Okay, so perhaps “fabulous” is in the eye of the beholder here. Still, I came across a few finds which made me quite happy down at the local used goods store last week (and I’m only now getting around to talking about them, but what can you do?).

I’ll start with the second one first: Altered Beast for the SEGA Genesis. My wife is something of a fan of the game, and I like it as well– it’s sort of a guilty pleasure, but not one we’re shy about, perhaps because it’s so goofy. Suffice to say, I think we– and her especially– have put in a lot of time on it on Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, probably more than anything else on the disc.

After an unfortunate set of circumstances which led to me losing her early Christmas gift on the way home, I wound up giving this to her in its place. Amazingly, I found it at a good price, and it’s complete: Case, game cartridge, and even the instruction booklet! But as I said, we have it for the Xbox 360 through Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, so this was more a novelty gift than anything.

What’s interesting to note is that the bottom is branded with the logo of Irwin Toy. It looks like they were the distributor for SEGA in Canada back when the Genesis first came out here, much as Mattel did for Nintendo, and as Tonka did for SEGA early on in the U.S. Irwin also distributed the Atari Video Computer System/2600.

The other item you can see there, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, is one I’ve been after for a long time… and it killed me to find out that one of the employees I talk to there all the time was planning to get it. Still, he said he’d rather I had it, and he could get another one at some point; I went ahead and let him know about the current Metal Gear HD Collection available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which should more than cover his needs.

Granted, I could have gone for that, too, and still wouldn’t mind it. But the fact is, I wanted only one thing out of this package:

This is what I’ve long been after: Disc 2: “Persistence,” which contains the now-useless version of Metal Gear Online, “Snake vs. Monkey” mode with Solid Snake hunting the monkeys from Ape Escape, and most valuable to me, the MSX versions of the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. These are on the HD collection as well, but to drop $30 for just these two seems a bit much.

Konami hasn’t been much help, either, by not releasing these games as downloadables. They did collect Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence together in a PlayStation 2 compilation for the series’ 20th anniversary; however, it was only the Japanese version of that collection which contained the MSX games, while Konami of America left them out, much to my chagrin.

I’ve been after this one for years, but have always been thwarted at every turn– specifically, whenever I would find a used copy of the game, it was always the first disc and only the first disc. I figured it would be the same this time, but to my surprise and delight, I finally got it. Meanwhile, The Wife is interested in checking out the other disc, so it all works out.

I wouldn’t mind the HD collection for convenience’s sake, but for now, I’m just content to finally be able to play the original two games. This is largely due to my having been introduced to the series with the NES game and its style of play– plus, I suck terribly at Metal Gear Solid, and just seem to have an easier time with the oldschool versions.

Screens courtesy of The Video Game Museum

Incidentally, I wish Konami would do more/better classic compilations. I’ve long wanted a Metal Gear collection featuring the two MSX games, the two NES games, and Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel, aka Metal Gear Solid for the Game Boy Color, plus some nice bonus material. And I know people say that Metal Gear and Snake’s Revenge for the NES weren’t as good as the MSX games, but they were still pretty good in their own right, and remain some of my strongest memories of the franchise.

I could also go for a Contra collection with the two arcade games, two NES games, the Genesis game, and the Super NES game (and bonus material, of course).

To close this out, there were two other games there which caught my eye, but I passed on. One was last generation’s version of N.A.R.C. by Midway, which was a terrible Grand Theft Auto-styled “update” of the original. I sort of want to check that out, just as a fan of the original and to see how bad it really is. Sadly, it was for Xbox and isn’t backwards compatible.

The other was the NES game Mach Rider, which was priced around eight bucks. Not terrible, but I can get the original on the Virtual Console for five, and it was just more than I was willing to spend on top of the other two at that moment.

All in all, though, a pretty good haul.