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Game X Change review


Time for another game shop review, kids! This time I have braved the upscale shops of Highland Village to bring you a review for the relatively young “Game X Change”.

Located in the massive “Marketplace at Highland Villageshopping center, Game X Change resides in a large corner location just off the main road. Much like GameWorks, GXC has a very warehouse-like feel to it, with a ceiling that seems to just keep going and a classically shiny stone floor. The store itself is wonderfully decorated with the boxes of consoles past and present, full scale busts and models of gaming icons, plush toys, demo stations and more. Often times I catch myself just gazing at the walls for at least half of the visit...

Speaking of store decorations, you’ll also notice various message boards hung about the walls. These will fill you in on the store’s most wanted games, upcoming titles and the monthly gaming competitions. Yes, believe it or not, there are still stores out there that actually encourage gamers to leave the confines of their houses and be social with others. It’s a great idea and I salute them for bringing this lost tradition back to life in a very fun way.

Though GXC has a monstrous selection of games and hardware from the newer systems(we’re talking racks upon racks of the stuff), you know me: My school is old school. With that said, the bulk of their retro collection resides in a huge series of cases(all with glass doors for easy viewing of the titles). Located immediately after you walk in to the store, these towering cases of gaming bliss contain a wide selection of games from the Nintendo line(Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 8-bit) and also the disc-based Sega systems(Dreamcast, Saturn and Sega CD). Pretty much all of the games from the Nintendo line are cart-only, with only a very few being complete or coming with a manual(this is pretty standard though). The Sega games, on the other hand, are *all* complete: Cases, manuals, inserts. It’s like a dream come true.

Moving towards the middle of the store you’ll come across the Genesis, Atari and miscellaneous bargain stock. Though all games in this section are cart-only, most are priced to reflect this and quite a few bargains await the gamer that can live without a box or manual(myself being one). The miscellaneous stock is always worth sifting through, from the random Sega Master System titles to weird stuff like Etch A Sketch key chains there’s always something that’ll make you smile.

Rounding out the retro gaming stock is the Playstation…and boy do they have a LOT of it. Though I don’t even remotely have the stamina to count it all, GXC has got to house, at least, 300 PSX titles…virtually all complete. If you’re an old school PSX buff you will find that this massive wall of games will keep you busy for almost the entire visit, right after you pick your jaw up off the ground. Titles from every year in the PSX library are represented, from the old school long box releases to those generic games that came out towards the very, very end. I was thrilled to run across the long box version of EA’s original “Need for Speed” for a mere $7.95. Good stuff.

For the portable players GXC had a solid collection of games from Nintendo’s GameBoy line, though I will admit I was a bit disappointed to see that the Game Gear wasn’t represented at all. It’s possible that their stock had run dry, or I just missed it...(or, at least, I hope that was the reason)

In terms of actual gaming hardware, GXC had a decent selection of the more popular systems(PSX, N64, SNES, Genesis) but I didn’t come across anything past that. Much like Game Exchange, they can really only sell what they buy in...and the SuperGrafx owners just aren’t selling(can you blame them?).

After you pull yourself away from the hardware, filling three to four racks towards the back of the store are the assorted peripherals. Now, like I mentioned in my review for Play N Trade, I LOVE sifting through the peripherals section of any given store and GXC does not disappoint. Sorted by system, each rack holds a huge amount of untold treasures for the thorough hunter.

Finally, and sort of out of the blue, GXC also houses a pretty large skate shop. Decks, axels, wheels, apparel and more can be shopped just as easily as the gaming stock. Past that they also carry watches, iPods, DVDs, Anime, soundtracks(both videogame and anime), import figures and more. Though I’ve left my skater days well behind me, the large selection of DVDs and import figurines just thrill me to no end.

I’ve been shopping with GXC almost since they first opened and it just seems to keep getting better and better with each visit. Friendly employees, a huge amount of stock and reasonable prices keep me coming back for more. As the Highland Village location is the only one here in the DFW area, it may be a bit of a drive for some gamers but I can guarantee you that you’ll come away with, at least, one title that’s been on your list for a while. Are you really going to tell me that is not worth the trip? I didn’t think so...

NOTE: A buddy of mine informed me that "Screwattack" has just bought this store. The announcement was made the same day that I published this review, but I'm just now hearing about it(May 24th). Apparently, they are going to change the name and a few other things about it...but hopefully it'll remain the same wonderful shop it's always been. We'll see how it goes...