Anyone remember Special Reserve?

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  • skillian 28 Jul 2009 21:10:19 42 posts
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    It was a kinda low budget web/bricks and mortar games chain, and I believe the first British company to sell games online.

    Just curious really - I used to work on the website and magazine and really loved the job, and I was talking with someone about it the other day. They went out of business about four years ago.
  • Deleted user 28 July 2009 21:12:04
    Yeah, I used to get games mail order from them. They would always have things long before they officially came out. I remember getting Ecco the Dolphin months early from them, was a very special day.
  • Dirtbox 28 Jul 2009 21:14:12 91,210 posts
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  • Deleted user 28 July 2009 21:16:41
    Didn't you have to become a member or something in the old days? And then they only knocked a quid or two off the RRP.
  • Deleted user 28 July 2009 21:19:04
    Went bust taking a lot of people's money, thanks to their ludicrous, and bust contributing, pay for preorders when you make them, idea.
  • Flying_Pig 28 Jul 2009 21:19:45 16,365 posts
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    Yeah - I used to frequent their forum before I discovered EG. Remember that they used to give a game away for the best post of the day?

    /Won Zone of Enders :)
  • skillian 28 Jul 2009 21:25:09 42 posts
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    Flying_Pig wrote:
    Yeah - I used to frequent their forum before I discovered EG. Remember that they used to give a game away for the best post of the day?

    /Won Zone of Enders :)

    I was the one who chose the winning reviews/posts. That might have been me who awarded it to you :D

    And yes they had a horrible end where they took lots of preorders for the Xbox 360 and then went bust before they could fulfil them. I felt really bad about that, even though it obviously wasn't me who made those decisions.

    Yeah, we had a membership system that gave you a few quid off all games or peripherals (and earned you reddies, so you could get a free inflatable chair when you bought your cheapo replacement PlayStation pad).
  • pinebear 28 Jul 2009 21:26:30 8,564 posts
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    Didn't they do mail order back in the days when C&VG was the home of F-Zero screenshots, Sonic shortcuts, and 120 Neo Geo cart reviews?
  • Psychotext 28 Jul 2009 21:30:08 65,876 posts
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    rodpad wrote:
    I remember them from the mail order days way before the Internet.
    This one.
  • skillian 28 Jul 2009 21:34:17 42 posts
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    We were huge on mail order. Even after the internet exploded, we were still taking loads of mail order stuff. I think about 1 in every 3 games in UK prisons came from Special Reserve :D
  • Deleted user 28 July 2009 21:40:50
    AFAIK Special Reserve people are GetDotted.com?

    Or am I wrong...?

    But yeah, I used to use SR!
  • Flying_Pig 28 Jul 2009 21:43:18 16,365 posts
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    skillian wrote:
    Flying_Pig wrote:
    Yeah - I used to frequent their forum before I discovered EG. Remember that they used to give a game away for the best post of the day?

    /Won Zone of Enders :)

    I was the one who chose the winning reviews/posts. That might have been me who awarded it to you :D

    And yes they had a horrible end where they took lots of preorders for the Xbox 360 and then went bust before they could fulfil them. I felt really bad about that, even though it obviously wasn't me who made those decisions.

    Yeah, we had a membership system that gave you a few quid off all games or peripherals (and earned you reddies, so you could get a free inflatable chair when you bought your cheapo replacement PlayStation pad).

    Wow - that's pretty cool. I seem to remember the post was something about N64 vs PS saying that it was the quality of the games that mattered etc etc.

    I've still got ZOE, but only played it through once. I mainly chose it for the MGS2 demo :)
  • skillian 28 Jul 2009 21:46:15 42 posts
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    Yes, that's them (kind of, sort of an offshoot of the company with the same MD). They also run Freeola.com. It's funny, they are still running the old cheats page and the forum is still going too! Haven't seen some of those names in a looong time - never thought to check it recently!

    Hah, the top winner of Gameaday there has 86 wins under his belt - thats an incredible amount of free stuff he's earned. But then he's been registered for 3226 days - nearly ten years. Don't see forums histories like that very often! Sorry, just reminiscing here, I hadn't thought about it for years until this week.

    something about N64 vs PS saying that it was the quality of the games that mattered etc etc

    Heh, the more things change, the more they stay the same huh?
  • GrandpaUlrira 28 Jul 2009 22:01:25 3,825 posts
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    They're gone? :( I knew that the Egham store disappeared, but didn't realise the whole company went under.

    The membership used to also get you a 'gift' for the tenner, such as a cheapo N64 pad. It was always worth getting even if you only bought a few games a year, because of the discount.

    /Remembers wandering around the store in N64 and Gamecube days (aka student days).
  • Cappy 28 Jul 2009 22:06:08 14,149 posts
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    I used to be a member, way back before they did online orders. I can't actually remember any particular item I bought, would have been Amiga games probably.
  • skillian 28 Jul 2009 22:06:16 42 posts
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    I drove to Egham with two colleagues in a rented van and piled what was left of the stock in the back. It was actually very sad, but at that stage we thought we might still suvive. A month later we were officially bust.
  • Venatio Features Manager, Gamer Network 28 Jul 2009 22:18:37 4,670 posts
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    I used to love Special Reserve back in the day. They used to give away slightly mucky mouse mats when you renewed your membership.
  • Deleted user 28 July 2009 22:19:58
    I used to be an SR member/forumite. Won...19 GADs! Oh those were the days :(

    I also go Turok Rage Wars for free (AWESOME) and some shitty PC games :(
  • Whizzo 28 Jul 2009 22:25:03 44,798 posts
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    I think I probably bought most of my games through SR back in the pre-internet age, it seems so long ago! :-)
  • Deleted user 28 July 2009 22:33:57
    I remember the constant adverts in Gamesmaster and Total magazines, they seemed to get bigger every month, and I also remember the 70 they had on Street Fighter 2 turbo.
  • skillian 28 Jul 2009 22:34:42 42 posts
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    Double digits? Impressive :) I'm pretty sure I remember your screen name, but I could be wrong.

    Sawbridgeworth was where I worked, but in the offices above the shop.
  • Deleted user 28 July 2009 22:37:30
    I remember saving tokens and exchanging them for really shit games and peripherals
  • caligari 28 Jul 2009 22:49:44 17,945 posts
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    I'm pretty sure I bought Strider and Decap Attack (for my Megadrive - natch) from SR. Happy memories. \o/

    I'm shocked that Gameplay are still going, to be honest. You'd think that they'd have gone the same way as poor old SR.
  • Whizzo 28 Jul 2009 22:51:18 44,798 posts
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    Gameplay being swallowed up by GAME stopped that from happening.
  • Onny 28 Jul 2009 22:57:56 5,695 posts
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    God, that's a blast from the past. I used to pore over their double page ads in Mean Machines, wishing I had the money for one of their fancy scart TVs. :)

    Didn't realise they lasted all the way up to the 360. Amazing!
  • gareth886 28 Jul 2009 23:05:36 2,870 posts
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    I remember them. I was a member for ages, long before the Internet boom. Loved getting the Mail Order catalog through the post. The free gifts were a cool bonus too. I remember getting a Manga Video called the Guyver (or something like that). It was my first experience of Manga. The only bit I seem to remember is one of the characters/machine type woman thing ripping her breasts apart (possibly some type of weapon).

    I remember my brother and I getting excited when we seen Street Fighter 2 Turbo for the SNES in it.
  • chopsen 28 Jul 2009 23:13:41 20,642 posts
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    Pfft. Who remembers "Confidential" magazine, that you could get a subscription to if you were a member of Special Reserve back in the day? A magazine about adventure games and nothing else, entirely in monochrome with a brown cover. Excitement!
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