Monday, September 24, 2012

Guide to Super Nintendo Blockbuster Exclusives

Blockbuster exclusive games are an interesting concept and these limited releases are now sought-after gems in the game collecting community. This article will be taking a closer look at all those hard-to-find Blockbuster exclusive titles for the SNES.
It is nearly impossible to get solid proof that a title was an exclusive. Some of these titles may have been an exclusive for only a short while, then put out for sale at other retailers. This list is the titles are the gaming community generally agrees were Blockbuster exclusive at one point in time.

clayfighter tournament blockbuster ClayFighter: Tournament Edition
This SNES only game served largely as a fix to the original ClayFighter. It included all the same characters and fixed a lot of the glitches present in the original. They also changed a lot of the level backgrounds and added more versus modes. Despite how limited this release is, it is incredibly easy to find and cheap as well. A fun game, worth collecting, but usually overlooked.
Average Price: $8.25

eek cat blockbuster exclusive Eek! The Cat
Developed by Ocean as a rental only game based off of the TV show by the same name, this awful game is a good example of your average licensed game. Sealed copies surface time to time and are worth a fair amount of money. Unsealed copies are often covered in Blockbuster stickers and always sell for cheap.
Average Price: $6.99

mr nutz snes Mr. Nutz
Another Ocean developed rental only title. This game sported great graphics and good control. It was also really strange. It was outshined by other bigger and better mascot platformer games of the era. It was also only 6 levels long and has been ported to several other consoles. Still, the SNES version still fetches a reasonably high price for such an old game.
Average Price: $23.77

kid kleets blockbuster exclusive The Adventures of Kid Kleets
This title falls under the strange grouping of rare but worthless. Many websites rank this title, known as Soccer Kid in other regions, as at least an 8/10 on their rarity scale but it is still undervalued, underappreciated, and collectible.
Average Price: $9.99

ren stimpy fire dogs The Ren & Stimpy Show Fire Dogs
Rental exclusive only, man! That’s what the box art says at least. This game is plagued with awful gameplay, shoddy controls, and overall poor quality. It only one of the several Ren & Stimpy titles for the SNES and it isn’t even the most valuable one, despite it being a rental exclusive.
Average Price: $10.00

final fight guy Final Fight Guy
This game plays identical to Final Fight on the SNES, except that you can no longer play as Cody, only Guy and Haggar. This was a poor attempt to pacify fans of the arcade version, which was horribly butchered in order to fit on the limited space of the SNES cart. The SNES port cut out whole levels and the games third character, Guy the ninja. Another interesting tidbit about this game is that there are confirmed to be two different box arts. There is the “orange” version, pictured above, and a “black” version. It is unconfirmed where the “black” version of the box art came from and it is worth more than the “orange” version.
Average Price: $74.99

hagane blockbuster Hagane: The Final Conflict
This game has seen a recent rise in price unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Two years ago, you could find a copy of this game for around $50 dollars, now that price has quintupled. A good, fun, and interesting game, there is a reason why it is sought out. Recently, evidence has started to mount undermining the “myth” that it really was a Blockbuster exclusive title. Some store managers have come forward saying that they sold it new in Electronic Boutiques stores. I don’t think we’ll ever conclusively know the truth about this game but for now, we can only sit back and watch the price skyrocket.
Average Price: $263.00

starfox super weekend Starfox Super Weekend
Starfox is a Blockbuster exclusive but was never rented, it was available as part of a competition. An ingame timer stopped the game at a certain point. You would then take a picture of your score and submit it on a card that came with the game. High scores earned you jackets, pins, and other prizes. This interesting little piece of history has recently been enjoying a spike in prices as of late as SNES collecting is on the rise. It also interesting to note that there is a PAL region version of this game under the title Starwing Competition. It is worth less than the NTSC version but is most likely more rare than it.
Average Price: $500.00
donkey kong competition Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge
Another competition cartridge worth a lot of money. After the competition was over, the Blockbuster stores had to ship them back to Nintendo. Not all stores did. The ones that did get shipped back were then sold through mail order through Nintendo Power magazine. This is one of, if not the, most expensive games for the SNES console. Finding it with the green case and insert intact increases the value but buyer beware, reproductions are becoming more and more common.
Average Price $1,000

There you have it, a huge list of rare and semi-rare games to go out and collect. Good luck finding the boxes and manuals. Most stores threw them away or they were so beat up from kids picking them up, opening them, and throwing around that they are tattered to pieces. The real challenge in collecting these titles is to find complete copies. Good luck hunting.


Anonymous said...

As someone who actually owns a copy of Final Fight Guy, your information about the playable characters in Final Fight Guy is wrong. You could play as either Mike Haggar or Guy, not just Guy.

JJ Hendricks said...

@anonymous - Thank you for that revision. I have updated the article to reflect this.

Anonymous said...

It is odd for Hagane to quintuple in price without a significant reason. Do you know of any possible reasons why this game has drastically spiked in price?

Anonymous said...

The Price spike may have been due to a shoutout, by Mike from AVGN. That's probably one factor anyway.

JJ Hendricks said...

@anonymous - Great catch on the reason for the price spike. AVGN had his list of ten obscure SNES games that he loved with Hagane on it. This was published in July 2012 (according to Youtube video publication date) and the price reached it's peak in July.

I might need to do an article about AVGN's affect on all game prices after he does a video game about them. I know he is popular but I didn't think it would change prices that much.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to note about Hagane that it was in fact NOT a Blockbuster Exclusive. I have a complete copy of Hagane and both the cart and manual have a small silver and blue Property of:Video Time Rentals sticker on the back of 'em. Nowhere are there any Blockbuster stickers or evidence thereof that there used to be, plus not to mention that a year and a half ago or so, I remember very vividly seeing a factory sealed copy on Ebay for a little while with a hefty $1900 price tag. It's interesting to note as someone above has already mentioned this game spiking in price in corelation to AVGN's video. It astonishes me this goes for what it does, I remember paying only a mere $60 + shipping 3 years ago for my complete copy. Just insane, $200+ for a cart only now!

Informationator said...

Hey bud - It's Info from /r/gamecollecting.

...doing a little research of my own and stumbled across your article. It does look like there's contention elsewhere about Hagane being rental-exclusive, though I don't have any hard-and-fast evidence...

Fire Dogs was also apparently a sold retail after it was originally rental only. Maybe that was the case with Hagane as well...

Final Fight Guy was definitely rental-only save for the elusive black box. I sometimes wonder if that box isn't just a very well-made repro or a hoax...

What are your sources for ClayFighter TE, Eek!, and Mr. Nutz, and Kid Kleets? That'd explain Mr. Nutz's/Kleets' rarity, but I've never heard of those being rental only. Ren and Stimpy Buckeroo$ is another one that I've heard was rental only, but have never had confirmed. It's certainly rental-level rarity.

Thanks :)

JJ Hendricks said...

@informationator - Thanks for the questions and info. The problem with a lot of the info on Blockbuster exclusive games is hard evidence to prove a game was exclusive.

It would be great sometime to see a Blockbuster memo saying "Re: Hagane. Employees, this game will be an exclusive game to Blockbuster stores. Please mention this to customers."

I have my doubts this kind of thing will ever turn up so there will probably always be disagreements about true exclusivity.

That being said, my sources for most of the article were discussions on forums like digitpress. I would try to take the consensus from as many different forums and users as possible.

Anonymous said...

Definitely saw Hagane at my local Electronics Boutique (for the first time, in fact - I remember reading the back of the box and thinking it sounded interesting) back in the mid 90's.

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