So, before I get into details about the gameplay and what SimCity is actually like, I need to get something off my chest. Well, two things. I’ll get to its always-online DRM in a minute.
Nintendo recently released a trailer for a new Pokémon movie. The legendary Pokémon is Genesect, which is basically a cyborg Kabutops with a laser cannon on its back. The real appeal of the movie is that Mewtwo makes his return and everyone’s excited to see him.
Better yet, I learned that they’ve already made an English dub of it, and it’s in theaters. Like….now. For only a few weeks too, since anime never lasts long in theaters anymore. It’s only in select theaters too, of course. I mean really, it’s pretty cool that they have that so quickly. Not a lot of people know about it yet, so I’m spreading the word.
So on opening night I went to a nearby theater called Origin Cinema. Big company, has theaters across the country. And they’re the only ones in town showing it. They’re running showings of it back to back for the next two months straight. I bought my ticket, grabbed some popcorn, and went in.
Well, I would’ve, except the theater was packed. Must’ve been, there were lines stretching all the way around the theater. Must’ve been 50 people there. All Pokémon fans, I bet. Some were really excited and cosplayed for the new movie. Well, I figured I already bought my ticket, so I decided to wait. As showings ended, the line progressed and people had their turns.
Four hours later, I finally got in. I’d obviously eaten all my popcorn long ago while I’d been waiting. As it turns out, there are only 30 seats in the only theater showing the new Pokémon movie. A mere 30 seats for the most popular movie of the month! Grumbling, I looked for an open seat.
And there, on one of the seats, was this:
I cringed and looked for another one. To my shock, all of the seats had them. Including the ones people were already sitting on. I tried removing it, but it’s practically melded in the dead center of the chair. Why would anyone tolerate sitting on that?!
There was a theater attendant, directing people to their seats. I asked him what on earth was with the seating arrangements.
He replied “Well, we had no idea this many people were going to go see the movie. Theater fills up quick. A lot more than we anticipated. It’s a wonderful turnout, isn’t it?”
I replied “No, I mean that…..that thing on the chair. What is that?”
The attendant paused, and said “Oh. That. Well, in the past we’ve had people try and smuggle drugs into the theaters. They would put little bags of cocaine right up….well, right up their behinds. It’s been a real problem. We started doing pocket checks to everyone entering a theater….”
“Wait,” I said. “You did pocket checks at a movie theater for drugs? It was that bad?”
“Well, our management has a zero tolerance policy for it. They’re really cracking down. Don’t want any lost sales. Anyway, that caught a few of them. But they got real creative. So we have this new system."
I stared at him, pondering the madness of it all. Going to the movies was nothing like this when I was a kid. I remember when I saw Pokemon the First Movie when I was nine, and even got free stuff like a Mewtwo trading card. I looked back at the seat, then back to the attendant. “Is there any way I don’t have to sit on that?”
“No sir,” he replied.
“I can’t just sit on the edge, can I?”
“Can I stand?”
“No, you’ll block the view and distract people.”
“Can I sit in the aisle? On the ground?”
“No, we don’t allow that. I’d have to kick you out.”
I threw my hands up in frustration. “Well give me my money back. I’m not paying for this!”
“Sir, this particular theater is showing a digital version of the movie, as opposed to one with standard rolls of film. There are no refunds for this version.”
“But you’ve got……those things on the chairs! And the lines are absurdly long!”
“I’m sorry, I’m just doing my job. There’s nothing I can do. You could still watch the movie if you want. All you have to do is situate yourself so it fits right up your butt properly. We’re only trying to provide a drug-free service. It’ll be the new standard soon. After all, a business exists to make money.”
I was starting to get really mad. “Can I speak to your manager?”
The attendant said “I guess, but you’re the fifteenth person this week and that didn’t get anyone anywhere. We simply can’t afford to even risk people bringing in bags of drugs up their buttocks.”
I stormed out. “I can’t believe you’re going this far because of a few ass crack junkies!”
I never even got to see the movie. No Genesect, no Mewtwo, nothing. The next day, I heard that everyone was complaining about the long lines, the few seats, and what was on them. People were even signing petitions to return the seats to the way they had always been.
The day after, the newspaper said Origin Cinema had expanded the number of seats to 200 in the theater, but left the spiky seat things on all of them, even though that was the number one complaint everyone wanted removed. People started to protest that they were good, paying customers who were clean but were getting punished by people who wanted to get high in a public space.
Origin Cinema replied that they were very happy to see so many fans support the new Pokémon movie despite the negative press. “Our biggest fear was that people who love this franchise would be scared off by bad reviews about the connectivity issues.”
As a further apology to the people who couldn’t get refunds, Origin Cinema gave them free tickets to the customer’s pick of either Jack the Giant Slayer or Identity Thief.
Still, the whole experience has been pretty awful in my opinion. I don’t think I’m really that interested in this Pokémon movie anymore. I doubt I’ll ever see it. To me, they really mishandled the entire thing. In effect Origin Cinema said:
“We’re not sorry. At all. No regret whatsoever. We predicted some butthurt might have resulted from our anti-drug measures, but we already have your money and no amount of complaining will stop people from flocking to our theaters like sheep. Ignore the bad reviews written by bad people and please continue to buy tickets unquestioningly like the passive consumers you are.”
I just want to go see a normal film now, in a normal theater with normal seats. Good, old-fashioned cinematic experience from a regular, reasonable theater company.
What was I gonna review again? SimCity? Oh yes. In short, for a game released in 1989 it wasn’t half bad. Graphics were pretty outdated, there were a few modern advances would’ve probably made it better, but it was all right. Try it out.