Saturday, January 18, 2014

Game Hunting EP 10 - Vacation Hunting !!!

Welcome back to another Final Boss episode of Game Hunting, but this time things are a bit different...

I'm currently on vacation with the family visiting the Inlaws, and I figured since I didn't bring any retro games with me to review why not hunt for some ? Now don't worry I'm getting plenty of gaming in on the Gold 3DS XL with Zelda A Link Between Worlds. Now I could have just downloaded a classic title off the Nintendo eShop with its great selection of hits but that's too easy.

I decided to go into unfamiliar territory and Retro Game Hunt in Sarasota Florida. Upon arrival in Florida I scoped out Craigslist and found some great deals.... and some not so great (people think eBay is a price guide). While looking again on the second day I kept coming across an Craigslist posting for what looked like a Retro Gaming shop called Sparky's. The shop seemed well stocked according to the posting but….. one can never be too sure and the location was only 7.5 miles away which in Florida is equal to down the block, well not really but it is close. I grabbed a set of expensive keys from the Inlaws and shot out on the unknown roads to hunt down some games !! 

Twenty minutes later and I was in the parking lot of the shopping center that is home to Sparky's, Sarasota's Newest Retro Gaming Shop ! I say Newest as it's only been open a couple of weeks. The shops owner Sergio greeted me as I walked in to the large retail space and mentioned that they were still getting the layout down and stock moved on to the floor but I saw plenty of things that grabbed my attention before the door closed behind me. 

First thing that drew me in was the large selection of Retro Consoles displayed openly on the back wall. I was excited to see so many consoles N64s, PSOnes, GameCubes, Dreamcast, Genesis and more. After eyeballing the consoles condition and pricing I knew I had found a legit Retro Game Shop.

My attention moved to the closest display cases which were well stocked with many key NES titles like Ninja Gaiden, Super Mario, and both 8-bit Legend of Zelda classics all labeled with very fair prices. Next I scoped out the SNES carts to see what I might play on my most recently acquired console (read here) thats waiting for me back in New York. Sparky's had many tempting Super Nintendo titles but not the ones I was looking for and with good reason, apparently I had missed Super Castlevaina, Chrono Trigger and a bunch more "must owns" by only a day as another hunter had come in and bought up the most sought after carts. Damn you faceless competitor !!!!

Once Sergio saw I was very interested in all the stock I introduced my self and we got talking all things retro when suddenly he disappeared into the back and returned with a Neo Geo AES System with a copy of Garou Densetsu 2 aka Fatal Fury 2. I resisted the urge to pull out the credit card and not try and stuff a Neo Geo console in my wife's carry on bag.

In the next display I saw a few Game Boy Advance systems priced to own and generation one DS and 3DS handhelds. Game Boy and GBA games also had the very tempting prices I was getting comfortable seeing and I found myself again wanting to buy up half the stock. Games like Super Mario Land 1 & 2, Pokemon Yellow and Zelda DX are just a few of what was calling out my name. Gamecube, PS2, N64 & the Genesis titles were as well not helping narrow down my decision making.

Sergio was even nice enough to pull out some more new stock outta the back and I ran my hands over more great NES classics from my childhood like Willow, Ultima and the all too familiar Ikari Warriors (read here)  and even some more tempting Tengen Black carts like Guantlet and Pacman. I even saw another old favorite of mine on the Atari 2600 "Dark Caverns". More recent generation console games like Xbox, Wii and Xbox360 games lined the front cases but we all know my style. A very nice large selection of Retro reproduction controllers is also displayed along the wall.

Surrounded by so many great items it was hard to make a final purchase but…...ultimately I was offered some deals I couldn't refuse. A complete Original Sega Genesis at the great price of 30 bucks and a SNES Super Game Boy and Mega Man 2 on Game Boy for 10 dollars made this drive well worth the gamble. I look forward to returning in the year and seeing how the shop has grown and hopefully ill score some of those choice SNES titles next time.

If you live in the Sarasota area or just passing thru on the way to Tampa be sure and stop by Sparky's for some Retro Gaming goodness and say hi to Sergio.  Sparky's is located at 5856 14th St. West Bradenton FL 34207 call for Hours @(941)243-3987

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