A slice of normal: Game shops in 2020

The year 2020 nixed all of my efforts to attend gaming events and go to arcades, but the one activity that still persevered in a limited capacity was being able to travel to area shops to look for retro goods. I only visited these areas when something else was scheduled, such as medical appointments for the family, but it still allowed me multiple chances to see what was available in the wild.

 Thankfully the retro stock has been healthy in the area, as I tend to alternate between the shops Allied Record Exchange, Re-Play and Flotsam Games and each had something to offer throughout the year. Through 2020, I would say my favorite pickups in the wild have been:

*Fighters’ Impact (PS1)
*Rockman World 5 (GB JPN version)
*Monster Rancher Hop-A-Bout (PS1)
*Evolution Snowboarding (PS2)
*Ashita no Joe [in box, thanks to my wife for picking it up] (Super Famicom)
*Totally Unauthorized Primage Rage strategy guide
*Robo Pit [in box] (Saturn)
*Cyber Sled [in box] (PS1)
*Ice Hockey [in box] (NES)
*WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game [in box] (Saturn)
*Virtua Stick [in box] (Saturn accessory)
*Actraiser 2 (SNES)
*SEGA Classics Collection (PS2)

I tried to balance my spending throughout the year, and, thinking back, there are two items that I let slip through my fingers, hoping they would be there the next time. One was a combination package of Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom for the Nintendo Wii bundled with the official fight stick for the game at $40; and the other being a reproduction cart and box of Mega Man: Wily Wars for the SEGA Genesis (it was either $30 or $40). Before all of the COVID regulations, I was at C2E2 in February and a booth had a cart of Rockman 7 at $20, but that was also gone before I could arrange to pick it up. It’s all good, though, as it gives me more reasons to hunt down the Mega Man games when the time comes!

At the same time, I also grabbed a handful of current games as I could, including:

*Sakura Wars (PS4)
*Disaster Report 4 (Switch)
*Devil May Cry 5 (PS4)
*Tekken 7 (PS4)
*Crash Bandicoot 4 (PS4)
*Mad Rat Dead (PS4)
*One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 (PS4)
*Umihara Kawase Bazooka! (Switch)
*Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PS4)
*Heroland (Switch)
*No Straight Roads (Switch)
*Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection (Switch)
*Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

At this point, I’ve only been able to check out Crash Bandicoot 4, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, No Straight Roads and Animal Crossing. This year is definitely going to be one where I spend time on the PS4 and Switch, as, essentially, anything I’ve purchased for the PS4 and Switch over the past two years is piling up in my backlog!

Over the years I’ve gravitated away from picking up a retro game on the sole basis of not owning it. These days I need to have some sort of attachment or interest in the game. Still, I love the sight of games piled onto a store shelf. I tend to take photos of these displays and share them, as people like to pick out games of interest they find thrown into the mix. As such, here is a collection of video game sections from the stores I was able to visit this year. Enjoy the photos and be sure to support your local shops!

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Categories: GemuBaka Feature, GemuBaka Random


Arcade enthusiast and game collector. Affiliate Twitch retro streamer and games archive writer at Gemubaka (http://gemubaka.com). For business only: gemubaka at gmail


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