Every time the train slows down as it approaches the station and the female voice announces ‘Akihabara…Akihabara’ over the speaker and the little jingle kicks in, I still get that same feeling of excitement, like a kid on Christmas morning. Why? Because Akihabara still has the best arcades and videogame stores in the world!
Whether shopping for arcade PCB’s or console games, I really enjoy doing the rounds with my list of wants, trying to find that elusive title. And more often then not, stumbling across a title that’s not on the list but is an essential purchase all the same! Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti for the Famicom springs to mind. This was an impulse buy as it was mint, cheap, has awesome cover art and its Splatterhouse! Other impulse buys include Lemmings and
for the Megadrive, and Super Star Wars and Bomber Man B-Daman for the Super Famicom. Jurassic Park
Sadly the number of videogame stores and space in stores devoted to gaming has declined over recent years and prices have increased, chances are items can be found for less on Yahoo
. However, bargains can still be found and you can’t beat having the item in your hands, knowing the exact condition before purchase. And it’s awesome seeing shelves full of Famicom, Super Famicom, Megadrive, Sega Saturn, PC Engine and Neo Geo AES games in excellent condition. Japan
|Some pics from "Trader" videogame store|
|Some pics from "Friends", next to G-Front|
There are three PCB shops in
On my visit one staff member spoke very good English. A lot of PCB’s are on shelves so you can browse through the titles. The more expensive titles such as Cave kits are in a glass cabinet. I was very happy to see Fire Barrel in the cabinet, but this turned to disappointment when I went to the counter only to find the big blue sign on it meant ‘sold out’ Gutted. Thankfully though, after years of looking, I’ve since managed to find this.
Located at the top of
arcade. Again you can browse through most titles. The staff speak very little English, so it’s best to be prepared with a list of wants in case you can’t find the titles your after. The prices were generally the cheapest. Here I picked up Bubble Memories (Taito F3) for a very reasonable 8000 Yen as well as a couple of MVS titles. Try Amusement Tower
This shop has the largest selection, however most of the PCB’s are behind the counter. The staff were very patient. Although I was very happy with the service I received from each store, my wifey actually preferred this one. However this may partly be down to them having Pipe Dream, the game at the top of her want list! I was pleased to pick up 1944: The Loop Master (CPSII), Strikers 1999 (Psikyo), Godzilla (Banpresto) and a couple of MVS titles.