THE NOMAD ON-THE-GO
Oh Plymouth Meeting Mall, where have you been all my life? Apparently a twenty minute drive from where I lived for the past two and a half years.
My SEGA mall adventure began when I ventured to a nearby mall to get a watch battery replaced. The Plymouth Meeting Mall had been branded "shitty" by my girlfriend as it really isn't much of a mall. Most of the stores are empty and up for lease (browse the mall map for the many "leasing opportunities"), while most of the available stores include the obscure City Blue and Mandee. Whats worse, popular stores like FYE are virtually empty. But within this recession-pit of a mall are a few gems.
The mall includes a two story Dave & Buster's, an arcade sports bar, which features a decent amount of SEGA arcade units. Entering D&B's you pass a twelve unit long Daytona USA. Surprisingly, at 5pm on a Tuesday there were five people playing it. It brought a tear to my eye. Other cabinets included a shiny new Sega Rally 3, a game I've never seen before called Let's Go Jungle, SEGA Airline Pilots, Derby Owners Club and a few more that I forgot as I was distracted by the horseys. While there were no Virtua Fighter cabinets, obscure horse racing and safari games more than made up for it. Pricing was pretty fair as well; Wednesdays were half-price and weekday nights offered an hour of play for $10. Oh, and they have beer. Consider me a D&B's regular!
My next find was a small game store called Play N' Trade. Usually I pass by game stores as the only offerings are for current-gen systems, but something about this place drew me in. Browsing the used DVD rack, an employee asked if I was looking for anything. I told him no and continued to browse, but he kept up. "What systems do you have?" I told him PS2, XBOX and Dreamcast. "Oh, we have Dreamcast games." Now he had my attention!
I followed him to a book of what they had in the back and had a look at their stock. The Dreamcast page was only ten games long, with some already crossed off, but a few games caught my attention. I asked to have a look, and while the cases were cracked and stickered the discs and inserts were great. I made off with Expendable, BANG! Gunship Elite and The Last Blade 2; all three for $15 total! Other SEGA offerings included some used Dreamcast controllers (including the ugly wide and bulky third party ones), a Saturn controller extender, four Sega CD games (all obscure or shitty, including Bram Stoker's Dracula) and a few Genesis, Master System and Game Gear boxed carts. While Play N' Trade wasn't the treasure chest I was hoping for, the fact that they buy and sell older goods at fair prices means that in the future I could very well score something great. The possibilities are endless! Interested in checking out their website? It's a myspace page. That's what I call a small business.
And so ended my SEGA mall adventure. While not an epic adventure, it's comforting to know that a slice of SEGA is just a drive away and that there are more adventures to come!