The Finishing Journal – Page 60

Playing – Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)Xenoblade ChroniclesXenoblade Chronicles is doing a lot of thing right in it’s quest to get me back into the experience. First, there is this nifty journal that reminds me off the stuff I have done — that is helpful.

Second, the fighting system is like a bike. No, you cannot sit on the fighting system and ride it around while your sundress attracts all the boys… It’s just easy to remember how to use it… forget that other thing I just said.

I stopped playing at a very bad point in the story. Was I overloaded with awesome? Too much dazzling? Too many giant robots to fight? A mix of all these? Probably.

By any measure I am having loads (and loads) of fun. Its also striking what Monolith Soft squeezed out of the Wii visually. I am a gameplay/story before graphics kind of guy. But Xenoblade Chronicles is just oozing with style. It feels like Final Fantasy used to. Whatever is around that next corner is probably filled with wonder and excitement.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Bonus Round!!
Lets talk about the metagame surrounding Xenoblade Chronicles right now. I am sure you saw the Kotaku article on Gamestop’s pricing of the game. It all feels a bit gross as you read it, that is because it is. I would think it’s all saber rattling unless Tony hadn’t wandered into a Gamestop and engaged an employee about the game. He wanted to buy it as a gift for a friend. I’ll let him tell the story:

Finishing Journal Super Special Guest Tony: A couple of weeks ago I had a buddy ask if there were any good RPGs for the Wii. I knew there was some game that Donald wouldn’t shut up about, but couldn’t remember the name. I set about scouring Did Not Finish for the source of Donald’s praise, but no dice.

A couple days later, lo and behold, Donald gave the game a shout out in Finishing the Week, so I headed over to my local GameStop and asked for a copy of Xenoblade Chronicles. The guy at the counter said they didn’t have any copies at the store, and even if they did, the game was really expensive.

I bit, and asked how much Xenoblade was going for. The guy said it was $90 and the next sound was my jaw hitting the floor. He checked GameStop’s system and said there were no copies of Xenoblade Chronicles, new or used, at any store in my state.

That’s when Mr. Manager walked by and dropped the bomb: GameStop stores received an internal memo telling them to pull any new copies of Xenoblade Chronicles retailing at $50 off the shelf, so they could pop them out of the shrink wrap to sell “used” at the going rate of $90.

Then the Kotaku story hit, and I nearly crapped myself. Mr. Manager was telling the truth and I swear on my overpriced copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy I’m not lying.

All the outcry over GameStop “manufacturing” new copies of Xenoblade is bunk. They didn’t make new copies of the game, they just figured out how send unsold copies to the stores where they were most wanted.

It’s a problem with Gamestop’s distribution system that they didn’t want to fix until someone noticed they could sell games at an 80% markup.

Go ahead and hate GameStop all you want, just make sure it’s for the right reasons. As a major retailer of both new and used games, and literally the only retailer selling the title stateside, they massaged supply and demand for their own profit — but they’re not “printing money” by manufacturing new copies to put on the market.

Here’s the thing: as long as Nintendo and Monolith Soft got their cut for giving GameStop exclusive rights to sell Xenoblade Chronicles stateside, then there’s nothing we can complain about. As shady as it is, GameStop has every right to do it. I’m pretty sure it’s called Capitalism.

Playing – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)gtaThere’s not a real good reason that I am playing this. Besides the fact that I found the install disc. Let it be know, the GTA:SA packaging was top-notch! It came in a travel atlas book with CD in the back. It has a pull out map and everything.

I was surprised to see that right out of the box the game can run in 720p!

I played one mission. I really didn’t want to play anymore. It’s not that I don’t like the game — I do. I just wanted to see how it would run on modern hardware. With everything set to max you can see really far into the distance!

Playing – Brazen (Steam)brazenLETS TALK ABOUT BRAZEN OK! Brazen makes me mad. Really mad. It makes me mad because it’s just a prototype. A prototype of a game that I should own the full version of by now. People who did not fund this game confuse me. You fight a giant Ray Harryhausen style rock turtle. Did you get that? Because what I said is awesome.

We are going to do something cool for Brazen soon. So come back Monday to learn more about this awesome game.

Playing – Minecraft (Xbox 360)Minecraft2I needed a moment of Zen, so I blew up an entire island. Serenity now.

Playing -Super Mario Bros. 3 (Wii)smb3I have something to admit. I don’t think I have ever finished Mario Bros. 3. I know I have finished the original and Super Mario World. But I am not sure about 3. My daughter saw it on the Wii dashboard and asked what it was, so I fired it up to show her. I think I am going to have to finish it to see if I have finished it before.

Well, I’m off to game.
-Donald

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About Donald Conrad

Donald Conrad is an avid father and a dedicated gamer -- or maybe that's the other way around. He loves his games, and he loves his family, and he's pretty sure he loves sleep, even if he doesn't remember what it was like. Follow his life confusion on Twitter @ConManEd