Retro Video Game Finds IX or How I Bought Metal Storm For Two Dollars
by Salvatore Pane
Big news on the retro gaming front this weekend. I was in Minneapolis with my girlfriend for a wedding, and we had just gotten breakfast at this amazing bowling alley/theatre/brunch place. We walked outside, and I made a joke about doing some light game chasing, and lo and behold, there was a retro game arcade/store next door. Unfortunately, some twerp kid–who clearly wasn’t old enough to truly appreciate Track and Field II or Rampage–was throwing a birthday party inside, and the arcade wouldn’t open for another few hours. So we toured the neighborhood as planned and when we returned, I saw a guy on a bench in front of the arcade waiting to go in. He had two NES games and a Super Nintendo game. I figured he was planning on selling them, so I kept trying to angle myself for a better look, but he had them back label out. Finally, we were all allowed inside, and I saw him sell the games for some quarters to play the machines. I wandered over. The first title was Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt--of course–but the second was Metal Storm.
If you don’t know Metal Storm, I feel sorry for you. It’s one of the most underrated gems on the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it’s pretty hard to find too. On eBay, prices routinely hover around $35, but I’ve seen them go for a lot higher and a lot lower. I’ve only seen one other copy in the wild during eight years of collecting and that was only a few weeks earlier in Indianapolis at an Exchange that wanted $45 for it. I almost picked it up then. So you can imagine how sweaty and nervous I was as I approached the counter. The games weren’t individually priced, and if you’re a collector, that’s one of the best signs. Most retro stores either inflate already ridiculous eBay prices or they mark up the common games everybody wants–Contra, Super Mario 3, Zelda–and don’t put the correct value on the harder to find games that stink. I asked the woman at the counter if I could buy Metal Storm even though it just came in. She said they usually cleaned them first, and I said I didn’t care. I think they were worried I’d return it if it didn’t work, and she even tested it in a Retro Duo. It didn’t work, but I clean all of my NES games before playing them anyway. She said the game was in poor condition–it was–but finally, she took it over to her husband and they decided to sell it to me for two dollars.
I was hoping to get it for $25. I would have gladly paid $25. To get it for $2, my god, my god. This was my best NES game find ever, right in front of finding six of the seven Bible games at a record store for $2 each. Pictures below of all my recent finds plus my girlfriend with Metal Storm and a stuffed bear cub that my grandfather murdered in cold blood.