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Xbox 360 Game: Test Drive Unlimited – No Game in Box!

September 10, 2006

The reason for the rather long winded title is that someone else in the same scenario might search for help and find this post! Whether this post is of any help to anyone…I don’t know.

I didn’t pre-order Test Drive Unlimited and missed out on the free bonus car promotion, running in the UK, where one can claim a Mclaren F1 or a Lamborghini Gallardo Spider using a code from the retailer.

Wanting to play a game, I decided to venture out to a Tesco Extra store nearby which is open 24 hours. I walked over to the games aisle and saw that half the empty game boxes in the protective anti-theft casings were missing, in particular for Test Drive. There was a woman nearby re-stocking the games shelves whom I asked about the availability of Test Drive for the Xbox 360. She walked over to her trolley of empty game cases with photocopied outer-sleeves in anti-theft boxes to peruse her wares. Amongst all the seemingly valuable empty boxes was a sealed, and unprotected Test Drive Unlimited box, she handed it over, I went to the Customer Services desk, paid and went home.

Contents of the Test Drive Unlimited box After having some munch I opened the cellophane wrapping and then cut the Microsoft Seal of Authenticity down the middle, allowing me to open the case. Now at this point I hadn’t even looked at the disc, for some strange reason I wanted to see the map of Oahu, so I saw some thick red card, thinkin this was the map I pulled it out of the stack of documentation..of which there was a ton..and proceeded to unfold the card map. Two pieces of unevenly-cut red card came apart, one in each hand! I took a look at the rest of the documentation in the box…a 2 month trial card for Xbox Live..these don’t work on the Xbox 360, what’s it doing in here? The only reference to anything remotely related to Test Drive was an Atari competition entry card. At this point I was pissed and actually looked at the disc which, to my ever increasing horror was an Official Xbox Live Magazine demo disc! October Issue 12 incase you were wondering. Lovely, I was now lumbered with a £39.97 demo disc and some random guff that someone had put into the box.

This is supposed to be a Test Drive Unlimited Disc but instead it's a demo disc!After posting of my experience on the AVForums, there was mention of the seals on the game boxes to be too easy to open and re-seal. This is true, one can avoid tearing the certificate of authenticity along the opening of the case if they peel the label from the edges as they are not perforated in any way. As for the cellophane, eBay and stationers are ideal places to buy dvd case wraps, no-one would suspect a thing once a game is in one of these! With this insight, it seems more likely that the game had been tampered with, replaced, resealed and returned..only for it to hit the shelves and be purchased by me!

The custom compilation of texts included with the game To resolve the matter, I headed back to Tesco to get an exchange. Believe it or not, in a 24 hour Tesco, the Customer Service desk closes at 10pm, presumably because hardly anyone comes in with problems after then. I had to stop a few members of staff until I caught a lady in a suit who looked as if she might be a bit senior (in authority not age!). When telling her of the problem, she was wondering what the hell I was on about, so had to show her the box and contents. Thankfully the member of staff who was getting ready to go home spoke to the duty manager, who authorised an exchange. The problem now was that the stock cupboard was locked and apparently the staff responsible for that area had gone home…I’ll have to return in the morning to get the exchange and at the same time i will be opening the game in front of them!

Microsoft…re-design the Certificate of Authenticity! Make it easier to destroy, perhaps add perforations along all edges, just like on Product Key labels on PCs, if anyone does try to pull it off, it will tear. Oh while you’re at it, add a tear strip onto the cellophane with a logo on it that says something like “Microsoft Xbox 360”. This same concept is applied to PlayStation 2 games so any old scammer can’t use standard cellophane wraps. Of course these anti-tamper measures are useless when retailers decide to put the empty game cases on display and to store the disc/manuals in a locked cabinet elsewhere. In this event I suppose at least yo uget to see the correct game going into the box.

UPDATE: There were no copies of Test Drive Unlimited left so I exchanged for Dead Rising. The game is worth a punt, once you get the main story completed..which rushes you a bit with its time constraints…you can move onto the fun stuff, aimlessly killing zombies!

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2 comments

  1. Wow, that plain sucks. I ususally go to a store like EB games for the reason that they keep the disk and case seperate on returned games. Of course, that doesn’t really protect against a fake “unopened” box like yours, but there isn’t really anything a consumer can do about that…


  2. Hey, thanks for dropping by! As you prove, having games and manuals stored separately from the cases can be a good thing, allowing you to see which game is put into the box…and you can return the game as there was no seal on it in the first place 🙂



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