I’ve been in a funk lately. It’s okay, it happens, and I know well enough that I’ll pull through. It’s partially just the stress of the summer bleeding over into the fall without any vacation to speak of (it’s terribly hard getting away either as a family with two toddlers or finding someone to watch said toddlers for a long period of time), and it’s partially just a lack of enthusiasm for anything — a malaise that sometimes drifts over my neck of the woods.
Personally, I find it important to have at least one or two things in my life that have me really excited, since it helps pull me through the mundane aspects. Usually, those are entertainment-related: video games, books, even the anticipation of a movie. Sometimes it’s a good project, or a trip, or a nighttime excursion in my superhero getup (Syptacular). But in analysing the malaise, I realized that I’m just not excited about much right now and I’m a little worn around the edges from work.
So I was thinking about what could get me excited, and the notion of a collection came to mind. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always kind of assumed everyone has a collection of sorts. A movie collection, a Pez collection, a stamp collection, what have you. We collect things. Even my wife, for whatever reasons her estrogen dictates, collects pens. Like, buckets and buckets of pens. But I don’t really have a collection of anything specific, and I’ve kind of wanted one for a while now. The only question is… what?
I thought about latching onto a beloved franchise, say Ghostbusters or Back to the Future, and collecting the crap out of that, but… as much as I love those films, I can’t get worked up to devote the energy it would take to do it justice. Plus, that could get right expensive.
The answer came during an MMO session, where I was watching some of those retro video game YouTube clips that seem to be all the rage. I was looking at their shelves and shelves of games and thinking how kinda cool that is — and that made me think, once again, of my beloved SNES. Way back in the mid 2000s, I delved into eBay for SNES games and accumulated a nice collection, including a pristine copy of Chrono Trigger which I later sold to help with wedding preparations. Still, I have a tub of games already, but there are so many other games from my teenage years I’d forgotten about.
So I spent an hour last night going through list after list of “best of SNES games” and having numerous flashbacks to time spent in many of them. I began a wishlist of titles and informed my wife that there was nothing to fear, but I was going to become a rabid collector of all things SNES from now on and we would probably have to sell one of the children to support my habit. Well, not that extreme. Still.
And maybe it’s silly — considering I can play those games on emulators and the Wii and even some on my iPhone — but the notion of building up a collection of my favorite childhood games truly got me excited. When my kids get old enough, I want to show them what games used to be like, and I know that the SNES has lasting entertainment value even today. And maybe Mario Kart is the spark my marriage needs to recapture 16-bit love. Again, I kid.
So we’ll see. I started doing some research on where to buy these games — and probably a new control deck, seeing as my old one is quite decrepit and the controllers borked. EBay, Amazon, local retailers… it’s hard to know where to start. Suggestions from any collectors out there? Anyone want to offload their SNES stuff to a willing buyer?
Update — Here’s the wishlist as I had it last night:
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
- Super Castlevania IV
- Final Fantasy II
- Mega Man X
- Chrono Trigger
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Final Fantasy III
- Super Metroid
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time
- Mega Man X2
- Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
- Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage
- Mega Man X3
- Earthworm Jim
- Super Mario All-Stars
- Final Fight
- Mega Man 7
- X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin
- Batman Returns
- Disney’s Aladdin
- Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf
- Gradius III
- Super Punch-Out!!
- UN Squadron
- Kirby Superstar
- Lion King
- DK Country 1-3