Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Pros and Cons of second hand software

Regular readers may have already read about my newly resurrected XBox 360. Having a console (for free) is A Good Thing, but having something to play on it is even better.

The Xbox 360 can allegedly play some XBox games. Some, but not all. Unfortunately for me, you need to have at least the 20gig hard drive for this to work, and all I have is a 256meg memory card.

Also, just to make life that bit more fun, I didn't have a controller either. My USB keyboard works the 360 Dashboard, but does sod all in games. Something I've got to say about the 360 is this - the controllers for it are bloody expensive, even second hand. After a bit of shoping around I managed to snag a wired controller for it for £15 (a wireless one would have been around £25).

As for cheap games, there are a couple of places that you can get cheap software. Aside from your friendly neighbourhood back-street games shop, there are a couple of places on the highstreet that specialise in second hand stuff.

Game (formerly Electronic Boutique) sells a mix of new and second hand gear. This was my first stop to get something to test my 360 with. After a brief hunt I walked away with a copy of Blue Dragon for £4.

As it turns out the game is, essentially, Final Fantasy 7 with Dragonball Z artwork. Spread over three DVDs it is a really nice, well paced little RPG, I'm actually surprised at just how good it is.

Of course, one game is never enough, so for our next jaunt I headed over to CeX. A bit unusual this lot, as all of their stock is second hand. You can also drop in your old DVDs, consoles or games and either get back cash, or use them against purchases in store (you get back more for your stuff this way).

I came out with Project Gotham 3 for a fiver, and the XBox 360 Live Arcade compilation for £4. Sadly Project Gotham 3 didn't work, but the Live Arcade disk did, and apart from me playing Uno into the small we hours on XBox Live, the rest of the family were hooked to Boom Boom Rocket.

Trying to return Project Gotham was a bit, well, strange. I still had the receipt for the game so I didn't forsee any difficulties in sending it back. As it turns out the game was physically damaged, and after a fair bit of muttering, huddled employees examining the game disk and "are you SURE you bought it from us?" they replaced the game. I've not had the chance to play it yet (hopefully later on tonight) so fingers crossed.

Looking closely at the game that I've now got in my grubby hands, I've actually ended up with Project Gotham 4 in a Project Gotham 3 box. As this retails for £12 then I'm quids in - assuming that it actually plays!

I also traded in some of my old DVD box sets and used the money to buy a 20 Gig hard drive for the 360 for £35. As with Project Gotham I'll be testing that later on tonight, once I get chance to get onto the 360.


It looks like my luck has held out - both Project Gotham 4 and the hard drive work perfectly. So, yay for that!

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