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Thank You Kotaku November 30, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Site News.
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Kotaku posed up an “editorial” today on the exact same subject I covered about three weeks ago, only I did a much better job.  When I say I did a much better job I mean that I actually had an article about the topic they covered and they simply just took a similar (but inferior) title and asked their commenters to contribute.

I contributed to the discussion, as in I contributed the link to the very article I wrote three weeks ago detailing what they claimed to detail, exactly what was real and what was fantasy between the initial Kinect announcement video (back when it was called Project Natal) and the Kinect that Microsoft released this month.

My site has recieved a tremendous amount of hits and my article has gotten a ton of positive support since then.  I can’t tell you all who have visited the site and those who promised to bookmark and home page it how much I appreciate that.  Enjoy the site guys, it’s safer here.

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GameStop Pre-Orders DLC, How’d They Do? November 30, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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I’m sure many of you have seen the commercials that have been running non stop on TV since last week about the Halo Reach Map Pack.  GameStop, in a new move, has been promoting pre-order of the map pack in their stores, and for incentive they’re offering a pretty sweet exclusive avatar item, a flaming Mark V helmet.

Now, in the real world, digital purchases actually go faster if you do them from home so you can get them either immediatly or the very second they’re released.  Going out to a store to buy something is slow and cumbersome, it always has been.  You have to get in your car, drive to your destination (and enjoy all the red lights and heavy traffic in the process), wait in line behind all the customers in front of you, place your order (time to do so depends on how much the clerk actually knows about what you’re buying), scan your member card (every store’s got one these days), pay, and then finally drive home (again with the traffic and red lights).

So what is your incentive to drive out to a store to buy the very same thing (and pay the exact same amount) you could buy directly at home?  Well, there is the incentive for people who don’t use a credit or debit card, and who don’t have any spare MS point cards lying around.  There’s also the Mark V flaming helmet offer, and that’s the big one.

How did GameStop do?  Well, despite e-mailing all their members on the 18th and starting a national advertising campaign on the 19th of November, GameStop didn’t actually allow pre-orders of the Halo Reach Map Pack until the 22nd of November.  That’s a pretty big problem, espessially given the fact that the content came out TODAY on the 30th.  You only had about seven days to preorder the content.  Also, you had to buy it up front in full, no minimum payment option like with physical games.  Third, you had to be a member of their rewards program in order to preorder, and we all know how I feel about that.

Well the codes were e-mailed out at about 3:12PM EST today, some time after the content was released to Xbox Live.  Anyone buying directly from their house would’ve gotten it much faster.  Of course the Map Pack codes were not actually e-mailed out, just the code for the flaming helmet.  If you want the code for the map pack you have to log in to GameStop’s Power Up Rewards website and navigate through it to find where your code is buried.  Of course if you never bothered to register your Rewards card online, you’ll have to do that and set up your online account and games list before accessing the site.

Meanwhile I’m pretty sure anyone who wanted to buy it online had probably been playing on the maps for at least a few hours.  Also, It’s not like they’re going to run out of physical copies of a digital download, kind of defeating part of the incentive to pre-order.  Well, for those who contributed to GameStop’s experiment, enjoy the helmet, guys!

Disney’s Epic Mickey Collector’s Edition Unboxing November 30, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Maniac cracks open the highly anticipated Wii exclusive game Epic Mickey and finds an injured Mickey Mouse. In a nice twist, the CE revolves around the all important physical content. It’s great to find a well priced CE these days that isn’t 90% DLC!

I’ve been really looking forward to this game release for about a year now.  I’m a big fan of Warren Spector, as he has the distinction of being one of the few developers who ten years ago earned the title of “God”, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a game developer.

Director’s Note: Mickey Mouse is recovering from his injuries in shipping and appears to be okay. He has taken up residence on my desk. I don’t think he would’ve been injured if he hadn’t been packed UPSIDE DOWN