The Italian Job

The Italian Job, based on the 1969 film of the same name, was released in 2002 for the Playstation, nearly 2 years after the launch of it’s big brother the PS2. Playstation games by this point were often sold at bargain prices just to make room for the successor’s software. Many titles, such as this one, were released and received no promotional backing but were still remarkable titles. The game was published (in-part) by Rockstar Games, so you would expect great things and while some parts shine, other aspects fall flat on their face.

The Italian Job is a driving-based mission game much like the Driver series. In the game there are a number of different modes to play through, such as; timed races, destruction races, obstacle races and a free ride mode, but the story mode is where you might be spending most of your time. In the game you take on the role of Charlie Croker, a conman who was just released from prison but isn’t quite finished with his life of crime. He devises one final plan to steal $4 million in gold in Turin Italy and escape the wrath of the Italian Mob and police.

The story missions follow the movie quite well and for the most part it is very respectful in it’s recreation. Some parts are changed around a bit for challenge purposes and others possibly due to programming reasons, but all-in-all whether you’ve played the game or watched the movie first, you won’t have a hard time adapting to the other. Even though this was a late released for the system the graphics aren’t changed much, although they are a bit smoother than other Playstation games. Sometimes during gameplay the frame rate can get quite sluggish and due to that fact you will end up crashing into things. While each of the cars have different acceleration, handling is always pretty frustrating. Turning is highly based on your speed, the slower you’re going the harder it is to turn and if you hit something, your car will bounce around in an almost comical fashion. What turns this into frustration is the fact you’re almost always under pressure from the time limit.

In the free ride mode you get a chance to drive around in either London or Turin, in one of a few different vehicles which are unlocked during the story mode. The cities are quite expansive and there are many things to see and do within free ride, but watch out for the polizia! In both cities the police are present and will chase you down if you are caught speeding, which seems to be the only crime they don’t tolerate. The police will read your license plate, which will appear on the lower left of the screen, and once they know it completely it’s game over. You can however evade them and continue on your way, which will slowly take letters away and the police will give up.

With the story mode being cut up into 24 missions, The Italian Job will keep you busy for quite some time. Even after completing the story mode there is still so much left to complete with the other challenges and free ride mode, you may not put this game down for a while! I often find myself replaying certain story missions over and over because they were so much fun the first time around. For a game that was released well beyond the normal life span of it’s system, The Italian Job is a very underrated game in most respects. Exceptionally long load times and handling issues aside, The Italian Job was worth far more than it’s bargain price! Prior to picking up this game I knew nothing of the movie, I know own and enjoy them both!

Posted December 27th, 2010

Sam’s Scores II

It’s that time again! Sam’s Scores is back with another set of scores from my thrift store adventures! Also, thanks to Will once again, I have a new logo and a small layout change! Lately the thrift stores haven’t had much to offer in favor of holiday decor, which is odd because after all it is Christmas time! I’m hoping after the holidays all the good stuff hits the shelves so I can continue to bring you great scores. But mostly I just enjoy getting cool stuff cheap!


I’m not a PC gamer by nature and even less of a D&D fan, but I did know enough about Baldur’s Gate II that when I saw it in a toy bin at a local thrift store, I checked it for all the discs and make my purchase! Now this might seem a little questionable for TVG, but lets not forget Baldur’s Gate II has a large following in the RPG community and it’s 10 years old.

Baldur’s Gate II -$1.50


The day I bought my Nintendo 64, all I had to play was Zelda: Ocarina of Time so I decided it was time to hit the thrift stores! That day I found three more games: WCW/NWO Revenge, Automobili Lamborghini and Top Gear Rally. Needless to say, I wasn’t bored that night!

WCW/NWO Revenge -$.69 cents
Automobili Lamborghini -$.99 cents
Top Gear Rally – $.99 cents


When I’m out hunting, I always keep my eyes open for anything with video game branding on it; Atari, Nintendo, Sega, etc. I especially love finding things other gamers might overlook, like carrying cases. This is a rather large Gameboy Advance SP carry case. It holds the system, charger, about 6 games and still has some room! This one was in great shape and was a great price!

Gameboy Advance SP Carry Case -$1


Although game controllers maybe getting harder and harder to find, it’s not impossible if you look in the right places. I happen to find what I originally thought was an NES Quickshot. Essentially it is (it even says so on the PCB) but this one was built for Radioshack. It’s a joystick with integrated A and B buttons, start and select on the base as well as a turbo switch!

NES “Quack”shot -$1


Lately ebay is a scary place, so I try to avoid it all together. But earlier this year I purchased an NES Advantage and my experience both re-enforced my fears and worked out in my favor due to seller error (I’m being liberal with kindness here). The seller didn’t send out my package until almost 3 weeks after I made payment, so to make up for it, I got 2!

NES Advantage Controllers x2 -$4.75 shipped!


This is another rare purchase from Craigslist. The seller was accepting offers for an NES Power pad and Track Meet game cartridge (with case). I sent the seller my offer and after speaking with them for a bit, they threw in an NES controller and Super Mario/Duck hunt cartridge!

NES Power Pad, Track Meet w/ case, Controller and Super Mario/Duck Hunt -$5


Some of the local thrift stores have glass case, in which they keep items they assume to be the most valuable. Sometimes it’s rubbish and other times it’s pretty good! When I saw Mega Man 3 in a Nintendo sleeve I have to own it, now I do…

Mega Man 3 w/ Nintendo sleeve -$3


As you may have seen previously, I purchased a complete in box Zelda: Ocarina of Time for extremely cheap! Again, I found another Zelda game complete in box, this time it was The Legend of Zelda for the NES. Everything inside the box was near mint, all that was missing was the shrink wrap and the box has slight shelf wear.

CID The Legend of Zelda -$5

Posted December 21st, 2010