When you’re a PAL collector like most Australian retro game hoarders are, you tend to have a dim view of NTSC console models and their games. Machines like the Japanese Super Famicom or USA NES don’t seem to hold their value well in PAL territories, and the games themselves seem like cast-outs to our eyes. You need only do a quick check on Ebay to compare the same game on a PAL Nintendo Entertainment System versus an NTSC copy to see the difference in perceived value. So is there an appeal? Of course! I’ve decided to use my NTSC Super Famicom copy of Super Bomberman 3 to make the case that NTSC collecting can be as fun and rewarding as PAL collecting any day of the week.
Behold, my Super Famicom and assorted games…
So, why bother with Super Famicom collecting? Especially when you need a step-down transformer to play the games in Australia without blowing your SFC up? For one thing, check out the box art on the SFC version of Super Bomberman 3 (top). Vastly superior to the PAL release (bottom), the SFC box art is lively, vibrant and covered in the cartoon style that only the Japanese can do well.
You’ll find a lot of the Super Famicom games have similar box art, so already there’s a compelling reason to throw a few SFC games into your collecting mix. Don’t forget that – on average – boxed SFC games fetch a far lower price than their PAL equivalents, so you can rapidly build up a collection of NTSC titles for relative cheap, cheap (it’s also worth noting that SFC games seem to be well taken care of compared to often bashed about PAL SNES titles). So you get games with great art, in great condition, with exactly the same gameplay but cheaper.
Are you starting to see the appeal?
The insides of Super Bomberman 3 also don’t disappoint, with bright, cheery instructions and instructions that contain a fantastic comic strip the meaning of which I will never, ever know. But that’s a minor quibble when the art is so pretty.
So, what about the gameplay? Well, Super Bomberman 3 is exactly the same in NTSC form as it is in PAL, so there are no surprises. It’s a fantastic puzzle game where you get to clear screen after colorful screen of bad guys using well placed and well timed bomb explosions. Super Bomberman 3 introduces new bad guys, new themed rooms and even a strange Kangaroo type critter that your Bomberman can ride. Nifty and a great time waster, Super Bomberman 3 is just one of many games that – thanks to its relative cheapness and great artwork makes an easy case for why collecting NTSC games can be a great experience and an easy way to beef up your game collecting.