It's been a while since I've done this, so here, have a look at some of the discount-priced gaming goodies I've found over the past week.
Wal-Mart's been eager to drop kick the Wii U out the door, selling its remaining stock of accessories for precipitously low prices. I dragged my feet on the Wii U Pro Controller and lost my chance to take one home, but I did manage to get this battery extender by Nyko. You just screw it into the back of your Wii U gamepad, and it doubles your play time. That's the claim, anyway... I haven't verified that, but for a handful of quarters, I'm willing to take Nyko's word for it. One nice bonus is that it's got a built-in stand for the gamepad, which would have been handy back in 2014 when I was actually using the damned thing.
Wario Amiibo Figurine
I don't collect Amiibo figures... is what I keep telling myself, despite owning four of them. In my defense, this one was just a buck fifty! Besides, I'm sure I could find some use for Wario here. Maybe he'd give me an excuse to dig up my long-neglected copy of Super Smash Bros. Alternately, I could use him as a cake topper, or a rook in an elaborate Nintendo-themed chess set, or to hold down a large stack of papers...
If the Move was Sony's answer to the Wiimote, this was their Zapper. It's oversized, harder than necessary to assemble, and dependent on accessories that aren't packaged with it, so it's not surprising that this Wal-Mart stuffed it into the clearance aisle along with all their other crap. On the plus side, you feel a little more like a soldier when you're using it with Time Crisis: Razing Storm. On the down side, you feel pretty stupid when you're frantically spinning it around during the wheel segments in Deadstorm Pirates. Seriously Namco, you couldn't let players steer the ship with the navigation controller? It's right there in the name!
Ocarina of Time
Onto the thrift store on the outskirts of Sierra Vista, where I found a ColecoVision and my big screen TV (some assembly required). The management wasn't feeling as generous as usual today, offering a copy of Sonic Rivals for five dollars. Ha ha! No, seriously, what else you got?
The answer was this beaten up copy of Ocarina of Time for the GameCube. It's riddled with scratches and even has a little bit of the dreaded mysterious brown stuff on the edge of the disc, but it might be worth the trouble of cleaning it if I can get it to work. Hardly a collector's item in this dire condition, but it'd give me something to do with my Cube if I ever get a controller for it.
Resident Evil 4
See, this is more like it! I found the well-received Wii version of Resident Evil 4 at the thrift's sister shop, nestled in the heart of the Sierra Vista mall. Generally this store is a purgatory for all the merchandise they couldn't sell online or in the flagship location, so I was a little surprised to find this treat hidden in a sea of Playstation 2 sports titles and workout videos. I was downright tickled when I cracked open the case and found an instruction manual and a nearly spotless disc staring up at me. Best of all, I got it for a buck fifty! Hell, I paid three times that for the bubble tea in the food court.
Xbox 360 Kinect
I was bitten by the waggle bug after playing Sports Champions 2, and wanted to see how Microsoft's competitor, Kinect Sports, stacked up. Problem is, I didn't have a Kinect, and wasn't inclined to spend a lot of money to satisfy my curiosity about it.
Fortunately, I stumbled upon the peripheral during a visit to the Salvation Army thrift. I wasn't even planning to go to that store... it just happened by chance. It was also by pure luck that this Kinect was offered at a discount, slashing its price from around twenty bucks to fifteen.
So I'm pretty happy with my find. The only problem now is that I don't have anything to play with the Kinect; not even that racing game where you can sit motionless and still finish in third place. Eh, I can always take some amusement from navigating menus like this...
This was the Mac Daddy of all my finds... a monitor with an HDMI port! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find one of these in a thrift store? Sure, there are buttloads of displays with VGA ports, and even a few with DVI connectors, but none of those will work with a Playstation TV.
However, the Handspree recognizes it right away, which means I can move the PSTV to my bedroom for late night game cravings and reserve the Vizio in the living room for my big boy game systems. I'm not sure I'll ever sleep again with all these distractions around the house, but I'm willing to take that risk!