Sunday, July 18, 2010
Check out Gamestop's page on Xenosaga III and use the store locator. You may notice an abundance of copies in your areas where there haven't been before, which were apparently just shipped there. According to posts on Cheapassgamer, they seem to use the newer PS2 cases that are missing the memory card holder, while the original print used the older one, indicating that it has been reprinted. This has happened before, usually without any press release, and many seem to be courtesy of GameQuestDirect. In the past they reissued some rarer PSOne titles, like Persona 2 Eternal Punishment (which is still pretty expensive nowadays) and Rhapsody (which isn't.) Between them and (maybe?) Atlus, we've seen reprints of some scattered PS2 titles, including all three Fatal Frames, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, both Digital Devil Sagas, and the Atelier Iris trilogy. Someone may also have reprinted Tales of Vesperia, which is listed for $20 on Gamestop Canada's site, although, strangely enough, not the US site, where the price still sits at $45 for a used copy. They are both Bandai Namco titles so it's definitely possible they may have had a hand in it.
These titles have both been pretty pricey for awhile now, usually fetching between $40-$50 in the used marketplace, even though Tales of Vesperia is only two years old. (Don't even ask about the LE for Vesperia.) Like many RPGs that aren't Final Fantasy, sales for these titles aren't exactly front-loaded, and by the time word of mouth gets around, it's often difficult to find them new on store shelves. Very few titles actually go above their retail price, and even the ones that do are often reprinted (like SMT Nocturne) but it's an interesting trend in sales and one that publishers should pay more attention to. The first Xenosaga in particular sold extremely well, enough to earn a Greatest Hits title. I'm not sure about the second one, but both can be picked up pretty much anywhere for less than $10. Meanwhile, Xenosaga III went mostly ignored, perhaps because many were disappointed in the first two. It's tragic, because the third is by far the best in the series and one of the PS2's better RPGs, but so much the plot is muddled without playing the first two (and is still a bit wonky even if you have) that it's easy to see why no one bought it, at least at first. With the drought of decent console JRPGs lately, it makes sense to revisit some of the PS2's unheralded gems.
Many Nintendo produced titles on the Wii and DS also keep their price and don't really go down in value - at least, other than the ones that don't meet expectations like Battalion Wars or Elite Beat Agents. Games like Super Princess Peach and Yoshi's Island DS haven't dropped at all, and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time actually goes for more than retail. (The online price is $35 - the B&M price is $40.) But they also refuse to reprint titles or keep new ones in circulation, perhaps due to their conservative nature. (And, apparently, in the case of Tetris DS, which goes for $45 at Gamestop, a licensing issue.) In a roundabout way, it also kinda promotes piracy, but I'm sure they don't see it like that. A majority of DS games sold on eBay are also fakes, so the bootleggers are strangely meeting the demand that Nintendo does not acknowledge.