Sunday, 3 June 2012

Amsterdam Day Trip

Just one very small section of Amsterdam
Yesterday Michael and I decided to use a couple of day tickets we had saved for the train and make our way to Amsterdam.

Michael had never been before, and though I'd been there a few times in the past, I didn't really remember it very well. Us being us, of course, we looked up computer game shops before we left. We found one very interesting shop called Game Over?, and we stopped by here first, as it was just outside the central station.

Click through to see our discoveries!

Although the shop was very small it was stuffed to the brim with all sorts of interesting things. They had lots of Japanese consoles, such as Nintendo Famicoms, Japanese Sega Mega Drives, the Sega Mark III (which would be later be redesigned to become the console you may know as the Master System) and Bandai WonderSwans.

I have been on the look out for a WonderSwan for some time now. It is not a console you will find very much in anywhere but Japan, as it was never officially released outside of Japan. Luckily for me, the owner of Game Over? spends much of his time in Japan and imports consoles and games to the Netherlands. So, when I saw that they had some WonderSwans I had to take a look, and my heart overcame my wallet.

I got a WonderSwan Color, much like the Game Boy Color is an upgrade over the Game Boy, the WonderSwan Color is an upgrade over the WonderSwan. I got with it two games, on the left, Puyo Puyo 2 and on the right Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon (Chocobo's Dungeon). Unfortunately both of these games are for the original WonderSwan, so although they work (and are pretty cool), I haven't seen the full colour glory of the WonderSwan Color.

Michael was very sorely tempted by one of the Japanese Mega Drives, but in the end decided not to purchase one, as his Mega Drive has been modified to be region free (and he has done similar for his Master System), he instead went for a couple of games, Ranger X and Bio Hazard Battle.

You might be thinking, but there's three games here?!, we'll get to that in a bit.

After spending many moneys, we wandered around the city for a while, exploring the sites to be seen in Amsterdam (mainly coffee shops and prostitutes, neither of which we make use of). We came across a comic book shop called Henk. I was very tempted there by the hard back collections of some of DC's New 52 comics, but decided against it. Michael found two bundles of The Authority comics which he had to have.

After spending all our money, we tried to find somewhere to eat the lunch we (very sensibly) brought with us. In doing so we came across the following.

 Next to a construction site along one of the canals we saw this swan, who has made a nest out of rubbish and twigs. I was both amazed at how the swan had adapted to using plastic bags as nest lining and shocked at how horrible it was. Nearby were also two homeless people who nearly broke out in a fight, after one of them started laughing a drunk guy who fell over and knocked his head. Fortunately, both of them were too drunk to actually fight properly, and nobody got hurt.

After we were done in Amsterdam we still had some time left in the (shopping day), and our day tickets did not limit us to any particular destination, so we decided to go to Breda, where there is one shop that Michael likes very much called ForeGames. We managed to get there just before closing time. Here Michael got the other Mega Drive game pictured above, Space Harrier II, and a copy of Edge magazine he had been lusting over for some time.

Edge, Sept 2004

Very interestingly, this magazine also features an article on the Unreal 3 engine, and the pictures herein show characters from Gears of War, though no mention of the game is made.

I think Michael was pretty amazed at Amsterdam, as it is so very different from anywhere else he has been in the Netherlands, and it is almost exactly as you might have heard. The football season meant the whole city was brightly decorated in orange and there was a very excited feeling about the place. I think it's somewhere we will be going back to in the future.


  1. Game Over is a great game shop, the only problem is that they're quite pricey...

    1. Yeah, for games they were overall quite expensive, especially when compared to UK prices, but for some of the import consoles they were pretty good. They had a good price on the Wonderswans and the Japanese MegaDrive, for example.

      Going there was more like going to a museum. We got to see some stuff we'd never even thought we'd see.

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