Ingestion of Flickering Images and Yet More Railing Against Game Stores

8 03 2008

Watched the entire first season of Dexter, thanks to NetFlix. It’s a pretty gripping series, and kinda spooky; not actually for the killings, which aren’t really shown, but for the tension of trying to hide your life and deal with the world at the same time. If I had to cite a flaw it’d be inconsistent characterization… one episode someone can have a firm viewpoint on an issue, next they’re all weak and watery. And it’s not just “realism”, yes people can wobble, but here there’s little coherency to it. Still… overall a strong show and looking forward to season 2.

Less can be said of Jumper. Saw that tonight, on reason that Going Out Is Fun, even if it’s to a mediocre movie. And lord above, this movie was mediocre. It’s basically about hot twentysomethings with no high school diploma stealing things and robbing banks and screwing people over and disrespecting national landmarks, and a bunch of shallow 1-dimensional “religious” zealots trying to kill them for no explainable reason (not “christians”, of course, wouldn’t wanna offend anyone!). Even Sam Jackson didn’t get to bust out one liners or any sort of memorable speeches; he had one or two stock phrases he’d just repeat in variation over and over. None of the unlikable characters (see also: ALL of them) learn anything, nothing really changes, and all the obvious moral conundrums go unaddressed. What a waste. Toss this one in the trash and move on.

Tomorrow is a REAL adventure — trying to get my hands on a copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I preordered back in November, and they’re doing a 9pm tourney / midnight sale. I don’t care about the tourney, I just want my game, but if rumors of shortages are true I may not be able to get it unless I line up for hours ahead of time despite, y’know, preordering.

Why do we as gamers put up with this crap? Lines. $10 “next gen” markups. Pawn shop used game stores. High pressure sales tactics (I don’t want your damn magazine or your strategy guide). All this bullshit that goes on in the name of the retail game industry… it gets in the way of the one true goal, the fun.

I’ve sidestepped that mechanism of commerce completely by switching to Amazon.com for all my game buys. No muss, no fuss. I may not get it on release day but I get it and there’s no jackhole breathing over my shoulder pushing me to trade in games so they can give me snack machine change then turn around and sell it for near retail price. But in this case, the Brawl preorder was from long before I made my decision to get out of this death spiral, and with shortage rumors I don’t dare yank it.

I’m not even a Smash maniac. I’ve never played it; it just looked like it’d be fun. I just want my game. I want to go there, slap down the credit card, get my game (maybe a copy of Zack ‘n Wiki while I’m at it, the online demo was fun) and get out. We’ll see if I can manage that simple act.

EDIT: I called GameCrazy to check, and the guy was forthcoming with the data. They got 109 preorders, and 100 copies of the game. I doubt 109 people will be showing up tonight for a midnight sale, at least 8 of those are parents planning to show up tomorrow or next week, so I should be good to go.

GC may have gotten this one right but I’ll be sticking to amazon.com anyway. As should be obvious by now, there’s a lot of things wrong with the GameStop style model, things I disagree with to the core.

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5 responses

8 03 2008
keikotakamura

Did you even have fun MST3King the movie? I’d imagine during the fight scenes with Samuel L. Jackson, shouting “THAT IS ONE TASTY BURGER!” as he’s about to strike would be appropriate.
Also I thought you might like to know, as you were sleeping (I’m assuming you’re sleeping since it’s like 2am there), there were 19 people in your sim, most of them fishing. Some were shopping and exploring. I was chilling at home. Isn’t it nice to know something you created brings people together and puts them in a cheerful mood? They were all wearing and naming their pets and cheering when they caught new ones.

8 03 2008
finamenon

Zack and Wiki -is- fun. Its not complicated, but some of the puzzles can really make you stop and think “Just how the hell am I supposed to figure this out?”
Then when you finally do, you get the self-created sense of accomplishment. I enjoy all the intuitive ways they used the wii-mote as well. Check it out =)

8 03 2008
raigne

Course, ya know, there’s probably a shortage because Amazon bought them all.
Just sayin.

8 03 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

All the more reason I shoulda gone with Amazon, then! As an Inverted Evil Empire(tm) I reap the spoils rather than the other way around.

8 03 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yay. n.n
Looking forward to the retail release! Should be awesome. I still gotta make the new aquariums, and there’s fish to be made, but we’ll be ready for next weekend!

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