Monthly Archives: December 2011

Shop finds 12/30/11: The last finds of 2011, and a strange curiosity.

Alright, so the last time I did a Shop Finds on WordPress was several months back. Since then I was posting them on Tumblr because they were relatively small finds — Blur and Singularity for $7 at the same Goodwill on two separate occasions — but I don’t think that’s panning out so I’m gonna lump them back here. Plus what I got for this occasion is too large for Tumblr.

Game haul 12/30/11 - complete

Here’s the whole kit and caboodle. Two magazines and three games. Well, technically three games, I’ll explain in a second.

Game haul 12/30/11 - Magazines

First, the magazines. One is a recent issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine (PTOM) from October, covering Batman: Arkham City (the RAGE picture shown is an advertisement). I got this because it was dirt cheap (50 cents!) and it was the fiftieth issue of PTOM. Technically the actual issue number is much higher, they used to be known as “PSM: Unofficial PlayStation Magazine” to distinguish themselves from the original Official PlayStation Magazine that Ziff-Davis ran a few years back. But when they got renamed to PTOM, the issue numbers reset, so I’m guessing this is the 280-ish issue of the magazine.

The other is Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) from September 2007. Talking about the then-unannounced Grand Theft Auto IV, as well as a comparison of the hotly contested music game battle of 2007: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock vs Rock Band. Again, more for nostalgia’s sake, and this was after I stopped buying these randomly around 2006. This was the cheaper of the two, it was also 50 cents, but the thrift store had a sale where anything with a white tag was 75% off, so it was like 12 cents.

Game haul 12/30/11 - Games

Now the three games. First up is Hexen, which is a Raven Software action game on the Doom engine. Originally billed as a sequel to Heretic — until they actually made Heretic II anyway — it was different in that it was a hub-based game where you went back and forth between various areas, rather than just going through each level one at a time like Doom did. I got Hexen II several years ago and I honestly couldn’t play much of that, so I’m hoping the original is better.

Next is  WWII Iwo Jima. Famous internet website Something Awful dot com covered a game similar to this called WWII Normandy, presumably by the same developer. Since the guy who reviewed Normandy thought it was a steaming turd, I bet Iwo Jima isn’t any better. I’ll be surprised if it even runs on my Vista box.

The last one is the real interesting one of the lot. The spine calls it Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3 Companion Demo Disc. Featured are demos to Rainbow Six 3 (sans the “Raven Shield” subtitle the PC version had), Ghost Recon, Ghost Recon: Island Thunder and Splinter Cell. The demos aren’t the appealing part of it. It’s that the bottom of the cover mentions “new missions for Ghost Recon Island Thunder and Splinter Cell.”

Back in the days before we were downloading digital games through our 360s and PS3s, downloadable content for games on the PS2 and Xbox was very scarce and usually required demo discs or other assorted means to acquire these since not everybody had high-speed internet (some still don’t!). The original Splinter Cell came with three additional downloadable missions available for the campaign mode. These were not available on the PS2 and Gamecube versions (although the PS2 version did get a unique mission not available in the other versions), and the PC version only got it by special means. Since Microsoft shut down the original Xbox Live in 2010, all the original Xbox DLC is now lost to the bowels of time, barring any that they released in disc bundles like this. Since this happened, there was only 3 ways to play these bonus missions:

  • Hope to god you downloaded them onto your original Xbox (or 360) before the service shut down
  • Find a copy of the Collector’s Edition of Splinter Cell Chaos Theory for the PC, which had a special 1.3 patch that reinstated the missions for the PC Splinter Cell
  • This companion demo disc.

Of course, I could be wrong and this may require Xbox Live to work, but I don’t have Splinter Cell on the Xbox to check. That’s gonna be something I’ll have to look into soon. (EDIT JUNE 27: And I did, a few months later. You find the entry here, on my other blog.)

That’s it. This is probably the last shop finds of 2011, and I hope to find more goodies in 2012.


Those video game awards.

Last night, Spike TV had their annual video game awards show. For the past 5 or so years I have boycotted the event, saying it was a farce that was completely unfunny and felt like an insult to video games everywhere. I even wrote a blog on Destructoid saying what I want out of a video game awards show.

But Jason Schreier said it better than I could.

Basically, as I’ve said in the past: Don’t watch the video game awards. I got all the news following people on Twitter and IRC, and playing Modern Warfare 2 in the meantime. I bet it’s better if you watch it with friends so you can riff it MST3K-style. While drunk.