Today I was fortunate to have attended the grand opening of a new used game store in my neighborhood.
Technically it was actually re-opening of a currently existing store, but in all fairness the changes made to the building were extensive to the point of being a brand new facility.
The store was called Game Gurus, and to my surprise; they went out of their way to throw a little party for their grand opening.
There were free hot dogs and popcorn, 50 cent games for sale in the parking lot, (mostly crap, but even so, 50 cents for a 360 game is pretty good regardless) and a raffle giveaway every 10 minutes.
For what essentially amounts to a mom and pop videogame store, I was amazed by the great lengths that the owners went to in making a good first impression.
While I was mulling about in front of the store, rooting through the cheap games my friend and I, who shall henceforth be referred to as Wes Studi; happened to notice an enthusiastic fellow customer perusing the wares while wearing what appeared to be a ODST getup.
Wes Studi insisted I take a photo of the 2 of them together, and as you can see at the top of this post; I did just that.
For a guy that’s not really up on cosplay, I have to say; they guy had some pretty snazzy digs.
Seriously man, the guy had some sort of microphone system built into the helmet that made him sound all loud and bell diver-ish.
Anyway, as impressive as the outdoor festivities were, the actual store itself was something to behold.
Though the shelves and inventory were arranged much like a typical Gamestop, there were a lot of little bells and whistles in Game Gurus that will no doubt lead to the risk of theft; but were nevertheless enticing to potential customers like myself.
For instance, throughout the store there were several monitors hung from the ceilings, each with a playable game console and single controller hanging from the ceiling like a mobile.
I saw lots of people messing around with these demo rigs, and it put a smile on my face to see little kids stand on their tippy-toes to try and get a grip on the dangling controllers.
I played Wes Studi a few times, and though my joysticks’ kick buttons weren’t functioning, I had a lot of fun.
By the way, I won every round.
*ANYWAY* On our way out, Wes Studi and I also took a minute to check out the “back room” of the store, where they store not porn; but rather a cache of about 6 Xbox 360′s running Black Ops, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and a few other shooters.
From what I understood, all of these rigs are free to play on the weekends, which in my opinion; is a great gesture to make the store out to be a neighborhood hang out for the kids.
Despite all the fun toys scattered about, the one thing that made me think to myself, “I might have to come back here sometime;” was the fact that the inventory was pretty solid.
While obscure consoles like the Turbografx 16 and Wonderswan weren’t on display, pretty much every major American console from the 8-bit era up was for sale, along with countless games to go with them.
Best of all, they had seemed to have a fairly robust selection of Super NES titles, with many of the rarer titles coming with their original packaging.
While I saw some extraordinarily rare stuff there, Wes Studi and I both ended up walking away with pretty basic stuff.
Having no job will do that to yah’…
Wes picked himself up a copy of Eternal Darkness, Mega Man X: Command Mission, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, while I got Pitfall: The_Mayan_Adventure, Gradius III, and X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse at a special 2-for-1 price.
Nothing special, but I saved a few bucks and walked away happy regardless.
All in all, I was wholeheartedly impressed with all the love and hard work that obviously went into the new Game Gurus store.
I sincerely thank the owners for their efforts, not just to make a good neighborhood store; but to reach out to the kids in the area and provide a fun place for them to hang out.
Given that it’s within walking distance of my house, and the fact that Pink Gorilla’s inventory has been kind of iffy in the Super NES area as of late; I could see myself doing a lot of my retro game shopping at Game Gurus from now on.
That’s not a knock on Pink Gorilla, ’cause don’t get me wrong, I love them; but I’m jus’ sayin’ is all…