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10201  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I am now officially done with Gamestop on: March 01, 2007, 11:44:35 PM
I’ve been a regular at my local Gamestop ever since it opened.  They used to be friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and since they had low turnover, I knew most of them on a first-name basis.  For the past 3 years, I’ve purchased at least 1-2 games a month from them.  However, over the past year since their manager left, they have gone steadily downhill.  They’ve become rude, dismissive, overly pushy with pre-orders, and I basically just don’t like going there anymore.  Tonight, however, was the final straw.

I really wanted to try out the God of War II demo, so I decided to stop by and pre-order the game.  I knew I’d be buying the game anyways, so getting the demo would just be an added bonus.  After standing at the register for a couple minutes while the counter jockeys ignored me and finished their conversation not 3 feet away, I finally piped in with a not-so-subtle “Ahem”.  One of them managed to pry himself away and ask if he could help.  When I said I wanted to pre-order God of War, his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.  Both he and the manager went into fanboy drool mode about how awesome the demo is and how excited they were to get the final game.  So I said, “You’ve still got copies of the demo, right?”.  The manager then proceeded to tell me that although they had quite a few demo copies left, they still had a few people that pre-ordered over a year ago that hadn’t yet picked up their demos, so they couldn’t give me one.  I honestly thought he was kidding and started have a chuckling “Yeah right”.

Unfortunately, he was dead serious.  He said that if he gave me a demo, then if one of these other people came in, he wouldn’t have one and they’d be pissed.  I asked if it made any difference if I paid for the game in full.  Nope.  I told him that was the only reason I was going to pre-order.  Still didn’t matter, but he did say that he would try to find one at another store for me (closest store would be at least a 25-45 minute trip this time of night).  I jokingly asked if he expected every one of those old pre-orders to come in tonight and demand their demo.  Didn’t matter.  I finally told him that if they couldn’t give me a copy of the demo, I’d just go buy the game at the Best Buy around the corner from my office on release day.  Didn’t phase him a bit.   

When I turned to leave, I said, “You do know that you’re losing a $50 sale and probably my return business because of this, right?”.  His reply was, “There’s nothing I can do about it.”.  Well, me neither and you have now completely lost what was once a very loyal customer over a demo disc that probably cost 10 cents.  Congratulations Gamestop.

EDIT:  I was going to send a revised copy of this to them, so I went to their "tellgamestop.com" customer service site.  Amusingly, they don't let you e-mail a complaint unless you have a receipt number.  A receipt number I didn't get because the guy would give me a copy of the damn demo.  This company is a complete joke.

EDIT 2:  I called their 800# and was able to get an e-mail.
10202  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lunar Knights "one of the finest games on DS." 1UP review on: March 01, 2007, 08:02:41 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on March 01, 2007, 07:45:28 PM

Anyone have some further impressions after spending more time with this?  I've got 12-14 hours of air travel (each way) coming up in a week, and I'm thinking about grabbing this or FFVI.

I'm currently 25 hours into FFVI, and it is one of the best RPG experiences I've ever had.  If you've never played it before (like me), I would highly, highly recommend it.
10203  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: And my "How the hell did I miss this?" game of 2006 is... on: March 01, 2007, 05:25:33 PM
I'd echo Kevin's thoughts, although from the little I've played, Syberia easily Trumps TLJ in the graphics department.  The 2D backgrounds in TLJ are incredible, but the late-90's low-poly characters are pretty jarring.

In regards to the language, 95% of TLJ has no bad language at all, but there is one character that uses "fuck" at least 2-3 times per sentence.  It's pretty lame and completely unnecessary to the story, but I guess they wanted to be edgy or something.  Come to think of it, there's a character or two in Dreamfall that do the same thing.
10204  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: And my "How the hell did I miss this?" game of 2006 is... on: March 01, 2007, 05:07:00 PM

Quote from: Calvin on March 01, 2007, 04:58:39 PM

Thanks Gratch! While I generally just hate adventure games, I think I am officially going to put TLJ on the backlog and try to play it this spring when I am more free-Syberia too!

Heh, you sound exactly like me.  Prior to trying out Dreamfall, I hated adventure games and hadn't even glanced at the genre in years.  As soon as I played it, however, I immediately went out and picked up both TLJ and Syberia.  Haven't played much of Syberia yet (Final Fantasy VI got in the way), but the little I did see was pretty impressive.
10205  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: And my "How the hell did I miss this?" game of 2006 is... on: March 01, 2007, 04:55:48 PM

Quote from: Calvin on March 01, 2007, 04:32:20 PM

I bought this for my dad for Christmas since he loves adventure games-he played for a few hours but seemed to lose interest but it looked interesting to me-worth playing alone, or should I try TLJ first?

I've finished both games in the last 2 months, and played Dreamfall first.  It got me hooked, and I played through TLJ after the fact.  While both games are great, Dreamfall makes a lot more sense if you're familiar with the characters and events of TLJ.   There's many carryover characters and references to events that will leave you scratching your head if you're not familiar with them.  I think Dreamfall would be much more enjoyable if you’ve played through TLJ first.

That being said, Dreamfall is a great game on it's own merits.  Keep in mind that it is a slow starter and the controls take a bit of getting used to.  I'd say it didn't really pick up until about the 3 hour mark.  And while TLJ is probably a better game, it may be hard for some people to go back and play a game with graphics & interface from 1999.   I also found that the puzzles make much more sense in Dreamfall, and TLJ is pretty much impossible without a detailed walkthrough.  There’s lots of “strap the cellphone to the purple cat” type puzzles in TLJ.

If you’re interested, I’d be willing to part with my copy of TLJ (great game, but not really much replayability once it’s done).  Just shoot me a PM.

Quote
I think the plan is for two games- the episodic series which will be focused on the continuing the specific story and characters from Dreamfall.   The MMO will probably be much larger in scope but still canon in the worlds of Stark and Arcadia.

Whew, that’s good to hear.  I’ll just play the episodic stuff and skip the MMO entirely.

Quote
Unfortunately the CD-ROM release of the 1st game won't install on many newer computers even after applying patches.

Strange, I played the CD-ROM version of Dreamfall on my fairly new XP system and it worked just fine.  TLJ also played without a hitch.
10206  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: And my "How the hell did I miss this?" game of 2006 is... on: March 01, 2007, 04:32:53 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 01, 2007, 04:08:50 PM

Great news!  Funcom just announced that the Dreamfall/TLJ story will continue!  Episodic format and it's likely still a long ways off but nice to hear nonetheless.

I think the story heavy focus of the series is an excellent fit for episodic content model since the story and characters will not only create great cliffhangers but also just a genuine desire to see what happens next which certainly wasn't the case for something like Sin Episodes.

Press release here

That’s awesome, great, fantastic news!  Having recently finished The Longest Journey, I’m thrilled to hear that the story will be continuing.

Since the article mentions both, I am curious about whether this is going to be distributed on-line, or whether it will be an MMO.  I have no problem with episodic, online delivery (a la the new Sam & Max games), but I hate MMO games with the white-hot passion of a thousand burning suns.  TLJ/Dreamfall is more like a movie than a game, and since I loathe online gaming, the last thing I want to do is be required to play through it with other people.  If does end up being an MMO, it will ultimately kill any interest I have in the series.
10207  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Top Five Albums on: March 01, 2007, 12:39:52 PM
Either Skinny Puppy's "Nature's Revenge" or Bowie's "Panic in Detroit".

Interesting, though, that none of the songs I would include in my all-time top 10 appear on any of my top 5 albums.  Some of the same bands, just not on those particular CD's.
10208  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions (and Impressions) on: February 28, 2007, 09:22:43 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on February 28, 2007, 08:06:11 PM

Quote from: Farscry on February 28, 2007, 03:15:28 PM

I still very much look forward to getting back to this later this year to work on the rest of the hunts/espers/etc. icon_biggrin I think I had nearly 80 hours in by the time I finished the main story (I don't remember; might be more or less, but it was around that) and I still had a ton of sidequests and optional areas left to explore!

FFXII is right up there with FFVI for me as the cream of the crop from the FF franchise.

can you still do side quests and roam about after the main story is finished??

Nope.  Once you enter the final dungeon, you're in for good.  After the final cutscene & credit roll, you get kicked back to the load screen.
10209  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions (and Impressions) on: February 28, 2007, 03:26:46 PM

Quote from: Calvin on February 28, 2007, 02:47:56 PM

Had about an hour last night while futzing with Vista, and ended up just running around and grinding the cerobi steppe. While its not really the most efficient because of the flying creatures and low XP wolves/tigers, there are semi-rare wyrms that drop for 3600xp a pop, and multiplay that by 2 with the tippet and its awesome awesome XP even though they don't spawn that frequently.

IMO, those wyrms were the best enemies to grind on.  There's at least 1 or 2 of them in each Cerobi Steppe zone.  I'd clear them all out, save at the mid-zone save marker, then reload and start all over.  I probably gained 15-20 levels on those guys alone!
10210  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Race to the Bottom: Who has the worst TV? on: February 27, 2007, 07:01:54 PM

Quote from: Calvin on February 27, 2007, 03:36:08 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 27, 2007, 02:02:21 PM

My TV is decent (Hitachi 52" HDTV), but the bottom corner has a permanent 12" by 6" black smudge from when my cat barfed down the front of the screen.  Does that count?

I would have killed that cat so fast and so viciously. Dear god.

LOL.  Honest to god, I think it was the only time he's ever been on top of the TV.  3,000 square feet in the house, and he chooses that exact spot to hork.  Just bad luck, I guess.  Here's a picture of the damage (crappy camera phone is all I got):



It's not quite as dark now (this happened quite a while ago), but is still noticeable.  Especially when there's a light colored image on screen.  In the end, though, it's not that big a deal.  The cat's much more important to me than the TV.
10211  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Is this how it will all end? on: February 27, 2007, 03:28:41 PM
They were last heard singing "So long, and thanks for all the honey".
10212  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Race to the Bottom: Who has the worst TV? on: February 27, 2007, 02:02:21 PM
My TV is decent (Hitachi 52" HDTV), but the bottom corner has a permanent 12" by 6" black smudge from when my cat barfed down the front of the screen.  Does that count?
10213  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NIN's New CD on: February 27, 2007, 12:50:54 AM

Quote from: ROTC1983 on February 26, 2007, 11:06:39 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 26, 2007, 10:42:02 PM

Excited here too.  I've liked everything he's done, and can't wait for a new album.  Actually haven't heard any of the leaked tracks yet, but they did play one of them live during their last tour with Bauhaus.

If you go the  ninwiki I posted, you can download the songs there.  Like I have mentioned, viral marketing at its best.  Leaving thumbdrives with subtle hints and music in public rest rooms biggrin

Ah, thanks.  Very cool stuff!!
10214  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NIN's New CD on: February 26, 2007, 10:42:02 PM
Excited here too.  I've liked everything he's done, and can't wait for a new album.  Actually haven't heard any of the leaked tracks yet, but they did play one of them live during their last tour with Bauhaus.
10215  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (2/26) on: February 26, 2007, 05:51:53 PM
Nada.  In fact, I might be going into negative game buying status this week.  Possibly selling my XBox 1 in order to get some cash towards either a 360 or PS3.  Will still be a while before I break down and buy one (and I still don't know which one I want), but at least it's a start!
10216  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Top Five Albums on: February 26, 2007, 05:23:23 PM

Quote from: HankRaptor on February 26, 2007, 03:29:54 PM

Man this is hard. Sort of like Desert Island Discs... But I would mostly want GREATEST HITS

In thinking about all-time favorite albums, I realized that many of mine were actually Greatest Hits compilations.  If we were to include those, I'd put in:

-  Crackle - Bauhaus
-  Shaking the Tree - Peter Gabriel
-  Clan of Xxymox - The Best Of...
-  Joy Division - Substance
-  Peter Murphy - Wild Birds
-  Bad Religion - All Ages

OK, now I'm up to about 20 on my "Favorite 5" list.  slywink 
10217  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Recap 26/Feb/07 on: February 26, 2007, 05:15:08 PM
More Final Fantasy VI for me.  I'm at 26 hours, and it looks like I'm about 3/4 of the way through, according to the walkthrough I'm using.  Also started Planescape:  Torment again, but decided I need to finish up FFVI before I really dig into it.  Splitting time between RPG's is never a good thing for me.
10218  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I think I'm done with the fantasy genre for now on: February 26, 2007, 03:04:33 PM

Quote from: warning on February 26, 2007, 02:41:41 PM

Anyone else burnt on fantasy?

Exactly the opposite here.  I find that - at least with books and games - if it doesn't have at least some fantasy trappings, I have a really hard time getting into it.
10219  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions (and Impressions) on: February 25, 2007, 10:20:48 PM

Quote from: Doopri on February 25, 2007, 09:42:50 PM

party members dont earn xp when they arent in your group of three BUT...

Inactive party members don't earn XP, but they DO earn LP.  Just FYI...
10220  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dragonlance animated film!! on: February 25, 2007, 07:05:32 PM
Interesting that the site says it's being created for "worldwide theatrical release", but the director's blog says this:

Quote
Dragonlance production is in full swing and everyone's working hard to make an on time delivery. Even though the DVD won't go on sale until Fall, we need to be finished in the Spring to allow time for mastering, pressing and distribution.

Wonder which one it is?
10221  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dragonlance animated film!! on: February 25, 2007, 06:43:22 PM
I'm cautiously optimistic at this point, and I'd love to see a sample of the artwork before I get too excited about it.  The voice cast is fantastic, but from what I've seen of Toonz animation, their style just doesn't seem to fit the subject matter.  I'm just worried that we'll end up with a cartoon version of the D&D movie.

EDIT:  OK, so I missed the concept art on the site.  Doesn't do much to quell my concerns, though.  Something about it just seems...off.  Reminds me too much of the Saturday morning D&D cartoon, but we'll see...

Xak Tsaroth


Qualinost


Laurana


Tanis


Sturm


10222  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dragonlance animated film!! on: February 25, 2007, 06:35:25 PM
Ahem
10223  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Absolutely Hilarious Video mocking Sony on: February 25, 2007, 04:46:23 PM
Y'know, it's going to be a sad day when PS3/XBox/Wii discussions get banned at a gaming forum because people can't be adult enough to discuss things rationally.
10224  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 25, 2007, 04:09:40 PM


10225  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 25, 2007, 02:41:00 PM

Quote from: dbt1949 on February 25, 2007, 04:25:45 AM



You can save this one dbt.  We'll start a self portrait thread later.   icon_wink
10226  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / F/S: Oblivion (PC), Civ IV on: February 25, 2007, 02:32:12 AM
I should probably just title this the "I need money for God of War II" sale.  slywink

- Oblivion (PC-DVD) - $26 shipped  **SOLD**
- Civ IV (CD) - $15 shipped  **SOLD**

Shoot me a PM if interested.
10227  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 25, 2007, 02:19:03 AM

Quote from: Andrew Wonser on February 24, 2007, 04:52:50 AM



What the...??   icon_confused
10228  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Long] Simba almost died today. on: February 24, 2007, 11:19:50 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on February 24, 2007, 11:12:10 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 24, 2007, 11:03:46 PM

Wow, glad he's OK Pete.  Can't imagine how scary that would be.

On a side note, Vader likes it when you post Simba stories.  Somehow he always ends up scoring an extra treat when I'm done reading.

Imagine his excitement if he learns that from said stories you also get new treat ideas.  Such as
Frosty Paws puppy ice cream or Happy Tail Ale. slywink


He loves Pooch Pops.  I'd give them to him more often if they didn't smell so horrid.

10229  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Long] Simba almost died today. on: February 24, 2007, 11:03:46 PM
Wow, glad he's OK Pete.  Can't imagine how scary that would be.

On a side note, Vader likes it when you post Simba stories.  Somehow he always ends up scoring an extra treat when I'm done reading.
10230  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Absolutely Hilarious Video mocking Sony on: February 24, 2007, 10:59:01 PM

Quote from: mytocles on February 24, 2007, 06:39:56 PM

OH NO - Gratch is the Voice of Reason lol, imo. 

I'm putting this on my business card.
10231  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: darkness new gameplay footage on: February 24, 2007, 07:39:02 PM
Uber-cool bit of trivia on this game.  Apparently, Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, etc.) is doing the voice work for the monsters.  Anyone familiar with him knows that this is a very, very good thing, as the guy can do absolutely ridiculous things with his voice.

Take a listen to the insanity that is his Adult Themes for Voice album and you'll see what I mean
10232  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Absolutely Hilarious Video mocking Sony on: February 24, 2007, 05:53:48 PM

Quote from: Hetz on February 24, 2007, 05:47:48 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 24, 2007, 02:52:18 PM

Well, I thought it was funny.

Quote
I guess it is just human nature to want to see things fall from grace, especially things that you can't have or afford or whatever the reason is.

Bit of a stretch, don't you think?  Poking fun at Sony for some of it's ridiculous marketing and PR gaffes has nothing to do with whether or not people can afford the system. 

Sorry, but nearly everyone that pokes fun at the PS3 or says they are not getting one, ends with saying I can't spend $500 on it or it's too much or something along those lines. I don't see how $500 is all that much more than the $400 that the 360 costs and you get a lot more with it. I mean, if you can afford the 360, the extra $100 isn't going to break the bank, is it?

Y'know, being able to pay and being willing to pay are two very, very different things.
10233  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions (and Impressions) on: February 24, 2007, 05:48:38 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on February 24, 2007, 04:32:59 PM

i am actually having problems with libra(scan)..i bought libra,and obtained the license...but when i try and use it under techniks(or however you spell the crazy spelt word),i can only 'scan' myself....anyone know what i am doing wrong?

IIRC, Libra is a passive ability that displays monster HP, weaknesses, etc. as you fight. As long as you a) have purchased the license and b) have a Libra item equipped,  I'm pretty sure you don't actively have to "scan" any monsters in order for the info to appear. (Calvin, et al, please correct me if I"m wrong. It's been a few months since I finished.)
10234  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Top Five Albums on: February 24, 2007, 05:01:40 PM
1.  Skinny Puppy - Too Dark Park
2.  Alice in Chains - Dirt
3.  David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
4.  Guns 'N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
5.  Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

A few others that may jump up, depending on my mood:

-  Tool - Aenima
-  Oingo Boingo - Farewell Live
-  Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power
-  Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out
-  Metallica - ...and Justice for All
-  Yasounori Mitsuda & Millenial Fair - Xenogears Cried
10235  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Absolutely Hilarious Video mocking Sony on: February 24, 2007, 04:19:31 PM

Quote from: semiconscious on February 24, 2007, 04:12:20 PM

really disappointing to see mods hopping on the 'yet one more ps3-bashing forum topic' bandwagon...

Sheesh, lighten up people.  I sort of though that as a group of mature gamers, we could get a chuckle out of gaming related humor.  Apparently not.

And yes, the song would have been funny if it were directed towards the 360 or Wii as well. 
10236  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions (and Impressions) on: February 24, 2007, 02:58:03 PM
The bottom black bar is there whether you have subtitles on or not.  Not sure about the side bars, though.  Never had that happen to me.
10237  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Absolutely Hilarious Video mocking Sony on: February 24, 2007, 02:52:18 PM
Well, I thought it was funny.

Quote
I guess it is just human nature to want to see things fall from grace, especially things that you can't have or afford or whatever the reason is.

Bit of a stretch, don't you think?  Poking fun at Sony for some of it's ridiculous marketing and PR gaffes has nothing to do with whether or not people can afford the system. 
10238  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CompUSA Closing 100 Stores on: February 23, 2007, 09:53:47 PM
This doesn't shock me a bit.  The few times I shopped at CompUSA they were either completely rude, dismissive, unhelpful, or a combination of all three. 

Any time a store treats their clientčle as annoyances rather than customers, they deserve to go under. 
10239  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Best/most memorable gaming moments on: February 23, 2007, 06:33:56 PM
I've gotten 3-4 hours into Planescape:  Torment on two seperate occasions, and been distracted both times.  Judging by the amount of times it's appeared on this list, maybe I should give it another shot.

I can get it on Gametap, so I think it'll be my next RPG after FFVI.  Nothing like playing classic games a decade after the fact!! 
10240  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How many Computers/Televisions in your house? on: February 23, 2007, 05:15:20 PM
For 2 people:

-  2 desktop computers (one semi-decent machine for me, an old word-processing/web surfing machine for Mrs. Gratch)
-  3 TV's (1 52" HDTV, 1 old 35", 1 27" TV/VCR combo that hasn't been turned on in years)

Just about right for us.
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