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Gamestop and PC game buying in general

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October 17, 2006 7:02:54 PM

Long, but I am pissed...

So I am at the local mall on a fine saturday evening and I get a wild hair to go into Gamestop and buy DoW: Dark Crusade. I loved the original and the WA expansion, all the reviews said it was incredible for an expansion so I figured I would spring for it. Upon walking inside I discover that the ever shrinking PC game section (now in the back and smaller than ever) is so poorly maintained that most games are out of order and <gasp> Dark Crusade is no-where to be seen!

When queried about said missing game (asked out of hope that maybe instead of it's proper place in the order of things it got lost next to "barbie makeover 25" and "sims2: the neverending expansion") the counterperson looked at me w/ disdain and said:

"nope, we are all sold out... we only order enough to cover the reservations anymore"

"Are you serious, " I asked w/ much incredulity "you have nothing when the game just came out?"

"That is why we ask everyone to pre-order." he rebounded w/ flat indifference.

While thinking of many ways to inflict pain upon the calous (obviously console-fed) and ignorant child I simply stated impotently "And that is why you lose customers..." knowing full well that all the prepubescent drones flooding the store looking for "CoD:p C Rippoff" said otherwise.

In utter frustration I went on a quest. Bound and determined to find my grail I headed to Target. Why target you ask? They were big. Simply put I wanted to test whether a store that is so far removed from gaming as k-fed is from actual music could actually have what a dedicated game store did not. And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but an entire shelf full of copies of this game. Target?!! Yes, Target.

Not only that but the moment I walked into the store I was greeted warmly and asked if help could be provided as well as a very clear direction as to the location of my desired goods. Quite the opposite to the cold looks recieved when I walked into Gamestop and the veritable "get out of my store" attitude from the clerk. I of course purchased my find and returned home satisfied on the one hand and deeply troubled on the other...

...my question is this: If a "dedicated" game store no longer keeps a game inventory, and "big-box" stores do even though they know nothing about them, how can the "dedicated" store keep going? Where do ppl go that are uncertain if their computer will run said game? While I appreciated Target's service, I knew what I was getting. A PC gaming neophyte might not be so lucky and I doubt that they could help in that area. It almost seems that the entire infrastructure is forcing ppl to go console. Almost as if on the one side the developers and publishers are crying "PC gaming is near death!" yet on the other they are holding the knife still bright w/ blood...

I also remember when Gamestop used to be dominated by PC games and the staff was always knowledgable and helpful... They actually liked games and held much the same enthusiasm as their patrons. Oh how the mighty have fallen. [/tear] I, for one will never go back.

More about : gamestop game buying general

October 18, 2006 8:00:59 PM

GREAT post, and I agree 100%. those stores are really angering me with their elimination of PC games from the shelves. PC ARE better games with better input devices and complexity. Ever try playing an FPS on a console? especially trying to aim up in the air? the control SUCKS.

I confess, I tried an xbox360 in a store one time and found that the game I played HAD improved for sure once you got used to it, but it still can't stand up to a mouse and keyboard. no way.
October 18, 2006 8:50:09 PM

Quote:
PC ARE better games with better input devices and complexity. Ever try playing an FPS on a console? especially trying to aim up in the air? the control SUCKS.

I confess, I tried an xbox360 in a store one time and found that the game I played HAD improved for sure once you got used to it, but it still can't stand up to a mouse and keyboard. no way.


Agreed, all very frustrating. TBH I have an xbox, and am looking at possibly getting a 360 one day. There are alot of games that are great on consoles, and mainly the 4 player aspect for fighting, racing and sports make it fun w/ friends. LANs are better, but not everyone has a comp to hook up w/ you on. I miss some of the platform games that used to be ported to PC, my gamepad just collects dust now. ;) 
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October 18, 2006 11:18:11 PM

I agrie pc's are much beter than any console, now after eb games is no more only gamespot remains, (which i honestly dont realy like) and there are 3 of those in a radious smaler than 2 blocks (2 in a mall and 1 outside of it) and almost each one of them has only 1 or max 2 smal racks of pc games, which on the first look look as if all cam out in 1990's most of the boxes are relativley dirty, torn, or such, and honestly as a pc gamer i begun to dislike all consoles/console games because of this, and usualy when i ask someone about a pc game the only thing u frist get is looks, as if u would be asking for a sega's game gear game, or an atari game or something lsimmilar, it is ridiculys how many times this hapens, and also console players have that very stupid(acording to me) saying: " pc's are to complicated, u have to upgrade, install software" coments, so i guess honestly from my observations, consoles are mostly for dumdums that like just to insert a cd in to a drive and play a game(no offence to anyone)

Looking at what is hapening i would say that pc gaming is heding for its dark ages, not only the quality of games(gameplay) is geting worse, althou the graphics are geting beter, and the requirements are geting higher(i know its progress but still) my pc can handle new(er) games well (just my gpu is a bit older) but just out of curiosity i played once with game visuals, and i know low setings are realy bad looking, but what hapened to scalability, i remember the times one could have played a game on low visuals, or at max, and would be almost equaly pleased with teh game, nowedays either one has max visuals (and a relatively beter gameplay) or one just seriously wastes his/her money on something unplayable :( 
October 18, 2006 11:25:12 PM

while I agree that consoles are at the heart of what troubles PC gaming in general, I disagree that PC gaming is in the dark ages. This is a myth that console junkies like to jump on.

Yes, the stores are getting stupid w/ the lack of stock. The reason this is bad though is that there are plenty of quality titles out there that do not have warcraft or sim in the title. (no offense to the WoW players) The fact that there are so many quality games out there and less of the crap it just shocks me that Gamestop is not stocking them...

...if it was truely the dark ages then there would not be any good titles, and therefore not the fault of any given store for not carrying anything. As it is, gamestop is really perpetuating this falsity by short-changing us the gamers that made those consoles possible. ;) 
October 19, 2006 12:59:57 AM

I ment dark ages as hm... the reduced quality, i mean in the past when i got a game it used to "last" me quite some time, and nowedays most of the games i get I either finish very quickyl(campaigns and such), or I do not finish them at all, because i just get so bored of them that i just uninstall the game(perhaps it is just me but I do get relatively easily bored lately with games, but in teh past when i bought a game which was lets say that $40 i could say that it was worth it), and the other thing i had on mind is that more and more games come out "unfinished" with many
bugs.

Honestly I am looking for some good pc games that I could enjoy, do You have maby any sugestions? I mainly like strategies, but im open to other types as well.

I remember the last game that I truly enjoyed was Myst IV:Revelations, which i bought about 6 months ago.Althou i never was much of a adventure game fan, i realy liked almost every single part of the game, from the music, to the compeling story, and the characters and their development, but the most enjoyable were teh puzzles. :) 
Btw, Im also anticipating Medieval 2: Total war, played the demo and so far im pleased with what i saw.
October 19, 2006 4:27:18 AM

if you like strategy, then by all means pick up Company of Heros. Incredible graphics to be sure, but the gameplay is awesome. Both campaign and skirmishes... and if you are really wanting replay then online is great too. It is built on the concepts started in Warhammer40,000: Dawn of War. Also an incredible game that even at 2 years old I still play it. I just picked up the 2nd expansion to the Dawn of War game (dark crusade) and love it. While the first one (winter assault) and the original game had sucky campaigns (but phenominal skirmish and online play), this one adds a map similar to the Total War games for the campaign (a blast to play) and adds 2 more races for a total of 7 totally unique races to play.

Both those games focus more on the strategy portion of an RTS rather than base building and resource gathering. CoH even adds some elements of the Battlefield games into the play options for skirmishes.

Yes, Medieval2 will be great. If you have not tried Rome: Total War (Medieval2 is based on that engine) and its expansions (barbarian invasion and alexander) then there is more replay time in that game than most that I can think of.

Also try Ghost Recon: Advance Warfighter. yes, it is first person but it is much more slow paced and involves a top-down sat view and a ton of strategy and planning. Very tense and great graphics. Fun gameplay for the shooter fan that is not a shooter fan. ;) 

Hope that all helps man. enjoy. :) 
October 19, 2006 11:44:07 AM

some great suggestions there. If you want to branch out and consider an FPS, I highly recommend Halflife 2. It is well polished, was a complete game upon release, and comes with the famous and classic FPS with a new twist, Counterstrike Source.

Halflife 2 had such an interesting storyline, a really interesting new weapon, and even some decent puzzles in the game. Not to mention, the "episode 2" expansion was only $20 upon release! very impressive. This was the best FPS I have played in a long time, and the steam updating system is really brilliant, and allows smaller game developers to get their ideas out there.

If that does not spark your interest though, the suggestions above are very good.
October 19, 2006 12:10:44 PM

And this is why the internet is killing the high street. Why go to your local store to be patronised/abused by a spotty teenager and charged an extra tenner for your trouble?
October 19, 2006 2:40:31 PM

Quote:
And this is why the internet is killing the high street. Why go to your local store to be patronised/abused by a spotty teenager and charged an extra tenner for your trouble?


Well said. 8) Much more concise than myself. :oops: 


tbh though, the only fully digital game I have is the above mentioned HL2:episode 1. (agree that it's the greatest to date btw) I am a bit old-school in the thought that I would rather have a hard copy on disk than to rely on a particular company to stay alive for my soft-copy. Maybe too paranoid on my part, but after seeing some of them die and many purchasers being left in the cold waiting on "replacement copies" I think there may be truth there...
October 19, 2006 4:04:58 PM

Hi, thank you for all your suggestins I actualy instaled and played teh dow-dark crusade couple minutes ago, so far i like it, also i was planing to buy half life 2 there was a sale suposably in circuitcity for $11, but when i went to the store i was told that this was some mistake and they do not have such an item(cheked by item #) lol and i was ofered the $29 version which was teh game of the year edition, honestly i would buy the 11 one , if anything i would probably get the half life 2 episode 2 just because of the aded game team fortres which i just would say its "new" atelast visualy, its maby a bit cartoonish, but looks interesting, also the medieval 2 looks very nice(lol yet another $50...so its good i didnt buy bf2142, atleast i might have some $$ for this one) ;) 

so so far i would consider geting one of there(or maby 2):
-company of heroes (looks nice, but havent played the demo yet)
-half life 2 (herd may good things about it)
-medieval2 (which i think ill definitively get, althou im not much of a fan of the risk type of games, which i think is involved in total war series, im not shoor)
-dawn of war-dark crusade (looks nice for that $29)

btw how is valve's steam, i heard one has to be online to install the actual game im not shoor if being online is needed to play it (just the half life 2 part)

Thank You
October 19, 2006 4:20:32 PM

steam works great, I have had no issues. You need the online connection to install the game and to get updates. You can run in offline mode and still play the game provided you save all your account info on the machine.

the total war games have the "risk" look to them but that is b/c they are a hybrid strategy game. Both turn-based and real-time. The world map (the risk looking part) is turn based where you can do tons of stuff like diplomacy, train units and run your economy. Once you attack (or are attacked) it goes to real-time where you are on the battlefield w/ whatever troops you have trained. (and whatever reinforcements you may have)

Either the turn-based, the real-time or both can be auto-resolved by the AI so if you are not a fan of the "risk"-ness of the world map simply set it to have the comp do it for you and all you have to worry about is fighting. (you can also set it to auto-run only portions of the world map too, like just the economy and you take care of training, etc.)TBH though the whole package may just turn you on to those type of games b/c the total war games do it so well. Seriously, try Rome. You should be able to find it cheap now and it would tell you right away if would like Medieval2. If you like it then you have another great game to play, if not then you saved some $ ;) 
October 19, 2006 4:21:06 PM

hmmm, I believe you are correct, that you must have an active internet connection to play Halflife 2 due to steam (this is how they prevent the game being pirated, and it works very well). I have found Steam to be very helpful in ensuring I always have the latest game patches etc every time I login. With most games you have to keep an eye out yourself, or if you try to connect to an online server, you may find your version is out of date. that cannot ever happen with Steam, which is great!

$30 is a great price. When it was released, HL2 cost $60 in Canada, like most games. I felt it was worth it for this game especially though. If you want to enjoy the single player campaign which is really great, I do recommend getting it (not just episode 1 or 2 alone). The "game of the year edition" is the standard one I believe, I think the other one is "collectors gold edition" or something, and costs more.

the campaign storyline in episode 1 is fairly short compared to the original game release, but that's why it is cheaper.
October 20, 2006 2:12:03 AM

thank you for the replies, i actualy even found today warhammer 40000 for only $6 but its only a online offer ( i exited a store dissapointed) lol honestly i do not want to spend much $$ sonsidering i just almost reduced my savings to 0 after building the pc, i think i will get half life 2 for $11 online, also with warhamer dow for $6 and maby ghost recon (i think its the newest one ) for $25 (lol i need to spend above $25 to get free shipping) lol and the rest i think i wil probably invest in medieval 2 total war considering i was amazed by the demo, and how smoothly it run on a sapphire radeon x850xt(i gues my cpu took much load and ram as well helped), btw does anyone of You know how that ghost recon game is? i read some good reviews on it. btw i was planing to get the warhammer 40 000 darc crusade ( i enjoyed the demo) but im new to the series and i think $6 for the original is a good price considering th eexpansion (stand alone) one costs $30 ;) ...lol i know i trie to spend as little as possible, but honestly i just hate the fact that most new(er) games cost that $40 and up. so hopefully these 3 games will keep me buyzy till Christmass, the time i plan on geting Medieval 2: Ttotal war(considering that i will not get crysis anymore, after ea did their spyware game way to far with bf2142)
Thank You all for the help.
October 20, 2006 2:15:06 AM

btw in regards to the risk(ines style) im not much of a fan, but if something is done well, I try to have an open mind about it, and try it ;)  maby i will enjoy it , i played the galactic civilizations game demo and i have to say it was quite pleasant(just to bad it was a time trial)
!