Friday, March 30, 2007

Wii Virtual Console Game of the Month: MARCH


My favorite game released for the Wii Virtual Console in March was Beyond Oasis. Beyond Oasis was released for the Sega Genesis in December of 1994, developed by Ancient, whose only other game published is the fantastic sequel, Legend of Oasis for the Sega Saturn in 1996 (most members wound up moving over to Monolith Soft, the company behind Xenosaga). I owned the game when first released 13 years ago, and while the locations and characters didn't find a permanent place in my memories, the overall gameplay mechanics are well remembered.

The game has a simple story. Ali, the price of Oasis, prefers to go spelunking and explore, instead of sitting by his father the King's side at the castle. One day, he finds the Golden Armlet that speaks to him, and tells him he has been chosen to go on a journey to stop the evil Silver Armlet. The Armlets were the weapons used by two ancient wizards, one good (Golden), and one bad (Silver). Ali must use the Golden Armlets powers to control the elements (water, fire, shadow, plant, earth) to stop the evil Silver Armlet from being all evil and junk. Ali is given no explanation as to why he is the "chosen one" and simply accepts the task ahead. Tom Sawyer would love this guy....

The conversation went something like:
Armband Wizard Gold dude: ALI! You found the armband and now you are the Chosen One!
Ali: I am?
Armband Wizard Gold dude: YES! YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE!
Ali: Ok. That's cool. What should I do now?
AWGD: You.... you don't want an explanation on why you are the Chose One? No questions? You're OK with this?
Ali: Yeah, whatever, mind if I show this gold arm thingie to my dad and some old dude in a stone house?
AWGD: I guess.... no explanation at all? You just wanna go and..... and we're off, alright then....

Flying monkey kick!

The gameplay is pretty simple as well. The A button attacks, B jumps, Y summons an element or uses it's power, R for items, and Y for switching to sub weapons. Tapping A makes Ali jab, and holding it for a second gives a strong slash. Repeatedly smashing on the A button (you could hammer on the button and it will actually make a difference) makes Ali do a long combo move of kicks and stabs. Younger gamers will find the controls tough. The game is in 3/4 perspective (ie: Zelda:LttP) and the Prince can be sluggish when walking, and his attacks do not always hit the mark.

The game was clearly inspired by the Zelda games and their ilk, specifically 1992's Link to the Past. It is a mix between LttP and Prince of Persia. They did not try to hide these homages. This is an action/adventure game, but with a bigger emphasis on action than Zelda. The puzzles are never difficult or head scratching like Zelda, and every screen has a few enemies to take care of. Speaking of puzzles, many are based on the elements you collect along the way. Pressing X sends a burst of magic out, and shooting this burst at an element causes the spirit to come out and fight at your side and aide you in puzzles. Shooting water brings out the water spirit, fire the flame spirit, plants the earth spirit, etc. Every second the spirit is summoned drains your magic meter, which can be replenished with items (and restore health) found in chests and dropped by enemies on random. Enemies also drop large hearts that permanently increase your health meter and strength, but I found no specific reason why and when these hearts are dropped. It appears to be completely random.

Fabio's only video game appearance

The game is beautiful, even by today's 2d standards. The colors are bright and clear, and the enemies well drawn. All the sprites look great. The prince is well animated and most enemies are as well. The game looks great up on the big HD screen. Only bad side of the graphics are that because this is a 3/4 perspective, there are times when you accidentally jump off a cliff and need to retrace your steps, and lining up your attacks can be confusing on some planes.

The game is also a good mix of easy and hard. Overall, the action is easy going and enemies rarely get the best of you if you know what you are doing. When lots of sprites are on screen at once, you need to have some sort of strategy, and it can get tough. However, there are times when you simply don't expect a barrage of bombers and giants (DAMN BOMBERS BLOW THEMSELVES UP CONSTANTLY!) or a boss suddenly hits you 4 times in a row, and you don't get the chance to heal in time.

Beyond Oasis is a very fun game, but it never quite reaches the level of greatness that Zelda:LttP or PoP achieve. The adventure last a good length and never gets too repetitive. There is always a new element to use or a different location to explore. Nintendo fans should put their Sega-hate behind them and download this title. $8 is more than worth the price of admission. Do not expect to be wowed by this humble title, but do expect an extremely well executed Zelda clone from the 16-bit era. The sequel (Legend of Oasis) takes the game to the next level, and makes me want to find a used Saturn to replay that one as well. If more Virtual Console titles of this caliber keep coming out this fast, I may never play new games again. I would be happy just to replay the "oldies."

4 Stars (out of 5)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

God of War 2: A Review


In March of 2005, a game was released for the PS2 that took my breath away. The game was God of War, developed internally by Sony by SCEA. God of War had it all: amazing controls, lush visuals, solid sound, deep and fascinating story, and the best gameplay around. It told the story of Kratos, a Spartan who asked the God of War, Ares, to give him the power to defeat his enemies. Ares granted Kratos this wish, and used Kratos has his tool on Earth, but then tricked Kratos into killing his wife and child. Kratos begged the Gods to make him forgot his horrible deeds and let him find peace, but instead he found himself forced to kill Ares and take his place as the new God of War.

God of War 2 starts with Kratos using his powers of God to help the Spartans defeat all that oppose them. He has a very direct means of doing this, namely, becoming a mile tall and literally stomping on the Spartans enemies with his feet. Zeus sees this as too interfering with the human’s lives, and attempts to kill Kratos. He is saved by one of the last Titans, Gaia, and goes on a quest to reverse time with the Sisters of Fate, and prevent Zeus from killing him in the past.

It took me about 13 hours to complete the game, and I loved nearly every second I spent with Kratos. The game is a true joy. Kratos is a great character, and while the story was not as strong in this game as the first, it is told exceptionally well, flawlessly going from playing the game, to in-game cut scenes, directly into a CG sequence, back to in-game graphics, and back to gameplay, and all with no loading! So let me break down all the pieces that made this game so great.

God of War 2 looks incredible. ‘Nuff Said. This game is gorgeous. This game rivals Final Fantasy XII in the visuals department. Incredibly detailed environments mix with beautiful pre-rendered back drops to create a living, breathing world, and all of the characters, from the tiny dogs that attack your feet, to the mammoth boss characters that fill up the screen will make you forget about this “next-gen” stuff for a few hours.

Levels are big and awe inspiring. Everything in this game feels connected to the other places you have been. It is a great feeling when you see that the level you were playing 3 hours ago is logically connected to the next area that you about to head into. There is not really any back tracking to speak of, but the game makes you realize that everything is happening at the same place, even if you never visit the exact environment again. Even thing that are annoying in other games, like walking across a huge bridge for a full minute, is an event in God of War 2, as you get a chance to see the enormity of the world around you, and take in the breathtaking vistas. The Titans are also a treat. Entire levels are built around, in and ON the Titans themselves. The first time you see the rock Titan in the 2nd level makes you realize how big this game is, running across the chains holding thousand foot tall horses, and climbing up a Titans face and body is a thrill. God of War 2 delivers some of the biggest wows you will get in a game.

The only 2 negatives I have are that there were 2 or 3 times when the fixed camera angle made it hard for me to see what I wanted to see. It never truly hindered me, and the worst was I got hit an extra time by an enemy, but it was a noticeable hindrance. Also, the ongoing issue with PS2 games and Progressive Scan returns. When the camera rotates, a clear line cuts across the screen on my HDTV. Every progressive scan compatible game I have played on the PS2 has suffered from this, so it is not the developers fault. The original God of War was much worse in this department, Resident Evil 4 being the worst, so it has been improved, but it is a distraction nonetheless.

5 Stars (out of 5)

God of War 2 sounds incredible. Noticing a pattern here?
James Sale has composed a fantastic score that does not distract from the game, but instead sets the right atmosphere for whatever you are doing. You may not NOTICE the music that often, but when you sit back and listen to what is playing, you will realize it becomes part of the experience. The music may not stand out, it blends in, which great game music should do. There are no moving Uematsu or Mitsuda style pieces here, just a perfect score to complement the gaming experience.

The sound effects are also blended perfectly into the action. The *clink* and *squish* never get in the way of the game, and are timed with the utmost precision. As someone who very often turns down the sound effects, and turns up the music in a game, I was extremely happy with the level of the effects. Every hit sounds like you would expect, from a clean killing slice with a blade, to a solid pound with a hammer.

5 Stars (out of 5)

Here is where God of War 2 shines the brightest… other than the literally shining visuals. Kratos controls like a dream. If there was a car that controlled as well as Kratos, then we would need no roads and we could simply maneuver around our environments and avoid all accidents. The controls are so tight in this game, that I could conceivably avoid every single enemy attack, and never take a single ounce of damage. By the time I fought the final boss battle, I had no fear that I would lose, as Kratos has become like a 3rd arm. I had total control of what happened on the screen and never thought an enemy got a cheap hit in, or did something I couldn’t avoid. Every hit feels meaty and solid. Most games make you tire of fighting the same 20 enemies over and over again, but I was happy to fight the same huge enemies and speedy demons repeatedly.

The timed button presses are back, and work even better than before. When I first read about these types of sequences before God of War 1 was released, I assumed they would be boring filler sections and slow the pace of the game down. God of War 2 proves my wrong yet again, by throwing in some truly exciting sequences. Even if I only had to press the X or O button once every 4 seconds, I still felt like I was controlling Kratos as he pulls a hulking Minotaur towards the beast’s own weapon, and impales him on it, killing the creature instantly.

I was not as enamored with some of the new features implemented. The best new edition was the Golden Fleece, which lets you repel an enemy’s attack back at them. The Icarus Wings were also quite fun, but not used to their full potential. Kratos is also given 3 new weapons to use besides the Blades of Athena. Kratos did not use them. I switched to the hammer and the spear once, just to try them out, but always went back to the standard Blades of Athena, which, in my opinion, are one of the best weapons I have ever used in a game. It was also very easy to fully upgrade the Blades (1/3 thru the game) and magics (of which I only leveled up the Quake ability). While not really a complaint, I found no use for all but power ups in the game. I was quite content to stick with my Blades/Quake combo for half of the game. None of these things made the game any less fun or degrade the game in any way. They were just there, not being used.

5 Stars (out of 5)

In the end, God of War 2 is an incredible game. While not as groundbreaking as the original, I enjoyed playing it just as much. The first level alone is an epic adventure, and it only gets better from there. This isn’t the best game I have ever played, and will not be remembered as much as the original, but it is one fantastic game. The ending is a cliffhanger (LITERALLY!) and makes you wish there was more right now. Great job Sony! Sequels can so easily be mundane, but you made God of War 2 just as great as the original. I will be waiting in antici…. (say it) pation for the next in the series.

Overall score:

5 Stars (out of 5)

(images provided by Sony)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dave Matthews Band and The Fray concert review

We went to see the Dave Matthews Band and The Fray last night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. I have been waiting to see Dave Matthews Band since 1994. They would play in Philly every year, and usually had to add shows because the tickets sold out so fast and the demand was so high. I was never able to go, either because of schedule or money. I have watched videos of their concerts in Philly, listened to the CDs people burned of the shows, and read reviews of the incredible shows they put on. Dave Matthews Band is one of my favorite bands (top 5) and I have been waiting for this concert since I bought the tickets in November of last year. Yes, I had high expectations. And yes, I was expecting the greatest rock show I have ever seen. And yes, I was extremely disappointed.

The performance itself was terrific. The show was an incredible 2 and a half hours. The band played incredibly well and the sound was fantastic. Dave is definately a showman, dancing around with guitar in hand. The songs they decided to play, however, left me wanting. I was very disappointed with the set list. When I go to a concert, I know that the band will play lots of songs from their newest album and mix the classics in there. This show was a mix of 2 songs from the latest album, 5 singles, and the rest a random assortment of songs. I can honestly say I have never heard several of the songs. I have listened to all of Dave Matthews albums (live and studio) and found myself at a total loss during several of the songs, having never heard them before. During at least 3 numbers, a few hundred people would get up and leave to get drinks or use the bathroom all at once, because they had no idea what was being played.

Here is the set list:
Pantala Naga Pampa
When The World Ends
Time Of The Season
Hunger For The Great Light
Dream Girl
Say Goodbye
The Idea Of You
Louisiana Bayou
I’ll Back You Up
Down By The River
The Maker
Jimi Thing

What You Are

No Ants Marching, no Crash Into Me, no Don't Drink the Water or Ants Marching or So Much to Say or Grave Digger or Space Between or Grey Street or Where are You Going or Ants Marching or I Did It or Tripping Billies or What Would You Say or Ants Marching. Did I mention they did not play Ants Marching? I can think of at least 10 other tracks from Crash or Before These Crowded Streets that I would have loved to hear. Billy Joel has a library of 10 times more songs than Dave Matthews, yet when I saw him last year, he played 2 lesser known numbers, and the rest were the big hits. There was so much potential here, and it was not realized.

When I go to a concert, I expect to hear some of the big numbers, the songs that made you famous, the songs that people know you for. Satellite and Crush are literally the only 2 BIG songs they played. Out of their entire set list, Crush was the only song I actually got excited for.

The Fray did fantastic. They played for 50 minutes and did exactly what I expect from a concert. They played about 4 songs from their current album, 2 new songs, but then closed with their 4 big hits. Admittedly, they have a far smaller list of songs, but they knew that people didn't come to hear songs they have only heard twice, they came to hear the big numbers.

Dave Matthews put on a show for the super devoted fans, and no one else. Unless you have been to a Dave Matthews concert before (and often) and listen to all their albums non-stop, you would have been lost. When there is a notable "awww" at the end of the show because other songs weren't played (people were shouting "ANTS MARCHING!" during the encore) then you could have done a better job.

When someone pays good money for tickets, you should play the music they want to hear, not songs only the most devout fan will know. This was a 500+ seat venue, spanning 2 nights, its not like this was a small show where only the major fans would be coming. My only other compaint (notice how this hole review is a single complaint) is that the five idiots 2 rows in front of us didn't understand that not EVERYBODY wants to spoke pot at the concert. They literally smoked CONSTANTLY for 2 hours. I am all for legalizing the stuff, but smoke it on your time, not when surrounded by 100 people trying to enjoy themselves. Oh, and my hand got crushed in the metal seats and its all swollen.

If I had to rate this show, I would give Dave Matthews Band 4 stars out of 5 for the technical side of things (lighting, sound, performance) but only 2 stars out of 5 for the overall show. The Fray get 4 out of 5 stars for their show.

C'mon DMB! I want to see your big numbers performed live, and now you've scared me away from possibly buying tickets next time you come to town.

Apparently this is a European tour and Vegas was one of only 2 stops or so in the US. It appears that this set list was designed for the European audience, where singles and hits may be quite different than in America. Still not happy....

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spamalot: A Review, or, "It's Only a Flesh Wound"

I went to see Spamalot this weekend at the Wynn in Las Vegas. It was still considered a preview showing, but you would have never known considering how well put together everything was. From the amazing set pieces to the actor's themselves, everything was top notch. I would have thought I was on Broadway and not in Vegas if the show wasn't retooled a bit to give it some more Vegas style.

Spamalot is the stage adaptation of the classic 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." It tells the tale of King Arthur of the Britons, on his quest across England circa 900A.D. to find knights to join him at the round table, and search for the Holy Grail. Along the way, he recruits Lancelot the Brave, Sir Robin the not-so-brave, Sir Dennis the filthy, and Sir Bedevere the flatulent. He is also joined by the Lady of the Lake, and his loyal assistant Patsy. A fantastic assortment of characters is met along the way, including Price Herbert, the Knights who say Ni, The Black Knight, the French Guards, and a very angry bunny.

Happily, the acting was not too hammy (or spammy...). King Arthur is played by John O'Hurley (J Peterman from Seinfeld). He gives the King the perfect amount of pride, stupidity, and courage. I would even say he played the part better than Graham Chapman in the original movie! I would still have loved to see Tim Curry in this role (one of my favorite actors of all time). The Lady of the Lake was played by the voluptuous Nikki Crawford. She has an incredible voice, and did a wonderful job of going from diva to comidienne to love interest. The King's loyal servant Patsy was probably my favorite character though, played by Justin Brill. Besides having the funniest line in the show, he is on stage just as much as the King and his role mainly consists of reacting to others, but he easily steals the spot light away from others with some of his reactions and body language.

The set pieces were huge and ever changing. The set truly looked like something right out of the Monty Python universe, with enormous cutouts of clouds, castles, a faithful remake of the Excalibur castle for Camelot, and God's feet. I thought I was watching the opening to the show on TV at some points. The costumes were just as good and clever. The Knights who say Ni looked amazing, and they were even able to pull off the ENTIRE Black Knight scene on stage! Yes, it is possible to cleave off someone's limbs in a stage show.

The music was fantastic. Some of the musical highlights include "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," "Fisch Schlapping Dance," "Not Dead Yet," "Song That Goes Like This, The" and "You Won't Succeed On Broadway (without a Jew)." The show even ended with a sing-a-long for "Always Look..." with the words bouncing along the clouds overhead.

The show lasted a good 90 minutes without intermission, and I would have loved to sit and watch more. This show was clearly changed a bit for the Vegas crowd with lines like "this is Vegas, baby" and the aforementioned Excalibur/Camelot set. Even the lobby and entrance to the theater was an event with full suits of armor, pictures from the movie and TV show, and signs offering to sell all of the decorations (see below). I was also VERY impressed how this 30 year old story was redone to be modern, with current jokes added about Britney Spears, Laker girls, and other 21st century references.

I have no real complaints about this show. The only minor complaint is that during some larger songs, with many people singing, the lyrics were a bit harder to understand. This is true of many musicals, and this was still only a preview showing, but I hope they can clean up the group numbers slightly where the sound of the lyrics is concerned. Other than that, 2 minor technical issues (set piece was stuck on stage for 2 seconds too long, and one of 6 trees did not light up like the others) were the only negatives of the whole night.

I cannot recommend this show more. If you like musical comedy, don't mind a British accent, and don't mind some cheesy, tongue-in-cheek moments, this show will have you laughing the entire time. Go buy tickets today.

5 Stars (out of 5)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tales from Tech Support- Part 1

For years, I have helped people pick out the right computer to run the software that I support. One method is using quotes directly from a specific computer manufacture, quotes I personally put together to meet and beat all of our system requirements. For years, I have never had a single complaint about one of the machines purchased from a quote. I have heard many compliments and thanks, but no complaints. Until this week.

I have had 2 separate companies contact me to complain about the machine(s) they purchased. Their complaints? Let me break them down.

First complaint was the computers were completely wrong for their needs. Not enough RAM, too small of a hard drive, running Vista Home Premium (instead of Business or XP) and that it only had a CD burner, not a DVD burner. The price we sold the computers for was approximately $1200-$1300. To use the same components on a retail website and build the machine from scratch ( or , it will cost between $1500-$1800. Thats a pretty good discount if you ask me. Their other complaint was that we FORCED them to buy these computers. How you can FORCE someone to spend several thousand dollars by phone is beyond me. They had the order forms, and then faxed them over 3 days later.

The second complaint was that the computer was installed with Vista Home Premium instead of XP. He had the original order form, my confirmation email, the manufacturers email confirmation, and the shipping confirmation email.

My point with both of these complaints is that the order forms were in these peoples hands for a good period of time. The order forms broke down every component of the computers, including what software was preinstalled, what hardware is included, warranty information. Everything. They could have asked to upgrade components or changed the features, but they did not. They had a complete breakdown of what was being offered, purchased it, then said they wanted something else. I can understand if they were not happy with the machine's performance, or if something was broken or missing, but they knew exactly what they were ordering, received the product, then blamed ME for referring to them an inferior product that had features they did not want. The first company acted as though they believed this was the ONLY machine in the world that would run our software, and we forced them to purchase this machine. How can you purchase something, knowing full well what is included, then complain to the store that it doesn't have what you want?!

The 2nd guy ended up being really nice and understood it was his mistake for not reading the order form (Vista is listed as the 3rd item down). However, the first company still believes we peddled them a crappy product, despite the fact they were told over and over again, by phone, in person, and on paper, exactly what was being purchased. One person redeemed themselves with me by realizing it was his mistake, but the other company still thinks we did something wrong. It wasn't even our product we sold, it is a referral to another product.

I just got off the phone with another person, asking about that exact same quote, and she said "I like this model but want some more RAM and a larger hard drive. Can we do that?" "Yes," I told her, "we can. And thank you for asking."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

300- A Movie Review

Some small and large and awkwardly sized spoilers will be contained in this post!

I went to see 300 last night with a coworker. It was good. Go see it. End post.

"The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside your mind...."
(click to enbiggen)

Seriously though, definitely a "must-see" movie for any fans of action, drama, fantasy (yes, I know its based off of actual events, but any movie that has a 9' tall giant, an 8' tall God king, a hunchback who's hunchbacks have hunchbacks, and immortal Asian warriors falls into the fantasy category) and action again. Instead of a showing a bloodbath like most directors would have done, Zack Snyder instead made a movie that is more like a ballet than a war. Yes, the ballet is about 300 Greeks shoving spears thru their enemies and lobbing off limbs left and right (hehe, left and right limbs) but it is a ballet nonetheless.

So what is this movie about? 300 tells the story of King Leonidas (Gerard Butler, aka, the Phantom from the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie), the king of Sparta (Greece) taking 300 soldiers to fight the
oncoming Persian armies, in what will eventually be known as the Battle of Thermopylae. It is the story of how 300 men stood against entire armies, and the story of their battles. It is based off of Frank Miller's graphic novel from the 90s and directed by Zack Snyder, who also directed Miller's "Sin City" movie. This is in theory a remake, as Richard Egan starred as Leonidas in 1962's "The 300 Spartans" ( Have not seen it yet, but want to hunt it down.

The film (not a movie, but a film!) has a gorgeous artistic style. Miller's graphic novel is brought to life on the big screen in all its glory. This looks like art, not like film. While not quite as powerful in the visual department as Sin City was, the artistic direction in this film rivals Pan's Labyrinth or Moulin Rouge. Almost everything was shot in front of a green screen or blue screen, so all of the backgrounds are vividly detailed.

As stated above, blood does not flow like wine. No, that is not because wine is expensive. Heads roll and limbs fly, but the actual BLOOD that appears on screen is not overly gory or disgusting. No horror movie blood here. Don't think that I am saying this is not a violent movie, oops, film, because it is violent and very graphic, but not gross-out graphic.

Faramir loved sweatbands, but 480's B.C. was not ready for 1980's fashion.
(click to enbiggen)

My complaints? Weird nipples (women should have nicer nipples than men, not the other way around) , other characters outside of Leonidas and the Queen were not very developed (you only get to know 5 of the 300, and only 2 have more than 2 lines), and.... and.... thats basically it! Not much bad here. This isn't so much a complaint as a humorous take on things. A few times I thought I was watching Lord of the Rings: 400BC. The first time that thought popped up was when I saw David Wenham playing Dilios. Wenham played Faramir in the LotR trilogy. Mind you he was also in Van Helsing and that didn't distract me there because he played a much different part. He also said a line about "losing brothers" that almost made me chuckle (poor Boramir). Also, for the first 30-45 minutes, the 300 are being followed by a strange deformed creature, and their leader (Leonidas/Gandalf) knows they are being followed. The creature offers to help them, is rejected, and ends up causing buttloads of trouble for our heroes. And if I want to get REAL technical, the soldiers also wore capes held on by gold clasps.

So go out and see this incredible film. Do not bring your girlfriend/wife (unless she has a strong stomach) and no one under 16. Bring a buddy, bring your dad, bring your coworkers. This may not win any awards for acting or story, but is the best 2 hours I have spent in a theater this year.

4 Stars (out of 5)

(images courtesy Rotten Tomatoes)

GameStop = Bad Customer Service

At 10:30am, I called the nearby GameStop and asked "has God of War II been released?"

"Did you reserve a copy" the young employee asked?

"Yes, I did" I told him.

"Then feel free to stop in anytime today to pick it up!"

Off to lunch I went at 11am. (On a side note, the $2 I spent at Burger King for a double burger and soda was the best food I have had in weeks.) On my way back to work, I stop at GameStop.

"Hi! I am here to pick up God of War II!"

"Sorry, that won't be out until tomorrow" replied the clearly soulless employee.

"Well that's odd" I responded, "because less than an hour ago I was told to stop by to pick it up. "

"Nope, tomorrow. Want to buy something else instead?" His eyes were bright and cheery, his greasy hair matted down into thick waves, and his brain had clearly shut down.

"No, I came in to buy the game YOU told me an hour ago was here."

I promptly left. I am sure the moron continued to smile long after the door closed, no idea what was going on, no comprehension on why he exists or what customer service is supposed to be.

Good job GameStop! Thanks for continuing to further propagate this stereotype!

To make a long story short, I went back the next day to pick GoW2 up. Couldn't go to another store, had to go to the one where I reserved the game. I was in a bit of a huff....

Very cute young woman wearing a revealing, low cut store shirt rang me up. Not conventinal cute, but very nerd cute. Lisa Loeb glasses, soft white skin, very much my type. Still, couldn't believe they let her wear that.... most places would yell at her to cover up.

The manager asked if everything was OK, and I decided to spill on him what took place the previous day. He chuckled a little when I told my story.

"Yeah," he said, "we all have different roles that we play at this store. I am the nice and helpful guy, my coworker here (pointing to a scruffy young boy) is the fanboy, can argue with anyone about anything. The guy from yesterday is the idiot. We are all good at what we do."

I looked at the pretty young lady behind the counter. With an obvious bounce, she smiled and said "I'm the boobs."

I tried to suggest that "the idiot" should not work there if he is an idiot, but instead the fanboy starting arguing with me over the merits of the rechargable Wiimote accessory packs I was looking for. I smiled at "the boobs" and tried to escape, "the fanboy" on my tail, constantly talking, not letting me leave.

Apparently my new role was "the captive." If it was just me and "the boobs" I wouldn't mind, but I was on a schedule (when am I not?!). After 3 more minutes of "agreeing" with "the fanboy" I was finally able to make it out. God (of War) help me if I ever go back there again....

About this blog....

The old blog went bye-bye. Let's hope this one does not suffer the same fate.

I will be using this blog for several things. Everything from video game, movie, and TV reviews/impressions, the daily life of a tech support representative, love, life, and anything else that pops into my mind.