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I call Salt Lake City my home. And NO I'm not a Mormon.



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JJ Rage
8:36 PM on 10.27.2008




I got my meaty hands on the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition earlier this afternoon, and figured I snap a few shots
of the totally awesome package. My apologies for the blurriness but my camera broke awhile back and all I
had was my cell phone.


The package




Sliding off the transparent slip cover, exposing the tin lunch box




The lunch box in all its glory




Opening up the lunch box, revealing the game itself
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The making of DVD



The art of Fallout 3



The glorious Vault-Boy bobblehead



The complete contents of the Collector's Edition


Vault-Boy will eat your soul




Its the 28th somewhere in the world, right?



The part of this package that matters most



Vault-Boy takes his place on my shelf



Blockbuster video is giving out these wall stickers with a Fallout 3 purchase











Weighs in at 904MB. The demo features a Tie Fighter construction facility, The Apprentice's first mission in the game. You're given full authority by Vader to take out any and all Storm Troopers that stand in your way.

As of the time of this post, the demo is not yet up on the PlayStation Store.

EDIT: I just finished the demo and figured I'd post a few impressions. POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!



Right away, the control you have over The Force is is wonderful. It is better than I imagined it would be. As the level starts, you're given a brief on-screen tutorial, and a set of corridors to test your Force Grab powers before you encounter any enemies. I tossed an explosive barrel of some sort through a window, which caused many items around the area to be sucked into the vacuum of space before an emergency hatch closed it off.

The lightsaber combos are a lot deeper and brutal than I expect as well. For a bit I found myself more interested in finding new combos than actually using The Force. You come to a large hangar with several docked Tie Fighters, which can actually be Force grabbed and tossed at enemies. There were also large crossbeams that I could bend (but not throw), and further on in the demo one of these beams could be moved to essentially clothesline incoming Tie Fighters trying to take you out.


The demo concludes as you fight a group of Storm Troopers and a MOTHER FUCKING AT-ST on a landing pad. I won't spoil this part, but suffice to say, the AT-ST fight has me counting the days until this game is released.

I am officially more excited for this game than any other game to be released this year.
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Figured I'd take my turn in wishing Niero and Destructoid a very happy birthday. I truly struggled to come up with an adequate present. After hours of deliberation, I finally came up with the perfect gift.





With all the fellatio you're getting today, they'll probably come in handy.
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As A few people here at Destructoid know, I'm an employee of Blockbuster Video. Glamorous, I know. Anyone who's been at a Blockbuster lately has probably noticed a window poster for the upcoming Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl. You may have even been offered a pre-order for the game. Pre-orders are nothing new for Blockbuster. But pre-orders for games have never been our top priority. But about a month ago, that all changed. Promotional materials for Brawl started to come in, and we were told to ask any customer renting a game (Wii or otherwise) if they wanted to pre-order a copy.

The emphasis on this particular sales drive was sort of odd, but I continued on doing the best I could. However, today was the day our corporate overlords would be in town to visit. During their visit, the subject of the Brawl pre-order drive came up, and the motivation behind the drive was revealed.

It seems Blockbuster went to Nintendo to discuss exclusive rights to sell the upcoming Wii Fit. The corporate suit didn't say it, but it's safe to assume Nintendo's response was that of bellowing laughter. When they caught their breath, they told Blockbuster to go out and get 125,000 pre-orders (about 7-10 per store) for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and then maybe Nintendo would consider it.

My first thought was "Well, there's no way we're hitting that number". Even though my district is on track, my particular store only has 2 of the expected 7 pre-orders. Our district is only on track because a few of the busier stores in well-off areas of town are doubling the expectation.

My second thought was "Blockbuster is being used by Nintendo big time". Getting 125,000 pre-orders for Brawl isn't going to guarantee Blockbuster anything but a face to face meeting to discuss the possibility to carry Wii Fit exclusively. Even if we hit the mark, Nintendo could just tell us to go fuck ourselves.

But on the flip side, a game like Wii Fit being a Blockbuster exclusive is a big deal if you're Blockbuster. This is a company that is struggling to compete with NetFlix and iTunes, as well as the growing popularity of ONDemand and the XBL Video Marketplace. Blockbuster's Total Access online service looked to be on the right track, but when the new CEO took over and saw how much money was being lost on it, he raised prices and removed several of the benefits that made it better then NetFlix. The direction Blockbuster is going under new CEO Jim Keyes is of a retail emphasis. The rental side of things is being slowly minimized, and the focus is being shifted to new retail, games, and novelty items like movie-related posters and toys.

Wii Fit exclusivity could be the shot in the arm that Blockbuster needs to push that retail-first agenda. Personally, I feel it's the right move. The rental business is dying, and by the time Blu-Ray becomes affordable enough to become the norm, digital distribution could be the true format of choice.

What do you think, Dtoiders?

P.S. - Late fees are coming back this August. Have fun with that.











Over at 1up, editor Sam Kennedy has blogged his thoughts on the GameSpot/Jeff Gerstmann drama.

The post goes beyond just skewering the CNet management, however. Kennedy goes into deep historical detail, chronicling a series events that led to GameSpot's increased dedication to advertising. He also touches on the unprecedented community reaction and support for Gerstmann. He includes Dtoid's CashWh0re review of Kane & Lynch as an example.

I won't copy-pasta the whole thing, but here are a few choice quotes:

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"On the surface, it's harmless tool that's great for advertisers to obtain valuable data surrounding its products and purchasers. But it had the potential to be abused. Here's a little primer on how it works: as a visitor to Gamespot, everything you do gets tracked. Every story you read, every screenshot you view, every video you download -- it's all followed by the system and compiled into behavioral data. It's kind of like Amazon, except instead of showcasing stuff you might like on your homepage, your behavioral data is being sent on to marketers.

And while that might sound very big brother to some, the program itself wasn't the problem -- again, on the surface it's a rather useful tool -- it's what could be done to influence it. Retailers would pay attention to the "buzz" a title was seeing on GameSpot and, in theory, place unit orders based off of that data -- after all, the retailer could potentially sell more units of a title seeing increased momentum online. But by spending money with Gamespot, it was possible for game publishers to raise the buzz ranking of their titles; publishers could make it appear as though there was a larger interest in their product than there perhaps really was.

Essentially, the thing was designed to be gamed."
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"Running this whole GameTrax operation was a guy named Josh Larson. But after Broady, Kasavin, and others left GameSpot, Larson took over the editorial aspect of the site as well. So here you had Josh Larson -- the man behind selling sponsorships of editorial -- now placed directly in charge of the editorial itself. You tell me if you see any potential conflict of interest there.

Around the same time, Steven Colvin, known for having launched such publications as Stuff magazine, took over CNET's entertainment and lifestyle group, of which GameSpot is a part of. I don't know what his editorial influence has been on GameSpot, if any, but his track record didn't exactly point to editorial integrity as one of his prime values. Stuff magazine, for example, used to run game reviews that were written based off of screenshots and fact sheets, before the games were even playable to the press (I knew several freelancers who made lots of easy money from this). So yeah, you had the guy in charge of GameTrax and the guy who launched Stuff overseeing all editorial on GameSpot.

And so the stage was set for the events of last November to unfold. Eidos paid a substantial amount of money to have its ads point to the GameSpot review of Kane & Lynch. The Kane & Lynch review wasn't very favorable. Eidos freaked. GameSpot caved. Internet exploded."
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I know this issue has been discussed to death, and the blog is a fairly long read. But it is well worth your time. Read the full article here.


Edit: Apparently arktherobot had already covered this story with a lengthy writeup of his own.








(yeah I'm totally stealing the film news from Snaileb)


BEHOLD!





The Harold and Kumar 2 teaser has been out for awhile, but the theatrical trailer is now live and glorious.


HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY


NPH on a unicorn. Doesn't really get much better than that.


Protip: Rollover the gray unicorn icon on the bottom of the page for a NPH on the Unicorn wallpaper.
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