Adventures of a Canadian Gamer #32 -- It's Just A Game


Adam Freeman, who was Gordon Freeman's other brother, was one day picking up Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from his local GameStop in Kansas City, Missouri.  He drove back home, where someone decided to attack him at his place so that they could take the game for themselves.  Unfortunately for the would-be armed robber, one David E. Morales, the bullets fell out of his gun and he lost a brief struggle, and then he later got arrested back at the GameStop.  From what I hear about the legal system in the United States, even though his crime is minor and the penalties won't be much, he'll still have it on his permanent record, and so he's going to have to face the full life consequences of his actions.

A man in Aurora, Colorado decided that the appropriate response when told that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was sold out was to threaten to blow up the Best Buy who messed up his pre-order in the first place instead of, you know, checking to see if they still had copies of the Hardened edition or maybe checking elsewhere.  Like the man in Kansas City, rational thought seemed to not be one of Lomorin Sar's skills.  He was easily taken into custody by the police, who said they have a history with him already.

I've often wondered why people get so upset if they can't get their games right at midnight.  I mean, what's the big deal?  Come on, it's not like you'll never win a single multiplayer match if you aren't immediately playing the game at 12:01 AM, Tuesday morning.  Not only that, but what about all the glitches and bugs that haven't been found and need to be patched up after release?  Just search the official forums of Modern Warfare 3 for "glitch" or "bug" and you'll see what I mean.  Sure, on the one hand, you have to ask these people what they expected, picking up a game on the first day and expecting it to not have glitches.  But on the other hand, you have to wonder how a company expects to get away with shipping games that, quite frankly, haven't been play tested enough.  When did we, as gamers, become complacent enough with the industry that we allow them to get away with this?  As much as we get angry at Square-Enix for taking so long with Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts, at least their games work.  When Final Fantasy Versus XIII finally ships, we won't have to wait for a patch to make it playable.

I suppose I'm going to be told that I can't truly understand the mentality of the midnight launch crowd unless I'm standing in line, waiting to be let in.  Au contraire, I have attended a midnight launch event.  The one for Medal of Honor, in fact, at a GameStop in Kansas City last year (a different GameStop than the one in the news story above, I checked rather thoroughly using Google Maps).  I wasn't there to purchase the game, though.  I was there because a friend of a friend worked there, and we were all going to go over to his place afterwards.  Anyway, more than a few people showed up at midnight, I guess because they didn't like having a good night's sleep and would rather play video games until dawn.  I did end up purchasing some games for my DS and GBA, but still, I didn't immediately pop them in and start playing, and they'd been around for a little while.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is just a game.  Your life is not at stake if you can't pick up the game at midnight.  It's not as if the earth will shake beneath your feet if you just sleep through the midnight release.  In fact, it probably would've been safer for Adam Freeman if he had picked his game up that afternoon rather than at midnight.  But then the attempted thief would've went after someone else.  Still, David Morales could've purchased the game and been on his way home in the time it took him to fail to steal the game and return to the GameStop.  I don't know what it is about video games that cause people to lose their common sense.

It's not over yet, either.  November is a loaded month, and I imagine that there'll be more midnight launches in the next few weeks.  Heaven help the gamers.

Video of the Week

For the benefit of anyone who hasn't been to the Festival of the Lion King (I'm assuming you haven't seen it, Geoff, based on your comments last week), or even everyone who has, I invite you to take a look at this video, and enjoy.

Currently Playing: Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS)

It's about time I got back to this game.  I don't know if it's because I'm better at Shin Megami Tensei games than I used to be or because it's not as difficult a game as past MegaTen games I've played, but I'm at a point where most of my battles can be won by activating the Auto feature.  I guess I'm little overpowered.

Anyway, what do I think of the game so far?  Most of the game takes place in the various maze-like dungeons, and the game has quite the Etrian Odyssey feel.  But while Etrian Odyssey adopted a Final Fantasy XII style system where you sell things to the shop in order to unlock various items you can purchase, Strange Journey allows you to keep this loot in your inventory and just possessing them unlocks various weapons and armour you can purchase for yourself.  It's what Final Fantasy Tactics A2 did, and it's one of the things I liked about that game.

You also navigate the dungeon in a first-person manner like in Etrian Odyssey and the earlier Megami Tensei games, but while you can create your own characters in Etrian Odyssey and earn points as you level up which you can then spend on new skills, this is a MegaTen game, and that means that there is an ample supply of demons all waiting to be recruited to fight for you.  Consider MegaTen to be Pokémon's older brother, because that's what it is.

Unlike some games that I've played on the DS, I'm enjoying this game quite a bit.  I suppose it's because most of the 60 to 100 hour games I've played are amazing, and this one I've found to be very, very good and I'm hoping it's as long as Angela says it is.  Plus, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 wasn't as long as I thought it would be...
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If new games released on Friday instead of Tuesday midnight launches would make more sense to me. To be honest, I've only been to two midnight launches in the 23 years I've been a gamer. Since I mostly play JRPGs you can imagine not many of them get a midnight launch... The two launches I have attended were for Final Fantasy XIII and Persona 2: Innocent Sin (which I only got because Gears of War 3 had a midnight launch).

In both cases I didn't even get to enjoy the games because I had somewhere to be early in the morning. Also in both cases I didn't actually leave the house at midnight to get the games. As you know I don't get off work until after 10pm, so I'm already out. If it weren't for having a night job I'd probably would have just waited until the next day. That's my excuse anyway.

Speaking of bugs, Skyrim's release is going to fun. Day one patch, anyone? (And you're right, as much as JRPGs get bashed these days at least they're finished products at launch.)

Man, Modern Warfare 3 is serious business. I heard about the first story before, but I didn't know the victim was named Adam Freeman, which is hilarious. Made me want to watch the Full-Life Consequences Youtube video again.

I'm sure Skyrim's going to have some problems (because LOL Bethesda), but I'm hearing it's not quite as buggy as some others were at launch. But yeah, Japan has some very stringent bug testing processes for their games. Almost too stringent.

Oh, I forgot to comment on the video! It didn't frighten me at all, but it was pretty entertaining.

Now you'll have to find another weakness!

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