We love a bit of re­tail ther­apy in games, and trad­ing gold or looted old crap for sweet gear is a true RPG-ing plea­sure. Here are our favourite stores to be found in Xbox games

XBox: The Official Magazine - - CONTENTS - CHRIS BURKE


As if there isn’t enough that’s creepy in Resi4, what with Dr Sal­vador and Span­ish vil­lages full of weird cultists with chain­saws, you have to con­tend with this weird masked trader. He lures you into dark places with a grav­elly voiced, “Over here stranger!” then pro­ceeds to growl things like, “Got some rare things on sale stranger!” And, even creepier, es­pe­cially out of con­text, “Stranger! That’s a weapon!” He also has a shop, which can only be ac­cessed via labyrinthi­ne tun­nels and a secret en­trance in a place rife with Las Pla­gas par­a­sites. You’d think a High Street might be a bet­ter choice of lo­ca­tion for a shop. All in all, this bloke has given us more nightmares than the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


This porker looks about as un­trust­wor­thy as any shop­keep you’re ev­ery likely to meet. Maybe it’s the curly mous­tache, or the pi­rate eye patch, but ei­ther way, he’s got a look about him that says his trot­ters are about as re­li­able as, well, the Trot­ters. But trust him you must, be­cause this swine is the only one who can sell Cuphead the charms and weapons needed to aid him in those hard-as-nails boss fights. As the only non-boss NPC who speaks, Porkrind does sound sus­pi­ciously like the Mer­chant from Res­i­den­tEvil4, an­other of our en­tries here. He’s also named af­ter pig-snacks, aka pork rind, aka pork scratch­ings, which if you ask us is a ham-fisted way of re­in­forc­ing the fact that he’s a pig.


En­joy the be­gin­ning of the Amer­i­can cap­i­tal­ist dream by spend­ing your dol­lars and gold nuggets in the many won­der­ful shops to be found in Rock­star’s Western. You can go straight for the Raw­son & Wheeler cat­a­logue, or pick up cheese, ‘baccy or booze from the stores’ ac­tual shelves. For a truly cosmopolit­an shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, head to the so­phis­ti­cated city of Saint De­nis, where you’ll find the most stylish bou­tiques. The tai­lors might sound the same, but take a mo­ment to peruse the game’s dif­fer­ent stores and you’ll find unique de­tails and dif­fer­ences be­tween them, from the taxi­dermy in the win­dow of the Black­wa­ter gen­eral store to the guy locked in the base­ment of Rhodes’ creepy gun­smith.


If you’ve ever fan­cied ac­tu­ally run­ning your own shop, this lovely indie from last year al­lows you to do just that, but with­out any of the bor­ing stuff such as li­ais­ing with sup­pli­ers of, say, cheese, and keep­ing on top of re­frig­er­a­tion and ven­ti­la­tion, be­cause that cheese is go­ing to stink. In­stead, you get the in­side track on ev­ery RPG mer­chant you’ve ever traded loot with. By day you’re a mild-man­nered shop as­sis­tant, by night, in or­der to keep your shop stocked, you’re fight­ing dun­geon denizens and steal­ing their treasure. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate shop­keep­ing though, it’s ac­tu­ally by far the hardest part. Any­one can swing a sword – find­ing and main­tain­ing that del­i­cate bal­ance of re­tail eco­nom­ics is the true challenge.


We al­ways knew Hell would have the best shops. The Gates Of Hell (prop: one Mr Rodin) stocks ev­ery­thing ex­cept clothes, but since ‘Netta makes her own clothes out of her hair, there wouldn’t be much point in that any­way. With its sleazy neon vibe, Rodin’s bar is the per­fect place to hang be­tween mis­sions, as well as pick up guns and gear and learn new moves. He’s also a keen col­lec­tor of vinyl records. Not be­cause he’s a DJ, but be­cause the gold plat­ters you bring him are An­gelic Hymns LPs – record­ings of an­gels which he uses to lure out demons, trap their souls and put their pow­ers into new weapons. Plus where else in this world or the next could you buy a pair of killer heels that shoot bul­lets? Nowhere, that’s where.


Dou­ble Fine’s Xbox 360 ac­tion ad­ven­ture stars Jack Black as a roadie who is trans­ported to an open­world fan­tasy set­ting whose look is in­spired by heavy metal al­bum cov­ers. Here he must do bat­tle against the forces of evil with a Fly­ing V gui­tar. Black’s star power helped bring in such rock lu­mi­nar­ies as Lemmy, Lita Ford and Ju­das Priest’s Rob Hal­ford. So imag­ine the need to trade and up­grade gear in such a world, and find­ing that the mer­chant from whom you can buy up­grades for your Hotrod not only does busi­ness from in­side a volcano, but is in fact Ozzy frickin’ Os­bourne. Oh yes, Ozzy runs a chop shop, the coolest in any game, ever. So stop look­ing for a cooler one right now, be­cause you won’t find it.


Okay, so you can’t buy trainers or shop for phones in TheWitcher series, but you can prob­a­bly get po­tions dis­tilled from purest leeches to cure your me­dieval boils, buy mon­ster-hunt­ing gear or re­tire to a hostelry for an ale, a game of Gwent and the com­pany of a lady of du­bi­ous moral rep­u­ta­tion. Con­sid­er­ing the land is war-torn and filled with roam­ing mon­sters, you’ll likely have a bit of coin to spend, and the shops and tav­erns of cities like Ox­en­furt and Novi­grad are well-stocked with con­sum­ables and boast ex­ten­sive ser­vices. Our favourite store has to be the bar­ber. Here you can com­pletely re­model your fa­cial hair, and shave off or in­sta­grow your locks into a real lady-pleas­ing coif­fure. You white-haired strum­pet, you.


In­spired by an old gameshow in which an or­ange man asked dumb ques­tions of stupid peo­ple ea­ger to win a trol­ley dash up the pro­cessed meats and crisps aisles, this game has been in devel­op­ment for 30 years. Back then it was called Su­per­mar­ketText, and you con­trolled a su­per­mar­ket trol­ley by tex­ting ‘left’ and ‘right’ via dial-up mo­dem. And in devel­op­ment hell it stayed un­til the ad­vent of on­line gam­ing and de­cent mics. The trend for scream­ing into your head­sets at in­ept squad mem­bers is now be­ing put to good use, as you con­trol a trol­ley with your voice. The game had to be re­built to al­low for mod­ern shop­ping essentials like kale and quinoa, while all the plas­tic pack­ag­ing has been re­placed by wood. Stuff like that.


In 2004, Rock­star threw the kitchen sink at play­ers when it came to fill­ing out the world of San An­dreas. The city’s stores were com­pletely functional, and cloth­ing and hair­style op­tions were ex­ten­sive. The game also gave you a wide range of fast food restau­rants, so you could do driv­ethrus as well as drive-bys. Each menu at the var­i­ous, typ­i­cally Amer­i­can, eater­ies were ranked 0-4 for calo­rie-intake. A salad op­tion was avail­able, but we loved the Cluckin’ Huge fried chicken meal from Cluck­ing Bell and Full Rack pizza from Well Stacked Pizza, while Burger Shot was the per­fect place to pile on the pounds and make ‘Fat Carl’ via a cou­ple or three Beef Stacks, washed down with a Sprunk soda. Luck­ily you could burn it all off at the gym.


The king of Xbox shop­ping games has to be Cap­com’s zom­bie slayer, which gives you an en­tire mall full of shops. Although you can’t tech­ni­cally ex­change money for goods and ser­vices at the Wil­lamette Parkview Mall, you can utilise its mer­chan­dise for some en­ter­tain­ing zom­bie splat­ter­ing. There are toy stores, book­shops, cam­era shops and cloth­ing bou­tiques, and you can hap­pily shop for new out­fits and pick up items to use as weapons in all of them. Our favourite store is the sport­ing goods store, in which you can find base­ball bats, golf clubs, skate­boards and bowl­ing balls, all of which can be put to good use sep­a­rat­ing undead head from sham­bling body. Dick’s Sport­ing Goods is the first place we’re headed in a zom­bie apoca­lypse. Although the mu­sic store would be next, be­cause smack­ing zom­bies with fret­less bass gui­tars is our favourite thing to do.

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