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January Sales!

Spend some moolah

The over-commercialisation of Christmas is at best a mixed blessing, but the January sales are clearly just one of many pockets of heavy spending, sprinkled across the year to bolster the revenues of credit card companies and other financial institutions. Plus, they make a brilliant excuse to spend all that money you made selling your festive supply of socks, lights and party food. Oh, and your presents. The Internet isn't working quite as hard as the citizens of Oxford Street and so on, but there are a couple of sites kicking off the New Year with a bit of optional retail therapy, to sooth you back into the swing of working after such an extensive period of loafing. Amazon's sale is quite extensive, covering many of the website's ridiculously large number of departments. PC & Video Games receives several bargain areas. You can get up to 50% off a selection of PS2, PSone and Dreamcast games, and there are even some PC bargains with up to 40% off. Which isn't too hard to imagine, since 2001 was a pretty poor year for the PC on the whole. The Dreamcast section is particularly interesting at first, when it's clear that all of the games on the sale menu are £9.99 and less. After regaining your senses though, it might not seem quite so impressive. Sonic Adventure is the stand-out title at £7.49, but virtually every Dreamcast console sold in the UK is bound to be living in close proximity of a copy, so that's a moot point. Fighting Vipers 2 is a curious beat 'em up, also at £7.49, while lower down the list there are games like Wild Metal and Shadowman at £4.99. Making up the list are games like Re-Volt, Hidden & Dangerous and Worms Armageddon. Games which, it must be said, most people either own or don't plan on buying. And the less said about Chef's Luv Shack at £4.99 the better. The other major site delivering post-Yuletide savings is the once distended and cripplingly over-funded but now reformed and revenue-driven Gameplay. Their January sale covers items for every console they currently support, including oldies like the GameBoy Color and the Nintendo 64. Fans of the latter will definitely want to pick up Perfect Dark at £24.99. Further up the scale are modern classics like F355 Ferrari Challenge for £9.99 on the Dreamcast, and Rainbow Six for the same. PlayStation 2 owners may be vaguely disappointed with their category, facing a list of games which commands little respect. Supercar Street Challenge is a game most people haven't even heard of, while Shaun Palmer Snowboarding was a misguided attempt to mimic Tony Hawk on the fluffy white slopes of a mountain. The Weakest Link is a game that nearly drove our reviewer to insanity, however good it is compared to the other quiz games, and the final candidate on the list is Smuggler's Run at £19.99. A good game? Surprisingly, yes, but in the wake of games such as its esteemed sequel, then Grand Theft Auto III and Burnout, it seems less of a bargain. Other games like Half-Life and Twisted Metal Black hover at around the £29.99 mark. Interestingly, the PC section is the best stocked, with Rainbow 6 : Covert Ops for £4.99 along with its big brother, Rogue Spear : Urban Ops. Apart from those two though, the Internet doesn't seem to be terribly awash with January gubbins. We're still waiting to see if we can find some more, but in the meantime, you might like to consider a website like eBay, where millions of hapless Britishers are currently tapping away into their keyboards, desperate to shift bloated debts through the sale of their mediocre Christmas presents. Bidding is rife for new games, sold in their original plastic seal, and they often go for less than the asking price of most retailers. Bid wisely, young padawan, and happy shopping.