October 27, 2008
I just had a great customer service experience at Target. Yesterday I bought the new Guitar Hero game, which includes mic and drums like Rock Band. But there was a certain very annoying problem with the drum pads. I didn’t want to pack everything back up in the box, and I wasn’t even sure if they’d have any more in stock. So I just took the drum pads and the receipt.
Not only was Target open at 8:45am; not only did they have another Guitar Hero in stock; not only did they allow me to exchange it without repacking the whole game; but they gave me the drum set from the last copy in stock. (Let me remind you that most Gamestops haven’t even gotten a single copy in stock other than preorders.) Target didn’t even make me wait for them to enter the return in their system – they just gave me the drum set and sent me on my way. Amazing!
Target’s also the best place to find hard-to-find popular items in stock. That’s where I got my Wii, and it’s the place that I most frequently saw Mario Kart in stock when it was extra-rare. So, in summary, Target’s a great place to shop for games, and I highly recommend it!
July 15, 2008
Went to BB’s for lunch after church on Sunday for the first time. I wasn’t hungry, so I can’t say anything about the quality of the food one way or the other. But I noticed that they had a Rock Band drumset in the corner. When I asked about it, it turns out that they have a Rock Band night every Tuesday. I assumed it would be busy and difficult to get to play a song, so I asked as much. The guy responded that they had just started it, and that it was pretty slow so far – people seemed shy to try it.
This, of course, is all the invitation I need. When the Man vs. Wild series ends in August, I expect that I will be hitting this up at least occasionally, if not regularly =] Who’s with me??
July 14, 2008
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is probably the closest we’ve come to a true Symphony of the Night sequel, and even surpasses it in a few senses.
Let’s make it absolutely clear just how big a statement that is. There are few bigger SotN fans than me. I purchased a Japanese Sega Saturn off of eBay just to get the Saturn version with Maria as a playable character and the extra dungeons. I’ve contemplated doing a Maria speedrun since I couldn’t find one on Speed Demos Archive.
DoS’s graphics are on par with SotN. They seem to be more subtle and nuanced – the colors in the opening snowy area are great. Probably the most impressive improvement is Alastor’s 3D sword instead of a 2D one. As another plus, oh-my-goodness-I-just-realized-Alucard-is-playable-in-Julius-mode.
The big disappointment is the music – nobody except Guitar Hero has ever gotten anything like CD-quality out of a DoS, and it’s only after hearing this that I fully appreciate the score for SotN. As far as the gameplay, it seems that DoS is really encouraging you to use souls instead of regular weapons, and it just doesn’t have the same appeal to me as slicing through dudes with the Crissaegrim. Finally, unfortunately, Julius, when running, reminds me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo. There’s something about the animation that just isn’t quite right =]