Next-generation systems – it all sounded like such a fantastic idea…

Despite that initial rush of complete inertia, I find myself void of reason for owning any of these new consoles.

It was fun blowing lots of money sure, but, these near sentient machines have become nothing more than exorbitantly expensive infomercial-type space heaters: Turn them on!, Lose those blankets!  Be free!

Why have I done this again?  I have signed up much too early for a new generation of hardware and software that won’t truly begin to take shape until later this year, or sometime after 20XX.  I am the sucker born every minute, and seemingly I have forgotten everything that has come before.  All it takes is me blinking, and I am a very damaged fish.

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Good thing is, I have options.  More importantly, YOU have options.  See that PS2? That Wii?  That Xbox?  Those old things sitting on your shelf are still incredibly viable.  Folks, now is the time, ‘cause it’s raining dollar store, 8-track deals all over your room.  Those games you never played, but paid full price for?  Those ancient glistening things finally have your full attention.  This won’t last forever, but for now you can be thrifty, blue-light, and completely budget-minded.

Here’s four titles from past generations you should play now:

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4. Capcom Classics Collection Volume 1 (Multi-platform)

Arcade collections are a bit of a stretch, as it’s a jumble of both great and largely passable titles, but just look at this set: A generous portion of Street Fighter and some dark perfectionist arcade fodder like Final Fight and Ghosts ‘N Goblins.  Straight from the source, straight to the vein, use caution: long-term exposure renders real life completely void of feeling.  Volume 2 is available, and is equally fantastic.

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3. Indigo Prophecy (Multi-platform)

If you’ve loved any of the myriad of titles from developer Quantic Dream like 2013’s Beyond: Two Souls, Heavy Rain or 2000’s Omikron: The Nomad Soul, then there’s a very slight chance you missed 2005’s Indigo Prophecy.  Watch closely as their mild-mannered studio head David Cage transforms into auteur savant.  Where else can you play guitar, clean urinals, and watch lovers bicker dramatically over toasters?  Nowhere.  The only thing left out?  Shopping for a bridal gown, though it may be in here, I may have simply chosen the wrong option.  Interested?  I thought so.

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2. Cursed Mountain (Wii) 

In my estimation, very few played developer Deep Silver’s slow-smoldering monster crawl.  Real shame, because for every second that something big happens, there’s several hundred where NOTHING happens at all.  Sound like some insulting back-handed compliment?  It is.  Silence goes unabated for hours at a time, creaking around abandoned villages, voodoo hexes merely hinted at… but the end result is one of the truest to form horror games on a console in years.  If you missed out, you can get it for less than a movie in 3D.  Those theaters are so loud, and this assures that, at the very least, quiet can be had for all.

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1. Odin Sphere (PS2)

Years ago, a manager asked me to do an “employee picks” wall of favorite records.  He stressed the importance of commentary, to convince customers unequivocally that this WAS what they were looking for.  The next morning he came into a line of 15 records all with the same tagline: “BOOM!”  There was no other way to describe any of them – direct, self-assured, and in bold lettering.  While I wasn’t asked to do the wall ever again, he did laugh.  If you’re not sold, I can’t help you.  Odin Sphere = Boom.

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Having fallen in love only 4 times in his life Geno counts Double Dragon as his second and truest love.  He has worked in record retail since 2000 and believes David Hayter to be the one true Solid Snake.  Currently, he is putting together a band which only perform songs from Street Fighter 3rd Strike.