Chuff_72 Speaks: THE BIG ONE

Richie and I have been dealing with a big court case at the moment because of this post so we haven't been able to blog about Fifa 07 or the latest fake WoW :( .
However, you may remember that Chuff_72 was doing an important mission, as a maniac, but on behalf of all gamerkind (That's you readers). Have you tried to buy a game in real life recently? I'm not talking about the brand newest games I'm talking about old games that have been out for a fortnight or something? Impossible! Mr.Game only sells 5 types of EA game so where do we go to buy the underated classics like Tomb Raider 3 or Resident Evil Code Veronica X? We go to the Indie stores, at least in theory we do. I would argue that if game developers want to sell their games they should make sure their games stay in fucking stores for longer than a week. Chuff_72 went to scope out the game shops in Europe's capital city, London. London must sell some ace games right? Right?
Here are his findings in one big chunk, Chuff_72 That Guy's Salutes You, working to save gamerkind....

Ok, so Cunzy has told you what my mission was but here are the rules;
1. Only stores that appear on Yell.com when the words “Computer Games” are entered
2. Only stores with an underground station within easy walking range
3. Only stores that are actually stores and not firkin internet cafes – I’m looking at you Digital Underworld

So, off on the journey, 7.30 am out of the flat and down to the Post Office to pick up a bundle of PS1 stuff, I was to carry these for the rest of the day as a form of good luck charm – fat lot of good that was.

First stop was Lewisham, initially to get a train but hey, the Flagship GameStation is parked here, and while it has never let me down in the past today was a different matter, nothing of interest, this was a sign of things to come.

From overland to underground and to Holloway Road in The North, Zone 2, on the way to my first port of call I spied a Cash Converter, I once bought a Master System and 20 games all boxed for £30 from one of these places so I cruised inside – Guys, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, if you put em behind the guitars, in a glass cabinet with a bunch of DVDs in front NOBODY IS GONNA BE ARSED TO LOOK, if we can’t see the games, we’re not gonna buy the games. From here I found myself outside a Blockbuster, with a co-joined GameStation, now, I like these style stores, I have fond memories of picking up SOS for £3 in a similar store in Chatham. Seriously though, two guys in a GLASS BOX with an Xbox on the wall and two racks of games does not constitute a Computer Game shop. Needless to say there was fuck all in there, though they did have a copy of Fifa…

On the way back to Holloway Road I happened to pass a market, now I gotta say, I’m not the sort who frequents markets, the cries of “awwwww shit Champ Man 8 awwwwww” from all the addidas wearing chavs tends to keep me away but for some reason I decided to cruise through. I found myself in a dirty tent with a woman, clearly tripping off her tits, with a baby crawling over her, “nice” I thought to myself, however I spotted an unboxed copy of Lylat Wars (a game I personally despise) and never one to walk away in the face of a bargain and not wanting to be seen leaving empty handed for fear of insulting the locals and thus ending up in a giant man made of straw on fire, I purchased said game. It was marked for £5, here’s a tip – always haggle with the druggies, they always give in, so I got it for £3 and that was the first bargain of the day, not that it’ll EVER get played mind you. There was also a NES in reasonable condition, but it goes against my personal religion to purchase hardware from a market… and it had no wires or pads…

On to Wood Green, the home of Tim and Daisy, where you can allegedly rent a two bed flat for £90 a week… It is also in Zone 4 and therefore officially off the map (my A-Z) here my friends, there be monsters. But this place had FOUR Computer Game stores, it is Mecca for all the Computer Games Pilgrims. This was gonna be intense, I could tell, my main worry was how was I gonna resist all the bargains and rare treats…

So first up was Shekhana World of Games, seriously they should just call it Shit World of Shit, infact drop the “World of.” How best to describe Shit Shit… There’s a piece of ripped brown corrugated card ON THE FLOOR the proudly states, LOOK, PSX GAMES, NEW, written in a shaky hand with black marker pen. Import games? Specialising in Gamecube, or PS1? Any other retro crap? No. There is nothing for sale in this store that Game or Gamestation don’t sell. The only reason I can see to buy anything from this store would be out of some kind of misplaced urge to give to charity, seriously, save it, sponsor a dolphin or something, at least that’ll send you one of those I Love You letters.

Next on the list and inside the awesomely named Shopping City, was Awesome Games… frankly you’ve got to be fucking kidding, Awesome Games? Not to over use the theme but lets call it Shit Games, in fact lets lose the Games. So, Shit then, in side Shit they have a copy of Gran Tourismo on Playstation, it looks quite new, nice and shiny, it costs £25, that’s right readers, £25 whole English Pounds. This sums up Shit. Anything else? Any games that I can’t walk into any number of other stores and buy, you know stores like WHSmith or Woolworths? No? Ok here’s an idea for the owners of this tragic waste of space (we all know you’re reading this), try selling games that are harder to come by, you know the games that Game and Gamestation have refused to stock, Gradius V, DS games, Rez? Just think of the flock of gamers frustrated by the elevated eBay prices flooding to the store. Oh yeah, they had a copy of Abe’s Odysee too, it was also £25, I don’t want to talk about it.

Downstairs in Shopping City (gotta love that name, it reeks of a Zombie infestation) was the tyrant of the Computer Game retail world, the Pink Master, and lets face it, we all know what’s gonna be in a Game, yet we always wander in. It’s got something to do with brand recognition or some bollocks. But how does this Gaming Giant handle the Gamecube faithful, here’s a picture…

Awesome isn’t it, 14 games, and 4 of them are Zelda – which are only labelled Coming Soon, Bratz, Sims, Sims 2, Ice Age and Fifa, I’m so glad the Wii is GC compatible.

So off to my second choice for all game purchases (Game Focus, you have nothing to worry about) GameStation in Wood Green, disappointingly not in the Shopping City, but a little ways down the road, it’s one of those small GameStations, you know there’s not gonna be a lot to choose from, but always the possibility that there’s fried gold somewhere on the shelves – or in one of their legendary glass cabinets. And low and behold, Chuff_72 picks up Shenmue, still in it’s card sleeve, and Nightmare Creatures for the combined price of £7.99 SIIIICCCKKKKK. Not to mention the the Turok 2 / Dinomaster Party combo that could have been someone’s for only a fiver, but someone wasn’t answering their phone that day. Ok I’ll admit, I mark out to GameStation on a regular basis, it’s somehow managed to get a chain of over 11 stores with Zone 1-6 alone, and yet still manages to hold on to that indie store appeal, there’s always the hope that something will slip through and you’ll be the one to get THE bargain, Point Blank 3 for £5 anyone? SIICCKKKKK.

By now I was pretty depressed by the state of the indie scene, the work FUCKED, springs to mind. It was in this state of mind I checked my “to do” list and saw there was one final store in this part of London, a little further up the track, right on the edge of Zone 4, Southgate, M R Games. I knew it was close to the station because I had checked the day before, but once again I was map less. The power of TGAM propelled me down a random road and through a Blockbuster, only to be greeted with the site of fake boobies. Not just any fake boobies, these were Anime boobies, some might say, the best kind of boobies, but these people all live in capsules and have robot dogs.

The boobies were part of some Anime display in a glass cabinet – at TGAM the glass cabinet is king – any store with a glass cabinet with cool shit in it scores big, and this cabinet had everything from Gundam to Streetfighter, no games but who cares. Inside the place was tiny to the point of being silly, a double sided shelf in the middle of the floor ensuring only single file movement and moving round the store in any other direct than clockwise was impossible. The tight confines were exacerbated by the insufferable twat hanging off the owners cock cooing about Metroid Pinball (which I have just found out was never released over here, another reason to delay my DS purchase – Cunz, still not used my Jag).

Ok so this place is small but somehow all the bases are covered and everyone is represented, yes even the Gamecube, but amongst the sparse collection were a few gems, I picked up Crypt Killer (a game I’ve never see in any other store) for £3, a bargain, well it’s got to be really since it’s shit and isn’t compatible with the G-Con (so it’ll never get played) but that’s not the point! Rare games are represented here, in this tiny haven for the true game fan (and don’t forget the boobies). Bestest thing in the store? Gotta be the twin joystick arcade style setup for the PS1, “for you sir, £30” to which I went hmmmmm DrWo would cream himself if he saw this… And not wanting to be covered in the good Dr’s man juice I left it for some other lucky game hunter.

It had been a long day, I had seen a lot of shit, but there was some ray of hope in the chavtasticly named icon3games (changed from M R Games), my feet were killing me and its surprising how heavy and spiky eight PS1 games can get when you’ve been carrying them all frikin day, but that’s what it’s all about readers, that’s the dedication expected of a TGAM Man In The Field. And so one last store beckoned, calling me to it, after all it was only one stop from London Bridge, ten minutes tops…

From Bermondsey station it was about a twenty minute flat footed walk, under a couple of bridges, down a couple more roads and then, in the distance a row of shops, a couple paper shops a Co-op and a butchers. No, it wasn’t a butchers, it was infact Tower Games, it was the Blue neon in the window that confused me… and the complete lack of games… and the bongs in the window. After walking all that I there was no way I wasn’t going in, even if all I came away with was another hash pipe.

I was greeted by three fat sweaty fucks, greased up to the max, bathed in the blue glow, playing CoD3 on PS2 (Next-Gen has yet to arrive in Bermondsey), the store itself was sparse to say the least, I think they had a copy of Fifa, but can’t guarantee it was ’07. Needless to say I don’t recommend anybody wasting their time visiting this store (that’s what TGAM’s for!).

And then I went home… to crack one out over my copy of Shenmue. On the strength of the above Indie Computer Game stores can go fuck themselves, except for Game Focus, we love the GF – hopefully it won’t start erasing our collective memories about how we were all once in an orphanage together.

Join me sometime in the near future when I will be reporting on the other side of London, until then C_72 out.

Comments

mehmet said…
Thanks for visiting icon3games the home of true gamers. Your comments are fair and very funny. We really enjoyed reading your blog and will be encouraging our customers to read this blog and others written by your team. Our new web site is only just up at www.icon3games.com please visit and maybe join our forum where you can post your comments on your adventures. We still laugh at "chavtasticly named" Maybe you can tell us why it is so named. Your views are very close to ours and we appreciate your comments on the clockwise path round our little shop. what can we do? its small, we know. As for finding games please ask us. We can, and have been able to source anything even those hard to find imports. We love games and treat gamers with high regard. Once again thank you and happy game hunting.
icon3games said…
icon3games is amazinig, retro consoles all types of games love it.
cool little shop in southgate london well worth a visit they also repair and mod all psp and ds , shops like this are slowly disapearing from our high st so , its behind southgate tube station cant miss it or ask anyone for crown lane .

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