Recently, something came to my attention. J.M. Vargas mentioned in one of his reviews that I, the one and only Dark Falcon (well, for now I guess…who knows where the hell cloning will go), buy the likes of Revolution X and Contra: Legacy of War simply because I am a voyeur of cheesy-ass games with an unbelievable price. Well, sorry, J.M., but, EHHHHH! It is called renting, and I do it quite often. Do you think for one minute that I would spend my hard earned dollars on these frightfully bad games? (Oh, by the way, I wouldn’t touch Space Hulk if it was taped to the tummy of a naked Jennifer Aniston…but I’d certainly still take her). Sorry, but I do have a brain, and I know what to buy and what not to buy.

So, it’s with this knowledge that I’d do a little editorial on cheap Saturn games and just how damn many there are these days. Even Sega themselves have lowered some of their software prices to a likable level (Virtua Cop 2 and Daytona CCE for $30 each? DUDE!). So is this a bad thing? Well, yes and no. Yes, there are some very recognizable titles out there that most of us Saturn owners have played (Wipeout, V-Cop 2) that are worth picking up for the cheapola price, but, as J.M. admits, there are some titles that no one should touch that are slashed down as well (including me- The Dark Falcon is important, dontcha know). So what to do when you run into an interesting title at an affordable price? Follow these easy steps to finding a winner and leaving the stinker for the pimple-faced kid at Toys R’ Us.

1. Ask about it with someone who knows the games inside and out. If you’re in a store that doesn’t have somebody who knows about it, then hold off on the purchase and ask a friend or search the web for an opinion. (Wow, Dave Z.’s got a whole bunch, I hear…). Also, try hitting a used game store sometime and seeing if there’s five or six copies stacked up in the shelf. That’s a big clue right there.

2. Rent it. Believe it or not, there’s still a few stores that rent Saturn games in your area. OK, maybe Blockbuster isn’t the greatest of choices (a huge ass store like that has twenty copies of Starfox yet only one Fighters Megamix?? A travesty!!), but local stores are your best bet to find the title you’re looking for. Rent it for a day (as I recommend in a lot of my reviews), and then make the decision if this is the sort of game you want to play over and over again. Some actually can be beaten in a day, and that does make a big difference when you consider that you only spent $2 to find this out rather than $30.

3. Do a little research. If the web or your friends don’t help much in your decision making, check out some back issues of game magazines or even ask some of the store owners (a majority of them being game players themselves, I know) about it. Probe if you must- remember, your hard- earned money is at stake here. And that is what they are here for.

4. Finally, if the box says Acclaim (or Grey Matter, for that matter- J.M. must’ve noticed my dissolve for them by now), take extra special note. A lot of their Saturn titles bite the big butt burrito, but a couple of good ones, like Galactic Attack and Alien Trilogy, manage to slip between the cracks. Keep an eye on ol’ Dave Z.’s page for the lowdown on Acclaim’s latest botches- I’m sure I’ll be the one catching them, since I rent games more than Jimmy Swaggart does hotel rooms.

OK, now a note to J.M. Vargas, who has probably just run a cross this. You seem to think that I spend my money on bad games, since that’s what I review for the most part. Let me tell you why I do this- I’m trying to help others, OK? I rent all sorts of games- good ones, bad ones, Gray Matter ones- and when I’m finished playing, I do actually enjoy writing my opinions about it. Of course, they do no good on notebook paper. My handwriting is about as legible as a Russian dictionary. So, I take to on-line to write my judgments, and, since Dave Z. really doesn’t mind printing them, I continue to write them. I avoid the crap just like you and will continue doing so. My scale goes as this. 1= Utter crap to 10= Absolute ruleage. Simple, yes. But, it is to the point. Check my reviews again and ask yourself, am I really this dumb to BUY these games? Me thinks not.

Sorry, folks, needed to clear that up. No hard feelings, J.M. Anyway, watch out the next time you see a cheap price sticker- you never know what you might get.