So, I know that trading games (JRPGs in this case) at GameStop will seem like a thing of the past to Generation Z gamers. But in the late 1990s, this was the way to to get the latest games while not breaking the bank (much).
GameStop/Funco Land/Electronics Boutique would always win in these dealings. They always gave an extremely low value for my games, and then they would then sell them for nearly twice as much, while I had to take the hit in value.
The aforementioned business model did not deter me in the least to keep trading games. Hey, 10 bucks is 10 bucks off a new game. However, there a some games that I genuinely regret having traded. Here are 5 of the most painful decision of my teenage years.
5. Breath of Fire III
To many, Breath of Fire III is the pinnacle of that series. Personally, I like Breath of Fire IV more. However, because of the opinion of the many, usually, out weighs the opinion of the few, the game would gain an extraordinary amount of value in last few decades.
A copy, with the case and booklet, will cost you about $170 dollars today on Amazon. EB gave me $10 for my nearly new copy more than two decades ago, talk about losing value.
This is a trade that I have regretted endlessly, but not nearly as much as the next one.
4. Parasite Eve
Square’s Resident Evil styled/RPG crossover continues to be an amazing playthrough, due its mature storytelling, and scary atmosphere. Therefore, I regret, deeply regret, having traded it in for peanuts.
My primary reason for trading it was that I finished the storyline, and few linear JRPGS have any replay value after you “beat” the main game. Unfortunately, Parasite Eve might be one of the few linear JRPGs that are worth a second, and perhaps 3rd play through in a few decades span.
The only positive thing about having traded Parasite Eve at this point is that the game remains a relatively cheap purchase on Amazon and eBay, so I could nab a copy of it without breaking the bank.
Yes, this one was very foolish. I traded a high quality JRPG, that would eventually gain incredible monetary value due to its rarity (it sales for $150-$200 on Amazon in used condition), because I needed some quick credit to purchase a likely inferior (but newer) game. Facts are that Suikoden is one of the very best PS1 RPGs, and as such, it is deserving of a second, and perhaps, third play through.
More importantly, the game’s collector’s value has gone through the roof over the last two and half decades. While, it is likely that I would have never replayed this title had I kept it, the fact that I was paid less than $20 dollars for it in the late 90s by EB, seems like a steal (on their part) at this stage. So yes, this is one trade that I truly regret from the bottom of my pockets.
2. Beyond the Beyond
Beyond the Beyond, is bad game, quite frankly, by far the worst game on this list. But the game’s historical value cannot be overstated. The PlayStation 1, and Final Fantasy VII, ushered the JRPG golden era, as a mainstream genre in the late 1990s. Therefore for JRPG fans the PlayStation is likely their most beloved, and perhaps, most consequential console within the JRPG genre.
Contrary to popular belief, Sony’s – excellent – Wild Arms, is not the systems first JRPG. The system’s first JRPG is Beyond the Beyond. While game saw the light of day in 1996 in the United States, in Japan it was a 1995 release. Therefore, Beyond the Beyond’s greatest crime is that it looks and plays like a mediocre SNES RPG.
Apart from some clever timing system in its turn based combat, and a Motoi Sakuraba (Star Ocean) soundtrack, Beyond the Beyond was a forgettable experience. It hold a poor 44% GameRankings rating, and it is generally recognized as one of the worst PS1 RPGs.
So, why am I sad? For starters, the game is over $150 dollars these days on Amazon, and its historical significance would have made for some interesting article writing in my current line of work. Given that I have a vast collection of JRPGs as it is. Beyond the Beyond would have been a center piece element in said collection, had I envisioned how well the game would age (monetarily), before I stupidly traded it away for short credit store money.
1. Azure Dreams
This one this the most painful. This is one that I would have enjoyed playing today. Azure Dreams was forward thinking, it was a rogue like with random dungeon generation, and a town building – and dating – component. Yes, Azure Dreams did it all. It was a rough game in terms of difficulty for my oblivious teenage self, but this is a game I would enjoy, and even, devote myself to today.
Azure Dreams is title that I believe would do incredibly well today as Nintendo Switch remaster. I hope someone inside Konami sometime soon realizes this, and it happens.
Given its hefty $200-$300 price tag these days, it might also be the trade in which I lost the most money on. That hefty price has also kept me from purchasing another copy of it. I have purchased other classic titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics, and Record of Lodoss War, in recent years, but those were all under $100, and this one is almost as expensive as an old retro console on Amazon.
There is a likelihood that I will purchase this title someday, to finally right a wrong that finds its way into my mind from time to time, but until then, I will always regret having traded Azure Dreams.
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7 thoughts on “Five JRPGs That I Regret Trading At GameStop/EB in the Late 1990s”
check out dungeon dreams in steam, its inspired by azure dreams, the developer already making dungeon dreams 2 and will be released after maybe 2 months for now you can play dungeon dream 1 here
It more feels like the author is just complaining about selling things as a collector myself and someone that works for the for mentioned company he sold it to get quick cash and the trade values at the time are right about a 3rd of what it can be resold for covers over head employee pay and how long it might stay on the shelves you sell to a store because you don’t want to do the leg work to sell yourself so you are paying others to resell it for you just like a pawn shop or even putting it on consignment they still that a cut. And to complain because almost 30years these old games have a bigger value is kinda just grasping at straws
The article is titled “Five JRPGs That I Regret Trading At GameStop/EB in the Late 1990s”. Never Ending Realm supports local game shops, and always has, and understand there is overhead, but were you working 25 years ago at an EB or GameStop? Why can’t the author lament the mistakes of their youth, when they sold these games back to the retailer for $10, when the retailer knew the production run #s? A lot of the stuff of the 90s and early 2000s is quite illegal now, imo, including offering credit to children to pawn stuff, while knowing the print #s and having enough market clout to set prices.
How dare someone complain 25 years after the fact, while reminiscing about being ripped off as a child by an unlicensed, multinational pawn shop with enough clout to set prices!
I am sure the author sleeps soundly at night knowing he has beaten the games he sold, while a collector might never have the chance to play something they’ve invested far more in.
Never Ending Realm isn’t anti-collector or Communist lol and anti-piracy. The author was just lamenting the innocence of youth and being manipulated by predatory business models that are almost dead. If you own the legit, physical copy of the game, you can sell it for whatever you like. That is only fair.
Why in god’s name do you have to throw “Communist” in there? I swear,
on some psychic level you Westerners actually actually like the death-spiral your garbage system has put you (and the rest of the world in). Thankfully your days are numbered.
Communism is state ownership of the means of production, and everything really… I think you’re a little mistaken if you think the days of mixed economies of capitalism and state sponsorship/investment inside a legal framework guaranteeing property rights are numbered. Do you have some kind of fascination with communism? Maybe you’re Russian and prepping the people for Stalinism again. That’ll work out swell, especially with the open borders we have lol. Instead of being subjected to terror and criminal acts, the human capital can just leave now. Good job on that Khinzal missile. We knew we could shoot that down in like 2001, along with basically every ICBM. Every US destroyer and guided missile cruiser is a Patriot battery… Do you know what a Nike missile is?
I’d definitely have Thousand Arms on this list if it were my own.
The author has written about it fondly. https://neverendingrealm.com/opinion/throwback-bit-thursday-thousand-arms/. He probably also regrets it lol.