Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Unsealed: Mary-Kate and Ashley Crush Course and PlayStation 2 Jampacks

One thing that I really enjoy doing is opening up factory-sealed games and software from the past. There's just something neat about finally taking off that shrink wrap and security tag and being the first person to touch and play that game. There are some collectors who can't stand it when people do this, but since my aim is to play everything that buy, it has to be done.

I shot two videos today that involved unwrapping new games and talking about them on camera.

The first video features Mary-Kate and Ashley Crush Course, a game that was developed by n-Space and published by Acclaim for the PlayStation in 2001. This is the last of three Mary-Kate and Ashley games for Sony's rookie console. The previous two games were Magical Mystery Mall (2000) and Winners Circle (2001). Each game in the trilogy is basically a collection of minigames that revolve around a common theme. Magical Mystery Mall takes place in a mall (of course). Winners Circle is equestrian-themed. Finally, Crush Course takes place in a high school.

"But, Pete... why do you own the Mary-Kate and Ashley games?"

This is a fair question. To answer it, let's take a trip back to the summer of 2014.

Back in the summer of 2014, this video on the Lazy Game Reviews YouTube channel got my attention. The video features Clint (Mister Lazy Game Reviews, himself) and PushingUpRoses combining for a Let's Play of Crush Course. I laughed pretty hard during most of the video and wondered if I might come across the game while out and about at game stores in the area. It was more for the comedic appeal than for anything else, but I wasn't sure that I'd even stumble upon the game.

As luck would have it, Retro Games Plus (in Newington, Connecticut) store that I frequent had the two other Mary-Kate and Ashley games-- but not Crush Course. I bought Magical Mystery Mall and Winners Circle, but never played them. I was waiting for Crush Course to complete the trilogy. Time passed, and it wasn't until this past Christmas that I finally decided to buy Crush Course from Amazon. I ordered a factory-sealed copy for less than $10, with the intention of opening it on camera, and it arrived just before 2017 began.

I've not played the games yet, but I do intend to get around to them-- if only to share my experiences on social media. I might even crudely film a Pete Plays video of me trying to play one. I owe it all to Lazy Game Reviews-- he's why I own these games, along with some Barbie games that he also played on his channel.

The second video features a few Jampacks for the PlayStation 2.

Jampacks are discs from Sony for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 that contain playable game demos and other features. The first Jampacks were released for the PlayStation back in 1997, for $5 each. These first two discs had 12 playable demos apiece, along with some hidden content that could be accessed by entering certain combinations of three face button presses. This bonus content included game trailers, PlayStation Underground advertisements, and disc credits. 12 playable demos for $5 was a pretty good deal back then, and these two discs are still fun to revisit now.

A photo posted by Pete Skerritt (@peteskerritt) on

As Sony moved on to the PlayStation 2 console, Jampacks made the trip to 128 bits. The expanded storage space on DVD-ROMs meant that Sony could pack in even more content on these discs and make the video content higher quality. The price for each Jampack eventually rose from $5 to $8, but this was still a fair price to pay since the discs only came out every few months.

The fascinating thing about these Jampacks is that they're packaged just like full retail releases. The instruction manual or information booklet is in full color, and each Jampack for the PlayStation 2 comes with its own warranty card. Now that these Jampack discs are open, I'll be popping them into my PlayStation 2 in the next day or two, in order to see what else is on them.

I have two more factory-sealed Jampacks for the PlayStation 2 on the way from Amazon, and I'll shoot a video as I open those. I've also got my radar up for other demo discs, especially the PlayStation Underground CD packs for the PlayStation from the late 1990s. I have a line on a couple of still-sealed packs (2.3 and 2.4), and will try to get those soon.

I have more video content up on my YouTube and Vidme channels, if you'd like to check them out. You can also follow me on Twitter for more gaming-related shenanigans. Thanks for watching and reading!

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