Best Buy = Worst Place For Gamers?

Hey Everyone!  I want to introduce a new writer for LittleNeko.com,.. Mr. ChinkyD!  He is a fellow geek himself, enjoying gaming, computer technology, sci-fi & conventions.  Even a little costuming from time to time.  😉  I decided that more, excellent content could definitely not hurt the site and ChinkyD has great thoughts and incite on the topics we like to chat about.  So without further ado, here is his first Post!  Enjoy and feel free to leave your comments here on the website or on our Facebook page!  Enjoy.    -Little Neko

It’s the most important time of year for anyone that owns an Xbox 360, PS3, PC…and YES, EVEN A WII!

Blow the dust off the box you use to play Mario games and show off bowling to your non-gaming relatives. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword hit stores on Sunday, November 20th. To celebrate the release and the 25th anniversary of the franchise, Nintendo offered a pretty amazing pre-order limited edition that included the game, a CD of the music, and a special gold Wiimote with built-in Wii Motion Plus. Cool, right?

Nintendo special editions pre-orders always sell out, but fortunately I was able to order a copy online to be picked up at a Best Buy in Nashville. It was about an hour drive, but totally worth it (in my mind). My local Best Buy wasn’t offering this edition, but I still felt fortunate to snag a copy somewhere semi-local.

So a week later the day arrives and I fight the Bellevue area Sunday traffic on my way to the prize. Pre-Black Friday mobs have already started gathering at your soccer mom-friendly stores like Target. But finally I pulled in and walked up to the pick-up counter. First thing I notice is that there are 5 cashiers gathered around the register, conversing and not helping anyone. Resilient enough economy to hire too many people, perhaps?

Anyway, the first cashier gets my info, my credit card, and my ID and slides open the doors or their online pick-up area. It’s a friggin’ mess, basically 8 to 10 wire racks with random electronics. It looks like an episode of Hoarders if they were at the CEO of Best Buy’s house. She goes through shelves 1-5, then 6-10…not too nervous…yet. She looks confused, but then she pulls out a game! Hey, that looks like Link! Here she comes, hells yeah!

Wait. That’s a normal-sized box. Yep, it’s the regular edition. The “20 dollars cheaper non-special edition”.

Politely, I ask if that’s the special edition with the extra controller, etc. She realizes her mistake, then she makes “the walk”. I’ve worked in retail, and “the walk” is the trip the low level cashier takes to find a manager. A few minutes later she is timidly following a twenty-something guy with a goatee, and at this point I notice a slight crowd has gathered around. There are two additional cashiers and two additional customers with printed sheets of paper. I heard one of the customers saying “I ordered online a looooonnng time ago and I don’t understand how you could screw this up!”

Sure enough, they were all there for the same thing. They had pre-ordered Zelda and were there to claim their rightful prize. The manager had that half-frustrated, half-apathetic face that most people making 8 dollars an hour get sometimes. The cashier pointed me out, and then the speech came.

“Sir (always a bad sign when this starts a conversation) the way our system works, it allows you to order an item even if we don’t have it and it picked the order at the warehouse and BLAH BLAH BLAH MY MOUTH WILL RUN UNTIL YOU GET BORED…” He then heads off to some magical land, presumably returning again when hell freezes over.

Before I can say anything, the grumpy other customer jumps in with “I ORDERED THIS WAY BACK AND I WANT MY GAME NOW.” The other customer was your quiet gamer that was obviously pissed, but not wanting to rip out the manager’s throat (yet). I talked to him a moment and found out that not only did his pre-order get screwed, but that he had been going all over Nashville trying to find another copy since that morning. Wow…dedication.

The angry gamer talked to me for a few moments about how he wanted his game, but now he wanted it free with some extra money for his trouble. Good luck. Best Buy is notorious for screwing over customers and finding a way to force you out.

So about 20 minutes pass and the three defeated customers finally see the big boss (apparently he’s like the Wizard of Oz and it’s very difficult to get a conference with him). I really didn’t want to see him. I just wanted my game and to get the hell on out. But I get the same speech as before, and after they look up my order a third time, ask for my contact info…

They ask me to come back tomorrow when they will probably have the game in stock. This seems to calm the other two gamers, as they were both local. The quieter one seemed to happy just to find any way to get his special edition. The other still looked pissed, but somewhat defeated and ready to accept anyway to get his Zelda fix. Of course, I have to explain that I live an hour away and I wasn’t ready to drive 2 more hours because of their screw-up. I get the “Me so sorry” speech again and then an awkward silence takes over the Best Buy.

Then I get a look from him that says “Well, that’s all we’re going to do…what are you gonna do about it?” I’ll keep it PG, saying that I asked for my money back and requested that they give up on ever being a successful chain again.

“Wait. If you wanted this game so badly, why did I give up on it now?”

It’s because I had an ace in the hole. While BB was fumbling my pre-order and further crapping on their reputation, I was calling Gamestop stores in my hometown. Sure enough, a shop in my local mall had 3 copies! But they wouldn’t hold them and they were going fast. I made a quick call to a friend who just so happened to be heading to the mall for some early Xmas shopping. So a hero stepped in and saved the princess (OK, a little melodramatic there…) I get my money back from the fail whale known as Best Buy and make my way the hell out.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the manager gave me a $10 gift card for my trouble. Thanks jackass, that covers a little over half of my fuel costs and NONE of my time wasted costs! I think maybe we’ll just have a LittleNeko.com giveaway at some point for this card, because I really don’t want to shop there again.

Best Buy totally FUBAR’ed this pre-order and felt little obligation to make it right. As a customer, I felt like a thrown out piece of garbage. I made the choice to trust them with this purchase and they jacked up every piece of the puzzle. Obviously I’m making a point to never purchase a video game there again. Likely this will bleed over to all of my electronics purchases as well. Amazon, NewEgg, and a slew of other (better) retailers sell the products I want at a cheaper price with better customer service.

Of course they are all online, but I will actually give credit where it’s due to Gamestop. They had the special edition of the game, even after fulfilling all their pre-orders. Pretty remarkable. The next time they ask me if I want to pre-order “SUPER SECRET EDITION GEARS OF HALO FIGHTER VS. 3”, I might just try them.

But seriously people, if you love games, don’t shop at Best Buy. I’ve read so many horror stories, and yet I jumped right into the cesspool. I won’t be making that mistake again.

Skyrim, Halo Anniversary, Zelda… Oh My!!

Hello gamers and friends of gamers,

Gotta love the fact that there are no big games coming out for months now and then all of a sudden three major titles come out within 10 days of each other!  You would think the game companies who create these games would keep an eye out for each others releases, but ehh.  🙂  Maybe Skyrim creators picked the best date releasing first on November 11th.  Halo Anniversary will be next on November 15th, then Zelda: Skyward Sword on November 20th, which is a Sunday.  Weird day of the week Nintendo!!  Although perfect for me since I’m off on Mondays.  😉   Personally I am interested in all three of these games and I may have to be locked down like a hermit!  I’ll be inside so long the sun will hurt my eyes when I peek out for the first time and realize it’s 2012.  My friends won’t even recognize me with the new facial hair I’ve gro….. WAIT A MINUTE!!

heh, heh… Just kidding.

I’ve never ever been that bad!  But it sure is fun to get engulfed in a game for a while.  Of course my boyfriend being all knowing of everything related to gaming culture, he has informed me of the ever popular poop sock.  Yes,.. it’s the sock that you poop in!  No, WE have never used the poop sock.  Click here for the ever wonderful Urban Dictionary to explain it all!!  Not to be confused with this version of being Poopsocked: http://youtu.be/2bqcjQRzkeQ.    🙂

 

Moving on…..  These games are getting mad reviews by sites such as IGN.com.  They gave Skyrim a 9.5 which is listed as “amazing” on their review.  I have not played the previous installments of this game, but I watched the video review and it looks like something I could see myself getting into!  They talk about how engulfing it is having a large world packed with so much content, an amazing sound track, every detail in the scenery in extremely well done and thought out.  Also players have the freedom to do what they want when they want.  So if I want to explore around I can or if I want to go to Burger King with my dragon I can.

Well, you might not be able to do that last part.  I might be heading out to purchase this tonight.  Now the only decision is do I play on PC or XBox?  I love playing on Xbox, but I keep hearing how PC gaming can be a better experience.  I am still not using to PC gaming and need to set up the computer I have to play to be more comfortable.  Lets just say I’m using a small office chair that is falling apart in our guest bedroom.

I can not wait for Halo Anniversary since I have been a huge fan of the franchise since Halo 2!  So this is perfect for me since I never played the first Halo game: Combat Evolved.  Shame on me, I know!  The anniversary game will be fully remastered and players will be able to toggle between the original style of play and the new style of play(with armor effects, etc.) There will be a bunch of multi-player maps included, plus hidden areas throughout the campaign where you can learn about untold parts of the story line that foreshadow Halo 4.  Hmmmmm, Halo…….  🙂

Funny thing about Zelda: Skyward Sword is I had no idea it was coming out so soon.  I watched it being talked about on E3 coverage months ago and then it left my mind because it seemed so far away at that time.  It looks amazing like the last few Zelda games that came out and apparently this time we get a lot more story and I’m sure this means more character development!  The motion controls are even better in this game and really demonstrate how motion control redefines game play overall.  I’ve said in the past that Zelda: Twilight Princess was the only reason to buy a Wii and now there is a second reason.  😉  As an early birthday present, my boyfriend has pre-ordered me the Skyward Sword Bundle with Gold Wii Remote Plus!!  Guys, if you wanna give your lovely gaming ladies a wonderful treat, better order yours now!  🙂  The Zelda games have been very popular among the ladies.  It comes with the game, the Music CD Soundtrack and Gold Wii Remote Plus w/Triforce Symbol Accessory.

Well, I’m outta here!  Gotta finish cleaning up the mess that was my craft room, all left over from the costuming over the last few months.  I will be going through all of my loads of crud to organize it and try to find a place for it.  I plan on ordering a small desk to become my sewing desk.  Whoo-hoo!

 

Night night,

-Kitty

 

 

 

 

 

Being a Lamo Gamer Girl? I don’t care! ;P

[Apparently my cat also has an opinion with the purchase of this game! ]

So after eating a cheap dinner at Feces Pizza,……(Hrumph…) I mean Ci Ci’s Pizza, my boyfriend & I walked to the little game shop next door to browse.  I was looking through the used games and was considering Call of Duty: Black Ops.   A bunch of my Xbox friends have been playing it online and I’ve thought of jumping in on it.  Yeah, I’m jumping on the train late, but that’s what I do!  Of course when you buy games in a Game Stop or Play N’ Trade you never get a good price on used games.  So Black Ops was still going for $55.00 used.  Uh, I don’t think so.

The other game I had my eye on was the Lego Indiana Jones.  I really liked the Star Wars Lego games, plus it was $10.00 with a copy of the Kung Fu Panda game.  So, yeah.. I ended up walking up to the register with Lego Indiana Jones.  They had to put it into a machine to clean it.  Haven’t seen them do that before.  Guess I don’t buy a lot of used games.  The dudes behind the counter were probably thinking, “Of course, girl gamer buys this!”   OH well!  I don’t care!  Some nights I wanna have a casual gaming experience where I don’t have to think too much.  Sometimes I’m not down for the competitive online atmosphere.  On the opposite end of that, as soon as we get our computers set up with the right video cards, I”ve been wanting to jump on Steam and play some Bad Company 2 with some friends!  😛

 

Happy Happy Weekend!!

-Neko

 

PS: If you click on the logo LittleNeko to take you to the home page, you can see the image at the top in full.  It’s funnier in the larger version!  🙂

Capcom Tries to Smurf your Smurf with Smurfs

So I’m lying in bed the other night,.. couldn’t sleep.  I decide to pick up my Iphone and check for any cool games to download.  I see this Smurf Village and thought, hmm, this sounds fun and it’s memorable from my childhood, waking up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons and such.  It’s like an Age of Empires in Smurf Version (I used to play Age of Empires all the time on my computer.  In fact I miss that game).  So I decided to download it and give it a try,………..but who knew what was lying ahead of me?  Who knew I could ever think those cute little blue Smurfs could cause me such frustration?  Who knew smurf berries would soon be a painful vision in my head?  Maybe Capcom, the creators of the game!

Yeah, so that was a bit dramatic, but hey, I had to get your attention some how.  🙂   No, seriously, I decided to write this Post because I was so unhappy with Capcom for trying to “SMURF” everyone’s money away, in such a sneaky way and for charging so much.  This is what happens,…you download the game, you think, “This is kind of fun!! I’m enjoying building my little smurf village. They give you a few smurf berries at first so you can get a few things built and then…. BAM! You are stopped in your tracks and can’t progress forward without paying..$4.99 for 50 Smurfberries, $11.99 for 150, $29.99 for 400 or $60.00 for 1000!! Are you kidding me??? Is someone out there dumb enough to start paying for these berries?  And yes, I think the games on Facebook, including Farmville are terrible games.  I would have probably paid the normal cost of an IPhone game to continue to play Smurf Village, but not this.

I will attempt to mention a few small positives.  The graphics of the game are really nice and pretty much, are dead on when it comes to resembling the old show from the eighties.  Navigating seems fine and menus seem organized well.  The game definitely has that addictive quality about it.  Now, back to the negatives.  ….What?? I said a FEW positives.  🙂

There are mini games if you go to the different Smurf’s houses and they are pretty lame.  At Papa smurf’s house, you are suppose to help him shake potions together.  I tried some of the different potions and ended up breaking the potion glasses.  If I actually shook my Iphone it would break it.  Sliding my finger across the screen worked better, but it still wasn’t fun.  Of course, you only get to play one or twice and then it tells you you have to wait 8 hrs or so to play again, UNLESS you have Smurfberries then you can play right now.  You also have to wait ridiculous amounts of time to grow your gardens, build things like bridges, buildings, etc.  I put up a bridge last night at 2am and it still says I have 95 hrs till it’s built, but if I had 16 Smurfberries it would get built right now.  It also doesn’t seem that the gardens I’m growing or small things I do to gain XP in the game make any difference for the progress of the village.

It makes me sad to read on some other blogs and to see Smurf Village being rated on the App Store as a popular game.  It’s so sneaky because everyone is sucked in by it being a free download and it’s slight addictiveness.  Yet, I’ve also been reading how parents are getting pretty upset about how easy it is for their kids to create a huge phone bill because of this game.  You can go into the settings and flip a switch to turn off the ability to charge for the Smurfberries, but it’s just as easy to flip it back on.

My advice:  Don’t let Capcom Smurf your Smurf with these Smurfs!!  Just say no to Smurfberries and…. Well, have a Smurfy day!!

-Little Neko

Lovin’ Halo Reach

(Above: A screenshot from a game I played today!  I still love the Energy Sword and it still is as intimidating as ever.  I love this shot, but it looks like my top half is separating from the rest of my body!  hee, hee… Yes, I’m the one on the right)  PS: It looks better BIG!  : Click here.

Well folks, it’s October and that means GMX(Geek Media Expo), nice weather and Halloween!  Not too much to prepare for, right?  Lets just say I’ve been putting off more costume making to play Halo Reach & the Job Search.  ;P  Yeah I know,…NERD!

I think we all had some doubts after ODST came out and it was a big let down in the Halo Universe.  I say this and I was someone who didn’t sell ODST and kept playing it after many others sold their copy or started using theirs as a coaster.

I think Bungie has truly put a lot of love into Reach.  It has a refreshing feel to it with the new armor abilities, the maps and a bunch of new challenges and achievements.  All of these things combined create multiple ways to play, which keeps it interesting.  It is very clever and sneaky to create a whole new list of goals, besides your normal Achievements.  If you’ve played, you know what I’m talking about.  There are four daily Challenges and an extra 2000 points for completing them all.  It’s ridiculously addicting!!  You want to waste away a lot more of your, already game consumed life, trying to get these challenges.  Plus it helps players improve their game and forces them to explore different game options.

Tonight, instead of just playing the game normally, my boyfriend and I set out to get the Challenges that are found when you hit the Start button.  We were able to get every Challenge except for one.  We’ve been playing Matchmaking Firefight a lot and the AI’s are much more intelligent than they were in previous Halo games.  They duck and dodge out of the way and sometimes sneak up on you.  We have been holding off playing Multi-player Matchmaking, because we typically don’t look forward to dealing with the assholes you meet online in the normal Matchingmaking games (No, I’m not saying everyone on there are assholes).  I also enjoy the Multi-player Matchmaking, but I enjoy it more when playing with friends.

We’ve been playing with people online in Firefight and I haven’t run into one asshole!!  😀  Very impressive.  Maybe those new profile settings are working.  Yes, now there are profile settings available to set whether you want to be matched up with Chatty or Quiet people, Competitive or Casual play.  I have read online that other players are having trouble with the “Chatty” setting.  Somethings still need to be touched up, but in my opinion this game is a winner.

One more screenshot for good measure 😉

I still have a ways to go in the game, so this is not a complete review.  I have only completed the campaign on Normal and want to do so on Heroic and Legendary.  Meant to do this in the last few Halo’s and never got around to it.  When we completed the game on Normal, there were no credits or anything.  The game just ended.  I’m told this will change if we play on the more difficult settings.  I look forward to it!

If anyone out there has any Halo Reach tips for me, I’d love to hear them!  I do heart Halo, but I don’t claim to be a Pro.  Feel free to email me, comment on this post or message me on X-Box live!  My Gamertag is on right sidebar of my site.

Arigato,

Kat

Halo Reach Beta & taking it back to Assassin’s Creed 2

Yup, summer has definitely set in.  I haven’t been able to get outside in the past two days to do some weeding because it’s just “balls” hot out!!  That’s right!!  BALLS HOT.

Anyway, I did give the Halo Beta a shot because I’m one out of a few of my friends who didn’t sell their copy of ODST.  Unfortunately ODST was a big flop for a lot of Halo fans.  I can understand because in my opinion it didn’t feel like Halo.   I wasn’t really down for how all the environments were so dark, but I did enjoy using the night vision.  Yet throughout the whole game you don’t get rid of that murky darkness except for a few small scenes.

Sidetracked!  Back to the beta.  I did play the beta when it was first released and then right at the end.  I gave two pretty long reviews on Bungie.net for feedback.  If you’d like to read them here is a link: http://www.bungie.net/Search/default.aspx?q=KatTrinity25&g=5.  It’s probably only interesting if you’ve played Halo or the Beta.  🙂  I will touch on a few things I enjoyed!  In multi-player there are new Social Settings that allow you to choose if you want to play with people who are Quiet, Rowdy, etc.  It doesn’t go much beyond that, but I think it they tweak this a bit or give some additional options, it might work out nicely.  They also now put up about three different maps and let everyone in the game vote for which map they want, instead of just voting for one map and then randomly selecting the next.  The only flaw is they cast an auto vote for someone if they don’t vote at all.  A lot of people complained about this and so hopefully it will be changed for launch.  The big change that I enjoyed was the armor selection. When you start the game you could choose which armor to use for that turn.  There is a jet pack(my favorite), one for being invisible, running fast and one that locks you to the ground with a strong shield.  All with a time limit of course.  I’m glad there is something new like this to make the game fresh from the last few Halo’s.  I want to play Halo, but not the same exact game every time. I feel like it’s an enjoyable new challenge to learn how to use the armor effects.  I just think it might be better to allow someone to choose their type of armor only at the very beginning of a game.  Then it’s more challenging and forces the player to become more specialized with that armor and in turn better assisting his team.

So I am looking forward to Reach.  I did ask if we could get Cortana in on any of this action, but since I really don’t read the Halo novels, I’m not sure if she is a part of the story line or not.  Oh well!

On the opposite end of the video game scale, it is completely normal for me to start playing games that came out forever ago.  Yes, I know I’m behind on all the hype and it’s old news to most, but I don’t Care!!  For me it’s still a great experience and I get to live it for the first time.  Well some of this is probably my own fault, but it’s also difficult when 3 great games come out all the same time and you just don’t have time or money to play them all.

SOOOO….. I just started playing Assassin’s Creed 2!  So far it’s not too bad.  I do love being able to leap, climb up things and perch myself like a monkey on the top of a tiny pole!  Yes, it’s fun in real life too!  hehehe…  I’ve been okay playing it and not knowing the first game, but I could tell something is missing.  Besides that, I don’t have much else to say about it.  For a short time, I actually didn’t enjoy the tension of not being able to be anywhere in the city and have guards constantly chasing after me.  I know it’s part of the game, but I think because I like to explore, it was irritating.    I wish the buildings were a little more interactive, as in being able to open doors and go inside.  I do appreciate that they researched real Italian architecture and people in History to make the game.  So I might give an update on more of this once I finish the game.

heh,heh,heh... Bunnies assassinating people!

Next time on LittleNeko!!  :

  • My ideas for the next cosplay project!!  Hopefully an easy one for me!   Hint, hint: K-ON??
  • And,  my boyfriend thinks I “act the fool” playing multi-player Halo so he might let you see me in my glory!

Ja Mata!

-Neko

Oh yeah!! My Cortana Video!

Just realized I never posted this awesome video that was taken at GMX last year!  A gentleman named Isamu Dyson from MAGEtv was filming cosplay interviews.  I think he did a great job on this and it was really nice getting to see a three dimensional view of me in my costume.  Kind of fitting for a character that is suppose to be a three dimensional hologram, don’t you think?

If you would like to see any other videos from MageTV click the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/user/magetv

Ja mata!

Neko