Monday, 4 June 2012

Cross-Country Retro Adventure

According to the rest of the world the Netherlands is comprised of a single city, Amsterdam, where everyone is high and prostitutes dance day and night in their windows just to please passers by. Additionally, when anyone finds out I live in the Netherlands they invariably base their opinion of the country on what their uncle told them of his trip to Amsterdam for his best friend's stag do. Well, I don't live in Amsterdam, I don't even live close to Amsterdam and for the entirety of my stay I had never even set foot in the place, until yesterday, because I found out there was a retro game shop there 'Game Over?'

So off we went, my girlfriend and I, on the long, two hour cross-country train journey all the way from my quiet, southerly town of Roermond, up to the hustle and bustle of the big bad capital itself to visit the shop and have a good nosey around. Along with seeing two bums fight, a swan make a nest out of rubbish, and bumping into way too many British people, I actually picked up a few pretty cool things as well as seeing a few retro items that were unfortunately out of my price range.

Space Harrier II, Biohazard Battle and Ranger X

Game Over? had many, many interesting things including Vectrexs, a boxed Japanese Mega Drive, a 32X, an Asian PAL Mega Drive II and Sega CD II, a boxed white Japanese Saturn, an unboxed copy of Wily Wars, loads of Japanese Super Famicom games and the rarest of all, the Sega Mark III. The Sega Mark III is the precursor to the Master System and is essentially the same thing, but it is also able to play game cards from Sega's first home console, the SGS-1000. As such, it is a console that even the greatest Sega fan would be lucky to own but is unfortunately very scarce. The fellow in the shop, whom had an awesome Sega tattoo on his forearm, told me that his boss spends 6 months a year in Japan purchasing games and consoles to sell in Game Over? and in the last 6 years he had only ever seen two Sega Mark IIIs, one of which I saw with my very own eyes.

Taken from Wikipedia.

Being the penniless so-and-so I am, I had to be realistic and left the shop with an unboxed copy of Biohazard Battle and the visually impressive USA version of Ranger X. Space Harrier II I bought boxed with no manual in the same day from a shop in Breda I've talked about before, Foregames. From the same shop I bought a back issue of Edge I'd been looking for with both a feature on Metroid Prime 2, one of the greatest games I've ever played, as well as legendary Japanese developers, Treasure.

While in Amsterdam I managed to stumble across two different comic book shops including one named Henk where I managed to find complete sets of my favourite comic series, The Authority. I don't talk about comics much as I don't consider myself a serious comic reader, but I do have my favourites, The Authority being my highest rated super hero series. These two collections comprise two of three of my favourite The Authority stories, More Kev and the Magnificent Kevin where a retired SAS officer manages to get involved with the better-world building super heroes that comprise The Authority, with hilarious consequences.

All in all, the journey was a nice little adventure for me and my girlfriend, whom managed to find her own gaming bargain in her new Japanese exclusive, Bandai WonderSwan and two games. So, thanks for reading as always and I'll leave you with a photo of myself standing in front of two hobos fighting. Although you can't really see all that much, I promise you they're there as there's no other way you'd get such a natural smirk on my face in a photograph.


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