Thursday, September 22, 2011
Top 5 : Biggest Pains in the Ass in Classic Gaming
Playing video games is fun, right? Except when you've got to deal with these: Top 5 Biggest Pains in the Ass. Get your IcyHot ready!
The Nostalgia Dirigible. I’ve suffered from arrested development all my life. Anything that I adored in my childhood, be it Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, big wheels, my heart melts and money flies out of my wallet. It’s not a stretch to see how this also applies to my gaming habits. I grew up in a household with a console from every generation, from my Dad’s Atari 2600 to the XBox 360 my daughter is now learning how to play games on. When I was younger, I had to sell off each console as I upgraded to the newer generation, and that’s something I regret to this day. I understand why it happened though, as we weren’t rolling in money, and my parents were teaching me about responsibility and good spending habits. And I like to think they’re smiling every time I buy a N64 game from a local thrift store.
It’s too bad that sometimes buying classic games can be a giant pain in the ass. Inspired by recent events, I’ve come up with my Top 5 biggest gripes with the used game market. Here we go!
5. Rolling Back Drivers
I recently went back to playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Well, I tried at least. The BioWare classic RPG SHOULD be one of my favorite games ever made. But when it was released, my computer wasn’t capable of running it. I’ve never had a gaming PC, and it always takes me years to catch up to whatever PC games have come out. So I broke out my old copy of KOTOR a while ago, and the damn thing kept crashing. And then, when it wasn’t crashing, it would run like shit. I dug through the BioWare forums and found that I needed to roll back my drivers, and edit some files in the game itself. I’m not the most tech savvy guy in the world, so I just bought the damn thing for XBox. And I still haven’t played it.
4. Soul Lacking Retail Employees
I was a retail slave for years, so I know how soul-crushing sales can be. However, I always tried to be polite to customers, and to be knowledgable in my field. Or at least try to. Some days I was so hung over at work, I would do little more than lay my head on the break table and eat bagles from the cafe to soak up residual alcohol. But I digress. This past week, I stopped by the locally owned used game store to see what I could spend my money on. Upon walking in the door, the teenaged clerk grunted a greeting at me, although he couldn’t be bothered to look up from his cell phone. After selecting my treasure (Rogue Squadron 64) I wasn’t given the 15% discount that was advertised on classic games. So after pointing this out to Mr. Clearasil, he humphed and had to re-ring my purchase. Double charging my debit card. Asshole.
3. Hoodwinked by eBay
We’ve all been there. That SNES auction with 0 bids, sitting at a price that is surprisingly affordable. So, faster than you can think, you click that Buy It Now! button. Too bad you neglected to notice that the SNES system you just bought for $15 has a shipping cost of $45.00. Oops.
2. Buyer’s Remorse
Like, for example, when you spend $6.99 on a copy of Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood. But you’d never be foolish enough to do that, right?
1. The Damn Things Won’t Work!
If you grew up with a cartridge based system, be it the NES, the SNES, the Genesis, whatever, you know how finicky carts can be. Everyone knows the time honored “blow on it” trick. But what about when you buy that copy of A Link to the Past at a garage sale, and it appears as though the exposed part of the cart has been sitting in melted chocolate for a decade? Time to break out the nail polish remover and hope for the best. PS2 stopped reading discs? Find your tiny screwdriver and hope you don’t break the laser as you try to clean it! Some systems, like the 3DO and Jaguar CD are notorious for just up and dying. Not to mention the XBox 360, with its notorious Red Ring of Death. Someday that’ll be mentioned in an article about classic gaming consoles. I will then officially be old enough to kill myself without remorse.
Christopher Linendoll will play KOTOR, someday. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.