|Posted by Private Joker on March 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM|
What do you mean, "I'm not done reading the previous blog entry!"? Try to keep up, I don't have a lot of time!
Last week, I decided to stay up a while longer. I just felt like doing an eBay round on several regions just to check if nothing interesting was in auction. Some of you might remember the series of Smurfs 2 that were sold from Italy for prices starting at three times 20 Euro up to 129 Euro for the seller's last copy. It was exciting to see it afterwards and even though I wasn't able to pick mine up, it was exhilarating nonetheless. Well, last week wasn't quite the same but it was around the same time at night so why not try my luck?!
Soon, I saw that very recognizable cover for the illusive Smurfs 2. It was standing at a starting price of 99 Euro and came from a seller from the Netherlands. The eBay name rang a bell, but I couldn't quite put a person behind the nickname. I contacted the seller and surprisingly, he was still awake at the same time so got a respons almost instantaniously. I put in an offer of 300 Euro. Why so high immediately? Because I knew that the seller knew the price as well and he would've only been insulted for anything less than that. The picture showed some damage to the cover, but nothing too bad. Other than that, the cover of the manual looked a bit wrinkly, but still good enough to get my hands on it.
At this point, the seller asked some time to think about it and we both go to bed. The day after, I put in another offer of 350 Euro because I was getting more and more excited. I was hoping all the time that the auction wouldn't start popping up on other boards such as the sega8bit forum. That would've seriously slimmed down my chances to get the best offer in. Retrobound, the seller in question, told me that he was going to come with that exact same counter offer. Some hours later, I wired the money over to his PayPal account with some extra to cover shipping and PayPal fees and the game was on its way to Belgium.
Only a couple of days later, I got a BPost notification that there was an International Signed For package waiting for me at the post office. The next day, I picked it up and ran home to open it up. At this point, I started having mixed feelings about it. Is the hunt really over? While it "only" took me 1,5 years to get it in, I still built up enough expectations and excitement to feel that it's been good. I opened up the package and started my inspection round of the game and its content.
On the bottom right side, there is a grey cloud and it looks like it goes up for some reason. I didn't see that before buying it, but it was visible so that was my mistake. It's a piece of the cover missing so not part of the cloud.
The first thing I saw was that the imperfections on the cover looked less bad on the picture than on the game in front of me. I took out the cover from the box to feel the glossy paper and immediately, I saw that someone used the cover to draw the two smurfs over on a piece of paper. Both smurfs had pencil drawings all over their outlines and there was a relief on those lines because of it. Looking at the game from a distance now, you don't notice it but I still know it's there.
Not that clear with all the glare, but if you compare it to a clean cover, you'll see.
Secondly, the cover is a bit yellowed on the back so that means that the game has been put in a moist environment. The manual shows the same problems.
Wait until you take a closer look.
The third imperfection the game had, and I knew about this one, is the wrinkle in the manual cover. I thought I'd be able to iron it in some way, but the cover is cracked so that won't be possible. Lastly, there is the biggest imperfection of all to the manual. The back cover page is missing entirely. This is where my heart sinks and I start swearing (mentally).
Almost surgically removed back cover leaving the last page exposed. At least I hope it's only the cover gone.
Let's just call it a game with a history of being played. It shows that the game did make it into retail and was bought years ago in comparison to all those copies popping up mint and never used.
After the first disappointments about the condition of the game and starting the negotiations with the seller again, I popped in the game to see if the game itself was any good. I'm playing the game with an aftermarket competition pro controller on a Power Base Converter for my Mega Drive I. The game actually plays very well and I prefer it to the first game in the series. Controls are absolutely smooth, hit detection is near flawless and the graphics are very good.
There are quite a few levels and with the password level skip, it's a good game to pick up from time to time. All in all, I'm quite happy with the game itself and the imperfections aside, I'm glad to scratch it off the list and continue the love for my collection.
To show that it's always good to make deals with fellow collectors is the willingness of Retrobound to negotiate about the condition of the game and the possible refund or compensation for the disappointment I had. A big thank you to him for understanding.
One more game to go and it seems to be the hardest one for me to find. Any help would be welcome just as the remaining manuals and covers that need replacing. Take a look at my wanted list and help a fellow out!
Categories: New Games