I’ve been really enjoying the mini-conversations I’ve been having with fellow game collectors over on Instagram. I’ll post a game from the collection, and oftentimes another follower will comment something random on the post, like how it’s their favorite 3DS game, or drop some random knowledge I didn’t know. It’s really quite fun, and something I eat up.
What I have also noticed is the sheer amount of video games out there. I mean it: there are tons. I know my collection is sizable, but there are some collectors posting stuff I had never even heard of. Did you know there’s a sequel to Bust-A-Groove 2 on the PS2 that only released in Japan? Or that the original Castle Shikigami did actually release stateside? So many random facts, and so many games to hunt down! Well, rather there are so many games I’d like to hunt down, but I know full well I’ll never find them or be able to afford them.
Doing some cleaning and organizing this past week, I was rummaging through my Playstation games and started thinking about the incredible amount of quality RPGs for that system. Standouts like the Final Fantasy series and Breath of Fire are highlights, but other more random ones like Wild Arms or Jade Cacoon are the ones I enjoy seeing more. And then there are the ones I don’t have, will likely never find, and if I do find will certainly not be able to afford them. I wanted to take a look at some of those games today, starting with Tail Concerto.
An RPG developed by CyberConnect, Tail Concerto saw a release in the US thanks to Atlus. And if you know anything about Atlus games on the Playstation, this game commands a ridiculous price these days (~$500 complete). The game is a single-disc adventure that has you exploring a world ruled by anthropomorphic cats and dogs on an adventure to stop some evil gang of cats. I wish I could tell you more but sadly that’s all I’ve got, as I have never even seen this game in the flesh, and I do not believe there’s a digital release. Also sadly, I foolishly passed on this game’s spiritual sequel, the Nintendo DS game Solatorobo: Red the Hunter. I had the opportunity to buy it brand new at my local GameStop for something like $40 and didn’t… and now that game is also crazy expensive at $300.
While we’re talking about RPGs I passed on, Brigadine will be another missed opportunity I do not believe I’ll ever get the chance to rectify. Another Atlus RPG, this one was available at another used game store for $50 and I passed on it. My mentality is that the price point is just too high to justify. I could spend my money elsewhere, and by elsewhere I mean on 4 or 5 other games that amount to the price of Brigadine. Honestly that’s usually what would happen. I don’t regret that decision, not in the slightest. I don’t feel bad for missing out, I just feel sad that I likely won’t be able to play this RPG either for the same reasons as above: the game is too damn expensive now (~$220).
I own Suikoden but I will likely never get the chance again to own the disc version of Suikoden II. That ship, sadly, has sailed. I did get really close to maybe kind of sort of owning the game very recently. A local Craigslist pickup included a binder full of games, and in that binder was the instruction booklet for Suikoden II. I literally gasped. Sadly though, the disc wasn’t anywhere in sight. I emailed the seller back thanking them for the purchase (kindness goes a long way), and also hoping they’d reach back out if they found more games. Nothing as of yet…
We can’t talk about Atlus these days without bringing up the Persona series, and that series started out on the PS1. Both the original Persona: Revelations as well as the sequel Persona 2: Eternal Punishment command a pretty high price too. I also consistently make the same mistakes it seems, because I also passed on picking up the Persona and Persona 2 re-releases on the PSP when they released for $20 a pop, brand new. The PS1 games are around $300 each, and the PSP games are now both well over $100. At least I’m consistent?
Okay, jumping away from Atlus we can look at the other, less remembered Square RPGs on the PS1. No, I’m not talking about Chrono Cross… I’m talking about Valkyrie Profile. I think I recall seeing this game at a store at least once, but even then it was something like $100 or more. That’s amazing by today’s pricing, as the title is now averaging over $300 Complete. Thankfully the PSP remake, Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, is much less daunting, coming in at a measly $75. I’m certain the lower price point of some of these games is the digital version being available still. A godsend to some, but a less desirable option for others.
I always thought the Wild Arms series was related to the Thousand Arms game, but they actually have nothing to do with one another. The wild west games in the Wild Arms series have a home in my collection, but the weird dating sim RPG of all things Thousand Arms does not. While we’re on the topic of games I thought might be related we may as well bring up Azure Dreams: I always thought that was another Wild Arms like game most likely due to the cover art looking like it was in a desert. What was with young me just thinking sand equals the same game universe? Whatever the reason, these games each fetch over $150 and haven’t seen any digital ports.
Changing gears a bit, we can also look at tactical RPGs on the PS1. Final Fantasy Tactics takes the cake here for my go-to game in the genre on the console, but the likes of Tactics Ogre and Ogre Battle would like to say otherwise. I’ve since played the games elsewhere (on the PSP and the Nintendo 64 respectively), but hot damn would I love this sought after PS1 versions.
And lastly we cannot talk about prized PS1 RPGs and not bring up the entire offerings of Working Designs. I was fortunate enough to have been given a copy of both Lunar: Silver Star Story as well as Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, but I’m missing most all of their other offerings. Arc the Lad, Vanguard Bandits, and Alundra are just a few, with each hovering around $150. And again… totally could have bought Arc the Lad Collection brand new for literally $20 and my 12 year old self didn’t take that plunge. I can still see it on the shelf in the small video game section at Meijer back home…
Obviously there are way more games out there, but those are the ones I’m still yearning for. The original Playstation was a powerhouse role playing game console. I think the big standouts (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Tales of Destiny, Xenogears, etc) will be easier to come by than the other, less familiar and famous games. While any one of these could be a centerpiece to a collection, seeing online how so folks have all of these and then some is such a cool sight to see. At least for a game collector it is. Maybe to non-collector it would just seem like a waste of money. But what do they know?