Here in the UK, the sun is beginning to shine and it almost feels like it’s Summer. That means that the humble British tradition of the Car Boot Sale can begin. Come and see my latest pickups.
For those who don’t know what a Car Boot Sale is, it’s where people drive their vehicles into a field in the early hours of a Saturday or Sunday morning, bringing a selection of new and used goods they want to sell out of the car boots (or trunks, for you Americans out there). Amongst the baby clothes, broken tools, copies of FIFA games and fidget spinners, a bargain can be found if you look hard enough. I even managed to see someone selling a new PlayStation VR headset for £200.
I like to go to Car Boot Sales with a budget of around £10 and buy three gaming items that interest me. I come home, see how much they go for on eBay and let you know how much I saved, alongside whether or not the items I bought were any good. Let’s find out whether I made some shrewd purchases, or completely wasted my money.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PlayStation 2)
I have a soft spot the Need for Speed games, and that’s ever since the Underground games. Need for Speed: Most Wanted takes the extensive car customisation of the prior Underground releases, but envelopes the whole thing into a narrative that places you in a Career mode where you must rise up the ranks of Rockport Police Department’s Blacklist – The city’s 15 most wanted illegal street racers – Beating them in races and taking their pink slips, giving you ownership of their cars.
Not that this will be easy, as you’ll need to earn the right to challenge each member of the Blacklist by winning race events, completing milestone challenges and reaching a certain of level of notoriety with the local police, who really aren’t happy with you breaking so many laws. In fact, a great deal of this game is avoiding the long arm of the law. With the cops only getting tougher as you reach the higher places on the Blacklist, they’ll start using better technology combined with faster and tougher vehicles in order to run you off of the road and into custody.
Taking a very cinematic approach to presentation, with a thrilling musical score, various camera tricks and effects, plus some pretty cheesy FMV segments, Most Wanted is more than your average racing game, and delivers an exciting arcade style racer that I think is still worth picking up.
Which I did – For £1. At that price is was an absolute steal of an impulse buy and considering the lowest price I could find the game as a Buy It Now listing on eBay was £4, I think if did incredibly well.
Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy (Xbox) – w/ Limited Edition Slipcase
The French developer Quantic Dream is known for their ambitious and cinematic games titles that are better described as interactive narratives than strictly games. The likes of Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and the upcoming Detroit: Become Human have pushed the medium of gaming forward with their almost photorealistic visuals and unique approach to storytelling, even if the end products are flawed somewhat.
Fahrenheit, otherwise known as Indigo Prophecy in the US and Canada, was the studio’s second game, a thriller that would later encompass paranormal themes. Starting off in the bathroom of a New York diner, the player is given the impression that they murdered someone under the influence of something else, and from then on must find out what is happening.
Played in third person, relying on analogue sticks for performing actions and choosing dialogue options, the Fahrenheit occasional delves into Quick Time Event territory, which does tend to be overly long and distract you from the on-screen choreography.
Like many of Quantic Dream’s releases, the narrative does stray into ridiculous territory and the occasional gaping plot hole, but it’s still a great game to go back to and see how far gaming as come as a storytelling medium.
At £1, it was certainly worth the money, especially as this is a limited edition slipcase version of the game, which I couldn’t find for any less than £9.99 on eBay. What a bargain!
Metal Slug 3 (PlayStation 2)
Finally, a game that I’m not familiar with, even if I am a little familiar with the series as a whole. The Metal Slug games are held up in high regard as excellent run-and-gun shooters, and after my time with Metal Slug 3, I’m inclined to agree.
Playing as one of four characters, like most games in the genre, this is all about getting from the start of each level to the finish, obliterating enemies before they do the same to you. A seemingly endless array of colourful foes stream onto the screen, but thankfully you are never far from a power-up to even the odds, or you can even recruit one of your friends to be player two and tackle the whole game together.
This is a title containing some of the most beautifully animated sprites I’ve ever seen, plonked in a game that constantly surprises you with ridiculous situations. You’ll find all types of weapons, from boats to tanks, to elephants. You’ll end up as a slow, lumbering zombie at one point, who can vomit blood on anyone unfortunate to walk on screen. There are Yetis to take down, army grunts to dispatch of, and of course – Gigantic bosses to battle.
Metal Slug 3 is a mad game, indeed – As an arcade port, it’s not exactly the longest game around, but I paid £2 for this PlayStation 2 version, which is about the same cost of an arcade game credit these days, so no complaints there – Especially when the cheapest I could find the game on eBay was £6.97.
So, time for the scores on the doors – I bought three very playable games for £4 in total. If I were to have bought them on eBay, the total would have come to £20.96. That’s a gigantic saving of £16.96 – A very good haul if I do say so myself.