Some Good News, and……

Well, some of you may remember the post in which I talked about a retro gaming mega-store here in Japan with one of the biggest ranges I have seen anywhere. If not you can take a look at it here:

Retro Gaming Store in Japan

Anyway I had a few minutes over lunch today, so why not head out before the golden week rush for a “junk” run right? I am extremely happy I took the time, as it seems that this shop (the mega-store of all mega-stores in my area) had reduced the prices of all the retro games to sell – this is the good news if you’re wondering. Prices were all the same regardless of titles too! Knowing the stock of this place, the bargains people would have gotten before me would have been insane.

The bad news is that it looks as if they are taking focus away from retro all together. ๐Ÿ™ Shelving has reduced in size, with some shelves even have disappeared since I was last there. This is sad, sad news for the long term as this place was (past tense used with great sorrow) a goldmine…..

So today I went out in a blaze of glory with over 300 games purchased in one go. Here are a few pics:

Japanese games 1

Japanese games 2

Japanese games 3

I did speak with the guy behind the counter asking why there were reductions in prices, and he answered “they were always this price”. Um, no they weren’t. I was there only a week or so ago and they weren’t this cheap. I will go in again soon and ask someone else. I seriously hope they are just making space for more stock, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like it. ๐Ÿ™

Japanese games 4

Japanese games 5

So as you can see I cleaned up on PCE, MegaCD, 3DO, NGCD, Saturn, and DC. The amount of cool DC and NGCD games I would have missed out on though….

It really is a time of great sadness even though I got so many great games. I feel totally torn – on the one hand I got some great games that I have been after for a while, but on the other hand this place may cease to exist!

I will keep you posted….. ๐Ÿ™

Retro Gaming Store in Japan

There is the quaint little retro gaming store in Japan that sells the odd Famicom cart, the occasional Saturn disk, or even a few systems or two, then there are super-ultra stores like the one I am going to show you today.

This particular shop is about 20 minutes from my house, and it’s one of the biggest places I’ve ever seen here for retro gaming gear. There are others that are similar in size, but this shop actually has prices you want to pay. It is almost set up like a supermarket with isles, a little basket to carry around, and even a taster section with four or five systems setup for people to play.

Before I put any photos up, it has to be said that people managing stores in Japan are very reluctant to have photos taken. I took as many photos as I could, but it was impossible to get photos of everything. I missed not only the hardware section, but also the PS2, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis), MegaCD, Saturn (the list goes on actually) and most of the boxed games sections.

Anyway, now onto the photos….

I would love to get my hands on this giant Mario – Hmmm that sounds slightly odd now that I think about it. ๐Ÿ˜€


One of the loose Famicom cart Isles (pictured bellow). Yes I say ‘one of’, as there are a few. You can see at the end of the isle there part of the boxed games section for Famicom too.


Another really great thing about this place is there is a GameCenterCX section if you want to play the games that are featured on the show. If you are wondering what GameCenterCX is, then I suggest taking a look on Youtube. It is one of the coolest retro game shows anywhere! Unfortunately I couldn’t get any photos of the GameCenterCX section.

Mind boggling range of Super Famicom carts. Again, this is only one of the Super Famicom Isles.


Again I couldn’t get great pictures of everything, but what you see here is just a part of the cased PCE games they have on offer. You can pretty much find everything here.



Bellow is just a part of the DreamCast section. If you’re wondering, that whole top row is for NeoGeoCD, and you may notice that there are some big empty spaces in the NeoGeo section – this is mainly because I bought 20 odd on this particular day. ๐Ÿ™‚


This terrible photo (bellow) is trying to show you one of the toy racks dedicated to game related merchandise. They have all sorts of gear here, from recent Mario themed board games, through to figures of Ken in Street Fighter.


A closer look at the boxed Famicom and Super Famciom section (bellow).


I really wish I could have shown you everything. Just looking through the pictures there is so much I missed. This place has so much stuff that I know it will bring a tear to any retro gamer’s eye – specially the guys I know back home who feel great joy just finding a dozen or so carts in the wild.

And just before I go. This place doesn’t only sell games too! There are huge sections for toys, clothing, electronics, and pretty much any other type of used goods you can think of. Not bad considering I actually live in rural Japan! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Saturn Bomberman SBom Joycard and SBom Multitap

Any serious Bomberman fan needs the Saturn Bomberman SBom gear in their collection, but it’s not only for the die-hard fans out there either. The Saturn Bomberman SBom Joycard and SBom Multitap are great bits of gear in their own right too. ๐Ÿ™‚


The first thing I am going to take a look at is the Saturn SBom controller, or ‘Joycard’ as called by its creators. The quality of the Joycard is great! The buttons feel good, the D-pad feels solid (albeit a little different to the norm), and there is nothing to complain about in terms of build quality at all.

The interesting thing about this controller has to be the turbo section though. The speed at which the turbo section of the SBom Joycard can pull off is nothing short of incredible! According to the manufacturer it is capable of 26 presses per second, and I have to say I believe it. The first time I connected one of these to my Saturn and switched my Saturn on, my Saturn went nuts! I had to actually switch it off, play with Joycard turbo switches and then switch it back on.



The next item I am going to look at is the SBom Multitap. There isn’t a great deal I can say about this peripheral except it functions as you’d expect, and it does this with minimum fuss and hassle.

For those of you that are uninitiated into the world of Sega Saturn, the console itself has only two joystick inputs. Of course for most games two inputs is enough, but when it comes to Bomberman it is best played with four players, four beers per player per 4 rounds, and for four hours sessions – this is what the Sbom Multitap does for you (except the four beers part).



I would definitely recommend grabbing the Saturn Bomberman SBom Joycard and SBom Multitap if you get a chance. They can get quite pricey these days, specially if you buy them in a set, but even so I would say grab them before you can’t anymore. ๐Ÿ˜€

Sonic Saturn – Toys ‘R’ Us Edition

Released in 1997 the Sonic Saturn – Toys ‘R’ Us Edition is a machine sought after by collectors.

The Saturn itself is identical to the regular white Saturn except for a little black Sonic printed on the lid. As the title states this particular model was a limited edition only at Toys ‘R’ Us stores over here in Japan.

Is it worth what I paid for it? Take a look at the pictures and you be the judge. ๐Ÿ˜€


And a close up of the Sonic.


Before I tell you how much I paid, there is a little bit of a story behind this purchase I should share…..

I have a regular run of ‘junk’ stores that I try do at least once a week. Sometimes these stores strike gold, while other times they come up with nothing. I bought this particular Saturn with a bunch of others, and honestly it was the last one I picked up. When I first saw it, I thought that someone had either stuck a sticker on it, or decided to draw a Sonic by hand – this put me off buying it (being the retro noob I was). As it was only 300yen (yes you read that correctly, 300yen!), and believe or not cheaper than the others there, I threw caution to the wind and spent the 300yen. It was only after I got it home that I realised the Sonic was professionally printed, so I asked questions to the experts on AussieArcade.

I almost left this for someone else, and it was only priced at 300yen (about $3.60)! I would have regretted this more than I can express in words if I left it there, but lucky I had a spare 300yen on me. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyone know of the current selling price of these Saturns? I tried to do a quick search but not much came up about it.

Skeleton Saturn – Sega gives everyone bones

Sega thinks the Skeleton Saturn is cool (as printed on the unit itself), and I’m inclined to agree. There is something about the clear/semi-clear consoles that really ring a bell with this old gamer.

Some may prefer the Navi, some may prefer the Hi-Saturn or V-Saturn, but I prefer the “coolest” Saturn of them all – the Skeleton Saturn. ๐Ÿ™‚


A few details:

  • Model – Sega Skeleton Saturn (HST-3220)
  • Production run – around 50,000
  • Released – 1998
  • Price then – 20,000yen
  • Price now – $50 to $200 (although prices seem to be on the rise)



An interesting fact about the Skeleton Saturn is that it actually had compatibility issues with some games – Metal Slug, Outrun, and Space Harrier (wiki). I haven’t actually tested this out yet, and if anyone reading has any idea why I’d love you to post a comment. When you look this good, of course some people/software companies are going to have problems with you though – they’re just jealous.

skeleton-saturn-sega-1 skeleton-saturn-sega-2

Everyone I know who sees this machine seems to agree with Sega (see picture bellow). ๐Ÿ˜Ž


skeleton-saturn-sega-7 skeleton-saturn-sega-8

There isn’t much else I can say about this machine that hasn’t been said already. In my opinion it’s the best looking Saturn out there, and even if it does have compatibility issues with some games (although I haven’t tested this first hand yet), I refuse to believe it’s the fault of this beautiful machine. ๐Ÿ˜€


An update regarding software incompatibility!

Well, after speaking with Sean from RetroOtaku I have given the Skeleton Saturn a test with MetalSlug – the only game I have that is meant to have trouble with this particular Saturn. For some reason in my collection of Saturn games I don’t seem to have Space Harrier or Outrun. This is weird though, as I could have sworn I had those at least Space Harrier…

Anyway, I’ll let the images tell the story. ๐Ÿ™‚

Step one:
Clean the memory expansion cart, open MetalSlug carefully and make all the connections necessary.

Step two:
Power on and take close up shot because it looks just too cool.

Step three:
Get completely sidetracked by the glowing LED. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Step four:
Realise what I came here to do, pull my eyes away from the LED and………..
skeleton-saturn-metal-slug-3 skeleton-saturn-metal-slug-3

It works! So do I have a different revision of the Skeleton Saturn, or do I have a newer print run of MetalSlug? I wish I had the other titles that are meant to have trouble, so if any one would like to donate a few copies I would be more than happy to test them – of course returning them might be difficult. ๐Ÿ˜€

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