|By Zach Patterson||Sunday, 8 Nov 2009|
“Game Hunt” is a feature at Good-Evil about the art of video game hunting. For these articles, we will proudly display our deals, where we got them, and evaluate their worth. While Eric covered some truly excellent and “out in the wilderness” finds last week, my game hunt over the past month has primarily consisted of stalking the concrete corporate jungles, rummaging for half-decent deals on more modern games, and being resigned to the fact that even a decent deal for me is a true find right now.
Find: God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
Price/Condition: $9.99 / New, Shrink-wrapped
Where at: Target, clearance rack
Why: Though I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of the GoW series, I found the first one an enjoyable, if slightly overrated, distraction, and the idea of a portable version had a bit of interest to me since its release. However, I’ve been loathe to buy many PSP games new for whatever reason, so this one slipped through the cracks. A trip to the local Target liquidating their backlog of PSP games ended up adding this title to my collection.
Deal or Not a Deal? When dealing with modern era games on current systems, it’s always good to keep the idea of a Deal relative. While this sells for 20 dollars brand new and most used copies about 3-5 dollars less, snagging an unopened copy of one of the best-rated PSP games for only 10 dollars at a place like Target has to be considered a Deal.
Find: Crash of the Titans (PSP)
Price/Condition: 9.99 / used
Where at: Blockbuster Video
Why: I had been itching for some bandicoot for months after playing a bit of Crash 3, and I wanted something outside of the original 3 PS1 games, something newer, regardless of whether the gameplay was stale or not. Being away from a series for a decade makes it fresh again, in my mind. While I could have easily picked up any of the half-dozen games in the series since the PS1, I wanted a portable one, since they have a tendency to be played more promptly on my morning train commute. As such, I took a chance on a decently Metacritic-rated, newer Crash.
Deal or Not a Deal? I overpaid by a few bucks based on nostalgia, and as it turns out, this game really isn’t even the same type of game as the old ones anymore. It’s now just a mishmash of overthought, half-baked ideas that make a mediocre, uneven game. Definitely Not a Deal, and I could have picked up one of the better and more faithful GBA Crash games for considerably less.
Find: Killzone: Liberation (PS1)
Price/Condition: $9.99 / Used
Where at: Blockbuster Video
Why: On the same trip as the one that netted Crash, I decided to grab Killzone as well, since the PSP version got high marks from many publications, and my PSP collection is littered with quirky puzzlers, quick play arcade types, and some platformers, but almost no action games. I figured why not.
Deal or Not a Deal? Again, this isn’t a great deal. I saw it this week at Gamestop for 12.99, so I saved a few bucks likely, but I have liked what little I played so far, so it’s not a complete bust either. One plus is that the game came sticker free and is in immaculate condition. It pretty much looks like the wrapping was taken off and it was never played. So not much of a deal, but I’m reasonably pleased with the purchase so far.
Find: Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis (X360)
Price/Condition: $6.99 / the usual condition online casino of Gamestop used: ratty case covered in stickers.
Where at: Gamestop
Why: Got a taste of this game in some fierce two-player matches at a certain Hohman’s apartment last month, and decided I should be actively looking for this. A trip to reserve Left 4 Dead 2 yielded a bargain bin raid of this moderate find. It’s a really fun game and defintely worth anything less than 10 bucks.
Deal or Not a Deal? I maybe could have waited it out to hit a flea market to snag a copy for perhaps $5-6, but considering I wanted it now, it was Gamestop of all places, and the price was damned reasonable, I consider this a Deal.
Find: Tempest X (PS1)
Price/Condition: $6.99 / Used, disc looks excellent, case meh
Where at: Just Press Play (local independent gaming store)
Why: This is a PS1 port (with extras) of one of the Jaguar’s gems, Tempest 2000. This is of course a remake of the ancient arcade classic, Tempest. This game would fit in well with the Q? Entertainment catalog (Rez, Lumines, Every Extend Extra, Gunpey) or Geometry Wars, as it added a layer of psychedelia to the traditional Tempest gameplay, along with new weapons/items/levels. It gets pretty tough, but it’s a pretty cool game that I’m surprised hasn’t been released to modern systems with a nice HD shine. The reason I chose to grab it – noticed it was compatible with the negCon controller, and I knew that would add a nice layer of immersion that my first time playing it 12 years ago didn’t have.
Deal or Not a Deal? I was kicking myself when I didn’t get it around a year ago at a flea market for $2, but the disc I saw was in horrid condition. I paid a few dollars more, but I got a fantastic condition game that isn’t incredibly common anymore, so it was worth it. I’ll call it a moderate-to-borderline Deal.
Find: No One Can Stop Mr. Domino (PS1)
Price/Condition: $7.99 / Used, disc looks excellent
Where at: Just Press Play
Why: Tucked away in a their PS1 stuff was also the cult-hit No One Can Stop Mr. Domino. I’ve seen this going for 30 bucks in some places, so I figured 8 dollars was rather reasonable. It’s a fun little puzzle game that kinda tests your patience, but also is rather rewarding, as you are a anthropomorphic domino who is tasked to ran through environments dropping dominoes in succession in order to hit certain triggers and set off a specific amount of events. It’s a quirky lovable game that’s recommended if you want something a little out of the ordinary from the PS1 era. I can’t think of anything else quite like it.
Deal or Not a Deal? Let’s call it a Deal. I played it for a bit just for the purposes of refreshing myself after I had played a demo when it was first released, and I ended up spending the better part of an hour getting sucked into it. I love oddball games like this, and $8 was an easy price to pay for this.
As you can see, my game hunt wasn’t near as thrifty or obscure as Eric’s, but you kinda need to work with what’s around you, and without many cheap game hunt sources nearby at the moment, you need to find your deals where you can and celebrate the small victories.