Memorial Day Weekend Orlando Trip: Jarrod’s Pickup Story
The weekend started with Chandler, Mason and I all piling in the car to make the three hour drive up to Orlando. My expectations weren’t very high for game finds, I was just excited about a road trip and hanging with good friends while filming for Retro Gaming Bits.
I couldn’t have imagined what I was going to find.
On the route that I take to get to Orlando, there’s a Goodwill that I usually visit. I’ve found some cool stuff there before, so I usually make it a point to stop and take a look. The three of us walk in and go straight to the glass counter with the games inside. At first glance I saw a few stacks of Xbox games, tons of Just Dance 2014’s for Wii U, and some sports titles on the Wii and PS2. Nothing worth getting excited over.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some jewel cases sandwiched between DVDs and computer game boxes. I bent down to see if the spines were visible, and I saw it. Staring at me were the words Power Stone 2. My heart just about jumped out of my chest. I couldn’t believe that I had just found a copy of Power Stone 2 at a freaking Goodwill store in the middle of pretty much nowhere. I didn’t even care what other games were in the stack at the moment, I just new that I had to get Power Stone.
When the clerk came over and pulled the stack of games out, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Resident Evil Code: Veronica and Fur Fighters (with the lenticular cover, I might add) were amongst the games there. If I had more money at the time, I probably would have just gotten all of the Dreamcast games. It’s hard to find Dreamcast games for the low price of $4 a piece.
I really enjoy collecting Dreamcast games. They aren’t very plentiful out in the wild, at least not where I look. 8-Bit Hall of Fame has a pretty big selection, so that’s always good to see. I like collecting for the Dreamcast because it seems like very few people do. Most gamers just get the system and pirate all of their games. Jewel cases were the thing when I got into gaming, so I have a soft spot for systems that use them for their games. Plus, I have quite a few memories of playing Dreamcast with my best friend, Dustin, before his system was stolen.
Anyways, my intuition was right and our first stop was a major success. I know I’ve been kind of harping on the point that I found Power Stone 2, but I got it for FOUR DOLLARS. If this was just the beginning, my expectations for the rest of the trip had completely changed by this point.
After fighting a little bit of traffic at the end of our trek, we finally made it to Johnny’s apartment and kinda sorta gloated about the finds. Johnny gets deals all the time, so it was my turn to shine anyways. We then kick off our time in Orlando by heading down to Cybertron Video Games.
After looking around for a little bit, I make my way over to the NES games. Ever
since Johnny got his copy of Street Fighter 2010 and we played it together, I have been searching for my own copy. They happened to have one, and even though the label is a little messed up on the top the $5 price tag was enough to convince me. I finish up my Cybertron purchase by grabbing Maximo Ghosts to Glory and Max Payne on the PS2.
I’ve been wanting to play the Max Payne series after watching Caddicarus’ retrospective on the series. I love his channel, and if you haven’t seen his retrospectives then you’re missing out. Here’s the one on the Max Payne series.
Things were going pretty well so far. We grabbed a bite to eat and set our sights on another store we frequent, Gamer’s Inc. This place is usually pretty hit or miss. Sometimes I find things for pretty good prices, other times they either have nothing I want or have everything I want for ridiculous prices. I was feeling pretty good when we walked in, though. I had already found Power Stone 2 that day, I was bound and determined to find something there as well.
I looked around the store for a while without finding anything. I knew it was just because I had overlooked something, so I went to the PS2 section (I always seem to find PS2 games to buy, I must have a fondness for the system). Well, I found something. Something I had been looking for, too. The original Gungrave. It’s not anything rare, but I had been looking for it ever since last September and had passed on it a few times. It was a decent price, so I went ahead and grabbed it. I’m looking forward to playing the series now, the tutorial stage on the second one was pretty cool and I can imagine what the actual gameplay is going to be like.
At this point we headed back to Johnny’s place to play Super Smash Bros for the rest of the night. I’ve taken a fondness to Ganondorf and have gotten rather good at suiciding with the flame choke move. It’s very satisfying to pull off, and no one was even mad whenever I would pull it off because we were all too busy laughing about it and having a good time.
The following morning we shot some footage for a Retro Gaming Bits episode and decided to hit up a couple of places. I’ll spare you the details and say I didn’t get anything until we finally finished up at GameStop. I’ve had some pretty good luck at this particular location before, so I was hoping my luck hadn’t run out yet. I ended up leaving with both No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2, and was pretty happy. Both are pretty good games and I got them for about $5 a piece.
Mason had to work the next day, so we left a little early to make sure we didn’t hit the rush hour traffic leaving Orlando. I had a smile on my face and was ready to get home and add all of these awesome finds to collection.
However, that wasn’t the end of it.
There is a Walmart in Wauchula, FL where I got my original PS2 memory card (I
still have it, too). I spent a good month or so after I got my PS2 back in 2000 without a memory card because nowhere in Fort Myers had any. On a family trip to Orlando, we stopped at this Walmart to get some snacks and such, but I ended up finding a memory card and it was a great feeling. As we drew closer to the town, I said, “Why not? My luck has been good so far, maybe they have some amiibo.” Which they did. I got myself a Samus which I haven’t seen in Fort Myers for some time now.
Wauchula is about the half-way mark between Orlando and Fort Myers on the route that I take, so I had more time to think while driving since Chandler was busy on social media and Mason was playing Super Smash Bros on his 3DS. I remembered not looking at those stacks of Xbox games at the Goodwill where I found the Dreamcast games. It started eating away at me. What if there was another great find to be had? What if they had put out some new stuff? We had to stop again.
We walked inside, and I notice that the stacks are arranged differently, I can see different games on the top and different ones are on the corner so I can read the spines. I start going through the list, and wouldn’t you know it, I came across Stubbs The Zombie. That sealed it. I am always going to stop at that Goodwill. I found two sought after games there in the span of two days. They were perfect book ends to this trip. Along with Stubbs I also picked up Serious Sam on the Xbox and Chandler grabbed a complete copy of Star Wars X-Wing, his one find of the trip.
All and all, it was such a great time. The feeling of randomly coming across rare and sought after games is worth all of the times you don’t find anything. The only things I spent more than $10 on were Gungrave and the Samus amiibo, which made me and my wallet quite happy. However, on Friday Splatoon and the fourth wave of SSB amiibo along with the new Splatoon amiibo come out, so it’s going to be pretty light for a while. Now, I just have to stop fantasizing about having a pinball machine. You’ll see why I do when the pinball episode of Retro Gaming Bits goes up.