Sometimes you get bored and lack motivation to do something. What do you do when you’re me, someone who writes silly things on the internet and looking for dumb stuff to write about? That’s right, time to do some thrift store shopping.
I will admit that most of the items I found this time around are random curiosities more than anything. There are some fairly common and interesting things in here, however, and may be something to write about in future blog posts. If all else fails, it’s a good document of all the junk I get and how I got it.
I roamed around the Oak Grove/Oregon City area for this, checking two chain thrift stores and a Goodwill, plus a special hobby shop on the edge of Oregon City. Let’s rock.
$4: Four random CDs:
Quake Mission Pack No. 2: Disillusion of Eternity (PC)
Shellshock: ‘Nam 67 (PC)
Quake III Team Arena (PC)
Disney Karaoke Series: The Cheetah Girls (music CD)
My first hit was a local chain thrift store. I thought I was gonna strike out, but the CDs I got have some interest.
I had Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon, but not the second expansion, Dissolution of Eternity. Now I have both. I remember not hearing too many great things about this one compared to Scourge, but hey, might as well get it to complete my Quake collection.
I also snagged Quake III Team Arena, aka that one game when id Software saw how popular Unreal Tournament was and realized their game didn’t have many team modes, so they hastily put out a paid expansion. Again, I bought this because I wanted to have the complete Quake III experience. Nowadays, Quake Live pretty much covers that Quake III/Team Arena void, so this is more for collection’s sake.
The third and final game is Shellshock: Nam ’67, one of the many Vietnam War games that came out in the early to mid 2000s. This game is notable for being made by Guerrilla Games, the guys who’d be later known for the semi-popular Killzone series. This was the sole game they made before Sony bought them around 2004. I don’t know if this game’s any good, but it can’t be that bad, can it?
Then there’s the last one: A Cheetah Girls Karaoke CD. This is probably the weirdest of the lot, but I bought it because it’s a Karaoke CD that supports the CD+G format that I covered a long while back here. Sadly it’s a different form of CD+G than the stuff featured in the Rock Paintings album, so I couldn’t get lyrics or music to show up. It appears I didn’t know much about this stuff as I thought.
Hopefully I’ll never have to explain why I own a Cheetah Girls CD.
$9: Lips with two wireless microphones
While I did grab stuff at a nearby Goodwill, it wasn’t anything games-related, so I’ll go to the final thrift store I went to, which was a smaller store not under any chain. Buried under old sports games and family-friendly PC titles was this set, wrapped in a bag.
Lips was Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Singstar franchise. It had a modest fanbase but couldn’t dent Sony’s armor in the karaoke game market. It was made by iNiS, makers of Gitaroo Man, Ouendan, and Elite Beat Agents; so it can’t be all bad, right?
Honestly had these not been packed in with the microphones, I would’ve passed it up. But the two microphones and the game at that price was a sweet deal. Now let’s give the game a try, shall we?
Wait a minute, this isn’t Lips! It’s Disney Sing It! Somehow I got tricked into getting the wrong game!
Now I bet some of you are reading this and going “Well why didn’t you open the case to check the disk inside, you dingus”, let me explain. This place usually bags up a fair share of their stuff, and this was no exception. I had only the microphones and the game case, and opening it up was not an option in the store, as I made that mistake many many years ago when they used to bag up their board games and opening one.
Since it’s Disney Sing It, the song selection’s a bit more narrow: mostly Disney Channel pop fare, and I stopped paying attention to that years ago. I’m not even certain the Lips microphones even work with the game, but I assume they do if someone was gonna put the wrong game in the case. Now to hunt down an actual copy of Lips…
The tale of this doesn’t end here: The microphones still had the batteries inside. One microphone in particular had the batteries leak, which made me worry I had not only got the wrong game, but a non-functioning microphone. But after replacing the batteries with fresh ones, they still worked!
After struggling a bunch to get the mics to sync properly, they now function as they should, now giving me the opportunity to do harmonies in The Beatles: Rock Band and Rock Band 3. Maybe multiple vocalists for some of the Guitar Hero games, if I wanted to go for those achievements. But I’m more of a drummer and guitarist, so these might just go unused.
$1: Hot Wheels Custom Texaco Race Car w/ Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed game
My last place was a local hobby shop in Oregon City called Coin Corner and Hobbies. If you live in that area, you gotta check the place out. Lots of old toys, old board games, a boatload of figurines, Hot Wheels (and its competitors), the works. It’s one of the many antique/collector shops in Oregon City, and it’s one of the cooler ones if you like toys and games.
This Hot Wheels Car was sold at Texaco gas stations to advertise Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed, one of the several spinoffs of the franchise. The title is fairly straightforward, as it only features the exotic Porsche cars. Yet, the race car bundled with it has nothing to do with the game itself. It’s not even a Porsche, which is incredibly silly.
Naturally with most Hot Wheels car collections, these usually came in a set. This is no exception. Five cars, five different sampler versions each with a different car. This would make sense back when the game was new, but I could buy Porsche Unleashed for $5 on eBay, so collecting all five cars just to get five unique demos is a waste of time and money. And I spent money getting all the Atari Hot Wheels, and completing the Sega Hot Wheels set.
Though, if I find the rest of them for as cheap as I found this, I might reconsider. The place had two of the cars, and I almost grabbed them both. I chose this one because of the demo that came with the Sampler CD (The Porsche 911 Turbo), and the clear Need for Speed logo on the Hot Wheels car.
Looks like there’s more Hot Wheels-meets-video-games than I thought. This requires further research…
And the rest:
Eric Johnson’s Ah Via Musicom
Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules’ “Mad World”
The New American Orchestra’s Music from Blade Runner
I ended up grabbing some music CDs as well, but only two have tangential relations to video games. The only not-video-games related one is an arrangement of the Blade Runner soundtrack by the New American Orchestra. This was the original release and apparently isn’t Vangelis’ film score, but rather jazz covers, which sounds weird considering the new-age electronic score that film’s known for.
The other two CDs have some video game tie-ins: Eric Johnson’s Ah Via Musicom, which features “Cliffs of Dover”, aka that one awesome guitar song featured in Guitar Hero III. The other is a CD single of Mad World performed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules. This is the one popularized by Donnie Darko, as well as being used in the original Gears of War trailer ten years ago. Since then it’s become a popular tune being referenced and satirized everywhere. I got those just to say I owned them.
That’s about it, really. There might be some other purchases in the future, but sometimes I find this really neat stuff and clog up my collections with it. I will likely have something more interesting in the future.