So. My in-laws are moving out of their house a “retiring” down to Florida. I enjoyed the visits we made to their house during the summer and holidays, but know it looks like I will have to venture hellscape that is Florida to enjoy board games and beer (Florida is not a bad state, I just hate the heat down there). While my father-in-law is not the gamer that he once was, he does find the time to enjoy gaming when he can. He currently enjoys his Switch and is currently playing his second playthrough of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. His influence got Kat into gaming as well; and it is thanks to him that we have some impressive games in our collection (all five mainline Suikoden games just to name some). However, some of our taste in games don’t line up well since he is a big sports fan and I know how to play a game but suck at everything else.
That brings us to this wonderful…thing that he sent us. For the record, I have zero interest in Nascar. I have no idea why people spend hours watching cars drive in a loop, but if that is your form of entertain then please keep enjoying it. The only reason I know who this person is, Jeff Gordon, is because of all the Nascar fans from my school (I wouldn’t have known it was him without the signature on the can). So why was I given this cooler for a sport that I have no interest in? For the contents inside apparently. While cleaning out their basement, they decided to place all of his old gaming stuff into this container and let me shift through it to see if there was anything that I wanted. I really appreciate the thought of letting me look through them to see if there was anything that I wanted. They know I am a video game buff, and sadly they appreciate it more than most people on my side of the family. However, they did not realize my policy of not selling or getting rid of games that enter my possession; no matter what the game is or if I will ever play it. It is a self imposed rule that I placed on myself after selling games that I regretted in the past. So, let’s see what fun things this cooler holds.
When I opened up the lid, the very first game that greeted me was Fox Sports College Hoops ’99….
Sigh. Okay no big deal. I know that my FIL (just going to start using this abbreviation now) is big into sports, so of course some of these will be sports titles. I have never heard of this game, or who would be in it that I know. Kobe? Is Kobe in this? Who played basketball in 1999? Dirk? Is that you? Obviously I know some sportsball people, just my knowledge is slim when recognizing famous players. To get some of my “meh” findings out of the way, here is a highlight reel of all the other ball games we found in this thing.
Madden 2000. I might have fun with this one. My younger brother made me play a bunch of Madden games with him in the past, so I will have some idea on how to play it.
PGA Tour 98. This isn’t Mario Golf. This is regular golf for people who want to play actual golf (ie. not me).
Triple Play 98. I’ve never really had a problem with baseball. There was a baseball game that we would rent out a lot of times on the N64, but I doubt this is the same brand (I looked it up and it was All-Star Baseball 99; we tried to hit each other with the ball). I’ll give it a whack and see if it is a home run or a foul.
NHL 99. The sticker on the case says that this is the “coolest game on earth.” Obviously this was the case before Club Penguin came into existence.
Triple Play 2000. I don’t remember much from the year 2000, but Kat informed me that she was in Kindergarten at the time. This made me go into a fetal position and deny the fact that I’m old for my age group. Also I’m pissed that my Triple Play collection is now ruined since I’m now missing Triple Play 99.
NCAA Football 2000. What would make the college football games more interesting would be to let the marching band take the field and watch them play a game. Similar to the mascot mode in later games.
Madden 2002. Apparently Madden 2001 wasn’t that great, so he skipped straight to the 2002 version.
And that is all the sports games that were in the cooler. I joke, but I am curious to test run these games even though I’m not sweating at the palm to play them. Realistic sports games are not my jam. I prefer playing games like the Mario spinoffs or any other fun and creative game that uses a sports formula. There might be a ton of people who had fun playing these games back in the day, and I hope seeing them again brought back some good memories. My memories of these games will probably be bad, but don’t let my dismissive mind tarnish yours.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some things that did peek my interest. Some of these I will talk about in more length than the sports games, and some I will have no clue what the public’s reception is to them. If I had to put them in some kind of ranking of excited to own, I would say these games get an eyebrow raise from me.
Sentient. I have no idea what this game is about. The back of the case tells me that this is a 3D adventure game where you have to solve a murder mystery in space…I think. From what I can tell, this game came out early in the PlayStation lifespan and most critics were very critical about it. I’m sure there maybe some redeeming qualities in it, but I will never know until I try it one day. This game is one of the only games that feels odd in my FIL’s games that is outside his normal genres. He likes sports, strategies, and RPGs. Having a semi horror adventure game seems out of place for him to own. Add the fact that their are faded faces in the back ground and the case has semi claw marks on them, I could convince myself that this game is haunted.
Warcraft II: The Dark Saga. I have not played any of the Warcraft games or any other game by Blizzard outside of Overwatch. I have no idea if playing a real-time strategy (RTS) game is comfortable with a controller or not, but sadly I don’t see myself playing this anytime soon.
Jeopardy. Rip to the great legend that was Alex Trebek. Jeopardy will never be the same without him. I used to have a Jeopardy game for PC way back in the day; and surprise surprise I was terrible at it. I imagine I will be terrible at this version since this game came out in 1998. Kat and I will definitely get a kick out it one day and she will dominate me since she is the better one at trivia.
That does it for the mid tier interest level finds from the crate. Again, not bad things, but things that didn’t get me overly excited. These next few items listed are what I consider my highlights from what I found. I thought I had already found the good stuff when I was looking through his games before, but somehow these things skipped my attention at the time.
Riven: The Sequel to Myst. This may sound like blasphemy, but I have never played Myst. That didn’t stop me from being intrigued by what I assume is the collector’s edition of Riven. I have no idea what is going on, but this 5 disc game came with unique slide cases for each disc. For all you Myst buffs out there, this might look really cool to you. I have no idea since this was the first time I realized Myst had a sequel. I have no way at the current time to play this since I lack the software requirement to try (a CD drive), but I’m sure the digital version exist out there. For the time, I will admire how cool and maybe rare this might be (you can tell me in the comments if it is rare or not).
Beyond the Beyond. I have never heard of this game before. What makes me excited to check it out is that this game was developed by Camelot Software Planning. If you don’t know who they are, they mostly now do the excellent Mario Gold and Tennis games, as well the first three Shining Force games and freaking Golden Sun! You can tell that it is from the same developer since they share a lot of aspects in the menus and battle. Some of the screenshots that I’ve seen make this look like an early concept of Golden Sun without the fun Psynergy puzzles to do. Critics didn’t find this game to be special at the time, but I’m always down to try out older JRPGs and see how they stand today. If anything, it will scratch that Camelot RPG itch that I’ve had ever since finishing Golden Sun: Dark Dawn almost 10 years ago.
A Toys ‘R’ Us PlayStation Demo Disk. This still has the factory seal on it, so I guess no one was interested in trying out any of the games on the disk. I’m surprise he held on to since there are some interesting demos on this disk. This disc was trademarked in 1998 and offered some really good games. This disc demoes for the following games:
- Gran Turismo
- Tekken 3
- Hot Shots Golf
- Jersey Devil
- Gex 2
- Tomb Raider 2
The disc also has some special videos that I’m guessing were teaser trailers at the time. Those videos include:
- Spyro the Dragon
- Metal Gear Solid
- NFL Xtreme
- MLB ’99
- Resident Evil 2
Gex alone would have made me play this disc nonstop. I am interested in Hot Shots Golf since it was developed by Camelot Software as well. I know the age of demo disc are a thing of the past, but it is sometimes fun to play old demos and see what a game was at a certain point of development. I’ll pop that seal off one day and do some investigation.
The Final Fantasy Legend. Probably the rarest game that I found in the crate. The Final Fantasy Legend was the first game in the SaGa series that was renamed for us in the states for better sales I’m guessing. I have only played two games in the SaGa franchise and I enjoyed what I played. While this doesn’t have the Free Scenario gameplay that the later titles implement, it might be fun to play an old school RPG and discover its charm. Right now you can play this game on the Switch via the Collection of SaGa if you don’t want to hunt down a copy.
Shadow Madness? Never heard of it. For some reason I get budget title RPG vibes from this. If you have played this game before and loved it, let me know. It looks interesting based on the information on the back of the case. Too bad I won’t be able to test that theory since…
There was no game in the case. How are you going to tease me with this terrible looking game that could be amazing? I’m not going to lie and said this made me want to find the game even more, because while nice I don’t have any intention to seek this out. But why would my FIL just pack an empty case? Did he believe that there was something inside and just packed it in haste? Or, was there something else hidden on the other side of the case (since this is a multi-disc case). Sure enough, I open the other side of the case and found this.
Original release copies of the Final Fantasy Anthology. Why is this here!? Did he lose the case to this at one point and decided to hide them away in a place no one would think to look? Regardless, this might have been my second favorite find out of everything that was packed. I already own these games for the PlayStation, but my copies are the Greatest Hits rereleases that replace the disc art with a generic label. I think that’s what made me excited about finding this since the disc art on these are gorgeous. Final Fantasy V’s disc has the four heroes in different job class outfits. I don’t think I have ever seen this artwork before, so it is a neat bonus. Final Fantasy VI’s disc has the iconic artwork of Terra on the magitek armor overlooking the capital of Vector (I think). Look, I just find this really neat to have since I miss the days of effort in packaging an item. Am I eager to play these…ehh maybe one day when I have the patience to tolerate load times. I do own both of these for the GBA, so it might just be a crossing off my list type of ordeal.
That does it for the games that I found in here. Not all the games I found were bad, just games that will be hanging around until I get the curiosity of playing one day. That doesn’t end all of the other things that were included in this package. There were other random things in there, like tons of PS1 controllers. Most of them were all third party controllers with some I just outright tossed since they were sticky and falling apart. I did keep most of them including a wireless PS1/2 controller that has the L2 and R2 buttons further down the bottom of the controller. I honestly like the design of it since the button rest where my middle fingers would on the dualshock controller. I have to make sure that the receiver that was in the case is the correct one and see if it still works.
As much as the controllers were cool, they were pointless to me since I don’t own an original PlayStation. I came in late to the PlayStation game by getting a PS2 right as the PS3 came out and was the new kid on the block. I had the chance of getting a PS1, but I had no way of justifying the $7 USD price tag and purpose at the time. That’s no longer an issue now since towards the bottom of the container was my FIL’s PlayStation.
The collector side of me is happy since I now almost have a complete PlayStation console collection (looking at you PS5). I may now play my PS1 games through the original console for that “authentic experience.” All I am missing now is the CRT TV.
And that is where the highlights end. I hope this was entertaining for you as it was for me to randomly pull these out of Gordan’s can. My in-laws do want the cooler back, so unfortunately that will not be rotting away in my backyard. There were a few other miscellaneous items inside, but they weren’t much to talk about. There are more boxes to go through that have come from my in-laws house, so if I find anything else interesting that’s worth talking about, I might post them up on my Instagram (trying to force myself to post more there). If you would like for me to do another box opening post in the future, then I would need to go like thrift shopping or visit yard sales or something. Magical boxes full of video game items just don’t show up at my door all the time, so don’t hold your breath something else like this will happen again.
Thanks for reading,