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It's funny to me how the Games stop with Gamestop!
Ok that was lame, but it's an already lame and tired topic that I want to talk about today so why not be appropriate about it: Gamestop sucks.
Well I just noticed ok! Not really of course. Gamestop is a store that I have been a patron of for quite some time. Initially it was new when I was younger and only some magical place that would get a visit from the family on birthdays or what have you. But then I grew up and became an adult with finance thingies and a mysterious green slip of paper with a rather repulsive man's face on it. I heard he never smiles because of his horrible teeth! From this point I thought to myself, as an adult gamer my expenses primarily fall in that category, video games and/or electronic goods, so I need to find a good place that provides me with the good I want and with a service that would make the first McDonald's employees look like they were serving you while playing fight club.
blah blah blah, Gamestop isn't so great turns out. So here is the chronology of my loss of interest in Gamestop - and equally so, Gamestop's loss of interest in me, more or less:
1. Gamestop doesn't hire me
That was straw one really. In case you didn't know, now you know that I aspired to be the overworked/underpaid angsty nobody behind a Gamestop counter! My dreams were utterly crushed because they would never hire me.
I get that it's a tough economy to be employed right now but how much does the brand make that they can't afford to hire one extra dude? Even though I had heard horror stories about working for them - though admittedly a few of my friends were ok with the experience - I still wanted to do it. It would be cool I thought to have a job at a game store and get paid for it. Plus you get a discount! Well year after year I would apply and never hear back. Even had a friend who was a manager "put in a good word for me" and still nada. This leads me to believe that Gamestop doesn't want to hire qualified people because I couldn't think of anyone more qualified than me: I was pretty motivated back then I'll have you know!
For real, we could've been a real good match, why'd you have to say no? Now you're just somebody that I used to know~
2. Gamestop introduced POWER UP REWARDS™
Yeah, no thanks. I know the whole John Pinette deal, trust me, if I could give extra money to every Gamestop employee employed today I would because my sympathy lies with the worker. But I don't have that kinda cash because I'm not rich so I don't need to hear about PowerUp Rewards from the little Jehovah's Witnesses that Gamestop has made its employees into. I mean, sometimes you get that one guy that can be downright aggressive about it, Gamestop are you trying to make your customers feel uncomfortable? This is what you are cultivating by forcing them to do it every single time - and the over the phone mantras too.
So to that well dressed and in shape guy that was cool in my eyes for letting me cut ahead, opening a new register for me up until the moment a crusty phrase passed through his lip. POWERUP REWARDS MEMBER Sorry dude, I'm just here to buy a shitty game from a shitty company and I don't know who to feel more sorry for, honestly.
3. Gamestop seemingly 86'd half of it's workforce
Does anyone work at a Gamestop anymore? Fuck if I should know, does not seem like it being that every single time I've gone there in recent memory there have been 30 minute waits.
On a normal day too, I'm waiting upwards of 30 minutes to buy a psn code or something minor like that. Can we get a speedy pay fast lane checkout line Gamestop? No, we just get really long lines. Which is also bad in other ways too, now you have stressed and irritable employees too so the experience is ruined for everyone. Not only are the customers mad but now the employees are too because they're the only ones working and no one is helping them with the fifteen customers. It destroys the mood for witty banter or actually trying to enjoy communicating. Hire some more workers Gamestop, jeez..
4. Disapointing Black Friday Deals
Oh god, are you kidding me Gamestop. $50 Destiny for black friday? Well then I guess it's my destiny to not shop there.
5. Introducing: Geoff Keighley
This actually happened way before but at some point they decided that Geoff 'Doritos Pope' Keighley would be just a fantastic spokesperson for the brand and have since plastered him on every monitor they can fit his fat nonsense brand line spewing head onto. It's like nails scratching a chalkboard when you walk into one of their locations and the first thing you hear is his voice. But I have to say, each time the Pope graces us with his infinite knowledge of the new AAA title and when I can pay for it, preferably with a side order of dew and doritos, I think to myself "Man I wonder how many times the employees heard this tired hype mongering today? 50? 100 times?" Real sympathy for them because I can just leave. And you know what, I usually do.
So yes Gamestop, Keighley is a perfect spokesperson for you. But hey, he's probably a good spokesperson for me too seeing as he makes me not want to set foot in a Gamestop.
6. Ipads at Gamestop:
Yeah I realized that I had some of those special extra plus plus points saved up and wanted to redeem something, a free $20 game would be nice, might even alleviate some of the bull poop aforementioned. Well the mathematicians at Gamestop have deducted that a nice high number like "11,000" translates to 10 dollars USD.... hmm Guess Gamestop-land is in some rough inflation? Yeah the one falling back aspect to Gamestop, you can get free shit is lackluster at best. It would take a few console purchases to net you the equivalent of a $10 item on the house, which we all know if it's $10 already then it's probably not good anymore anyway.
Well obviously the system is rigged for you to spend a lot and get back much less. Unfortunately it takes closer examination to realize precisely how much less you get back. They always tout those customers who win the "Epic" tier rewards as some sort of Gary Powers to aspire to become in hopes of winning the great lottery so we can go get "the full experience".
So what's the point, I thought, of ever going to another Gamestop anymore? They've stopped caring, and now so have I. I wanted to go take my remaining points (there's some extra that are thus not redeemable because there isn't any reward under 1000points) and take out a $10 freebie and as a joke use it to redeem Farming Simulator 2014 on Vita. BUT Good 'Ol Gamestop really didn't come through on this one, yet again: Farm Simulator 2014 is $10 for vita downloadable code only. Sorry but those redeemable points don't work for online purchases apparently. Aka, you can only use it on stuff inside of the store and farming simulator is $17 with tax in store. So that was the end of that, Gamestop, can't even go out with a bang, or a whimper only nothing. Good riddance.
Until next time, why not share your horrid Gamestop experience/complaints in the comments below? I feel even the numerous friends of mine that work for the company and hate it will soon be able to speak up about it as Gamestop could be headed out very very soon.
Initially I had scrapped an entirely different Giving Thanks post because I got to the point when there had to be a decision made about what could be included and what could not and instead the post got junked. Which sucked because I wanted to participate this year. Then I went to visit relatives for Thanksgiving and got a jar full of inspiration to write a whole new blog!
So to provide a little background first, I get anxiety sometimes, though more recently it's been like a lot rather than sometimes unfortunately. I've written about this subject before but the anxiety in that story was meager compared to what traps me these days. Funny too because the theme of the post was basically victory, like I had conquered my social anxiety and it was a big step in my life when only month after I pulled a total 180 and my anxiety got really harsh.
That's just to say this is still something that happens to me.
And we come back to thanksgiving 2014; I was going to meet with family one state over and had to take a train to get there, about a 2 hour train ride. So basically my nightmare, because when I get anxious I can't sit still. Which is a shame because trains are awesome imo.
Arriving a bit short of missing the train, I found a seat and, as expected, got all fidgety. Well it was going to be a long two hours if I was just to sit there and squirm in my seat like the doomed sheep I was, and instead my vita came to the rescue. Specifically, the PSP classic The Sega Genesis Collection. And we have arrived at the game part of this blog!
One of my absolute favorite consoles of all time, for it's kickass music, great games and just the nostalgia of it, is the Genesis. Never had one personally, well, one that worked, but a friend whose house I stayed over at a lot growing up had one and we played video games a lot.
So naturally, putting the best games from that console onto one game collection has my money. As far as I know there are two versions of the game, the aforementioned PSP version, and a PS3 collection. Both with a different list of games to boot. (Side-note: Sega why didn't you put Sonic 3 onto the PSP ver.) The PS3 version I played the hell out of and went back to 100% the trophies available. It's one of the few pre-2007 or 2006 PS3 games that I regularly pop back in to play. Hell it might be the only one now that I think about it.
Cut to me an hour in to the would-be dreadful train ride to my relatives for the holiday and I am just relaxed. I got my noise canceling headphones on and I'm playing Sonic 2 on my vita, sitting still. I was even doing really well, up until I used up every continue on Metropolis Stage 3, because you know, only two Metropolis stages would've been too easy. Actually it is possible that I jinxed myself because I was counting on this being a victorious post, still it has been a long time since I got to Metropolis and at the end of the day, the Sega Genesis Collection had a very positive effect on me during this time.
In fact, it would've been my first time beating Sonic 2, and that would've been fitting as this scenario basically already happened to me once before. When this whole anxiety amping up for me thing started for me I was attending a summer class and riding the train to my college was becoming annoying too. I get into these "moments of clarity" (I use quotes in case it's a misuse of the word) where my mind says Why am I in this moving metal box? I have to get out of here! and so it begins. The exact details escape me, but I had a really good day at a horrible class for some reason, but when it came time to commute the fidgeting was crawling back upon me. Again I resorted to play my vita as I rarely get to on commutes to and from school. I couldn't decide on a game to play and settled on the Sega Genesis Collection and to play Virtua Fighter 2 one of my favorite fighting games of all time. And before I knew it, I had reached that higher level of relaxed and it was awesome. Even at the moment when our train stopped while on the bridge, which I hate because that is the worst place to stop a train, I couldn't care less, I was too busy kicking Dural's ass as I won Virtua for the first time.
In sumation, I am thankful for the Sega Genesis Collection (both versions) because they're awesome collections of some of the best games out there. And for whatever reason they get me super relaxed in my time of need which gave me these personal stories to share with you all. FYI I will definltely be revisiting this game, specifically to try and beat Sonic 2, the collection and in general retro games have been on my mind lately especially since dtoider TheDustinThomas joined my podcast for an episode, which you can see here once it goes live. I am interested in sharing more about my experiences, talking about Sega Genesis games or hearing about your Thanksgiving day in the comments. So thanks for reading through this and happy holidays everyone!
You know what's fun? Cryptic analogies. As such:
My neighbors won't stop playing loud music, like seriously really loud music when I'm trying to focus on other things, just live my life or even when I'm sleeping. This has gotten to the point they need to get evicted. But that isn't happening. Landlord is turning the blind eye for some reason and the whole nauseating earful continues.
My only option is to leave and just go somewhere else. But I say to hell with that, I'm staying. If I leave, they win. So I'll put up with the nonstop loud ass music, trash as it may be. In fact I might just "answer back" with a little music of my own. Until next time, this is me not going anywhere.
Enjoy the metal.
As some of you might know, I stream every Friday on the dtoid community channel Streamtoid roundabout 2pm eastern. Right now I am early into my playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas, the well documented almost my favorite game ever... it is believed. And as promised to the viewers of the twitch channel, I have finally got around to installing some radio mods for the game to really expand on the relatively meager base soundtrack. Not to mention the curiosity of what radio stations are out there -- everything went well in case you're wondering except I am not sure if the GNR -> New Vegas mod installed correctly and for some reason Radio New Vegas breaks some times (oh well).
In the search to get new radio stations I realized that some of the modders that made custom stations with new music for the game used their own voice over for the "hosts" to give it a more authentic feel. Well let me tell you that that is just swell. So swell in fact, that I am now interested in making my own radio station mod, using my own voice work.
Here are a few ideas I came up for segments or other things that could go into this sort of project:
[ ] - This is a great opp. for essentially Fallout fanfic. I can definitely make up some sort of backstory -- ideas include: a new group of outcasts that commandeered a radio station and are using it to update the people of the Mojave wastes on their struggle
[ ] - OR alternatively this series is full of so much backstory that the options are mind boggling. Maybe I could create a host that was involved in the takeover of Hoover Dam by the NCR? Perhaps a follower of the Megaton Church? Or maybe a radio station based more around one of the DLC packs... which brings me to another idea that I got from one of my installed mods.
[ ] - New Vegas has a ton of DLC content, some of which got their own radio stations but others didn't. And even for the ones that did, touching on the DLC stories/locations/characters is a great idea.
[ ] - One idea I came up jokingly is to do a segment where I fake a fireside chat type political talk show radio but with the thematics from the game, only it is done entirely in my native language! My people love talk show radio and arguing and for some reason I have fond memories listening to these things when I was younger, which gives me a lot of cool minor details that I can include into it. Honestly this would be half joking but I'd like to go full ham on this sub-bullet.
[ ] - And of course, MUSIC! There is a ton of free music available online and especially that old Public domain stuff. Not to mention there isn't anything wrong with using some songs from other stations. But again, there should be a lot out there as is.
I'll try to come back to blog post as it is more of a scrap of ideas and add anything as I go along. As I'm pretty busy anyway this isn't going to be a heavily invested project just something fun to do that gets my creative organs off. Tell me what you think of this. Include a suggestion if you have any. Or just say what's up with you and what your favorite Fallout radio station is!
AH, that was a fun week back on dtoid. I had a free week to just go nuts, in this time I dicked around in the forums, recorded and released a new episode of PStoid and even got around to reading a couple of blogs!
Well all good things must come to an end right? WRONG! I'm still going to vanish like a positive world outlook at a Hardy's during buy 1 get 1 free day. But I'm doing a giveaway because why not. That's right, you could win a shiny thing for yourself to cuddle and enjoy. Here's how:
It's no secret that I love indie games. And that I love music, so naturally, Indie game Soundtrack's are like catnip for me, provided that I'm a four legged whisker-having house cat. So leave a comment with your FAVORITE Indie Game OST and why it's better than all others and you will have an entry into the raffle. Feel free to include videos, images or other links.
Here is an example - My favorite Indie Game OST is from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Which honestly isn't fair because the soundtrack is composed by one of my favorite chiptunes acts, Anamanaguchi.
It represents well the different emotions the story and characters, based on the comic of the same name, go through in addition to just being fucking awesome and a great listen all year round. You have songs like "Another Winter" that makes me wish it was Winter already (and I HATE winter) and "Party Stronger" which makes me wish I was at a rave (don't like those either). And a ton of other great tracks that defy category.
Above all else, I love the soundtrack because it reminds me of the game, and I love the game in part because of the awesome soundtrack. It's like the perfect duo of good music and good game. This was also probably one of the first indie games I played as well as being one of the first games that I went out and purchased the soundtrack.
Though to be fair, my favorite changes a lot, because there are really a lot of great Indie Game OSTs that are seriously a challenge to rank amongst them all. Some strong runners up, and legit picks that may as well have been #1, include: Terraria, for it's euphoric ambience, Hotline Miami for insanity electronica and Lone Survivor because it's the best blend of psychological Horror in a soundtrack I've ever heard.
Winner gets gifted a Steam game by me. I will PM him/or her with the instructions, GOOD LUCK!
So for weeks I've had a few blog ideas in my head and really wanted to get them typed up. Sadly I'm just still too busy to regularly post, as some of you already know. In this post, I've merged the two blog ideas into one single post. There isn't enough in either to merit a full blog post anyway. Also this is my first go at the new editing system, hope it goes well :)
Minecraft is In Need of Fish Eye
Minecraft has finally pick axed and dug its way into my life and it's gotten a firm grasp around me. Really it's gotten problematic but I love this game and love killing time in it. Even though there isn't a whole lot of "game" in it, imo where you basically have to make the game for yourself.
But this isn't about talking about Minecraft, I want to talk about some features in this game. Well into this games crust, a friend invited me to for some online cooperative play. Needless to say, he was much further than I was, knew way more tricks and had a ton more valuable stuff than I did. And this friend of mine introduced me to two features in this game: you can turn off the hand and the HUD so that all your view isn't obstructed. All this time I had been taking screenshots all wrong!
But yeah, I was screwing with this feature and trying to get some gnarly shots in the game world, but what dawned on me is that the default view is kind of weak. And it could be fixed by giving the option for a "fish eye" view. For those who do not know, the following is a camera with a fish eye lens.
And this is the difference that such a nifty attachment makes:
In short, it makes you see considerably more in the image than a standard lens does. And this also happens to make the picture look that much more amazing, though everything in it has this rather queasy curve look about it. Not a photographer myself, I still know that this equipment is expensive, IRL however for a video game we're only talking a matter of coding. You see it seems that Minecraft uses the default type of view. So how awesome would it be if we could get the option to see in a fish eye, and take even better pictures. Well very awesome actually!
Anyway, below are some examples of pictures I've taken in Minecraft and what they would look like with a fish eye -- sort of, I'm not an image editing whiz.
Of course, with recent news, I'm sure this won't even be a possibility. But then again it isn't that important, I didn't decide to write about this blog because Minecraft is in the news right now. Rather this was just an itch to get some thoughts jotted down.
How Fallout 4 Can Take the series' Immersion to the Next Level
I'm a big fan of Fallout, there isn't a doubt about that. Without going into too much history, I hated 3 from the moment I put it into my PS3, flung out the disk immediately and didn't play it till urged to give it another go out of curiosity, at which point I melted for that game. Then New Vegas was a no brainer for me -- side note: damnit I wish I got the collector's edition. And one of the big aspects of the game, new to me at the time, was the music.
I'm a mighty man!
Ah yes, that was not what I excepted to be introduced to, staring at that gritty artwork on the box. And I'm thankful that they've decided to go with this route for Fallout. It really did expand my horizons and make me way more open minded, as I'll tell you all about in a second. For a little background, the Fallout games take place in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi world where instead of the Cold War being uneventful in the nuclear warfare department, the world is torn to hell with explosive radiation. Since the 1950's in this world, culture never really moved forward, which is why even though Global Nuclear War happens in 2077, the game is bleeding with 1950's American War era cultural references, music, attire, slang and other phenomenon. It's complicated, but you can read up on the backstory here.
So we get this game, that is essentially an RPG -- originals were from a top-down perspective and the new ones switched up the formula for FPS -- that is brutally violent and depressing (the formula for grit), with the music of our grandparents playing all the while. And this is why the soundtrack stood out to me as significant, it created a contrast between these two opposites. This was uncanny and an effect to die for.
Several sentences back I mentioned becoming more open minded. Well yeah, because I now have Nat King Cole in my music library, introduced to me by Fallout, I see that era of time as a cultural gold mine instead of just being something we're forced to learn in class boo. I now have a greater interest for that culture and that has led me to discover and become addicted to television from that time. Thankfully there is a channel for this purpose, called Antenna TV. It has the classics of television. Sitcoms, dramas, movies, etc. It's really great and I've been taking my time going through different shows one by one. Something that would've never happened otherwise.
Looks like some of the Vault-Tec billboards in Fallout, doesn't it? This is the Patty Duke Show
So I say, the next level of immersion is this: We already have 50's music in Fallout, how about 50's television? I hope Bethesda is reading this. It would be sick if they got the rights to some really old TV shows -- or made up their own like with what they did with Dean Martin -- to be made viewable and have appearances in the next installment of this franchise. To me, this would increase the immersion that devs and our journalists make so sought after.
Now I brainstormed this a little and the main counterpoint I could come up with is that there is no television in the Fallout world. Makes sense, how could there be space for TV in a post-apocalyptic fiction? However, that is simply not true and easily proven against. For starters, there are plenty of television sets throughout the franchise. There is also electricity, for example some local areas have power generators for personal use and some bigger colonies just have power for some reason, such as the Las Vegas strip. And of course, there are all the computer monitors that are practically all functional -- even the corrupt ones -- such as the terminals or the faces of the securitrons. However, the thing that irks me is I cannot think of a single television set working in the game. The only thing that comes to mind is the opening sequence of the original Fallout but nothing more recent than that.
And I will close out here: Picture this; you, the player, have just returned from a quest where you took out a gang of raiders. They tore your health bar in two. Your clothes are stained with gunpowder and blood. You take a seat at the bar and the commercial on the nearby television set catches your attention.
(skip to 0:50)
Then your vision gets all hazy because you've been taking down med-xs and psychos like a clown takes down ribbons