their youth and some of these kids kept the games of yesteryear for nostalgic reasons. What happens if this kid continues to buy old video games for the sake of having them, for the sake of completion? A video game collector is born!
Now, odds are that you’re a video game collector yourself since you’re reading this intro. Our kind has different types of collectors: people with certain criteria (RPG, sealed, unofficial etc) and completionists. These completionists want every game in the library of a console, which can be a fairly easy feat for some consoles and a near impossible task for others.Our community member Ahans76 is someone that went for the impossible… and pulled it off!
In this interview we talk with Ahans76, who to our knowledge, is the only collector in the world to have a full NTSC Playstation 2 library!
Read on to find out why he started collecting and how he pulled off this amazing feat.
Oh.. did I mention the entire PS2 library is sealed? Minor detail right? ^^
So Ahans76, first of all let me thank you for participating in this interview. It’s great that you’re willing to talk to us about how you started your collection and how you got to having a full Playstation 2 set.
No one is born a video game collector, everyone starts out as a gamer! What were your first steps in the gaming world?
My first experience with gaming is probably a lot of people’s. I remember playing the NES at a friend or aunt’s house when I was about 4 years old. Super Mario Bros was of course the game we played most.
What was the first console that you (or your family) owned?
The first console that my family owned was a Sega Genesis. My mom had won some money and she spent it on us kids by buying a Genesis with a couple of games. I remember playing it in Kindergarten so I must have been at least 5 years old.
What games did you originally get with that Sega Genesis and what game did you love most on it?
I know that we had Sonic when we got the Genesis. It came packaged with the system so that had to have been the first one. The game I like most on the Genesis was Shinning Force, the game was so good at what it did. I would spend hours going into a battle and then retreating just to get more exp. points. To this day I can still get lost in it.
So the Nintendo NES was the first console you played and the Sega Genesis was the first console you had at your home, but what is your favorite console after all these years?
My favorite console would have to be the reason why I’m doing this interview. I was one of the lucky few to get an early Playstation 2 and my love for collecting video games grew from then on.
So the Playstation 2 is your favorite console, but was of course the successor to the immensely popular Playstation 1. When did you first hear about Sony’s first gaming console?
When I was in 2nd grade after Christmas break, we returned to school and one of the kids had gotten a Playstation for Christmas. I had no idea what it actually was and thought that it was an arcade machine. It wasn’t until later in the year that I got to see one and I thought that it was amazing. I don’t remember what the first game was that I saw on the Playstation 1, but I do remember the first one I played which was 2xtrem. It was a game about biking, rollerblading and I think snowboarding/racing. It was fun because we didn’t know any better about games back then when you got a game you played the hell out of it good or bad. But now a days if you don’t like a game after 5 minutes of playing it we trade it in and get something different. It’s sad really so much time goes in to making a game and yes some sucked, but take a look back at some of the earliest games you played and had a blast with and look at what a gaming magazine said about it. I bet a lot of people would be surprised that some of the most loved games aren’t critically that good.
Your introduction to the Playstation 1 had you wanting for more then, when did you get your own Playstation 1?
The first Playstation that I have ever gotten was an original Playstation (the grey square model) that my brother had traded for. The games that it came with were Resident Evil 2 and a Playstation demo which had the game Sled Storm on it that I would play nonstop.
After the big success of the Playstation 1, Sony brought us the Playstation 2. How were you introduced to this model and what was your response to it?
I first saw/played the PS2 was when I got my first one on launch day; my mom ordered it out of a catalog. When it got to my house I was so surprised I had never had a console on the first day it came out; I didn’t know what to think about it. When I turned it on for the first time I was blown away. The first game I played was the one that I had gotten with it, Ridge Racer 5. I still own that copy today and it holds a special place in my heart.
Currently we’re at six Playstation models (not counting the PSP), which one is your favorite?
My favorite Playstation model would have to be the original PS2 (the non slim version).To be more specific it would have to be the limited edition red one that I have brand new.
Three Playstation home consoles have had a big impact on the video gaming world, how do feel the Playstation changed gaming?
I would say that it brought disc games to the public. Others tried but didn’t get the commercial success that Sony did with the original Playstation. For the future of Playstation, the console exclusive titles are most important to stay ahead of the competition. It would be great if they could hold onto their important and strong licenses for years to come.
It has been aprox 19 years since your first contact with video games and even though it’s torture to ask, we must know! What are your three favorite video games?
My three favorite games in no particular order are:
- Final Fantasy IX, I know a lot of people really like VII but IX in my personal opinion was an all around better game
- Dragon Quest 8, when I finally gave the game time to play it I was hooked
- Uncharted Series, I can’t pick between the two they’re both great games
Like stated in the intro, it’s not something special that a kid growing up in the eighties and nineties played video games. But collecting games from these long gone days is something special, how did you get into that?
When I was 16 while going Christmas shopping for my mom, my little brother had told me about this new game store that was in a city we lived nearby called Game Crazy. (those that live in the states may remember them)
We stopped there and I saw a game gear, which I always wanted as a kid but could never afford. That was the first old school system that I had ever bought and that is when I started considering collecting video games and systems for the first time. I still own that exact same game gear 7 1/2 years later.
So you started your collection with buying the games and consoles that you wanted as a kid, but never got. This is probably how 99% of us started our collection. After a while though you have all the stuff you wanted as a kid, what did you focus on next?
My focus for about 4 years was collecting brand new Playstation 2 games to get the complete library. After I got them all it literally stopped over night. Currently my main focus is collecting English Neo Geo AES games. People that know what the Neo Geo is and how rare it is will know the difficulty in it. I am currently only missing two games, Metal Slug and Ninja Master.
When you have a collection as vast as yours, there are probably dozens of items in your collection that would qualify high in anyone’s “favorite items” list. So now I wonder which ones you pick out of all those amazing items.
Well actually picking a top 5 is not that hard for me:
1. Uncharted Fortune Hunter Editions [Playstation 3] (of which I have two copies)
2. Elemental Gearbolt Assassin’s case [Playstation 1]
3. Last Hope [Neo Geo AES]
4. Magical Chase [Turbo Grafix]
5. Minestorm 2 Cart [Vectrex]
Even though you have so many great items, most collectors also have their “why in the world did I let that game pass” regrets. Do you have any of those?
I don’t really know, I try to not have regrets in my life. If I lost out on a game it’s just the way things go. I’m not saying that I buy every game I see but sometimes you miss out and that’s just the way the cards fall.
We already know that Neo Geo AES is the current focus of your collection, what is next on the list?
I would like to one day acquire the letter that came with my assassin’s case. I would also like to finish my PSP collection. I have about 430 titles on it but I’m not too sure about how many there are. I hope I’m at least half way there ^^
We at PlaystationCollecting.com are nuts for Playstation games, but even in our community it’s a rarity to find someone going for a full set. Not just because it’s a time consuming and expensive feat, but also because the enormous amounts of titles that got released for the system. How come you’re the exception and did go for the full set?
I didn’t try to go for a full collection at first, I kind of fell into it. I started acquiring more Playstation 2 games, more then I could play, so I decided to just leave them sealed. At first I had about 300 or 400 sealed and then I decided to look up on the internet how many games there were. At the time a website said that there were 800. Being halfway there I decided, why not go for a full collection? Later I found out that I wasn’t even a quarter of the way there. By that time I had already acquired so many games from stores going out of business (like game crazy) that I continued collecting and went for the full set. Since there are still games being released for the Playstation 2 the set is not final yet, but to the best of my knowledge it’s about 1850+ different titles, not counting variants.
We now know that all games in your collection are sealed, were there any other special criteria for games to be in your collection?
My entire collection consists of first editions. What first edition means is when a game came with a white Sony seal on the top of it. This is the version of games that I have. Some older games got a second release and the white Sony seal is not there. I did not collect those types of games. I made sure that all the games that own have the white Sony seal. Also no greatest hits versions, unless they made a game greatest hits with “extra” content. I think there are only 3 games like that and I do have them in my library. Those games are Devil May Cry 3, Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition and Namco 50th Anniversary. I also have the original version of these games in my library as well.
When you’re on such a huge mission, there is always “that last game” that you just can’t find or can’t get for a decent price. What was the last game you needed for the full set?
The first Moto GP. It was an early release title and I had never seen one sealed. I literally looked through thousands and thousands of games every day on EBay to find one. The first post I ever put up on the PlaystationCollecting.com forum was a want post for Moto Gp. I was willing to pay 100′s of dollars for a copy of my dreams. Late one night a friend called me to tell me there was one on EBay from a seller in the UK. I won it shipped for $9.00. Isn’t that how it goes?
Moto GP was the hardest game to find sealed in your experience, what other games were tough?
Finding the original black label versions sealed of games that had a red label or greatest hits rerelease was sometimes incredibly hard. My collection consists of all black label games not the easier to find red label or greatest hits versions.
What Playstation 2 sealed game had the biggest impact on your budget?
Well that would most likely be Wizardry: Tale Of The Forsaken Land. I have had at least 4 copies of this game sealed, however they all had the barcode with a hole in it. Many games that have that use it as a security measure for games given to employees, so they can’t resell them. I found one in Germany that was $300 USD and I bought it without thinking twice about it. I bought 95% of my games at deals or the price they were when they were released. There are not many games that I had to pay more than retail for. None of the games in my library have the barcode hole in them.
How did you find out about our community at PlaystationCollecting.com?
I stumbled upon the website while looking for my last game Moto GP. It came up on Google and I joined up right away. The rest is history ;)
How do you like the community at PlaystationCollecting.com and what do you think about the newly added database and collection tool?
I like this website a lot, it’s real nice to be on a forum that is so in love with one brand. Most of my time collecting PS stuff has been revolved around USA released stuff. It’s nice to see other stuff from around the world. I am filled with envy for some of the things that have not been released on these shores.
The main reason why people should visit the site is because it’s the ideal spot for a Playstation fan. You’ll find the people there are nice and love to help out with any question and you don’t get that from a lot of forums! Last but not least, you’ll find the most complete NTSC Playstation 2 list on the internet in the database!
I think it would be an understatement to say you’re a veteran collector, as a final question I’d like to ask if you have any tips for the collectors out there that are just starting?
My tip would be to collect what you want. Don’t be forced to collect anything that you don’t have any love for. My entire video game collection is post-NES. I wasn’t old enough for the Atari and don’t care about the Atari so I don’t collect any of them. I do have some rare older games in my collection like Minestorm 2 but that is just for the rarity.
Is there anything you would like to share with the reader as a final comment?
I would like you to add some special thanks. First and for most to my wife Ashley who has done nothing but support me with this whole thing. I can’t even begin to count how many checklists she has made for me, how many miles she rode with me going to all the stores all over the country and how many hours she spent waiting in the car because she doesn’t share the same love for buying games as I do. And I love her for that! Also, my great friend and brother from another mother Marlon, a fellow collector, he has done everything in his power to make my collection so great. If it wasn’t for him I still to this day still might not have moto GP. Thanks and to all the eBay/half.com/Amazon sellers that unknowingly helped me complete this (in my opinion) huge task. Last but certainly not least to all of my forum people because if it wasn’t for you this story may never have gotten out and if there is no one to listen, then why talk!