Thursday, August 27, 2009

229 Days UP - "You're a few years overdue, I spent them waiting here for you..."

Update: Literally seconds after publishing this post I walked out and lo and behold the UPS truck was three doors down! I'm back baby! And Re: Batman: Arkham Asylum, all I can say is: believe the hype!

I'm sitting here at my desk growing more and more anxious every minute as I await the belated arrival of the Gatekeeper, as I sit here angrily staring at the Keymaster.

Let me back up for a second - my Xbox 360 died at the top of the month, so I've been sort of "Re-Paused" ever since then, though that is of course a misnomer because I have plenty of other systems and games that I've dabbled in during this hiatus. But my 360 is my main gaming hub - case in point: the most anticipated game of the year was just released, and I bought it the day it came out, at full price - something I haven't done in years.

So I'm waiting for UPS to get me my system back so I can play the game I've heard literally nothing but glowing praise about. And after two annoyingly late delivery attempts that I wasn't able to make, right now UPS is sitting squarely at #2 on the Matt Shafeek Shit List. Why the 2nd, when clearly they are the ones keeping me from achieving my long awaited gaming euphoria? Because last night, when GameStop sold me my copy Batman: Arkham Asylum, they firmly placed themselves right at the top.

I ran to the GameStop in Herald Square last night between shows at my theater, and after waiting on the wrong line for 5 minutes (oh, there's an Xbox floor?), finally met with the clerk who was holding onto my reserved copy of the game, who was just telling another customer that he simply HAD to get the new Batman game, but quickly clarified to him that of course, no one could get it now unless they had a reservation, obviously. "Haha, sucker!" I thought. How the tables would soon turn.

I handed the clerk the receipts from the games I traded in towards credit for Arkham Asylum, and he nodded and went over to the shelf with about 4-5 copies of the game box on display. He grabbed what was obviously an open, empty box for the game and informed me that since they sold out of the "regular new" copies of the game, he was going to have to sell me a display case copy, that looked a little something like this:
So wait, is it NEW or not? And why won't someone tell me what this COSTS!??!

While the disc was new, the box and inner sleeve looked and felt like they'd been handled way more than I'd have liked. The salesman sensed my frustration and explained that since poor mega-corporate retail game giant GameStop isn't given any display boxes for new releases they are thus 'forced' to use copies they intend on selling instead, propping them up on the counter until such time as they are claimed. They had sold out of the nice, factory sealed and legitimately NEW copies, and these were all they had left for suckers* like me who sauntered into their store with a pre-order and a foolhardy sense of entitlement a FULL 20 HOURS after the game's release!

I have a few glaring problems that in hindsight I'd wished I'd asked at the time:
1) Why do you NEED display cases for a game you've established is currently sold out? Do you just need 'general awareness' of the title in your store, besides the giant posters, the lifesize cardboard standees, and the playable copies on EVERY PS3 AND 360 DEMO STATION IN YOUR STORE?
2) You want something to show up to the counter, maybe to get people thinking they can buy it, and then, once rejected, maybe they decide then to reserve for your next batch or something, fine. Why do you have to attached THREE DIFFERENT PRICE STICKERS to a copy of the game you know will be out of your store in less than 48 hours, either by the reservee or by the person you sold it to instead (as is your policy)?
3) After he put the disc in the already opened case, you know what he did? He RESEALED IT WITH ANOTHER F-ING STICKER! This one clear, at least, but right over the crease where you open the box, so that I guess it feels kinda-sorta new-ish when I bring it home, and have to remove it again? Are you kidding me? This is the equivalent of opening a banana, getting a nice lick in, and then reclosing it up, twist-tying it, placing it in a shopping bag and then SELLING IT TO YOU AT FULL PRICE.

GameStop had earned some brownie points with me recently with some nice deals, but last night reminded me why I stopped going to them in the first place. Keep your stickers and your display cases, GameStop, I'll stick with BestBuy and Amazon from now on.

-Matt

(U)PS: WHERE ARE YOU!??!??!?!?!?!!?

*Oh, so the tables have turned, have they? Well I guess puts them at #3 on my shit list!

1 comment:

Will Claiborne said...

I finished Batman yesterday (PS3 copy), and I am pretty satisfied with it. Definitely going on my box-art website as one of my favorites! I'm even excited to replay it!