1. Sonic Angel Knight

    OP Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

    May 27, 2016
    United States
    I notice a lot that people who collect retro games often find ones that's expensive. For some reason, they are often talked about on youtube. "If you're hoping to play this classic gem off a game, you're better off finding a Japanese copy. The American one can be quite expensive." In most cases, games get overpriced for being hard to find copies of, (Maybe people been breaking them due to rage?) having produced low copies of to begin with, or some special thing that makes it cost more than usual. (In some games that use cartridges, a special enhancement chip that inflates the price)

    So I just got curious, are there any expensive Japanese games? By that I mean copies of games that are sold both internationally and in Japan but only the Japanese version cost more. (Not including special collectors type of package edition.) :ninja:
  2. ital

    ital GBAtemp Maniac

    Jun 16, 2006
    Outrun 2 SP for PS2.
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  3. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan

    Aug 19, 2015
    United Kingdom
    Kinnikuman released in the USA as M.U.S.C.L.E. (Famicom)

    Foreman for Real (Genesis)

    Virtual Bart only a few copies got realesed in Japan (Genesis)

    Delisoba deluxe Japanese version of the terrible Courier Crisis (Saturn)

    All sell for several times the price the American/European versions do
    Last edited by AmandaRose, Jul 29, 2020
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  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    You will probably also find several xbox family games be more expensive in Japan, certainly harder to come by. Sales rates of games there tending to be rather lower than elsewhere, and if there were Japan exclusives (the 360 for instance had many shmups/shooters that never made it to the PC, PS3 or out of Japan or had better versions in it).

    Also condition in Japan differs to how most have it (I know we are seeing the rise of comics and sports card style grading of games though) outside it. Japan tending to care more about quality and people tending to treat stuff better -- for the most part second rate Japanese stuff is probably still western premium. If you are buying loose carts with ripped and faded labels because you just want to play the game then even better.

    The Japanese retro market is also certainly present, and indeed has been long before it was cool in the west (main reason I have a game collection like the one I do is because when a new console dropped then so did the prices for things and I could pick things up for nothing, since retro became cool though about 15-20 years ago then that has been far harder and windows have been far smaller -- 360 games are going back up in price at an alarming speed right now), but is not as expansive and demanding (all those people rebuying the devices and games of their youth or that they wanted when they were young but never had/only had friends that had one or two), nor is there as much of the investor element.

    I do generally try to keep a rough track of what things do what
    Cost is generally a factor of
    Quality of game (as in review score or perceived quality)
    Physical quality of the individual copy. For some things this can include having a battery replaced and "still in the wrapper" is also a thing for many.
    Popularity of game, including sequels and things from the same dev (before fire emblem blew up then nobody cared about the earlier efforts really, and you know the likes of King's Field shot up after FromSoftware became the Dark Souls company). Speedrunning and glitch running can also be a thing here. A collection off the showroom floor can be a factor here too -- see those that might sell all the pokemon games with attendant colours of console in a "buy this and have a big box delivered to your house, don't need to carry on hunting".
    Popularity of console it is on; there is a reason Atari, C64 and the like costs less than the NES and other far more popular devices, though there are oddballs like the neogeo pocket color and neogeo in general (that said most of the stuff there is as close to arcade as you are likely to get).
    Rarity of game. Number of copies produced and availability on the market being factors here. This can include region, give or take a dip for PAL where it is often (though sometimes erroneously) considered worse for the whole slowdown and black bars bit and maybe a dip for Japanese -- most don't speak it which makes things harder to sell outside Japan. Though at the same time PAL might often see limited runs (and even more limited sales) of a random sports game which in turn makes that silly rare and chased by collectors, and said complete set collectors might also be on the hunt for kids games that also sold relatively low volumes and don't often end up in the normal supply chains for games (the average teenage male playing typical teenage male games, be they mindless annual sequels or the nice RPGs that still command a price, at the time probably subsequently trading games out to game shops and online places leaving you to go hunting around yard sales and hoping the bored mothers did not just chuck things in the bin in a cleaning frenzy (happens more than you know). Rereleases and ports on later consoles can also be a thing dragging it down if there are equally good ways of playing, saving that they are limited too (Skies of Arcadia on the dreamcast for example, mainly as its only other release was on the gamecube where it is equally rare).
    In future years I imagine all those nice limited run physical copies of games otherwise released primarily as downloadable games will also command a premium.
    Those games that might be otherwise stock games but were rare by virtue of being bundled with a console or maybe only a preorder bonus (think Zelda bonus discs for the gamecube) can also be a thing pumping up prices.
    Specifics for a game. If a given run has less censorship, an important bug for something then this can be it. Also if a game got a second run then unless it has said bugs, censorship, maybe DLC or something.
    Further specifics can also be if a game got recalled (either to fix a bug, dodge a controversy, because lawsuit), maybe had a misprint on the cover (this is less of a thing but will probably rise in the future, though we did see that specific box mario NES thing a short while back) or came with an accessory.

    Basically other than rare things produced as publicity stunts (think competition carts, or say that DS that Nintendo gave to a fashion/jewellery designer that they in turn officially sold) then the most pricey will probably be an uncensored limited edition of what later became an endlessly replayable, including multiplayer, cult classic game made late in a somewhat failed console's life that got ignored because the new console was out, and that came with a statue and accessory you plug into the and sold only in certain shops (possibly only with a console bundle) that might well have been on the decline and the devs later went on to make masterworks with this being something of a prototype, even more so if this was in a region that does not normally care for this sort of game and maybe saw a recall due to a lawsuit or something that all the speedrunners want both due to bugs present and the accessory doing something they want and all in mint condition.

    The players in the markets are collectors and further to that the premium collectors that truly care about condition, collectors also vary between good games for the consoles, games from my youth and complete set in more or less any condition (that also may not care about the rare bundled thing is 1:1 code is available from cheaper options), the game players, the investors (big money, pro and just plain dabbler all of which will sit on things for various amounts of time), the resellers, the speedrunners, the trophment hunters and the bug/challenge runners. Fakes, aka repros/reproductions, are also a thing and will speak to different markets different, as will flash carts, quality of emulation and mod chips.
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