RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on May 2nd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Collecting, video games, sub sets, goals, unique, personal, quests

I had an interesting conversation with someone not too long ago about how they want to collect on a larger scale, but just get overwhelmed with the task and had given up multiple times. I had two pieces of advice to offer. The first, and probably the most important, is to take a good look at your goal and make sure it's something that you actually want to invest the time and resources into. Collecting something like a full library can take years and thousands of dollars. If you're not committed and have stalled or even gone backwards in that goal, is it really something that is important to you or simply something that used to seem enjoyable, but maybe isn't quite what you though it was? Even on a smaller scale, such as collecting all the games from your favorite series, can be a huge task. There are dozens of games across multiple platforms in series like Mario, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Zelda, Pac-Man, Harvest Moon, Pokemon, etc. Beyond the time and money, you had better enjoy research and have the space available in your home to display or store them like you want to.

If all that checks out though, then my next suggestion is to enter the delightful world of Sub-Sets!

Like many big goals in life, you can trick your mind into seeing those lofty goals as more achievable by breaking them down into smaller, more bite-sized goals. And if done right, it can even be a fun meta-game within itself. A lot of NES collectors will be familiar with some of the widely known and collected sub-sets such as a Black Box set, Konami Silver Box set, or Capcom Purple Box set. When I was striving for a full NES set, I broke it down ever further and sometimes even made my own. Going beyond the well known aesthetic sets I found enjoyment in the design of the FCI artwork and some of the Data East titles such as Karnov and Heavy Barrel. It definitely made picking up games like Side Pocket much more enjoyable by using the metric of closing up a sub-set rather than "guess I'm 0.15% closer to my NES set!"

Going beyond pure aesthetic sets, it was fun to also collect for specific publishers. Tracking down a manageable set in terms of size, but maybe not in terms on rarity, like all of the NES KOEI games, was a goal that ended up taking much longer than I assumed for a set of nine games. But boy was it a sweet victory when I was finally able to nab elusive copies of L'Empereur and Bandit Kings of Ancient China. To pass the time while hunting for KOEI games, I could get more obtainable sets like Broderbund and Culture Brain, which ended up have some very cool games both in terms of playability and aesthetics.

That elusive DK Jr Math though.....

One of my early goals was to have at least one NES game that started with each letter of the alphabet. Thus started my quest of Qix, Xexyx and Vegas Dreams. Once that was achieved, it evolved into can I get all the games that start with "X?" How about all the games that start with "K?" How about all of the Power Pad games? Zapper titles? Power Glove? Major Label Variants (label image changes or cart colors)? At one point (when prices were much lower mind you), I even made an "expensive games sub-set" which consisted of NES titles that regularly sold for over $100. At the time, it was only things like Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak, Little Samson, Stadium Events and eventually grew to include Bonk's Adventure, Panic Restaurant, The Jetsons, Zombie Nation, and the like. Focusing on this subset early turned out to be a life-saver for my wallet in the long run.

Eventually, all of these little "tasks" cumulatively became a licensed NES collection and beyond. But with this approach, there was never really a lull or a time when it wasn't fun. Even when saving up for the bigger titles, I could chip away at little victories and rejoice when I picked up Krusty's Fun House to complete my Simpsons set or be proud to obtain well known stinkers like X-Men because it got me one closer to my comic hero set all the while I was putting away bigger dollars to save up for Stadium Events.

With other collections I use very similar tactics such as getting a copy of every ATLUS game or each Mega Man title. I've been plugging away at each of those for years by breaking them down. Do I have all of the classic Mega Man titles? How about all of the X titles? Battle Network now? Why not get all of the Etrian Odyssey games? Super Robot Taisen? How about all of the DS games that ATLUS has published? PS2? GBA?

Now that my wishlist is finally in order, it's been fun to occasionally have the opportunity to laser focus in on certain consoles again. Tynstar was awesome enough to hook me up with my entire SEGA CD wishlist in one fell swoop. I'm eagerly awaiting for that parcel to arrive, but it has me invigorated and on a SEGA kick right now, so I'm making strides to complete my Dreamcast collection as well. Many of my collecting goals that seemed far off are either coming to a close or creeping ever closer.

so stylish!

Collecting has always been fun for me I think because it's really just a series of small victories that eventually amount to something greater. And when I look at my entire wall of TG-16 or NES games, I can reminisce about these silly challenges I set out for myself and have fond memories of pick ups like China Warrior or Magic Darts that may otherwise just seem like "filler" to some. In short, do what you can to make every aspect of your gaming, including collecting, into a game. That's why we all do this in the end isn't it? Cause we love games! Smiley

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I love this article.  Great job Crabby.  The first point you make is a really good one.  Do you really have the time and money to invest into collecting a full set?  It may not be what you thought it was going to be.  You had better like research and better have the space.

Beyond that, I LOVE breaking down collecting goals to manageable tasks.  Getting a game from each letter of the alphabet is a great idea, then all the games of one letter.  You feel like you are making progress, checking things off a list.  I ended up finishing my Konami Silver Box set and I love it.  The Black Box set became too much of an expensive chore so I stopped pursuing.  Lots of great info and tips in here!
@wildbil52:I'd like a CIB Black Box set one day, but DK Jr Math and Stack Up are BIG barriers.....
Great idea, breaking up a collecting goal into smaller sub-sets. I'm not someone who strives for complete sets for a console or anything, but the idea of owning all variations on a series or publisher is very appealing to me, especially for series that are near and dear to my heart. There's several series that I've made a point to try and procure a complete set of (Final Fantasy, Suikoden, Lego games, God of War, etc), and others I'm just thinking of now to try and seek out. For example, you mention a Mega Man set, and I'm actually pretty baffled how I haven't tried to do that yet, other than buying the various collections that have been released.
I came here to read the article (I read all of them), and ended up ogling the NES games.  I better leave before someone calls the police.  All those beautiful silver boxes...  Gotta run.
Funny, I do that same thing when it comes to breaking things up into "logical" (at least to me) subsets. Now if I had only gone for those more expensive NES titles first.............ERRRRR!!
I end up on the same kicks, even when I really don't care for full system sets. Getting all the Gradius titles, or unique PAL/Famicom games, it all ends up keeping it fresh.
@zophar53: There is an INSANE amount of Mega Man games. Really a baffling amount.

@bombatomba: Understandable. Some sets just look amazing when displayed. When I sent to Bil's house a couple years back it was hard not to ogle his 32x set. Looks really great on the shelf!

@singlebanana: I got Little Samson and Krion Conquest super early mostly because they looked like decent Mega Man clones and not necessarily because I thought the prices would blow up. Flintstones and Stadium Events where really the "expensive ones" that I felt I needed to get quick before they got much worse.

@Duke.Togo: Gradius would be a cool one to get the whole series!
I love this post Crab! This is how I put to rest what I actually wanted to collect, when the sheer volume of it tended to be overwhelming. I shifted my attention to how I could be more intentional about collecting for my Dreamcast, and backed away from a complete set. I opted for:

- Sega All-Stars Variants
- Capcom Set
- Sega Set

It makes that whole collecting piece less overwhelming and you can target individual goals one at a time. Thanks for the great article!
@Blu: Dreamcast Capcom set is an awesome one! Super fun to collect for. Good luck with the collecting!!

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