There's not much to do in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Which is why it's rather surprising that it, of all places, would be the home to Gamer Oasis, formerly known as 8-Bit Oasis.
Fast forward to 2019 and the name of the store has changed. Not only that, but so too has the overall premise for the place. Gamer Oasis still prides itself in offering all your vintage to current gaming needs, including the continued service of repairs. However, these days, they've also expanded. Not only have they moved to a larger location, but they now host a ton of RPG gaming events. This includes Magic Tournaments and massive tabletop roleplaying.
These two guys were nice enough to let me take a photo of them setting up for an adventure.
I don't honestly know too many of these games...
but this one stood out like a sore thumb...
Don't just take my word for it though, instead, take a look for yourself via all these great photos I took during my visit. Please forgive the blur on some. The lighting in this place was bad. It was either too dark or too bright.
I don't think this Fraggle Rock clock is for sale, but I had to take a photo of it.
Not a bad shop! People kept coming and coming as I was taking photos, making it a little difficult to get some of the shots I finally took.
All of the above doesn't address the title of my post. See, there was a reason for wanting to go to Gamer Oasis, and it wasn't just to take photographs.
The main reason for my visit was I was on the hunt for an NES. What? Why? You already have one. True. However, I'm funny like that. See, the one I have is all nice and pristine in the box and I didn't want to ruin that aspect of it. I wanted a nicely refurbished one, guaranteed to work for many more years, and preferably with the pins replaced. I found just that.
Not only does Gamer Oasis offer these at a reasonable price, but they then provide you with a twenty dollar store credit to put towards games. Bonus!
I went to town on grabbing up the games I wanted, and ended up with several. If you didn't think I was crazy before, you might after I tell you this. While I have several complete in the box NES games, like the Nintendo itself, I have a strict interest in keeping them pristine. So, if you haven't guessed it by now, many of the games I purchased were loose cartridges I already own.
The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt, Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, Mike Tyson's Punch Out, Dragon Warrior, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade. The only games I walked away with that I didn't previously own were Rad Racer and two boxed / complete ones, Gauntlet and Skate Or Die.
As I set off for home, a lovely two hour drive, I kept looking at what I had gotten. I was happy. Very happy. Yet I felt incomplete. These were a fantastic set of games, but still, something felt missing. Where was Contra? Mega Man 2 and Top Gun? Again, all games I have complete in the box. However, now that I had an NES I was going to play, I wanted to play those too.
A diversion to eStarland in Chantilly, Virignia, helped to flesh things out more. When it was all said and done, I was heading home to play a total of thirty-one games.
It's so sad that the Zapper won't work on current televisions.
- I can still land the plane in Top Gun without batting an eye.
- However, in general, I'm not as good at NES games as I used to be.
- Super Mario Bros. is still my favorite game of all time.
- Some games really do need a turbo pad.
- The batteries in the Zelda cartridges still work after 30 years.
Well, I'm off to play more games...
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