in there like three times a week. They had amazing staff and it was the best run EB Games I've ever been in. I haven't been back there since, but a friend of mine in Edmonton told me that some of the same staff are there, last I heard.

I love what digital distribution is doing for the games industry in terms of empowering developers to self-publish and helping smaller scale game projects to find an audience. But I do miss / will miss the experience of going to a real game store and browsing.

Loosely related: one of the craziest game purchases I ever made was buying a lot of 100 used Japanese PS1 games from this eBay store,

http://stores.ebay.ca/Hit-Japan-Video-Games-and-Anime

If I remember right, it was about $100 + $80 shipping, or some such. Getting that was like Christmas, although it cluttered up my place a whole lot. I got Japanese versions of Xenogears and Dragon Quest VII out of that, as well as some JRPGs that never got localized for North America. I also got something like five different Pawafuru Puro Kyaku baseball games in it, a copy of Konbini 2, and of course a bunch of horse racing and slot machine games. I'd say about half of the titles in it were stuff I was actually interested in, although even playing a dull game tends to be more fun if it's in Japanese because you have the added challenge of trying to figure out what is going on.

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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby Imperial Knight » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:24 am

I don't shop at game stores all that often any more since I just have less time for gaming nowadays, but I used to frequent them more in the past. Especially during the late PS1 era I would love to go and look around for used games that I had missed out on. I found several gems that way (at the moment, Grandia comes to mind). Really most of my experiences at game stores were pretty positive. Most of the salespeople I encountered weren't too pushy, and would listen to a polite "no" (a good tip that applies to retail in general: in my experience it's better not to give a reason why you don't want X, they're trained to overcome objections).

That all having been said, I have heard all kinds of ridiculous stories from others about trips to game stores. One of my favorites is from a friend of mine who had to endure the salesperson aggressively pushing a warranty on a used game whose price was double that of the game itself.

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Re: Gaming Stores

Postby soup or man » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:40 am

For new stuff I usually go to EB or Amazon. But there's a local game shop here where I live called The Lost Ark. And it's probably the best video game shop I've ever been to. The carry everything from the Odyssey to current-gen games, systems and accessories. There's an entire section dedicated to imports, too. You can also find action figures, strategy guides, old gaming magazines... and kinds of stuff. What I really like is that they price their used games based on condition and how complete it is. Oh, and part of the store is an arcade. I play the old Star Wars game and Street Fighter III: Third Strike every time I go in there. Awesome place.


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