BY DEAN MOSES
For many of us, the Nintendo Entertainment System was our introduction to the wonderful world of video games. Released in 1985, this groundbreaking console would eventually have over 700 games available to purchase and play. Those were still the early days of gaming though, many gamers—and their parents—did not consider keeping these games and their cardboard packaging. As time wore on and newer consoles were brought to the rapidly growing market, it would not be uncommon for these older titles to become misplaced or thrown out. Now times have changed, in the last few years retro video game collecting has become a passion for countless gamers, in the same vein as vinyl and comic book collecting. Now those old NES cartridges can fetch over $500 on eBay, making many gamers wish they had stored their collection in a safe place as a child.
But why is all of this relevant I hear you ask? Well, with hindsight generating generations of kids to lament their childhood video game choices, a few companies have popped up to remind gamers of the importance of preservation: Limited Run Games and Super Rare Games. Yes, Limited Run and Super Rare Games provide a niche in the market when it comes to collecting, but they also do so much more. You see, the Nintendo Wii’s Eshop—a virtual market place where one can purchase and download classic titles and independent gems—was recently shutdown, making it nearly impossible for future players to experience that platform’s games, unless they are illegally pirated from the internet. Hundreds of games snuffed out in an instant, a sad day for gaming preservation. This loss of art is evocative of the countless silent films that were improperly stored or lost in fires, resulting in creations our great-grandparents may have seen, but sadly we never will. Thankfully, there is a silver lining. By placing games on physical media, it ensures that we will always have them; they can’t just be deleted by some bigwig company at the hit of a button, and that’s what makes Limited Run Games and Super Rare Games Special.
Still, these are collector’s items after all, therefore the presentation of the entire package is vital. Limit-ed Run often offers two editions: a regular option that comes packaged with the game and its instruction manual—yes, there were days when games came packaged with actual paper booklets—and a more extensive edition that arrives with a whole host of extra goodies. I picked up a copy of Furi from Limited Run Games, so this review will focus on Furi. Like the majority of Limited Run Games’ products, the box art is so visually pleasing the company even offers a stand to display your games. This particular game comes with a manual that not only ex-plains the controls, it also gives players a rundown of the title’s characters and even thanks buyers for purchasing the game.
Furi is fast-paced action experience in which you fight boss after boss in white-knuckle… fury. The mysterious protagonist uses a hack and slash style of play in tandem with twin-stick shooter elements in the vain of Hotline Miami. The gameplay is addicting and provides a great sense of accomplishment after overcoming a predominantly difficult section. Furi’s narrative is also compelling. Our hero breaks free from a strange prison and from there on out must defeat an array of bosses that evokes memories of classic game character design like that found in the Metal Gear Solid series.
Limited Run Games and Super Rare Games provide gamers with collector’s items while also doing their part to preserve a little piece of gaming. The only downsides are that their products tend to sell out immeasurably fast as some retailers and those hoping to resell them for an inflated price snap them up. And when you do grab a copy, it can take months for the game to finally arrive. However, once you have a copy in your hands, you won’t be able to shake the feeling that you are holding a piece of gaming history.