Saturday, June 11, 2016

Not this again, Salvation Army Thrift Stores!

It's time I give up on Salvation Army thrift stores. A place that once gave me such joy to peruse the shelves of bric-a-brac and yielded me some truly great finds. After going to the Goodwill Outlet blowout sale I decided to stop by and see what Salvation Army could offer. Immediately I am greeted by the sight of a Retro Port Adapter, which allows the user to play NES games on their SNES, through this adapter.

Retailing for $20, sometimes less or only slightly more, I wasn't really interested in it, as I have no need for such a gimmicky device, but if Salvation Army is going to give it to me for a few bucks I may as well buy it just to have. Well this was not to be as Salvation Army slapped a $39.99 price tag on it. First of all it was given to Salvation Army, so any price is pure profit. Secondly this is twice the price of retail, which a thrift store is NOT a retail store.

I used to love Salvation Army as they really didn't care what items sold for, and we both reaped the benefits. Salvation Army's organization got my money and I walked away with a bag of geeky goodness that I took home, cleaned, used and remembered where I got it, with pride. Now I walk into Salvation Army thrift stores and I walk out defeated, humiliated for even walking in, and most of the times laughing at the insane prices they will tag on almost quite literally junk.

We've had some good times together Salvation Army thrift stores, but at this point it's time we part ways. I could give you the cheesy breakup line, but the truth is, in this case, it is you and not me. Good luck selling things at twice the price of retails, and even if you do have fun knowing you fucked over some unknowing customers for your charitable organization.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Patience is key!

If there is one thing I never managed to learn in life it would be patience. I consider myself among the least patient people in the world, to the point where immediately after I make a purchase off Amazon I check incessantly for a tracking number to check incessantly. It does seem, however, that the Goodwill outlet store is slowly teaching me how to be patient, or perhaps it's just my waning memory.

Years ago I would pick up any empty case I could, simply because I hoped I would someday find the game that went along with that case and then have a complete copy. In many cases this has happened, yet in many cases it hasn't. Also I would pick up things such as loose game manuals in the hopes of finding the game in the case without the manual, again, giving me a complete copy of said game.

Many years ago I picked a manual for Super Smash Bros. Melee, which at the time the manual alone was averaging $15 sold on ebay. I figured, if nothing else, I would sell the manual and just simply buy something else that I wanted, or put those funds back into the Goodwill outlet store and possible find another somewhere down the road.

When I found the disc for Super Smash Bros. Melee at the Goodwill outlet store I swore I had the case, but not the manual. When I got home and checked my empty Gamecube case collection I found I was incorrect, in fact I had the manual and not the case. This leads me to believe that I'm not learning patience, rather, I'm simply forgetting what all I have and therefore things come at their own pace and I simply accept them when they arrive.

Now I just need to forget that I own both the game and the manual until I can find an empty case for them to reside in. Sadly, after playing a little bit of Super Smash Bros. Melee for the first time (yes the first time) I don't see it likely that I'll forget I own either. Let's just hope I run into an empty case for the game sooner than later, but no matter when it comes I'll finally be glad that I pieced together a complete copy.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Scraps of Gold!

I love the Goodwill outlet store, but it seems as though I'm picking up the scraps left in the wake of the madness from the more seasoned veterans. Even though it feels like I'm picking up the scraps, I seem to be picking up scraps of gold! This is partly down to knowing what you're looking for, and a little bit of people just overlooking things that I'm willing to look deeper into.

PC games are often overlooked, I think because nobody really wants to take the time and fiddle around with PC games, no matter how complete it may be. This allows me to swoop in and pick up PC games on the extreme cheap and figure out if they're worth playing later. Besides the Nascar Racing 2003 Season that I picked up last month, another example is Axis and Allies, two completely different games made by both Hasbro and Atari using the same name. It seems both versions are fairly sought after, of which I'll only be keeping the Atari version because it looks like a mix between Age of Empires and WWII.

Opening cases and checking inside has paid off too! What I originally thought was just an empty sleeve for Wii Sports actually still had the disc inside, and where the manual should have been was a roughed up copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube, which still kind of works. I am concerned about the damage on Super Smash Bros. Melee, but it hopefully isn't too damaged.

Saturday was the Goodwill Outlet Blowout sale and I'm pretty excited about what I got. I also checked a Goodwill store and found two Sega Saturn pack-in games. If you know what you're looking for, even scraps can eventually amount to quite a good haul, sometimes it's the smaller scraps of gold that turn out to be worth more than the large scraps of copper people are hunting.

Goodwill sale day highlights
Sadly Sonic Adventures doesn't work, which can be common with Dreamcast games, but for now Super Smash does work. For the price I paid I'm not concerned with the looks of Super Smash or that Sonic Adventures, even though it looks almost brand new, doesn't. The real thrill was finding these things out from under people's noses and adding them to my collection.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Radica Sega Genesis Plug n Play Sound Fix

DISCLAIMER: I am not the originator of this modification. These are not my instructions, I am merely showing that I did the mod and expressing my opinions on the results. Your results may vary, please don't drink and drive, please solder while in a well ventilated room and eat your vegetables an hour before going swimming,etc.

The Radica Plug n Play Sega Genesis was a quick cash grab at the ever growing popularity in the market for retro video games. It was also a buzzing earache to those who bought it and were anything familiar with how the original Sega Genesis sounded. I didn't mind so much, as I only bought them for the sake of having them, not necessarily for the purpose of constant use.

As it goes with the internet age there are many people out there who are willing to quickly aid in solving problems. Such is the mod that fixes the sound for this thing.

The mod is fairly simple, if you know what you're doing, but the parts are extremely small. I was reluctant to give this mod a try, but once I had pushed L3 off the board with my soldering iron I suppose it was too late to back out now. Lucky for me everything went smoothly and the results are AMAZING.

I'm telling you, these components are tiny!
I found information on this mod through The 8-bit Guy's tutorial. Keep in mind there is a real chance to damage the system, but if you're patient and persistent this mod is fairly easy and, again, the results are well worth the time and effort. Before the mod the sound was far too loud, and the biggest detail was you simply couldn't hear Sonic's jumping sound. After the mod the volume seems much lower, although you can turn up the TV and be just fine because now everything sounds much more like the original Sega Genesis hardware.