Sunday, March 19, 2006

More Retro Game Shopping

In a previous post I covered the game shops and arcade at Wannian Plaza. Since posting my findings I have not been sitting idly by, sipping oolong tea while gazing out my apartment window. Oh no, unsatisfied with my findings at Wannian, I have continued my search! And I am happy to report that I have found quite a few nice game shops. Details below:


All of these shops are located in Taipei City Mall, an underground shopping mall running beneath Civic Blvd near Taipei Main Station. Check out the map here. I haven't explored the entire mall, but the shops I've found are all in the area around mall exit 5. One easy way to get there from the MRT station is through the Station Front Metro Mall on the west side of the station. Take exit 7 from the Station Front Mall and walk north along Chongqing Rd. to exit 5 of the Taipei City Mall. Walk down the steps and you should see one game store almost directly in front of you. This shop has a lot of new releases, but if you walk east a little ways you will see several other shops selling a variety of current and classic releases. There are also some shops to the west, but most of the good ones that I found are to the east.

The Goods

Several shops were well stocked with retro games and consoles. All the classic consoles were there, though not in large numbers. One shop even had the Super A'Can! I eventually bought a Japanese Megadrive 2 and two games -- Shadow Dancer and Elemental Master -- for around $80. Not too bad, although Shadow Dancer was pretty expensive at $30. One vendor had Panorama Cotton, but at a price of nearly one month's rent, I had to pass. Between the various shops they had most of the classic Megadrive games, which is one reason I went with the Megadrive over a Saturn. They had some pretty good Saturn games, but most of the great ones are just too expensive. I think I will stick to the Megadrive for now.

Overall, the shops here beat the ones at Wannian in every way. The only thing missing is a good arcade. I'm planning on heading back here to try and score a copy of Under Defeat when it is released later this week.

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At 12:58 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Yeah, I used to go to those stores pretty often. I usually just took the MRT to 台北車站 (the one that meets the train station), and then headed towards exit #1. Right by that exit you can enter the 地下街. That way, you don't have to switch malls, or go above ground or anything like that.

I had no idea you could get all those retro games, though! I usually spent most my time in the big shop with all the new games. Did they have old US consoles too, or was it pretty much all Japanese stuff?

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Thanks for the tip.

It was pretty much just Japanese stuff. One shop was selling a chipped Japanese Saturn though. You probably won't have much luck finding many US games though.

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I know one shop that sells exclusively pirated games that has US versions of pretty much every PS1 or PS2 game made... the only thing is it gets shut down every couple of months. It's near Shilin night market.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I was over by Shilin the other night, but all I saw were legit game shops. Is it pretty easy to tell when they've got pirated stuff? I suppose it doesn't really matter since I don't have a chipped PS2, but it would still be nice to know.

I could play pirated GBA or PC games though. Know any places that have those(especially PC)? I've looked around GuangHua, but haven't seen anything other than your standard pc apps like Office, Photoshop, etc.

At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, im about to visit wonderful Taiwan in few weeks. Do you happen to see any Neo-Geo games on these retro-shops?

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Hi Anon, I did see Neo Geo games in the shops in the underground mall near the Taipei Main Station. Keep in mind that this post is almost 7 years old at this point though, and I haven't been in Taipei since 2006! I'm not sure if those shops are even still there, but I believe I have seen other references to them on the Net since I was there.

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Taipei, the shops mentioned in this post are still there but only 2 retro gaming shops still exist there and several newer game shops but some of those newer shops do have retro items, just not a lot. I found another shop that is near my wife's salon, quite small but he had a decent amount of older US games on the cheap. I will go back there this week and post up if anyone is interested in knowing about it.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Yes, please post anything you find. It'd be nice to have updated information if I ever make it back to Taipei. It's kind of sad knowing that a few of those shops have disappeared, but maybe they've just moved.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Oh, and thanks for posting what you did. I'm always surprised when people comment on years-old posts, but it seems that this post is one of the few repositories of information about retro game shopping in Taipei. It'd be great to keep it updated!


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