Saturday, March 18, 2006

Fuck EB and the videogame industry

There are 2 things I truly hate about the videogame Industry: EB Games and Tuesday.

Me and my co-worker, Eric walked into an EB the other day and were horrified at what we saw. Nothing but horrible looking yellow boxes, stickers and a collection of games that were in no order what so ever.

I wanted to look for Stubbs: The Zombie and I couldn't even truly figure out where 'S' started and ended. I'm not even sure if I was in the Xbox section - the sign said so but the games on the shelf didn't.

Thats just the beginning of my hatred for that damn place. I bought a copy of Eternal Darkness from there a little while ago and this is what I came home with. I'm not sure if you can tell from this pic or not, but there are actually TWO get 10% off today stickers - one on top of the other one. And no, I didn't get 20% off. Hookers.

What I hate even more than that damn horrible place is Release Dates. I thought about buying Tetris and decided to see when it came out. According to this page on EB it says it ships on Monday. Does that mean I can buy it on Tuesday? Wednesday? If you continue to look at what else is coming out this week - they all ship on different dates!?!?!

If you have ever bought a cd or dvd recently, you know that new releases come out on Tuesday. Each new Tuesday the shopper can go into Best Buy or whatever store and pick up what they are looking for. But NOT for videogames! On Tuesday I might get Tetris but if I want Katamari for PSP I have to wait until...Thursday maybe? I just have to randomly visit the store hoping they have it in stock.

Which brings me to another thing I hate about the videogame industry: Pre-Orders! I really don't enjoy having to tell someone that I want a certain game and paying money in advance for it. If the videogame industry could get their act straight and let me pick up the game on Tuesday like every other form of media we wouldn't have this problem.


omar kendall said...

I have a brand new copy of Exit purchased from EB Games sitting on my coffe table awaiting play. For whatever reason, the proprietors of the store thought it sensible to remove the protective plastic covering from around said new game, and to affix a giant price tag to the corner of the actual game packaging. I demanded the EB Games employee remove the tag before I purchased the game, and after a couple minutes of him futily scarring and distoring the game case, I selected another identially stickered package and left the store, disheartened.

Oh, and fuck Katamari PSP; fuck it hard.

jchensor said...

Amen to hard, reliable release dates. Buying video games when they are released is harder than trying to beat the games themselves.

Tetris and Metroid for DS come out today. And I'm not even gonna attempt to buy them until Friday, when other games I want may or may not be released as well. It's ridiculous.

Btw, Omar... I'm really curious as to your displeasure with Katamari on PSP. If you have a good enough reason to avoid it, I may just do it. I hate seeing a great game series bastardized like what has been happening to it.

omar kendall said...

Well Chen it's exactly that. Here is this game that was hailed as some sort of ideal for the games industry, and yet in practice Namco has done exactly what every other publisher does - whore out a product by releasing sequels until the public grows weary of it. I mean, do we really need 3 Katamari games in less than 2 1/2 years? Maybe it's not Namco's fault, but rather the videogame press for the characterization, but to me Katamari doesn't seem to be doing anything all that different from say, Viewtiful Joe or Tony Hawk.

Plus, I think Katamari as a game is completely overrated, but that's more of a personal thing.

jchensor said...

Well, to the Katamari creator's credit, he did not want to make any more Katamari games ever after the first one. He only made the PS2 sequel when Namco basically said, "We'll do it without you." So he ended up doing it preferring to have a good sequel helmed by himself rather than having a potentially bad one helmed by people who could care less for the integrity of the game.

I don't know what the story behind the PSP one is, though. Probably was a deal: "Okay, I'll make the PSP one ONLY if we can sign a contract saying it'll be the very last one." ^_^ Who knows. But I do know that Katamari is supposedly "done" with their official website saying goodbye or something. So hopefully, the creator got his way and that's the end of Katamari.

I'm a HUGE Katamari proponent: I love almost everything about the game... but this is not the time nor the place to discuss the merits and downfalls of the game. Despite how much I like the game, I do not want to see it whored out like is being done right now. I largely suspect it IS Namco's fault, wanting to milk the franchise for what it was worth despite the creator not wanting it to be a franchise in the first place.

But it is telling that upon hearing that Katamari may be ended, a few people lamented this saying they wish they had a version for 360 or DS or whatever (I saw this on Joystiq). So is it really Namco to blame, or are the players to blame for always wanting more of the same?

Javi said...

In the beginning in my SF days, I once worked at an EB. They had preorders and used games back then (albeit a lot smaller). Funny, I remember myself alphabetizing the used games.

As far as the release dates go? EB used to be really good about it. When I told someone a game was coming out on a certain date, I was about 90% right overall. Personally, I'd like to see vid games have a Thursday release, simply because DVDs and music have Tuesday locked up.

joey nguyen said...

maybe it's just me, but i'd rather they keep releasing katamari games than anything else. katamari 2 definitely did not feel like a rehash to me... and seriously, i'd be happy playing rehashes, because the experience of playing katamari immerses me so much that any different environment/whatever is so pleasing...

i must have played the collect the fireflies stage so many times, because the darkness was so immersive.. but off topic

eb is shit, etc

jchensor said...

While I agree with you, Joey, that playing multiple forms of Katamari is probably more enjoyable than most games out there (for me), I still would be opposed to it greatly. Katamari hit me over the head with a hammer when I first played it. It reminded me exactly what it was I loved about video games. And as I mentioned in a comment on Omar's blog, it harkened me back to the days of staring at the original NES poster that showed all of their launch titles, eager to play every game on that poster 'cause they all looked so different.

For most games, one sequel is perfect. Katamari 2 was a good expansion of the first game. Three sequels is also acceptible, but is usually the breaking point. I'll have to play Me and My Katamari myself to see how I feel about that game. But as soon as it reaches 4, it needs something new. Even though Resident Evil 4 technically ISN'T the fourth one in the game, look what it's re-working has done for the franchise. Before that, when I played RE: Code Veronica and RE: Zero, I realized I had grown very weary of the games.

No, Katamari deserves to end right now, before it reaches the point where it DOES start leaving a bad taste in our mouths.

Jr7891 said...

My EB is pretty nice.

Not too many people go there and everything is in order.

If i need a hard to find game, I can call them and they will get it from their warehouse or whatever for me.

They even give me demos and stuff even when it's required for a preorder.

My only complaint is that i have to get new games from them Wednesdays from 12-3 pm but calling isn't a problem.