Thursday, December 31, 2015

Japan Retro Direct

When it comes to collecting retro video games these days there are no shortages of options, heck even GameStop got into the retro game again by offering a older games for a selection of systems on their website. There are plenty of other retailers online located all over the world and while I've found a few deals here and there, it seems the one place I find myself checking out often is Japan Retro Direct.

What? You've never heard of them? Yeah, that's what I've gathered so I thought I'd take a second to share my thoughts and experiences in my little corner of the web. Sometimes when you find something so good you want to hoard it and keep it for yourself. However with more and more people getting into collecting and selling retro video games, prices keep going up and up and up. This is one of the reasons I frequent JRD - fair prices.

Japan Retro Direct is the brainchild of one person, Kevin Tamburino, but you may know him as Vinnk. Part of the successful Famicom Dojo and contributor at sites such 4 Color Rebellion and RETRO Magazine, Vinnk decided to start offering up Japanese games to those of us that live outside of Japan. I've bought games from others that live in Japan, but Vinnk always seems to offer up his finds at very reasonable prices and because he is an American I don't have to worry about dealing with the language barrier.

Now you may be wondering by now, where do I find this Japan Retro Direct? Well first and foremost you can make sure to Like and follow his official Facebook page to make sure you are getting the latest updates. His store is a part of the awesome video game auction site, Game Gavel. If you aren't familiar w/ Game Gavel then you should, but that is a post for another time. In his store you'll find Japanese games ranging from the Nintendo Famicom to the NEC PC Engine to the Sony Playstation formats and everything in between.

Why should you follow my advice and buy from Japan Retro Direct? Well other than the few reasons I mentioned above, you can trust Vinnk. He tests and cleans all the games before he makes them available in his store. Pricing - better than eBay, better than most places you'll find the games offered. Shipping - reasonable shipping rates and well packaged for the trip across the Pacific. Knowledge and Trust - it seems more and more reproduction cartridges and bootlegs are starting to hit the market and I know that I'll never be misled by what I'm buying. I can even trust the game on the Famicom Disk I'm buying is the actual game on the disk. Lastly Selection - some of the categories may get thin at times, but that's because he's selling through the games so quickly! However he is great at keeping his store full of great offerings. There isn't many times I haven't been able to find 4-5 items I want each and every time I stop by.

I've been shopping from Japan Retro Direct for several years now and I can't recommend them enough. If the above reasons weren't enough to sway you from giving him your business, then I've got one more reason. He takes requests. I don't remember how it even came up, but one day last year I shot him a message asking what the likelihood of him finding me a NEC PC-FX console would be and if he could help suggest a few games to start with. It wasn't long before he responded with some information which led to a complete loose console w/ two games he recommended, Battle Heat and Team Innocent. He made me an offer that I simply could not refuse and still today I categorize as one of the best video game deals I've ever had. He even was nice enough to give me the link to a great English walkthu for Team Innocent so I could get the most entertainment out of my new purchase.

One of the next requests I had for him was for a boxed copy of the Sega game Quartet, but only forthe Sega Mark III (known as Double Target in Japan). Sure enough he was able to come through again for me.

I don't work for Japan Retro Direct and I wasn't asked or paid to do this. I simply wanted to share my positive experiences in the hopes that other fellow gamers and collectors could benefit from this awesome service that Vinnk operates. Yes, you do have a lot of options as to where you get your games from. For me Japan Retro Direct is a proud option for me. Make sure you stop by his store and see what he's got to offer. Selection is always changing so bookmark the site and stop by at a later date if nothing catches your eye on your first visit.

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