Cheap Entertainment

by blue midget

For the first time in over a decade, I have returned to school. While I hold a full-time job, I am taking two classes at the local community college. Were it not for my company’s tuition reimbursement program, I would have had second thoughts about attending due to the expense. The last time I had attended a community college, a full load of credits cost around $450, which I was able to pay for by myself. Now, I am taking two classes (7 credits) and it has cost me $750 – and that’s not even counting books and supplies. Still, it’s a cheaper option than a four-year institution, although I was quite surprised at the cost.

The biggest surprise so far has been the amount of adults I have seen around the campus. Twice this week I have had to stop by the school in the middle of the day, and I was amazed at how many adult students were wandering the campus. My evening and weekend classes are also now quite mixed: I had expected the majority of students to be people aged 27 and up, but it’s actually divided down the middle. Many students are around my parents’ ages, so I must wonder if more adults are starting to return to school.

But I digress; let me tell you where I’m going with all this: I’ve spent a lot of money on school over the past two weeks, movies are way too expensive to pay for and I need a personal loan just to fill up my gas tank. It’s time to get creative with our entertainment as we have very little money to spend on it. Let’s talk cheap entertainment.


A couple of months ago, CNET published a review on their list of “cheap but decent games” available, and added a link you can click to check on pricing and availability in your area, although used copies of these can be purchased at your local gaming store. The link is here. My recommendation would be to check out Prince of Persia and Metal Gear Solid, which of course I played but never finished. However, you shouldn’t let that deter you – they are great games.

One game that isn’t on the list but should be is Final Fantasy Tactics, my favorite tactics game. I think it’s out of print for the PC, but you should be able to find it used at just about any gaming store. Or you can email me and ask me to send you one of mine, because for some odd reason I have four copies. Who in the hell knows how that happened? It’s a turn-based tactics game that you will want to play over and over again — and you can get Cloud! Of course, by the time that happens, he’ll be a noob and your guys will be level 100 so you’ll have to level him up a bit, but who cares – he’s CLOUD. This game ranks in my list of Top 10 Personal Favorite Games. Unfortunately my memory card became corrupted and unusable when I was down to the last three fights of the game, so if anyone can tell me what happens in the end story I’d be grateful. Create an army of level 150 time mage hybrids and clean up the map. My only warning is that the music may drive any normal person insane: Whenever I played this game, the music drove my roommate out of the house. So uh, I played it a lot. Ahem.

Although, why settle for cheap when you could have FREE? Cnet also has a list of nine decent, albeit older, games that you can download for free. Click here. The last game on the list is Zork, but they had to stop giving the game out for free. If you enjoy those types of games, try Dungeon Man from Homestarrunner.com.

Next up on the list is rental movies. The top rental movies for August 28 (according to Video Business/Rentrak) are:

  1. The Ring Two
  2. Beauty Shop
  3. Sin City – Received an 8.4 on IMDB, landing at #90 on the IMDB top 250 list. This is a fantastic movie based on a popular comic. If you have not experienced comics other than Superman, then you probably won’t get this movie. I thought it was brilliant, but two girls I work with told me that they thought it was “totally stupid” and they “didn’t get it at all.” But then again, they wear pink every day and collect Bratz dolls, so I wouldn’t expect them to get it. If you haven’t seen this movie, run out and rent it, but keep in mind that it’s not your normal movie. Expect something different. And violent.
  4. The Wedding Date
  5. A Lot Like Love – Anything with Ashton Kutcher in it must be avoided at all costs and stomped on, burned to the ground, and its ashes blasted into space. A whopping 5.7 rating in IMDB, which is better than I thought it would have.
  6. Guess Who – Refer to my Ashton Kutcher comments above. A 5.7 on IMDB.
  7. Alexander– As in Alexander the Not-So-Great. The IMDB rating was 5.5, and when Ashton Kutcher movies have better ratings, your best guess is to move along.
  8. Because of Winn Dixie – I’ve never heard of it but it got a 6.0 on IMDB. If you know anything about this movie, let us know in the comments section below.
  9. Million Dollar Baby
  10. Constantine – A great movie, although I don’t recommend that anyone adopt it for their theology, because, theology-wise, it was quite stupid. If you’re Catholic it will freak you the hell out and send you to church for the next month. Otherwise, a good movie.

Also good, cheap entertainment: Marathons. Rocky marathons, Star Trek marathons, Rambo marathons, Indiana Jones marathons – good times.

And don’t forget drinking games. Here’s a short list:

COPS Drinking Game
Red Dwarf Drinking Game
A-Team Drinking Game
American Idol Drinking Game
Star Trek Drinking Game
The Big Lebowski Drinking Game
Star Wars Drinking Game
James Bond Drinking Game
CNN Drinking Game

A big list can be found here.

Along the same vein of television shows, don’t forget that we’re right around the corner from the second season of LOST. The first episode of Season Two airs Wednesday, September 21st. And yes, it’s worth watching.

And of course, don’t forget to watch Ghost Whisperer with Jennifer Love Hewitt on CBS starting September 23. Because “the dead are talking… and she is listening.” HAHAHA I’m just kidding – oh, my sides!

If you’re into literature, the New York Times Bestseller List for paperback fiction can be found here. For an even cheaper route, try buying those on Half.com, which is a part of eBay. I have had fairly good experience with this site. My second purchase was never shipped to me and the seller was put on probation from a series of complaints, and my money was reimbursed.

Have a good weekend, everyone.