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LONG BLOG

READY 2 ROKK! (Oh wait, thatís a Guitar Hero meme)

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I know Iíve been talking about this for a while, but I was only able to actually accomplish it yesterday, even though Iíve had it planned out for a while. Itís the story of how I was able to get Rock Band and Uncharted: Drakeís Fortune on the same day at Best Buy, and why that was significant. Iíll really try to keep it short this time, and if you get bored, you can always scroll down for PICTARS!!

Iím a Best Buy Reward Zone member, so I get emails with special offers from time to time. They also have other special offers listed on their website, which can be found at http://myrewardzone.bestbuy.com. One of these offers caught my eye: it was a coupon that said, Spend $100 or more and redeem your reward certificates to receive triple points. The coupon didnít specify categories of items, like most point multiple coupons do; it just said Iíd get triple points on any in-store purchase of $100 or more, as long as I used at least one reward certificate. So I figured Iíd buy Rock Band and Uncharted on the same day and use a $5 reward certificateóthat way, Iíd be getting triple points on $224.98, which comes out to nearly 675 points (250 points nets you a $5 reward certificate).

Now, of course, the main issue here was actually finding Rock Band on the PS3 in stock at a store. I visited Best Buy around once a week anyway (new release DVDs, usually), but they never had any of the Special Edition sets, just the standalone gameóand really, what good is that? I went there this past Saturday, and an associate said they had no copies and that he didnít have any idea when they were going to get any. I left the store dejected, especially because time was running out: my coupon had an expiration date of December 10th.

I had to give it one more shot, so yesterday evening, I headed back down to the Best Buy in Chelsea (thatís the one I always go to). I fully expected them to have zero copies, considering that they didnít have any just two days prior, so I went in with a plan to just get Uncharted, which they were pretty much guaranteed to have in stock; a case for my iPod classic, which would cost between $20 and $30; and Superbad on Blu-ray ($29.99) to get me over the $100 humpóyep, thatís the one drawback of the Reward Zone card, and itís how Best Buy gets you: Iíve totally become a Reward Zone point whore. Hell, I pretty much donít shop anywhere else for media (DVDs, games, etc.) and electronics, unless the price is significantly cheaper at another store (like when I was able to get Call of Duty 4 and The Orange Box at Target on Black Friday for $48 each).

So I went in and checked out the iPod cases. Strike 1: they didnít have the one I wanted (the Griffin Elan Form), so I was stuck with the DLO Jam Jacket. It was on sale, but I didnít really want it because itís made of silicone instead of plastic and leather like the Elan Form. Then I headed downstairs, where they have everything else. Strike 2: They were sold out of Superbad on Blu-ray. Bah. It was looking more and more like I would have to buy something I didnít really want or need just to get to the $100 threshold, but I told myself I could just use it a Christmas gift for someone. I moseyed on over to the video game section, and to my utter shock, a Rock Band Special Edition box was sitting right on the floor next to a stack of Guitar Hero II bundles for the Xbox 360. Unfortunately, my momentary elation turned back to sadness when I realized that it was the 360 version. I found Uncharted, and then an employee. This was my last hope, and hereís how the conversation went:

Me: Do you have any copies of Rock Band in stock?
Her: Yeah.
Me: Um, not the 360 version thatís over there; the PS3 version.
Her: Uh-huh.
Me: Uh...you have the box? The whole thing?
Her: ...Yeah.
Me: Oh, can I get one?
Her: Sure.
Me: Thanks!

God, Iím so glad that we didn't get to strike threeónot finding a copy of Uncharted wouldíve been unbelievably demoralizing. Overjoyed, I put down the shopping basket with the Jam Jacket in it and took Rock Band and Uncharted to the register. It was a little unwieldyóyouíd think EA couldíve put some damn handles on the box, or at least openings for your handsóbut I got it home on the subway just fine. A quick note about the guitar: I was hoping to get a non-first-run bundle in order to avoid the whole strum bar issue, but it didnít look that way from the outside of the boxóthe bottom has a sticker that says ď9-Nov-07Ē on it. The strum bar for the guitar doesnít click, which is awesome, but its up-and-down movement seems to be restricted by a spongy material inside the body. Is that how my guitar is supposed to feel? I havenít played the game yet, but Iím anticipating issues with quick consecutive notes, like on Radioheadís ďCreepĒ.

And now, as promised, pics!


The prominent round yellow sticker on the box reads thusly: ďIf you encounter a problem with any Rock Bandô peripheral, DO NOT return to the store. Contact http://support.ea.com/rockbandĒ


My pride and joy


Oh goody, they were nice enough to include three AA batteriesóeven though I canít actually use them (or the guitar at all) because I have no screwdriver to get the damn battery cover open...and look, another very visible notice pleading with customers not to return the game to the store!


In case I havenít mentioned it, my dorm room is quite crampedóthereís no way in hell I could ever have more than two people in here playing the game at the same timeóbut that wonít be an issue, because I would need friends who played this game first ;)
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About Samit Sarkarone of us since 7:56 PM on 12.14.2006

Senior Reporter, Polygon at Vox Media
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