Retro-[ish] game shops in Tokyo

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Retro-[ish] game shops in Tokyo

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:10 pm

I was certain there was at least one previous thread or longish discussion on this topic, but the site's search isn't turning anything up for me yet. Basically, a large amount of reading HG101 on the train has gotten me in the mood to pick up some of the cheaper PSX and Saturn gems they cover quite frequently. I'd held off on thinking about any game shopping since I currently have no TV (they're expensive, and I don't want to have to fight with the NHK guy when he makes his inevitable visit), but I feel like between the laptop and the PSP I could probably handle most any PSX titles through emulation, and possibly even some Saturn games if the state of emulators has kept improving.

But as most of you probably know, retro gaming shops aren't what they used to be. In the five years since I was here, Akihabara has become almost unrecognizable. Super Potato still exists but is insanely overpriced; the Traders have squished all their pre-PS2 stock into a small corner (with the PS2 titles gradually making their way in that direction); and the multi-story retro gaming shop on the main drag across-ish from Hey and whose name I forgot has now moved all their stock to the first floor, with the floors above selling cosplay wigs or some dumb shit. Out here in Chiba, the local "we sell just about goddamn anything" shop feels like it has a better retro selection than some of the places I poked into in Akiba last week.

So, where do you go for your brick and mortar retro shopping? Are there any hidden shops I've missed in Akihabara, tucked away down back alleys or on a hidden floor between a maid cafe and the porn game shop? Barring that, are there any other areas in Tokyo that have since taken the crown for this sort of stuff? Besides being well known, Akiba is convenient in that it's walking distance from my station I use to get into Tokyo so the whole cost of a visit comes under my commuter pass, but I'd be willing to put up train fare if there now exists a place that feels like some of the Akihabara shops did five years ago (or even ten, if the wild stories of veterans are to be believed).

Or is it pretty much just a dead scene where the best action happens on Yahoo Auctions these days? Considering the way you can find just about any specialty shop you could possibly imagine in most large cities, I'd hope that wasn't the case, but it could be a sign of the times, I suppose.
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Re: Retro-[ish] game shops in Tokyo

Postby SuperDeadite » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:40 pm

Mandarake is my favorite of the big boys. Condition is 2nd to none, and their prices are usually cheaper then FuckPotato.

If you don't care about things like spine cards, Suruguya's online shop is the place to go.
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Re: Retro-[ish] game shops in Tokyo

Postby Shou » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:06 am

It has been this way for almost 10 years IMO. Can you believe when I first went to Akiba in the early 2000's that I was extremely disappointed?

Mandarake, Friends and Trader Honten are the main choices. I almost never go to Potato and Liberty on a whole has turned to crap. There is that Retro Game Camp place but I find their prices and condition to be lacking. Sofmap has a crappy retro floor near Trader 3 but it is full of junk and overpriced premium games.

I tend not to buy cardboard box based games on Yahoo just because it is very hard to tell the condition of them.
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Re: Retro-[ish] game shops in Tokyo

Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:52 pm

Once upon a time, Liberty was great... a few of them even. Medialand and Trader2 were the Friends and DickPotato of those times, although smaller. Still had purchasable prices. I quit buying games in Akiba for resale (even by specific request for the most part) by the end of 2000. I think 1999 was probably when it all went to shit... or at least started.
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Re: Retro-[ish] game shops in Tokyo

Postby muki » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:03 pm

When I first visited Akiba in the mid-90s it was great.
I recall wagon loads of SFII' on the PCE selling for 50yen a piece.
Now.... basically see the comments above.

Online, Surugaya has reasonable prices and there are a few others too, but physical shops are few and far between; probably better off visiting the big bookoffs/2nd hand cd/dvd/game shops in the countryside.

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