Thursday, December 19, 2013

Clearoutageddon Part Five: Video Games! (and More)

As someone who keeps banging on their big gaming backlog, it's fair to say there's a good chunk of my gaming collection I could probably do with getting rid of. I'm not quite there yet (I'm still labouring under the (mistaken) belief that I'll get around to playing everything some day), but there were certainly a few games in there that even I had to admit I'd never touch again:

So, these two, I picked up in late 2006, in an attempt to squeeze some last-minute fun out of the Gamecube. Hitman 2 seemed pretty intriguing. Not being the greatest at stealth games though, I never got more than a few missions into the game before I'd put it aside and later end up deleting it's (huge) save file to make room for something else. Having decided to give the game another go on PC, there was no need to keep this version around anymore.

Having been THE football franchise to get on N64, and having sunk an immeasurable amount of time into ISS 98, I was cautiously optimistic about ISS 2 despite the middling reviews. Within minutes of putting it in, I knew the critics were right. It felt janky, the most glaring problem of all being that a player would freeze for a few seconds after receiving a pass. Something I can't fathom making it past testing,which pretty much rendered the game unplayable.

So first off, this is the Australian version of F-1 World Grand Prix. You're guess as to how it ended up in a crappy Kerry toy shop is as good as mine. I got this for Christmas 1999 after being wowed by the visuals on TV. Turns out I don't like Formula 1 games, or at least I didn't have the patience to get good enough at this one to find out one way or the other.

While we're on the subject of me having no patience, these are all games I almost immediately gave up on in the face of their complexity and/or difficulty. In my defence, I bought the lot of them with gift vouchers. Well, apart from NFS, which I sort-of inherited from my brother after he forgot about it. And I did give the two racing games a second crack before I sold them. Still couldn't get anywhere though; as far as racing games go, if there aren't karts, burnouts or ridges involved, I'm in trouble.

This is one of several fighters I picked up before I finally realised the genre just isn't for me. Apart from a select few older games anyway. I'm a bit gutted I sold this for a pittance though, minutes before I noticed another offer for €10; Street Fighter Alpha II - apparently rarer than I thought.

If I could have gone back and given this to a fourteen year old me, I have a feeling it'd be up there with my favourite N64 games. Back in 2006 though, I no longer had the patience or lack of other distractions to get past Body Harvest's clunky gameplay and lack of checkpoints.

I'm kind of ashamed to admit to it, but I only learned to use a keyboard and mouse for shooters in 2008 when I started playing through No One Lives Forever on PC - the PS2 version I only avoided because of how busted it apparently was. Only a couple of weeks earlier, still WASDphobic, I picked up this PS2 copy of Deus Ex - a game I didn't have the means to play back in the day, but that I'd always been interested in checking out. Several years later, of course I still hadn't played it, but if I ever do, it wasn't going to be this version and frankly, I needed the shelf space, so off it went.

But it wasn't without company. I sold it as part of a (depressingly) cheap bundle of other PS2 stuff I didn't want any more on a classifieds site. Just like Deus Ex, I'd recently upgraded my (unplayed) copy of Snake Eater to a superior version in the form of the MGS HD collection. PES 3 and Viewtiful Joe, on the other hand, I'd given a shot but I just couldn't get into. And Fantavision, well that's actually exactly the same version I'd tried to give away as a broken disk earlier in my clear out campaign. I'd since replaced it, but when I loaded up this disk again to make absolutely sure it was busted, it worked; perfectly. I'm not sure what changed exactly, but now finding myself with two copies, I bundled the resurrected version in with this lot.

And finally (sort of): my GameStop anti-haul. So, three of these I ended up with duplicates of after they disappeared into some sort of courier-based time crack, only to emerge again several months later. At which point, I'd bought them again elsewhere. But hey, at least I got a free Child of Eden t-shirt for my troubles. :D (A size too small, but anyway.) PGR4 though, like the other racing games here, I just couldn't get into. Did quite like the soundtrack though.

Not wanting to be arsed selling the lot of these online (and getting short-changed again), I decided I'd throw them into GameStop instead and just take whatever credit they gave me. Even with that attitude though, I was a little surprised by how little I actually got: 70 cents for PGR4 and €3.50 each for the rest.

Hah! But little did they know that I'd only bought PGR4 used for €1 on their web site. Getting €0.70 for that was tantamount to giving me €42 for a previously used copy of [insert current, big triple-A game here]. The joke's on you, GameStop. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha *inhales* ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, and so on.

But wait, there's more!

So, through various misadventures, I ended up with a bunch of near-usleless digital cameras. And hey, who doesn't want to get their hands on them for a small, reasonable sum? Almost everyone, as it turns out. :D

This one I was just giving away for the cost of postage though. Even so, I guess no one had any use for photos with a maximum resolution of 352 x 288, tripod or no tripod. In the end, the cam went to a charity that accepted them. All my nut jar based sample pics were for naught:

This one though, I did manage to sell. Well, in the end, for about half of what I originally wanted. To be fair, that's probably all it's really worth, given how badly it coped with anything remotely indoor:

You know, it's kind of depressing how much better a picture this is than anything I ever shot with the camera in said picture, and it's a couple of years newer and, at least on paper, more advanced than the one I took this with. After a few months of fiddling around with the settings on this camera to no avail, I decided to pick up a Canon IXUS instead. Too bad I only made, ooh, 40% of the price of this back by offloading it. Yeah, buyer beware I guess.

As featured in a previous post from 2011, this is the old WinTV card I had in various PCs since late 2004. I had originally intended to use it for watching actual television, but I never managed to get it hooked up to the necessary ariel, so I ended up using it to convert my computer monitor into a TV for my older consoles. The picture wasn't great, but it kept me going while the main TV was in use, which was almost always. :D In 2011 though, I finally made the move from Windows XP to 7, which the card didn't agree with unfortunately. Well, I say "unfortunately", but (much like the SNES that was hooked up to it), I'd hardly used it in years at that point, with a nice CRT (and a bunch of other consoles) just a few feet away.

Another casualty of that upgrade was this: a DVB-S card I'd had installed alongside the one above since 2008. Even though the instructions and some of the software was in German, this proved to be a great little piece of kit for turning my computer into a a sort of ramshackle DVR box, making use of a satellite dish connection that was unused since our (crummy) satellite broadband provider suddenly went out of business. Something that would prove to be the first step towards the homebrew VOD setup I've got going now. Possibly more on that later.

Also later, the thrilling Clearoutageddon conclusion the world / maybe twelve people have been waiting for.

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