The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Save Money with Used Products

When I was younger, the only used items I ever bought were cars. Beyond my vehicles, I wanted brand-new everything: furniture, clothes, books, you name it. But now that I’m much more budget-conscious, I am open to purchasing used products, particularly when I can save 50% or more off the retail price.

For example, I recently bought a used video game for my five-year-old son. The game didn’t come with a case or instructions, but the cartridge itself works perfectly well. I saved nearly 70% on this purchase by buying used instead of new.

I’m also getting ready to replace some network hardware here at home, and I’m probably going to buy a used cisco router for at least 40% off the retail price of a brand-new item.

I’m starting to buy used books, DVDs, CDs, and more, and I’m really saving a bundle on all my purchases. As long as the items are in good condition, then I see no reason to shell out extra money just so I can say something is brand-new.

If you’re shopping on a budget, you might want to consider this approach the next time you need to make a purchase!

Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

ac6.jpg Although we have every major gaming console available on the market today (except for the PS3), my husband most definitely prefers the Xbox 360. He feels the graphics, titles, and seamless online playing features elevate this system heads and shoulders above the rest, so it’s no surprise that whenever he buys a new game, he buys one for this platform.

His most recent acquisition was a game called Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, the sixth installment of the celebrated Ace Combat series, but the first that my husband has ever played. He purchased this game mostly because of recommendations from friends and the extremely high review scores that the title received from respected websites like GameSpot. My husband likes war/fighting games anyway, so I was expecting him to get into this series at some point. I’m just surprised it took this long!

ac6ss1.jpg Backstory: From what I gather, two fictional countries, Emmeria and Estovakia, are at war with each other. The player is on the Emmerian side, and is a fighter pilot for that air force. The war begins because the Estovakian Air Force invaded the Emmerian capital city, so the Emmerians have no choice to retaliate and defend themselves. The player is a squadron leader (callsign “Talisman”) and has a wingman who flies under the callsign “Shamrock”.

As gameplay progresses, there are transitional scenes that provide additional backstories about what’s happening to some random Emmerian civilians while the war is going on. For example, there’s a mother searching for a lost child, a young woman searching for a missing boyfriend, etc. My husband felt these scenes added a lot to the game; but from an observer’s perspective (mine) they seemed kind of cheesy.

ac6ss2.jpg Gameplay: The gameplay is the strongest part of Ace Combat 6. The flight controls are very easy to get used to, and can even be changed to a “novice” setting for those who have trouble with the default arrangement. There’s a nice variety of aircraft for the player to choose from (including several real models), and the planes are very responsive to the controls.

The first part of the game is relatively easy, so my husband was able to cruise through the early levels without any problems even though he’d never played any of the previous Ace Combat games before. However, the levels do get progressively more difficult, and by the final stages, things looked and sounded pretty hectic during the combat scenes.

The background scenery and peripherals are fantastic, which just serves to round out the whole experience. Moreover, there’s a constant stream of radio chatter that helps make it sound like the player is really in a wartime combat situation.

Reaction: My husband thinks that Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation rates as one of the best games he’s ever played. The makers thought of every facet of the gaming experience, and have really put a fantastic product out there. This title is highly recommended for anyone who likes realistic war/flying/fighting games!