games / Columns

The Top 8 Game Collection ‘White Whales’

May 11, 2022 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Mega Man 7 Image Credit: Capcom

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about game pickups and collecting, specifically the games/consoles that I’ve been hunting down for a while and not being able to find much at all. It’s not to say I couldn’t buy most, if not all, of this stuff on ebay but I like the thrill of the hunt, and seeing what local and not-so-local game stores have and if it’s stuff I want. It’s not to say that these are all amazing games/systems, but just stuff I have always wanted once I found out about them. Funny enough, I just went to a game store about 100 miles away on Saturday and picked up two games that would have made this list, Thousand Arms and Rival Schools, so that was a good coincidence. Let’s begin:

#8: Fortified Zone

You would think that a not-at-all rare copy of Fortified Zone would be easy to find, but nope. The game averages on ebay for about $15 but in my 10+ years of real game collecting I’ve yet to see it in person. This is a game I used to have as a kid, and would like to own again. It’s basically an almost arcade version of Metal Gear Solid, where you swap between two soldiers, the man has more health/guns, the woman is quicker/can jump as you kill enemies and blow up stuff. I’ve seen TWO copies of Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil Gaiden for the Game Boy Color but have yet to ever lay eyes on a copy of Fortified Zone in the wild.

#7: Tail Concerto

Tail Concerto is another game I used to have, although this time when I was a teenager. It was an interesting game where you played a anthropomorphic dog in a police mech suit as you shoot bubbles at criminal cats and capture them by throwing them in your backpack. It’s pretty weird but the actual nuts and bolts gameplay was a lot of fun. I have, at least, seen one copy of this game in the wild but it was only the actual disc, not the manual/case, and it was still like $250. For a complete copy, it’s hovering around $440. So, I’m not exactly going to be able to buy a copy anytime soon.

#6: Taiko no Tatsujin (PS4)

The real bummer about Taiko no Tatsujin (Drum ‘n Fun) is that I actually did own a copy of this damn game at one point. I ordered a copy from Japan that came with the game, the drum controller and the sticks. The problem is, the drum controller itself was defective, it basically has four sensor parts, two on the outer ring and two on the inner drum part. The right ring part didn’t register hits with the sticks at all. So, after an arduous return/shipping back to Japan, I was left with no Taiko in my life. There is a Switch version of the game that comes with a drum but I would much rather play this on the PS4/PS5. Hopefully the ebay gods will smile on me and I can find a copy of this game from a US seller, some day.

#5: Mega Man 7

I actually have all the Mega Man X games for the SNES so I’m only missing two left for the system: Mega Man Soccer and Mega Man 7. Technically, X3 is actually a more expensive game than MM7, X3 is around $300+ while you might get lucky with MM7 for around $250, but I’ve actually seen a copy of Mega Man 7 in the wild much. I have seen X3 on two or three occasions, at least. Believe me, Mega Man 7 isn’t a great game, it’s actually one of the weaker Mega Man games but I’d still like to own it. On the flip side, everyone can agree that Mega Man Soccer is the best soccer game ever made.

#4: Pepsiman

Now we start getting into the really weird/obscure stuff. Pepsiman actually isn’t that rare but trying to track down a copy in the US is a bit of a challenge. The actual game has you playing the titular Pepsiman as you run, jump and slide, while avoiding obstacles in order to deliver Pepsi to the masses. Functionally, it’s basically something like Temple Run but actually fun since are playing as Pepsiman, one of the greatest corporate mascots ever. Sadly, there’s no Coke Man, probably for obvious reasons.

#3: Treamcast

So the Treamcast is a bit of an oddity. Remember the “PS One” console that Sony released late in the PS1 lifespan? It was a PS1 that was shrunk down and you could buy a portable screen for it, for some more on-the-go gaming? The Treamcast was basically that, minus it being official and slimming the console down. It was basically a modified Dreamcast with some slight power differences, universal firmware (play any game from any region) with a screen taken from the PS One display that is then bolted onto the Dreamcast top in a fold up assembly. The thing is so crazy looking, but rad. Sadly, it barely ever made it to market, Sega found out about the project early on and shut it down but there are still some Treamcast consoles floating around out there on auction sites for fairly hefty sums.

#2: Panasonic Q

I have coveted the Panasonic Q for years now. It is a Japanese-only GameCube, manufactured by Panasonic around the end of 2001. The unique thing about the Q is that it can also play regular DVDs, due to it having an ejectable tray for media and not a top-loading mechanism like regular GameCubes. It also features a small LCD screen on the front to tell you what media is playing, four controller ports with blue lighting behind them, and even a unique Game Boy Player add-on since the original GameCube one doesn’t fit. The thing is just so cool looking, especially with the chrome-plated front but it’s an expensive console to try and pickup, for sure.

#1: LSD: Dream Emulator

If we’re talking like non-special edition or development hardware, LSD is the most expensive PlayStation 1 thing you can buy, for a pretty wide margin. The disc alone is around $600, a complete copy will run you around $800, easily. LSD is still one of the weirdest games I remember reading about, when I was a kid. It’s basically a first person game where you just explore various, procedurally generated environments. If you bump into an object, you get warped to a different dream level. The levels themselves only last about 10 minutes or so and the dream itself is kind of graded on a few different criteria. Far and away, it’s the game I want the most, just due to the unusual premise alone.

For comments, list which games/consoles that you want most and why.

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