Towards the end of the last week I get a random email from Gamestop with something about a free game in the subject line. To quickly sum up, Gamestop was giving away download codes for the PC game StoneLoops of Jurassica – just print out the UPC code, bring it to the store and a download code will be printed on a receipt.
Although I have yet to install it, it looks a lot like Popcap’s Zuma (which I already own on XBLA). In my theory, this is GS’s way of trying to get their software installed on machines for secret marketing purposes. But this is beside the point…
While standing at the front counter waiting for my redemption code receipt, I noticed the small box of clearance GBA games. But unlike the 50% off sign that I saw a couple weeks ago, it has been updated to 75% off! Also, an additional 10% off when using the PowerUp Rewards card. That is 85% off these already clearance priced games. For bargain bin scroungers like me, this is a wonderful opportunity to fill in the gaps in personal library collections.
Although I visited three local GS’s, only two were still selling GBA games and one store I had to ask about it… and the store clerk almost didn’t let me look at their GBA stock because they were in a drawer and not in any type of box display. My simple argument of “well can you please take them out of the drawer so I can see them anyway” won the debate even though the clerk was a little gruff about it.
Here is what a picked up:
Shaman King: Sprinting Wolf – $1.13
Ecks Vs Sever (x2) – $0.67
Sum of all Fears – $0.67
Rave Master: Special Attack Force – $0.67
Phinobee: Wings of Adventure – $0.67
Rebalstar Tactical Command – $0.90
NFL Blitz 2003 – $0.67
Motocross Maniacs Adv – $1.35
Kim Possible 3 – $0.90
Kim Possible 2 – $1.13
Lord of the Rings Return of the King – $1.13
Crash Bandicoot: Huge Adventure – $2.25
Mazes of Fate – $2.25
Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow – $1.35
SD Gundam Force – $1.13
Gundam Seed Battle Assault – $1.13
Phantasy Star Collection – $1.13
Sword of Mana – $2.25
Britney’s Dance Beat – $0.90
Konami Collector’s Series Arcade – $0.90
Texas Hold’em Poker – $0.45
Spy Hunter/Super Spring Compilation – $0.90
Alex Rider: Stormbreaker – $1.13
Metabots AX: Rokusho Version – $0.90
Iridion 3D – $0.23
Total – 25 Games for $29.05
Ok, so I am sure you noticed that there are some questionable choices in this lot, but hear me out.
In combination of my already owned copy of Ecks Vs Sever, I now have 3 copies total. For 67-cents, I figured I could spare this change at a slim chance that I might be able to play multiplayer linking mode with this title someday. While I think Duke Nukem Advance is the best FPS on GBA, Ecks Vs Sever isn’t that bad considering it was one of the first, if not the first, FPS on the system, even better than the sequel Ballistic.
The Sum of All Fears might share the same name with the movie but this is basically a sequel to the GBA version of Rainbow 6. In a four-man squad, the player must sneak in and take down terrorists using a highly confusing button combination system – basically every button can be used with another button to perform an action. With this said, there is quite a heavy learning curve but I find it to be more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be even after all these years; I played the original GBA Rainbow 6 when it was first released for the system. Just like Ecks, I also spared the change for this game in hopes of finding another copy for one day experiencing its multiplayer option.
While I have not tested all these games in my DS Lite yet, Phinobee unfortunately does not work. Upon examining the electronic circuit board in the open end of the cart, a small chunk of it is missing. But given that this title was basically a launch game for the system, my bet is that it was owned by a youngster who traded it in and it has been getting abused at the bottom of the storage drawer at GS for all these years. Similarly, I was excited to find the Phantasy Star Collection for a dollar but the label is extremely warped; hopefully it still works. And apparently this copy of Konami Collector Arcade belonged to a Corey Ortega.
Kim Possible is a great example of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Yes, it is geared towards little girls based on the TV show of yesteryear, but it is actually a surprisingly good platformer. I remember playing these games back in the day and enjoying them way more than I thought I would. And like all these other games that I bought, who can go wrong for a buck?
I also bought LotR Two Towers a couple weeks ago too. I bought RotK in hopes of finding another copy for potentially playing two-player co-op mode. This Balder’s Gate style action RPG was a blessing at the time but I am not sure how well it holds up today.
I already own Sword of Mana and actually played my way through it when it was first launched many years ago. However, there was a linking co-op mode that I was never able to experience due to lack of a second copy. While I am pretty sure it is not a true real-time co-op game, I know there is some type of multiplayer feature. I bought this second copy in hopes of finding out one day, being the Mana fan that I am.
Britney’s Dance Beat. Yeah, I bought this as a joke. I just had too. And I already own a copy of Konami’s Collection Arcade Series but now I can play multipack-link mode instead of the limiting single-pak link.
There are a couple more Gamestops in the neighboring area that I am aiming to explore over the next couple days. Even though everything is pretty much picked over, I think it is still worth a shot given the fact that most of these games are under a dollar now.
I encourage you to check out your local stock and do it soon as one of the Gamestop reps mentioned that they are soon to be “sending them back,” whatever that means. And besides GBA games, I also noticed a sign that GS will no longer be taking GC’s for trade. Just like their GC 50% off sale a few weeks ago, I am hoping for a clearance sale in these titles too.
Hit me up on the Twitter if you find yourself a worthy GBA bin deal.