Your greatest gaming gamble

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

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JamesC
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Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by JamesC » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:01 pm

I think us older gamers have all bought games on a whim, knowing relatively little about them (especially in the 8 and 16 bit days when you had little to go on but a small blurb and some screenshots).
What has been your greatest 'shot in the dark' purchase?

For me, I'd have to say it was Kirby's Dream Course on the SNES. It was in a bargain sale at Woolworths but was still abou £20 (a lot to me in those days). I knew nothing about Kirby and all I could tell from the box was that it was some kind of crazy golf type thing. From the day of purchase it was rarely out of the SNES for a least a year. Some friends and I used to play it again and again until we could almost 'hole in one' most of the courses.
It's a game of seldom heard raved about but for me and my mates it just clicked.

An honourable mention goes to Rock n Roll Racing on the Megadrive. A game I spent about £35 on just because it looked a bit like RC Pro Am from the screenshots. A great game though (the Pro Am comparison isn't far wrong) and one I got lots of pleasure from.

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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:43 pm

Independence War on PC. Knew nothing about it, had never heard of it before, found it in a bargain bin in the main bit of Asda (not the entertainment section, it was up near the clothing and cheese). I think it cost me under a fiver, but its without a doubt one of the best PC games I ever played, commanding many hours of my time, sucking me into it's world and bleeding into mine as we tinkered with mods and patches for it and was my first proper online forum community I felt part of. I don't think any other purchase could match that initial unknown to absolute obsession this one became.
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ncf1
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by ncf1 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:08 pm

hey, that question brought back memories. I remember they had a sale on at the pc shop and had titles i'd not heard of but had interesting artwork like "Bad Day On The Midway" and "The Dark Eye" by Inscape. The Dark Eye ended up being my favourite adventure game for years, there's nothing quite like it, a Poe-inspired, nightmarish sort of adventure.

I also took a shot with "Blue Ice", but that was just so far out that I think it deserved its $3 price tag or whatever it was... hardly a gamble though. Then it went through a phase where it was going for like $150 on Ebay but that ceased for some reason, I think they started selling reissues.

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paranoid marvin
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by paranoid marvin » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:33 pm

Biggest gamble? Spending over £1k on a pc. Had never used one for gaming , knew nothing about config.sys and shifting memory etc , just knew I wanted to play Monkey Island 3, Red Alert, Wing commander and others.
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JamesC
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by JamesC » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:42 pm

Funnily enough, I've never found hardware to be a gamble.
I've bought 'failed' consoles but everything I've bought has always had something worthwhile to recommend it.

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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by RetroMartin » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:32 am

Rocket knight adventures. I had some money saved when I was 9 or 10, saw it in a shop for 12 quid and got it on a whim. It became one f my favourite Megadrive games of all time.

Final Fantasy 7. I didn't buy it but borrowed it. All I knew about it was a small hints and tips section for it in a magazine e but I'd heard it was considered amazing so I thought I'd give it a go. One of the best decisions ever!
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by The Laird » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:50 am

Zoom for the Mega Drive springs to mind, saw it on a market stool for a cheap price (can't remember how much) thought it looked a bit weird but was the only game I could afford. Turns out it was really good and a game I ended up playing a great deal, still a favourite of mine to this day.

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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by kiwimike » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:41 am

Perhaps preordering Resident Evil 4 Ltd edition on Gamecube? Knew nothing about it, except Capcom had started again from scratch after not liking the result.

Happily wasn't an issue in the end!

I did buy an old Space Invaders coin op from a trade paper. $50, 'as is', hoping to get it working. never did. Got an icade now though which is better from a maintenance point of view

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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by davyK » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:46 am

During the early days of internet gaming sites there was talk of a 2D shooter for the Saturn called Radiant Silvergun. There was a consistent good message about it. But remember back then you had text and the odd screenshot.

When visiting a retro shop I spotted a cartridge that let me play imports on the Saturn so bought that - think it was about £25-30.

Then I decided I'd take the plunge and try and get Radiant Silvergun. So saw an ad for a retro shop called Forbidden Planet in a magazine, rang them and asked them if they had it. (imagine how naive I was!). "Hold on a minute", the guy said. He came back said, " Yeah -we have a copy - I'm afraid it's expensive - £50). OK I said - I gave him my Switch card number over the phone and my address and contact details. Next day he rang me back and asked me for the issue no on my Switch card. Online transactions have come a long way.

Game arrived and suffice to say I was more than satisfied even though I was playing it at 50Hz. (And lucky it worked at that refresh rate!)

Have since bought a JP machine and still have my copy of RSG. :) Was an £80 gamble in total. Paid off.
Last edited by davyK on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gren
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by Gren » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:40 pm

Xmas 1983 got a speccy 16k and the amazing duo pack of Jetpac/Tranzam. Probably wasn't aware then of how lucky a games collection start that was!

So in the January sales I decided to use some of my Xmas money to buy a new speccy game.
With little knowledge, no mags (didn't start getting Crash until issue 2) and a 16k limitation I wandered into WHSmiths with money in hand.
After perusing the various shelves, a little bit deflated that most of the games I knew of were 48k, I narrowed the selection down to 2 games by Micromega:-
3D Luna Crabs
3D Deathchase

I think my decision to buy Deathchase was based on seeing Return of the Jedi in '83, and the cover that looked the speeder bike section on Endor.

Almost certainly my best blind "gamble" ever :D
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by SpecChum81 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:29 pm

Probably buying a PS1 based purely on playing a 15 minute demo of GTA from a magazine at a friends house!

I say it was a gamble as I knew next to nothing about most of the games bar the odd one or two I'd stumbled across at other peoples houses as I and most of my friends were still using our Mega Drives as our primary console.

But that demo sold me, and almost 20 years on I still love GTA and still love my PS1! :D 8) :D
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Ryan GH
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by Ryan GH » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:39 pm

Has to be when I discovered synergies mod for Torchlight 2 which gave me about 400 hours of gameplay until I moved onto something else. Trust me, play it on the hardest difficulty and be prepared to be amazed. It is so much better than the core game! I liked it so much I donated $100 to the mod creator...

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binaryRooster
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by binaryRooster » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:44 am

ncf1 wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:08 pm
hey, that question brought back memories. I remember they had a sale on at the pc shop and had titles i'd not heard of but had interesting artwork like "Bad Day On The Midway" and "The Dark Eye" by Inscape.
Did you like Bad Day on the Midway? I'm a massive Residents fan but i never got to play any of their CD rom games.

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ncf1
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by ncf1 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:02 pm

binaryRooster wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:44 am
ncf1 wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:08 pm
hey, that question brought back memories. I remember they had a sale on at the pc shop and had titles i'd not heard of but had interesting artwork like "Bad Day On The Midway" and "The Dark Eye" by Inscape.
Did you like Bad Day on the Midway? I'm a massive Residents fan but i never got to play any of their CD rom games.
I actually never got around to playing Bad Day on The Midway properly! I bought those to games I mentioned on the same day, played around with Bad Day a bit but couldn't figure it out quickly enough so tried The Dark Eye which I got into straight away, and never managed to ever get back to Bad Day. Ebay came along and I saw that game was going for crazy prices and so I sold it, I needed the dough at the time. But I wished I'd have been able to try it a little longer to at least figure out what to do but I was a 'poor student' at the time so had to cash in. I was a Mr Bungle fan so I think it might have been something I could have sunk my teeth into, and I actually might look into it a bit more now and see what it was all about. :)

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binaryRooster
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Re: Your greatest gaming gamble

Post by binaryRooster » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:06 am

ncf1 wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:02 pm
binaryRooster wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:44 am
ncf1 wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:08 pm
hey, that question brought back memories. I remember they had a sale on at the pc shop and had titles i'd not heard of but had interesting artwork like "Bad Day On The Midway" and "The Dark Eye" by Inscape.
Did you like Bad Day on the Midway? I'm a massive Residents fan but i never got to play any of their CD rom games.
I actually never got around to playing Bad Day on The Midway properly! I bought those to games I mentioned on the same day, played around with Bad Day a bit but couldn't figure it out quickly enough so tried The Dark Eye which I got into straight away, and never managed to ever get back to Bad Day. Ebay came along and I saw that game was going for crazy prices and so I sold it, I needed the dough at the time. But I wished I'd have been able to try it a little longer to at least figure out what to do but I was a 'poor student' at the time so had to cash in. I was a Mr Bungle fan so I think it might have been something I could have sunk my teeth into, and I actually might look into it a bit more now and see what it was all about. :)
I always found Patton's stuff outside of FNM much more interesting. He's definitely a one off! I saw the Fantomas Director's Cut gig at the Astoria which was fantastic.

I've always had the notion to try and get Bad Day, Gingerbread man and Freak Show up and running on my PC somehow. They've probably dated horribly but should still be interesting.

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