Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pick-ups: So, XVMarketplace Had a Liqudation Sale

I may have gone too far in a few places.

"XVWhat?", you ask. As far as I can tell, they were an arm of Xtra-vision* that dealt in used (and ex-rental) games and DVDs. Hearing that they were liquidating their stock of PS3 and 360 games for €3 a pop, I hopped on to see if they had anything decent left. I was not left wanting, ending up with close to a hundred freakin' games by the time I was done. (I haven't even counted them yet!) Let's take a look.

*Kind of the Irish answer to Blockbuster, and doing just about as well at the moment. Yikes.

Somewhere Bobby Kotick is crying into a big pile of money. (Not because of this. Just in general. :D) With even used CoD games going for up to €20 still, €3 each was a steal for these. Having just played through the first Modern Warfare (Only the most current, cutting edge, tripe A games for me. As always.), and having quite enjoyed it (I guess I would have preferred it to be a little more open and a little less "cinematic", but damn, did it play well.), I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into these. Gears 2 and 3 less so, but like I said back at E3 time, they were €3; I couldn't resist! Haze, much like Perfect Dark Zero back in the day, I just need to know. I was a big fan of Free Radical's stuff in the early days; I need to see how it all fell apart, or hey, how Haze is actually a totally under-appreciated FPS gem. (It's not though, is it?)

More top-quality man-holding-gun cover art. With the exception of Quantum of Solace, this is all pretty well-regarded stuff. I do have a weird fascination with Bond games, so I had to grab that one no matter what though. Sadly they didn't have Blood Stone (RIP., Bizzare Creations). Quite interested to check out the 2009 Wolfenstein here - a game that's very much been overshadowed by The New Order, I think, but I remember the Giant Bomb guys at least liking it a fair bit. I think it's got some open world stuff too; should be interesting. Finally, Shadows of the Damned. Love me some Suda 51, not sure why I never got around to buying this back when it came out.

Yes! Finally I can weigh in that still-contentious Infamous v. Prototype debate. (Not even sure if Sony and Activision care at this point though. :D) Fleshed out my last-gen Rockstar collection a bit here too. After loving Read Dead, and being super bummed with the direction they took GTA IV, and even the DLC packs in, I'm not sure what to expect out of L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3. (Is it just me that finds that that guy holding the gun on the cover super out of place, and hilarious for some reason?)

Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I hope is working, because it's one of the more scratched-up discs of the lot, but also one of the games I'm most looking forward to playing (even if I never did get around to firing up the original on Steam). Also, a bit of Clanc. Like I've probably mentioned before, I've always liked the idea of Splinter Cell; it's the strict stealth that's always put me off. My understanding is that Blacklist is old Splinter Cell for babies who like Assassin's Creed, so maybe this is finally the Splinter Cell for me. (To be fair, I still need to try Conviction though.)

I told you I went too far! Yep, I picked up some Kinect games. And I don't even own a Kinect. And I'm positive that I don't have enough room for one. AND why would I ever want to play Fable: the Journey in the first place!? I can't even refuse to sign the wall at this point, and just write "NOPE" across Peter Molenuux's big bald head. :D

I do own a Move though, and all the associated paraphernalia. Still trying to justify that purchase, I picked up The Shoot and Sports Champions. (Tragically, they were sold out of the Danny Trejo pièce de résistance, The Fight: Lights Out.) Hey, I'm no motion control hater, but the Move is also no Wii Remote. I've got it to work great as a pointer in the few light gun games they put out for it, but anything requiring other motions? Forget it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, if anything, but I thought both Child of Eden and Kung Fu Rider controlled like trash with the Move.

Continuing on with the Sony hate train, man, Little Big Planet. The only game here I've put some time into, I fired it up a few weekends ago, and yikes. The single player I swore off after about four levels. I just couldn't take any more of twee, indie onslaught. Every aspect of it: the writing, the look, the Stephan Fry voice-over felt like an Innocent smoothie carton come to life. And it's so slow; so floaty.

The creator stuff, I barley touched before realising, in horror, that I'd have to sit through more of Steven Fry tutorialising every itty bitty, lovely, nice, little aspect of it before I could do anything. What I did see looked like kind of a convoluted mess though.

The saving grace for the game was the user-created stuff. Mercifully devoid of Media Molecule's touch, I found some quite cool levels based around the likes of Friday the 13th, Saw, and more. I'd say cool creatively though. They were neat artistic experiences, not so much enjoyable platforming stages - something I'm not sure, at least this original incarnation of LBP, is even cable of producing.

Time to penis? About an hour.

Phew! I feel about as worked-up as Wayne Rooney on the cover of FIFA 10 now. :D Yeah, I guess this is my once in a generation check-in with EA sports games. The rest of this lot is just a graveyard of dead arcadey IPs. I guess except for DOA, which still seems to going, though it could definitely get an honourable mention in that category for including a bunch of Virtua Fighter characters. :(

Dragon Age! I'm surprised it's taken me so long to pick up the first one when I fell so hard for Mass Effect. Dragon Age II, I don't think was so well-received. That cover art is dope though (There are people between the blood trails!). I made sure to grab the 360 versions of these because, if you'll recall, EA made a bunch of Dragon Age DLC free in a bizarre, I guess, goodwill gesture after Microsoft announced their nightmarish DRM vision for the Xbox One. What a time to be alive that was.

Aside from Dragon Age, a lot of presumptive pick-ups here, based on the assumptions that I'll enjoy FF XIII, the original BioShock and the early DMC games (which I've just picked up on PSN), and still want more. Yep, still haven't played through the original BioShock. I grabbed that in a Steam sale in what, 2008? I'm the worst. :D

Continuing on with that theme: Crysis 2 and 3, and Dead Space 2 and 3. Do I even have the original Crysis and Dead Space? Nope. But they were €3!!

The other two games here: quite the contrast. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was freakin' still sealed with the soundtrack CD included and everything; Dark Void looks like it worked over a particularly nasty dog. I'll be surprised if the disc even reads.

Looks like we've finally reached the bottom of the barrel. :D Apologies to David Cage fans, but having watched a couple of let's plays of it already, I really don't think Ethan Mars' stupendous adventures are going to do much more for me this time around just because I'm the one tapping out the QTEs.

The rest: woof! :D I do still like Lost enough to want check out the game, even if it's terrible. (Feels like I'm alone in that department though.) The Kane and Lynch duo, I pretty much just picked up because of the neat video artefacts in Dog Days. Wouldn't want to miss out on the stellar story-telling in the first one though, with it being a freaking BAFTA nominee and all. :D WTF!?

But we're not done yet! Even as "out of stock" graphics were popping up all over the site, occasionally one or two new games would suddenly appear - games I really wanted to check out. So I'd grab those and hey, while I was putting in another order I might as well grab a few other bits and pieces, right? I mean, €3 each!! This is the logic that led to, without doubt, the dumbest purchasing decisions of all. :D I guess Grand Slam Tennis 2 might be alright, but jeez, EyePet? Viva Pinata Party: Animals? Two Scene Its?

That guy on the left looks like he's dying inside.

The reason I got those though? Battlefield: Bad Company and Guitar Hero Metallica. Not sure I'll even be able to cope with GH: Metallica though. I know I've played at least one of their songs on Normal in either Rock Band or Guitar Hero, and it was brutal, at least with my less-than-amazing plastic guitar skills.

To round off this order, I finally grabbed the copy of Spec Ops: The Line I'd been eyeing for a while (not sure how that'll hold up when I know the story beats already though), Brutal Legend (already had it on PC, but for €3, why not?) and Medal of Honor 2010 - the Tier 1 Edition, no less. That, I pretty much just picked up for the HD version of Frontline on the disc. Though I am kind of curious to see just how badly the main game screwed things up that it pretty much killed that franchise in one fell swoop (of an over-grown beard). No one was anticipating that sequel.

And finally, my last order - coming in so hot I've literally just unpacked these. Of course being sourced from the used and ex-rental market, all the games I got here were slathered in stickers, and other assorted goop. I gradually worked my way through cleaning up all the previous games while rewatching the first season of 24, which I found was perfect background viewing with only 5 minutes of action and 40 minutes of CTU/Bauer/Palmer melodrama every episode :P I really though I didn't "get" Season 1 the first time I saw it, watching it after I'd seen S2-4, turns out it's just not that good.

But enough trolling, what did I get here? So, spotting that CoD: World at War and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 had suddenly appeared in stock, I rounded off my spree with another Virtua Tennis (2009, I think), Homefront, Gran Turismo 5 (Judging by my track record in racing sims, going to get a lot of mileage out of this. Ha. Car puns) and Hitman Absolution, which I picked up pretty much just because of Brad and Dan's great Hitman 2016 videos on Giant Bomb, but I know I'm never going to play.

So that's 74 games, according to my calculations, for a cool €222. Not bad.

Oh, correction: 74 games and an extra Homefront manual.

At last, the cycle is broken.

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