Budget and preowned games
Welcome to the fourth part of my Christmas gaming round up. This time, I will be taking a brief look at the best budget games currently available for each system. Firstly, the budget titles. I will only be focusing on two per system and then I'll do a short list of the others, or we'll be here all day!
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Link's cel-shaded adventure is now available as one of the Player's Choice titles. It may not be the best Zelda game ever, being too easy, but it's still a fantastic experience and up there with the best the Gamecube has to offer.
Many would argue that MP is the best game available for the Gamecube, and I would have to agree. The sequel may beat it when it's released next Friday, but it won't have the advantage of being just £20. If you are a Cube owner and you haven't played it yet, then treat yourself.
Other Gamecube games under £20 that are worth checking out: Pikmin, Luigi's Mansion, Super Mario Sunshine, Star Fox Adventures, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Soulcalibur 2, F-Zero GX, Skies of Arcadia Legends, Eternal Darkness, Wario Ware Inc. Mega Party Games. There are many more that I may have missed/forgotten, so if you know of a game that I haven't included here post a comment and let everyone know.
Best Gamecube Preowned Bargains
I'm using Gamestation as a benchmark here, but other stores may offer different (better?) prices.
Beyond Good & Evil - £14.99
Billy Hatcher - £12.99
Gladius - £6.99 - BARGAIN!
Ikaruga - £16.99
Super Monkey Ball - £9.99
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
One of the best Star Wars games that LucasArts have ever produced and also an essential purchase for RPG fans. The main quest will last you an estimated 40 hours on your first play through, and the storyline and quests change depending on whether you travel down the path of light or towards the Dark Side. If you missed it first time around, pick it up as part of the Xbox Classics range now.
If you're new to Xbox, no doubt you will have heard all about Halo and the over-hyped Halo 2. In my humble opinion, the original is still the better of the two, being less glitchy, but the one player modes are really quite similar in both. If you have the money, I recommend you get both Halo's at the same time and go on an epic battle against the Covenant over the Christmas period.
Other Xbox games under £20 worth checking out: Project Gotham Racing 2, Top Spin, SSX 3, Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Mashed.
Best Xbox preowned bargains
Again, these are based on Gamestation prices.
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon - £12.99
Colin McRae Rally 04 - £12.99
Fable - £24.99 (not quite a budget price, but pretty good)
Flatout - £19.99
Ford Racing 3 - £12.99
Panzer Dragoon Orta - £12.99
RalliSport Challenge 2 - £16.99
Secret Weapons Over Normandy - £12.99
I'm back, finally, to try and finish this post. It's turned into something of a behemoth. Anyway, PS2 budget games, here we go:
Jak 2: Renegade
There are way more PS2 budget titles to choose from, which makes selecting just two to focus on even harder. One of my favourite games earlier this year was Jak 2, which to the original protagonist, tortured him, gave him dark powers (and a voice) and then sent him into Haven City to do battle against (dum dum duhhh) sinister forces. What followed was an excellent blend of the platform action from the orignal Jak & Daxter, gunplay which was similar to Ratchet & Clank, and a huge living city to expore ala GTA. The gameplay is fun, and I don't agree with critics who said there's too much walking about (a jet bike is never far from you). The visuals are up there with the best PS2 titles and the voice acting is spot on.
You can't beat a good RPG, and is is one. Uber corporations Square and Disney joined forces to produce the stoy of Sora, a boy who wields a huge key as a sword, who has to band together with Donald Duck and Goofy in order to find out what happened to King Mickey and his friends Rikku and Kairi. There are plenty of familiar faces, from Alice, Tarzan and Hercules to, Aeris, Cloud and Sephiroth. This is truely a magical game, and is perfect for playing at Christmas time. Two sequels are on the way, one on the GBA and one on the PS2.
Other PS2 games under £20 worth checking out: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Ratchet & Clank 2, Burnout 2, Hitman 2, Zone of the Enders, SSX 3, Final Fantasy X.
Best PS2 preowned bargains
As before, these are Gamestation prices.
Battle Engine Aquila - £7.99
Beyond Good and Evil - £6.99 - BARGAIN!
Dancing Stage Fusion - £16.99
Drakan: The Ancients Gates - £7.99
Final Fantasy X-2 - £16.99
Ford Racing 3 - £12.99
Gladius - £7.99
Gradius V - £16.99
Legaia: Dual Saga - £12.99
Mashed - £16.99
Onimusha 2 - £7.99
Project Zero - £12.99
Rygar - £12.99
Shadow Hearts - £12.99
Summoner 2 - £4.99 - BARGAIN!
The Mark of Kri - £6.99 - BARGAIN!
So there you go. These are some seriously good prices for some seriously good games. If you've always envied Nintendo owners for having the Zelda series, then I urge you to try Beyond Good & Evil, as it's the closest your going to get. It has it's own original aspects though such as taking photographs of wildlife for money.
This is taking way too long. Once again, I'll be back soon with the GBA and PC sections.