What’re Ya Sellin’? – Vidjagame Apocalypse 369

Where would RPG heroes be without the faithful merchants who keep them supplied with magic swords and healing potions? Dead in a ditch, that’s where. This week, we grab Tyler Nagata for a look at five games that flip the script by making you a shopkeeper in someone else’s heroic journey, after which we’ll tunnel into Minecraft Dungeons and Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, get excited for Silent Hill’s sort-of return, and hear about the athletes you’d pick to fight monsters.

Question of the Week: Do you have fond memories of a mom-and-pop game store or arcade? Tell us about them!


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Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break song is Salesman by The Monkees.

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9 thoughts on “What’re Ya Sellin’? – Vidjagame Apocalypse 369

  1. Wonder if the Level 5 3DS game will make the list…that was one of the first games I played where you were not the hero but shopkeeper

  2. The best we had in deep suburbia was a SF2 cabinet in a local Mac’s Milk. Possibly Becker’s. Some defunct Canadian chain, it’s probably a Circle K now. I spent a ton of allowance on Slushies and losing nearly every round. Then they installed an SNK multi-game cab. We could barely understand how games could look this good, before they stripped all the games out of the store. Bummer.

  3. QOTW: I’ve brought it up in past QOTW responses before, but there’s a small game store near my parents’ house called “Another Castle” that started off around 2010 as a small game store. Over the years, it’s since ballooned into a small chain across Washington state, with two of their locations (one in Edmonds, one in Bellingham) having full arcades (complete with alcohol!) in addition to the store.

    I was worried they’d completely shutter during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’ve since shifted to curbside pickup, and I’ll be buying new and old games from them for as long as Washington remains under lockdown. Gotta support local business, after all.

  4. I worked at one, actually! Game Champ it was called, and while I enjoyed working with most of the folks, the owners were sketchy and a bit dickish (one of which spent a good half hour or so yelling at me for wearing a tank top when I was forced to stand outside in a 90+ degree blazing sunny day to sell backpacks), customers would frequently be big bullies because they knew they could get away with it (such as the guy who believed we wold be the downfall of society because we sold video games and Shopkins, and not microscopes, which according to him would get Trump elected), and all the locations I knew of were all within a block of a GameStop.
    But on the bright side, after Game Champ went under, one of my coworkers went on to open his own video game store, Gotham City Games (@gothamcitygame on Twitter, check them out if you’re ever in NYC).

    1. Side note: his business’ name was changed two days after I posted this (oops). Shop is now called Brooklyn Game Shack (@BkGameShack).

  5. The Video Game Trader in Buford, Georgia.
    I been going there for years buying and selling to the point that the store owner and employees let me look over inventory that’s just come in or before it hits the shelf. The owner sold me a stack of Mega CD games that he didn’t want to refurbish or list on eBay for $30. In that stack was Final Fight CD,, The Terminator and a complete copy of Keio Flying Squadron. I took them home(after refurbishing them all) and found out that you can play them on an original modded Xbox via an emulator. The owner saw that I posted this tip on Facebook and was pissed when I went back the next day, but since then I’ve spent way too much at his store that he’s forgiven me.

  6. When I lived in this shitty little high desert town named California City or Cal City (Cal Shitty) for short, there was a tiny little video game/smoke shop/head shop combo in the town’s only strip mall. I went there hoping to find Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. I somehow lucked out and they had it! At a decent price too! I rode my bike home as fast as possible, excited to play this new game I had heard so much about. Popped it into my PlayStation, started it up and…….what’s this top down view all about? I don’t care about a prissy knight…? Why do I keep dying so easily in the very beginning….restart again. Oh….I’m SUPPOSED to die…..This is the wrong fucking character……SHIT, there is more than one of these games? The new one is the SEQUEL? I GOT THE WRONG FUCKING GAME?!………No return or exchange policy? God-DAMN-it!

  7. For me over here in jolly England it was a small family-run video rental shop called Video Extra. Through the 8-bit era they had rented games from a small corner of the shop separate from the VHSs. I’ll never forget the warm Sunday afternoon, that I walked in to find a crowd of gawping pre-teens staring at a new game on their tiny screen. Super Mario World on an import SNES. Obviously at the time I didn’t know what it was, just that it had Mario and screen-filling Bullet Bills ( it was the 2nd stage). None of use could believe how good it looked. We queued over an hour just so we could each have a five minute turn. I’m 37 now, still never forgotten that day.

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