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The Price of Nostalgia: Into the Stratosphere


As stated before, nostalgia is expensive. Game prices have exploded in the past few years. There are a number of reasons for this:

- People who grew up with older video games are now adults with disposable income.

- The internet has allowed underrated gems to be put into the spotlight

- The internet has allowed people to re-live the amazing gaming moments of the past

- Unscrupulous re-sellers are willing to exploit people into paying big bucks for common, readily-available games.

That last note was definitely a little cynical, but it's kind of sad how true it is. Regardless, let's take a look at a few games that have sky-rocketed in price over the last few years.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Woo. There's no question that this game is really, really good. It's a classic of the beat 'em up genre, and, compared to a ton of other games of similar style, this game can still be amazing. It has aged incredibly well.

Currently, this game can be bought on eBay for roughly $45

Why is it so expensive?

The main driving force for this game's high price is the fact that TMNT was, and still is, a huge property. It's a franchise that is still going strong, and one that people absolutely adore. Kids are watching the new cartoon, and their parents most likely grew up with the original show in some way. This game is a much-requested item in retro game stores and online shops, and as a result it sells quickly. Despite the high price, don't think for a second that this game is rare. It isn't. it sold millions of copies, and according to NintendoAge's database, this particular cartridge is widespread in release. This is a case of nostalgia driving demand.

Knights of The Round is another beat 'em up, from Capcom. Awesome stuff. This is probably what drove Capcom to make the D&D arcade games, so if you've played those you might love the hell out of this game.

It's a great game, with a current eBay price of $60, give or take.

Why is it so expensive?

It's hard to pin-point what made this game's price increase. I lucked out and got a copy in 2010 at a local Play N Trade for $5, back when this game was worth that much. It's kind of insane to see that this game has gotten so damn expensive. I'm not going to point any fingers, here. All I will say ia that a lot of people watch YouTube.

The advent of the internet has made obscure games into desired games. This seems to be the case here.

NintendoAge puts this at the "Very Common" rarity level. There are tons of copies out there. Anyone who is trying to say that it is rare is messing with you.

Once you've bought a Super Nintendo, go get Super Mario World, and Super Metroid, and Kirby Super Star, and Zelda: A Link To The Past. After that? Get this game. It's reason enough to own a Super Nintendo. It is everything that a sequel should be. It's so damn good that Capcom made two sequels that were fundamentally identical and they are still amazing just because they share the same game engine as this one.

Currently, a copy of Mega Man X can be yours for $30 in United States Federal Reserve Notes.

Why is it so expensive?

Whenever you mention Deus Ex, somebody reinstalls it. Whenever you mention Mega Man X, somebody posts this video.

Egoraptor's video is excellent, by the way. It shows how Mega Man X improved on the original series' formula and made it better. It's also been viewed 8 million times on YouTube. Like I said earlier, I'm not trying to point fingers as it's silly to expect one person to be responsible for a total price hike, but videos like that allow more people to be aware of games like it.

With a series like Mega Man, anything made is going to be at least somewhat popular, so you have that working with it as well. The fact that it is a very, very good game also helps, too. Popular game from a popular series + High quality = People wanting the game. A lot of people.

This game is even more not-rare than the others. NintendoAge lists this as "Very Widespread", which is understandable, considering not only did Capcom release their initial version, but Majesco re-published it later in the SNES' life.

Keep in mind that the sequels to this game, Mega Man X2 and Mega Man X3, actually are hard to find. This is due to the fact that Capcom put special hardware chips in those games to do vector graphics for some of the bosses, and as a result there are less copies of the game out in the wild. Loose copies of X2 and X3 can go for triple-digit sums.

Now, all of this begs the question:

Is it worth it?

That's your call. Not everyone can spend cash-money on old video games. And with things like the eShop and Virtual Console, being able to play these games is easier (and cheaper) than ever. I'm a firm believer that it really isn't the same playing a SNES game on the Virtual Console, but with some of the prices that have been floating around for some of these games, it's definitely a better option.

On the other hand, it's not like these prices can last forever...



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About Titannelone of us since 6:02 PM on 08.12.2013

Hey. I'm Titannel. I am currently a video editor for a local news station, but I'd like to edit for YouTube eventually. I also enjoy the video games. I particularly focus on retro video games, though I collect for pretty much everything, against my better judgment. Anyone who can decode my banner wins fifty bonus points. For what? Eh.

Oh, what's that? You want a shorter description? Here's one:

"Video editor. Amateur filmmaker. Creative Writer. Real human being. And a real hero."