Wednesday, July 18, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 154


Old PlayStation games offer cheap enjoyment

By Michael Ahlf
Daily Cougar Staff

If you aren't one of those people who have bought a PlayStation 2 yet, chances are you own an original PlayStation by now, since the system's been in the United
States since 1995.

For college students on a budget, the resale game market is a great place to get some fun games and save some cash. GameStop stores (formerly FuncoLand) and
other software resellers offer games at prices usually well below the cost of a new game, and they usually have some form of trade-in deal for the old games you
have gotten tired of. With that in mind, here's a short primer: 10 games to look for if you're trying to figure out what to buy.

10.) Street Fighter games -- they're fun, classic beat-em-ups. Try to get the expanded versions (EX+ or Alpha3) if they're around, or for a taste of nostalgia grab
Street Fighter Collection, a PlayStation translation of the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System classics.

9.) King of Fighters games -- in the same line as Street Fighter, but this is the line of fighting games that kept SNK's NeoGeo arcade system going forever. Give it a
try if Street Fighter bores you.

8.) Resident Evil/Dino Crisis -- These two series have been Capcom's fallback line as of late, amounting to a video game version of scary zombie movies and
monster flicks. If horror is your thing, these are your games.

7.) Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver -- A third-person puzzle game with an excellent storyline, rather dark and gothic. You play an undead vampire-hunter, reclaiming
the world from the vampire scourge that has taken over. The added bonus is that the sequel is coming for PS2.

6.) Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen -- This is actually a 2D roleplaying game rather than a 3D puzzle game, but it's got a decent storyline behind it as well as being the
backstory for the Soul Reaver line. Again, watch for the sequel on PS2.

5.) Twisted Metal 2 -- Twisted Metal has anything an action gamer could want -- flashy cars, funny weapons, and completely unrealistic physics, not to mention the
explosions. I suggest No. 2 in the series because it's really the best in the line.

4.) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night -- Castlevania started out as a video game spoof on the old monster movies, but it's turned into a great series. Symphony
of the Night expands things a bit further, adding in roleplaying elements as you control good old Vlad's son, Alucard, in getting rid of his father once and for all.

3.) Einhander -- One of the first really great games for the PSX, Einhander is your classic horizontal shooter game in every sense of the word, with gameplay
reminiscent of even older classics like Defender. This one's a blast.

2.) Megaman X4 -- Megaman's been a favorite for players ever since the original NES games, and Capcom's move to the PSX gives you the ability to toy around
with X as well as the much more interesting Zero. Great gameplay and an okay storyline, along with the addition of video cutscenes to draw the player in.

1.) Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee or Abe's Exoddus -- If you're looking for a game that breaks all the rules, Oddworld is for you. No guns, no lives to count, just a
spindly little weakling who happens to be the savior of his race.

You have to use all your wits to solve the puzzles and save your friends. If that weren't enough, Oddworld doesn't just present a story, it gives the player an
incredibly funny, if somewhat disturbing, world to explore. If you haven't given Oddworld a try, put one of these on the top of your list.

By the same token, there are a few games that you should avoid at all costs -- after all, why spend your hard-earned money or store credit on something you'll wind
up trading back next week? Here's a few rules of thumb:

This should go without saying, but anything based on a movie or television show means you should be extremely wary; the temptation for game developers and
studios to skimp on production costs, not to mention lack of time for development cycles, really tends to make them mediocre at best. Case in point: Simpsons
Wrestling, one of the few games I'd ever give an F. And Tomb Raider -- the first game was decent for its time, but everything's just gone downhill since.

Also be wary of translations of games that were hot on the PC, especially first-person shooters like Quake. The console game systems usually don't have the
control ability to handle these properly, something that's been proven repeatedly between games like Starcraft for the Nintendo 64 and Quake 2 for the PSX.

Several retailers, both real-life and online, offer the money-conscious college student a wide selection of used game options. Perhaps the most widely known
used-game store is GameStop, which carries everything from old-school eight-bit Nintendo games to brand-new Dreamcast, PS2 and N64 releases.

There are several GameStop locations around Houston, including 8138 Kirby Drive, the corner of Westheimer Road and Dunvale Road, and 449 Uvalde Road.
GameStop also has an extensive Web site at

Another, similar store is Game Proz, which also has several Houston locations. Try 631 Uvalde Road, 1100 E. Southmore Ave. in Pasadena, 512 Almeda Mall B or
444 Northwest Mall 533.

Online auctions are another excellent place to locate inexpensive software. Try everybody's favorite Web site,, which generally has an extremely
wide selection; Yahoo! Auctions; or, if you're desperate, auctions (selection is reasonable but prices often are not).

Outside the auction arena, there are several Web sites to try. Game Trading Zone, at, puts users in touch with other gamers for trading purposes.
One no-frills site is, which allows visitors to sell their old games as well as purchase new ones.

A final point: College students, like anyone out there, have access to a rich amount of information when trying to make a decision. Before heading off to your local
game store, hit the Web, read the reviews in the Cougar or elsewhere, and get an idea whether that game you've got your eye on is really going to be worth it.
Happy gaming.

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