As it’s Friday 13th, I think this top five list should be about things going wrong…so I present to you…
Five worst experiences buying games?
#5 – Premier Manager 98 (PS1)
I was obsessed with football management games as a teenager. However, the family PC couldn’t run Championship Manager 97/98 (the best football management game at the time.) So I had to look for alternatives. After a failed attempt to replace Championship Manager with Onside Soccer (shudder) I was thrilled to hear that Premier Manager was coming out on PS1. I loved the Mega Drive version and was hoping the PS1 version could scratch my football management itch.
So, I saved all my pennies, threw some trade in fodder games in a bag and jumped on the bus to St Helens. A long bus ride, followed by a quick walk to GAME and I was ready to purchase Premier Manager 98. I couldn’t see the game on the shelf, but I was sure GAME had some copies in the back.
The store assistant’s words still ring in my head. “It’s been delayed for three months.” See, this was the days before the internet, where you could check things before leaving the house. Back then, you had to take a chance. That day, the chance didn’t pay off and I was worried about beiing left with nothing to show for my trip. I ended up blowing all my money (about £21) on the Simpsons Complete Guide. I’d end up renting Premier Manager 98 a few months later and realized that it was nowhere near as good as the Mega Drive version…
#4 – Descent (PS1)
When I got my PS1 in Summer 1997, I hammered the demo disc initially. There were some games on that disc that I loved…Wipeout 2097, Tekken 2, Adidas Power Soccer and Descent. Descent was something really different at the time, a first person shooter with space ships. I decided to ask for it for Christmas that year and was thrilled that I’d seen it in Makro for the princely sum of £9.99. Father Christmas brought Descent and all was right with the world.
Except for the part where Makro didn’t put the disc in the case. Everything was going really well until I opened the case on Boxing Day to see an empty case. I actually checked the floor to see if I had dropped the disc and it had rolled under a couch or something. No such luck…I had to wait for the game to be taken back to Makro and the disc added, which took several days. To be fair, Makro were probably doing me a favour. After playing the full game for a bit I realized that Descent was 1) a bad PC port and 2) responsible for the painful headaches I was experiencing. To this day, I still think of Descent if I get a headache, such is the connection…
#3 – Football Manager 2006 (Xbox 360)
The inspiration for this list….one of my friends was talking about ordering a game, but not being at home to answer the door when the postman came, meaning he would have to wait until tomorrow to collect it from the Post Office. The memories came flooding back at once. It was 2006…I had an Xbox 360 and could finally play a Football Manager game. I’d waited a decade to play a Sports Interactive management game and now, finally, it was time. I placed my pre-order and waited.
I was at work and missed the postman when he came to drop the game off. Only problem was, it was Easter weekend and I had missed the postman on Thursday. Cue a long weekend of having nothing to do while the Post Office held my copy of Football Manager 2006 captive. I think I was there at 9:01am on the Tuesday!
#2 – Dead Or Alive 4 (Xbox 360)
I’ve mentioned this game before, as part of my birthday gaming memories, but to this day I can’t believe I was so stupid. In hindsight, I can’t believe Play sent me two copies of this game, in good faith…I have a horrible feeling they sent me three copies of the game but I’m not completely sure so for once I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt.
To summarize, I failed to notice the ‘Please play at 60fps’ note in the Dead or Alive 4 case and returned the game to Play, complaining it didn’t work. At least once and probably twice. In short, I’m an idiot.
#1 – Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
As I’ve mentioned previously, I use to suffer with a dreadful affliction known as ‘Pro Evolution Soccer Release Date Fever’. Every year, for a week or two every autumn, I would get very nervous and angsty when thinking about the release date of a certain Konami football game. I would plan out my launch date purchase in advance, as I needed my Pro Evo fix as soon as possible.
However, by 2013 I had sold my Xbox 360 in an attempt to be mature. I said attempt….anyway, all I had was my laptop. I still wanted Pro Evolution Soccer though. My wife (who has been a big supporter during my struggles with Pro Evo Release Date Fever) very kindly said I could go and buy Pro Evolution Soccer…providing I took our then 6 month old son with me.
Cue a very long four hours….I didn’t drive at the time so I had to get a bus to nearby Bury with a pram and look for Pro Evo 13. I could not find that game on PC. I pushed that pram to every shop in Bury…GAME, WH Smith, HMV, PC World, Greggs (I had to eat), Currys, Argos….it was awful. My son was as good as gold though and my only positive memory of the day is us having dinner on a bench in the shopping centre.
After getting my son home and promising to myself that I’d never do that again, I ordered the game from Amazon who promptly delivered the game to me. Actually, no, that;s not true – they made me wait in all day (I’d learned my lesson from Football Manager 2006) to collect my ‘next day delivery’, then didn’t bring me my Pro Evo 13 as promised. I was raging – one angry e-mail later and my delivery was rearranged.
After all that grief, I barely played it anyway. The laptop could hardly run it and it didn’t feel right playing Pro Evo on a laptop. What a waste of time and money….
Do you have any bad experiences when buying games? If so, please share in the comments below…