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Really Nintendo? Are you serious? Wait while I bend over then!

I find the following photograph I took from my USA 3DS and Australian 3DSXL to show up exactly how countries outside the USA get arse raped:

New Super Mario Bros. 2 digital download: USA $40 Australia $70 or $73US.

No Caption Provided

This isn't just Nintendo by the way, all companies via digital service rip off Australians, as well as New Zealanders.

On point to this matter though. If you wish to download New Super Mario Bros. 2 in America, it will cost you $39.99. However, if you are in Australia and wish to download it, it will set you back $69.95. That is a whopping $30 dollars more for what cost exactly the same to distribute. It is even worse by the fact that the US price of $40 is in fact $38.50 in Australian dolllars as the Australian currency is worth more than the US one! That means we pay $73US for it.

This is nothing short of theft. I am absolutely disgusted by this. No wonder the Australian Federal Government is having an enquiry into digital service prices. It is also no wonder that Apple and Microsoft refuse to attend (the government should force them to attend or face big fines) as they know they can't rationally or logically justify their crime. I hope at the end of the enquiry, they give sweeping powers to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to force change or start handing out fines. There are no additional costs to distribute something digital and any argument to the contrary is a flat out lie. There are no boxes, no shipping - nothing.

And another point to show just how bad that $70 price is - if you buy the card version, with the box and manual, all to put on your shelf and have for as long as you like, to resell if you so choose to, from any department store, will cost you $60. That's right, the retail version is $10 cheaper and that is without discounting that goes on.

Screw you Nintendo, and all the other digital distribution companies. Until you charge the same price in equivalent currencies, then I will treat you with the same disdain you treat us.

In the end, I got my red 3DS XL with a retail copy of Kingdom Hearts for an additional $30 as a bundle. That I am happy with. The XL is just awesome!


Why should I buy a PS Vita? Exploring what it has for me.

After reading the thread asking if the Vita had tanked, I thought to myself, "has it really?" and "am I even slightly interested yet?" So I thought I would investigate what it had and what conclusions I would draw as to adding it to my collection.

A little background first. I have a PS3 and I have 3 PSP consoles, with about 60+ UMD games. That makes me far from being a Sony or Sony handheld hater, but I assume my conclusion intuitively will be, it is not for me - yet.

The console itself:

I have held it and played it in a department store and to be honest, I didn't like how it looked, nor how it felt in my hand. My biggest criicism of the PSP all along was that I really disliked how it felt, so the Vita just continues that feeling. I am sure it is a high quality piece of equipment, with loads of power, nut I did find using the interface a bit of a pain, but with limited exposure, it may be a harsh judgement. The real problem is the price. Locally, it is $350, which is about $360US. That is a fair bit more than Americans are required to pay. Then there is the memory cards. That just exacerbates the problem.

Conclusion: Not at the current price. It is at the very least, $100 too much for me to get interested, A local price drop to $200-250 appears to be a long time coming.

Digital games:

I read a lot of people saying that they will get one when they have all the PS1 and PS2 games available for download. I ask myself why. Don't get me wrong, I like old games, but PS1 games have dated horribly and they tend to be too expensive. I have nearly 100 PS2 games and very few of them would intrest me enough to buy them again to play on a Vita. I didn't download any PS1 games for the PSP, so I am not starting now with the Vita. Also, with 60+ PSP games, there will be no buying any of those games again, I can keep playing them on the PSP, plus some of the prices for games are still as much as $60 to download locally. Also, digital only games are not normally of interest to me, so I don't really care what they have available.

Conclusion: Not interested in PS1, PS2, PSP or new digital only games. This area has no interest to me at all.

Retail Games available now:

So often I read about how awesome the launch titles of the Vita was. I don't recall a single game I was interested in. To be fair, I felt the same way about the 3DS, but I had greater confidence in what was coming, leading me to buy one within 3 months of launch. So what about the games available? I will look at the best games, according to Metacritic rating (from highest down) and give them an "Interest" score (out of 5):

Rayman Origins: Never been a fan and would rather get a console version if I did. Interest - 2/5

Mortal Kombat: Don't care for fighting games. Interest - 1/5

Gravity Rush: Don't care for it. Interest - 0/5

Lumines Electronic Symphony: Not my thing. Interest - 0/5

BazBlue Continuum Shift Extended: Have a PS3 game, that is enough for me. Interest - 1/5

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection: Tried Metal Gear, hated it. Interest - 1/5

Unchartered Golden Abyss: Tried 1 and 2, found them boring. Interest - 1/5

Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Not even interested in the PS3 games. Interest - 1/5

FIFA Football: Yawn. Interest - 0/5

WipeOut 2038: Didn't play much of my PSP one. Interest - 1/5

Disgaea 3 Absence of Detention: I have the PSP version and I love the series a lot. Willing to own it again. Interest - 3/5

Virtua Tennis 4 World Tour Edition: I don't mind a tennis game, but not excited. Interest - 2/5

MLB 12 The Show: Better than Football, but still not interesting. Interest - 1/5

Hot Shots Golf World Invitational: I enjoy arcade style golf. Interest - 2/5

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus: Never enjoyed the series. Interest - 1/5

Unit 13: A very average shooter .... yay! Interest - 0/5

Touch My Katamari: I do enjoy this quirky series. Interest - 3/5

Dynasty Warriors Next: No interest in the series. Interest - 1/5

F1 2011 - Love car racing, not F1 though. Interest - 1/5

LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7: A few years back maybe, now, not so much. Interest - 2/5

ModNation Racers Race Trip: I didn't much like my PSP one, so no. Interest - 1/5

LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes: I am a Marvel man, so not really. Interest - 1/5

Resistance Burning Skies: Absolutely not. Interest - 0/5

Then they fall away under a score of 60/100 and nothing there even remotely interests me.

Conclusion: I can only see 2 games that managed to make a interest score of 3/5, so for that is pretty grimm. On that basis, I couldn't even remotely justify becoming a Vita owner.

Upcoming Games:

LittleBigPlanet: I have the first PS3 one, plus the PSP version. I think I am done unless it does something decidedly more. Interest - 2/5

Ragnarok Odyssey: I could see me playing that. Interest - 3/5

Silent Hill Book of Memories: I like the series, but it depends what it brings that is good and different. Interest - 2/5

Assassin's Creed III Liberation: Didn't enjoy 1 and 2, so I can't be excited for this. Interest - 2/5

Streetfighter X Tekken: Not another fighting game ..... no. Interest - 1/5

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale: I am not excited for the roster of characters at all, Smash Bros is where I want to be, Maybe the PS3 version, cheap. Interest - 2/5

LEGO Lord of the Rings: Where will the LEGO series end? Love LotR though. Interest - 2/5

Super Monkey Ball Banana Splitz: I am over this series. Interest - 1/5

Need For Speed Most Wanted: The Vita will always be a superior car racing console, as was the PSP. Prefer home console racing games though. Interest - 2/5

Zero Escape Virtue's Last Reward: Could be mildly interesting. Interest -2/5

Spy Hunter: No high expectations on this. Interest - 1/5

Persona 4 Golden: Now here we have something that excites me, even if I have the pS2 version. Interest - 4/5

Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified: Not even remotely. Interest - 0/5

Sly Cooper Thieves In Time: Never wanted to play this series, nothing has changed. Interest - 1/5

Soul Sacrifice: This sounds like it has potential. Interest - 3/5

Dragon's Crown: From Vanillaware ..... count me interested. One to watch. Interest - 4/5

Conclusion: With Persona 4 and Dragon's Crown on the list, I am still a long way shy of having enough good games to bring me in, especially at the current console price, but at least there is a small ray of light at the end of a very uninteresting tunnel for me to wander down.

What do I really want to get me to buy a Vita?

This is really where it is at. We are all different and it is the games that really interest us at a deep personal level that cause us to buy in. For me, this is what I really want if I am going to buy a Vita:

Monster Hunter: I love this series. It will happen.

Final Fantasy: Be it full remakes or new chapters in existing stories, I want some FF. More than anything, give me a new Tactics.

Valkyria Chronicles: I really loved this series, but I am not optimistic of any western release.

Kingdom Hearts: I still enjoy the series a lot.

Dragon Quest: All the great games are on Nintendo now, but any the series would be appreciated.

Tales of ..... : Any Tales games would be snapped up by me.

Star Ocean: Some new games in the series would be nice.

JRPG in general: Y's, Phantasy Star, Blue Dragon, Breath of Fire et cetera. I think you get what I like.


I am all for owning a Vita, depsite my misgivings about how it feels and looks. The games are all that matters and to that end, it truly under delivers for me presently and in the near future. Plus, the price of the console and memory cards is a massive roadblock that no game can overcome. It has to drop at least $100 locally to get me in. It was the same for the PS3 - I wasn't buying it at $1000, I still wasn't at $700, nor $500, but when I saw it at $300 I was on board and I think it is a terrific machine, whilst still lacking a great library, in my view. I am figuring it may be Christmas 2013 before I realistically see it happening.


An American in Australia.

This week I was asked to do something that I never really expected to be asked to do - to sponsor an American who wants to live in Australia.

A young relative of mine came back from a 3 month holiday in San Diego, engaged. She has known him online for about 8 years, through the internet, so it is one of those modern stories of love we often hear about in today's world. Consequently, they want to get married and they want to do that in Australia, where they plan to live. However, government rules apply, so it isn't as easy as just getting married and settling down.

In order for him to come to Australia, apparently, he needs a sponsor - someone that earns more than $20k a year (I think our unemployed get that much). For reasons that have no point in being explained, I was asked to do this. When he gets here, he can't work and can't access any government benefits, like Medicare, so in essence, I would be financially responsible for him, for about 6 months. I doubt he will have 6 months worth of money when he gets here, as he is a student (who wants to complete his education in Medicine here - prefably after gaining residency).

To be honest, I am pretty comfortable and happy to do it, but it gives me power - power to control an American! How long have I wanted to control an American. So I am going to make a contract with him, payment for what I am doing for him. So here is what I am asking from him, but I would be keen to hear if I have missed anything in training an American to be a better person:

He must learn English.

He is in an English country, so I think it is only fair he tries to fit in by learning its language.

Put the "u" in words like colour. Replace all those "z" with s, like authorise. Oh, and say z as zed. Put the a back into all the words like encyclopaedia, after all, he wants to be a doctor. Replace those "s" with a "c' in words like defence. Put the "ue" back on the words like analogue. The big one - it is "re" not "er" in words like theatre. The rubber part of the wheel is a 'tyre' as tire is something you experience putting a tyre on.

Other words he needs to learn would include:

A 'fanny' is a vagina, so it is a bumbag, not a fanny pack. A 'root' is sex, so at a sporting event, he must not root for either team. Summer footwear is not flip-flop, it is thongs. The thing over the the engine of the car is a bonnet, and the spot at the back we put luggage in is the boot.

He must learn metric.

He doesn't really have a choice, unless he hangs around with really old people who went to school before 1972. We don't use UK Imperial Measure, let alone US Imperial Measure. Plus, as a medical student, it is unwise to mix up your measurements.

Become a socialist.

To be acceptable to me, he will need to enbrace socialism, like all good Australians. He will see paying taxes as a good thing, as it is, with unemployment benefits, free education (not University), universal healthcare and pensions amongst others. He will want to vote and believe that compulsory voting is a great thing. As a side issue, he will need to learn that there are other countries outside of the USA, so he must read international news and be interested in Asia, Europe and Africa.


He must write the date as Day/Month/Year, like the world does.

He must learn to pronounce the extra long A, like grah-ss. Hell, they say Mahz-da, so it can't be that hard.

Accept that finally after a few hundred years, the Queen of England is rightfully in charge.

No guns!

Now I don't think that is too much to ask for in return for my help is it? Is there anything else my maniacal rush of power has missed? How else can I make an American a better person?

The funny thing about this is his last name is Bruce!

For those a little sensitive, I am just having fun, so if you take it seriously, more fool you - jsut point out bad things about being Australian I shouldn't expect from him).


Is it really wise to incite civil war or threaten the President?

This is Vision to America:

Vision To America is a division of Christian Worldview Communications, LLC. Founded in 2006 by Gary DeMar and Brandon Vallorani, Vision to America exists to help America return to our Founding Father’s vision for a Christian Republic. America was once a light to the world—a place that God blessed with liberty and prosperity. Today, Americans are taught that the Almighty State has all the answers. As a result, our God-given liberties are being traded for a false sense of security. It is our Vision to see Americans once again recognize that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and that this Creator is the God of the Bible.

Numerous Republicans have expressed discontent with the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act, but it took a Tea Party leader to imply that the decision could justify a new Civil War.

Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson posted a statement at his group’s website on Friday proclaiming that “the US Supreme Court has joined with the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government in abandoning the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and with that ruling abandoned the People.”

“The all out oppression of all people has begun,” Nicholson continued. “In such cases submission is treason. Treason against the Constitution and the valid legitimate government of the nation to which we have pledged our allegiance for years. To resist by all means that are right in the eyes of God is not rebellion or insurrection, it is patriotic resistance to invasion. . . . May godly courageous leaders rise up in His wisdom and power to lead us in displacing the criminal invaders.”

Firstly, insurrection? Civil War? The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional, but hey, let's not support the Supreme Court if it doesn't suit us.

All out oppression? Over health care? Really? Treason? Invasion? By who? Displacing the criminal invaders? Did I fall asleep and miss that monumental event?

This is vile and the rhetoric that is eminating from the far right. Does free speech really go to inciting civil war? If it does, then that is just crazy. However, it gets worse when you read comments from the supporters - caution, vile, racist language will follow, as well as comments supporting killing the President:

Impeach Obama now. Impeach Chief Justice Roberts and the three other liberals in the Supreme Court after the next election.

Only "GOD,GUNS,and GUTS" can save te "REPUBLIC" now !!

Perhaps. But whatever we do, don't give Obama an excuse too declare Martial Law!

Stop financing the Federal Reserve Corporation by not filing a 1040 (civil disobedience).

Invest in America, buy guns & ammo. (civil obedience, 2nd amendment). Save America, shoot a muslim. (civil moral, saving our Constitution). OBAMACIDE = THE DEATH OF AMERICA

Everytime the black communisty does not like a ruling of our courts they go on a rampage. Pillaging and killing and stealing and setting fires.. and then lo and behold suddenly they are heroes because they did it. Well, I think it is time all smart Amercans, those who have not bought into the idiocy of this closed, secretive and illegal Whitehouse, should start marching ourselves. Oh, and bring your weapons... time to stand up to the gorillas of the obama administration. Time the rest of us were heard and not just the black militants, the illegals who are sucking us dry... the gay community, altho I do know they are smarter than that.. all those that Obama has catered to and sucked up to just to gain votes.. the rest of us.. the forgotten.. the ones who have jobs and homes and say very little but pay all the bills... It may be time for us to rise up and be heard for a change. How would you like that Barry????

Most of America KNOWS that Yobummer is a dirty filthy Kenyen muslim slimmy dirt-bag, even some of the blacks do, but most blacks want to stay with a loser to get their welfare checks. All hail to King Yobummer...the slime-bag of Washington DC who wants to destroy America and her Constitution. Invest in America, buy guns & ammo. Save America, shoot a dirty muslim.

What a great idea, We could meet at Boston Harbor and thow Barry and his boys in the drink...after fitting them with concrete shoes.....How about the 4th of July would that work....?

Hold on a second. Apart from the incitement to violence, which surely must be illegal, talking about wanting to kill the President? Surely the FBI must be monitoring, finding and charging these idiots? I have a special love for the next one:

The moronic criminals we have running our Government are out for no one except themselves. "We the People", no longer exists. We need to kick everyone of these criminals out of their jobs. We need the lady that is running Australia to run America for about a month and straighten out all of this crap. She has more stones than the wimps we have running America. Our supposed war hero Senators and Congressmen are now wimps. America is going to crap every day Obuma is in office. If you want "We the People" back it's time to clean house. It time to take out the trash. One at a time, down the road they go.

That lady from Australia is Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who by any definition is a socialsit. She has just introduced a Carbon Tax and a Mineral Rent tax and then distributed that money to the more needy citizens. Not only that, but she isn't married, but living with her boyfriend and is an atheist! Do they really want her?

Our Government criminals could care less if we write them daily. They work for themselves not for us. What part of quit spending money are they missing out on. Kenya can't believe the amount of money that America is giving them and spending in Obuma's homeland. This is what you morons put in the White House, a Muslim Kenyan Socialist. Our Government is lazy, they make th same mistakes over and over and over.

There are still people who think Obama is a Muslim? Where do we find these people?

Just imagine... plans for an army in the many pages of what is supposed to be a healthcare bill... THIS IS HOW EVIL BARRY IS. WAKE UP YOU FOOLS IN AMERICA, who still think this man is not a communist.

Becouse at least with him we won;t be a Muslim Coun try,with Obummer we are doomed to be,,,The U.S. Constitution will not be the law of the land,Sharra Law will, your wife,girlfriend,daughter will have to wear borkas and if there ankles shows they will be whipped in public,if anyone says anything bad about the muslim faith they will be put to death for it by stoning ,it happons EVERY day in Islaim countries,In Dearborn the muslims already control 3/4's of the city council so they control the Lawsw enacted,the police EVERYTHING and YES Sharra law is used there even if you are not a muslim

Ever read the book The Jungle Story? The monkey people go around telling everyone how great the are. Well we do the same thing telling everyone ow free we are. Seems like a simularity there some how. The evolutionists might be right after all.

Sure, that Tea Party guy is probably just one wacko, but why is there so much hatred festering inside the USA? This is a great country that still has great potential, but why is that when some people don't get their own way, they have to resort to vile and inflammatory rhetoric? I know that the Tea Party guy took it back later, but I am sure that was more about spin thean his real sentiment, but any person with common sense should denounce him as crazy. If Obama is re-elected, surely that is the will of the people? Democracy in action?

I am very worried for the future of America. It seems to be slipping rapidly into the abyss, not the economic one, but the social one. With all the weapons around, no-one can afford a second US Civil War. It would infect the entire world and we would all suffer. Where and when will all this end?


Confessions of a gamer who doesn't finish games.

Hello, my name is Contrarian and I can't finish games.

Well, that feels good to get that out there. It isn't entirely true, but the number of games I have seen right through to the credits is pretty damn small. In fact, if I finish a game it is generally a surprise, in that the credits roll and I wasn't expecting them. I don't know why this is. There must be some underlying psychology in play here. Perhaps it is that when I am finished, there is nothing really to look forward to from the game (we are talking games with a story here). I just don't want it to end as there will always be something still to look forward to. Perhaps.

Case study - Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

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Today I have arrived at the final chapters of the game - Endgame. There are 5 chapters of Endgame and I am on the first. It has taken me 60 hours to get here, plus easily the same amount plus again, from all those times I restarted the console when a character died. For those not familiar with Fire Emblem, a character is dead FOREVER when it dies. You don't get to use it again. I am too kind hearted to let a character die, everyone must make it to the end. Even the characters who are utter shite - Meg, I am looking at you.

What brings me to this blog is the save files already on the system, as I have played this game before. The last time I played it, probably a year or so ago, I stopped playing at Endgame: Rebirth (1), EXACTLY the same spot I am now on. Last time it took me 2 hours less to get to the same spot. I see now why I may have stopped the last time - so many decisions to make and they must be made with great thought. Who gets what experience points (I have 100,000 sitting there). Who I should upgrade (I still have Master Crowns and Mater Seals). What weapons I should have (sell all the Iron and perhaps Steel and get Silver). What weapons I should forge (I have no idea what is the right ones to do it on - I am disinclined to bother). What units I should take to the battle (those who have SS ranked weapon use seem smart). So much more. So many choices.

Will I actually finish it this time? Who knows. This isn't the first, nor will it be the last game where I do exactly the same thing again. I remember multiple visits of the same nature on Tales of Symphonia and Baten Kaitos for a start. It tends to happen with JRPGs in general, I have yet to finish any Kingdom Hearts games, but at least I have finished Final Fantasy 3 & 13 - perhaps I should try to finish all the others in the series. Don't get me started on all those Zelda games that I haven't finished a single one.

Don't get me wrong, I love playing games. I am not really bothered about not finishing them, which is sort of silly - imagine watching a movie except the last 20 minutes or reading a book except the last chapter. It is completely illogical and irrational behaviour. Sometimes I stop just because I figure I didn't do some of the early parts properly or missed items I can't get again and that may be 20 plus hours into it, or even more.

We need a gaming psychologist - The Gamer's Couch. Perhaps it is all my mothers fault? Perhaps I stopped breastfeeding early? This can only end badly - sorry for wasting your valuable time that you could have used finishing games like a normal person. (^_^)


My awesome new 3DS ..... I will call him Prince.

Although it is sitting somewhere in San Diego, this 3DS will be in my hands in early June when my relaitive returns from her 3 month holiday:

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I didn't even know they had purple. I asked for a red one, 'cause it goes faster, but now I see the purple one, I am one very happy gamer. Combine that with my black PAL 3DS, now I can have the choice to import games at a cheap price and probably ones not released locally. Damn Nintendo and their stupid Region Lock - worst thing they ever did.

Purple is definitely one of the finer colours they have released do far.


A message to a great Giantbomb member, Claude.

One of my very dear friends, who also happens to be a member here, is going through a very difficult time in his life. I have no idea how long it will take him to deal with it or when I will see him posting back here again. I hope it is soon, as it means things are getting better.

Most of you know Claude, or Uncle Claude or perhaps Sage Claude as he should be known. He is an institution around here, or perhaps he should be in an institution for some of the polls he makes. I can't say what is happening, that is for him if and when or if he feels like it. However, in case he reads this, I want to send him my most positive thoughts I can. He is one of the most deserving people I know to receive good thoughts. Other motherfuckers have no place to go without him around! He is living proof of how good the internet CAN be.

Claude ........ looking forward to talking soon. Be well my good friend.

UPDATE: From Claude.

Post by Claude (12,536 posts) See mini bioLevel 19 / 698 ACH / 11997 P
Thanks for the kind words.

I just came home to freshen up from the Hospital. My wife had a massive stroke on the right side of her brain. It's not good. The swelling is getting worse. They say she will not recover. She's had Lupus and many other health problems throughout the years. I just happened to sit down and noticed the forum post.

It's weird. I'm scared. But as with anything, you take it minute to minute and do the best you can. Take Giant Bomb and kiss the ones you love.

It's hard to write this. My wife passed away today. She was never in any pain and passed quietly.

Mary and I had been through a lot together as partners. From our time together, I don't think a day went by that she didn't feel some kind of pain. No more. No more pain. No more Lupus.

I shed many tears when I read this. My best wishes to you Claude in this, your worst moment. Mary had you and she was a lucky lady for that.


The Avengers of old and the awesomeness of being a kid in 1971.

EDIT: This is a picture of the trunk to give you an idea of just how many comics there are. Note the very special No. 1 edition of Star Wars Marvel comic:

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I have come into the possession of an old fashioned Steamer luggage crate thing, no idea what they call them, but a large suitcase of years gone by taken on ships. In that case resides in excess of 1000 comics from the 1960s and 1970s. The vast majority of them are Marvel Comics. I was having a bit of a look at what was in there and with the release of The Avengers movie, I thought this was apt:

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That doesn't look anything like the movie. Sure, Captain America is there, but I don't see Wanda, Hawkeye or Quicksilver in the movie ...... probably a good thing. That is issue 27 from 1966. 12 cents for a comic - how awesome is that.

Moving ahead a little, I dug this one out as it had my favourite Marvel superhero of all time, Vision. He has the best super powers ever.

This is issue 92 from 1971. Gone is Hawkeye and Captain America (good thing - he sucks) and in with Vision, Black Panther (surely he was a terrorist right) and Goliath (who?). Still, nothing like the movie, but Thor, Captain America and Iron man appeared for a bit of a guest starring, along with The Fantastic Four in the comic.

What really struck me was how awesome it mut have been to be a kid in 1971. Just look at this advertisement:

Just in case you can't read the features, but apparently you could buy a Polaris Nuclear Submarine for just $6.98. A freaking Nuclear Submarine man. Not some shoddy Chinese made one I bet, this baby would have been built with pride in the good old US of A!

Look at those features:

  • Over 7 feet long
  • Seats 2 kids
  • Controls that work
  • Rockets that fire
  • Real periscope
  • Firing torpedoes
  • Electrically lit instrument panel

Wow, for just $6.98. Just think what a terrorist could do with that baby!

I will dig deeper into the crate one day, but I did find a complete set of the original Star Wars comics that came out after the first movie. That is something pretty sweet. No idea what I should do with them though. I love old stuff.


Another rant about PC games and Steam!

Steam and me were destined to never co-exist in peace and harmony. To be honest, I hate it with an absolute passion, for reasons directly related to my experience with it and retail PC games. It is a complete and utter pain.

I got myself a cheap copy of Empire: Total War yesterday, just $15 Au. Great I thought. I love me some RTS on the PC - a lot. So, this morning I pop the disc in the machine and oh wait - you need to get Steam working. This is 10am Sunday (today). It has to update Steam. NowI don't have a great internet - it is running on dial-up soeed as my broadband has dried up until next week and I only get 3Gb of it a month. 3 hours later, it finally completes the update.

Now to login. Oh wait, I can't remember my username - my fault, I must write that down, I just don't use Steam enough to cement it. Get an email with my username and lucky for me, I remember my password. Enter the details and now it wants to authorise this computer for Steam and apparently I have some code I should know that has to be entered. Where the hell did that come from? I have never seen this before. Now I try to contact Steam and remember another problem - stupid Windows. I run an iMac with Windows for RTS gaming. It won't connect to the internet to contact them - yet will talk to Steam to update it. I hate Windows. Why can't things be simple - put the disc in, load it up and play it. Why do they deliberately put obstacles all over the place just to piss of the consumer?

Fast forward 3.5 hours and it is 1.30pm and I still can't even get close to playing the game. I am now back on Mac and trying to login to Steam so I can get this fixed. This means I have to load Steam up on the Mac as it won't let me sign in. So, I download Mac Steam. Done. Now it is updating Steam. Fast forward another 2 hours, it is about half way through and it crashes. Hoping it would pick up from where it left, I start again and it it starts at the beginning. Trying to sign in to Steam completely fails. It just won't do anything.

Rage has taken over. I give up. So it will be a week before I can TRY to play the game I bought at a store.

Retail PC gaming isn't dying, they are deliberately killing it.

It is easy for you people with super access to high speed broadband to say how great Steam and digital is. But spare a thought for those who don't. I don't begrudge people choosing digital, but I want an easy way to play legitimately purchased PC games. If I put as many obstacles in the way of my clients to access my product, I would go out of business. It doesn't stop piracy. In fact, it fuels it. Sure as hell makes me want to get a pirated copy.


Brand new PSP Bundle for $25 - fighting for your consumer rights!

Would you pay $25 for this brand new console?

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That is Australian dollars and we know everything is MUCH more expensive here.

I went into the local KMart yesterday and saw the console bundle on the shelf. It had a $170 (it was released way back then for $300) price sticker on it, but on the off chance it was wrong (so often they are), I did a scan of it and it read $25. I rubbed my tired eyes, as I have been sick of late, and scanned it again. Then I did it again, just to be sure, as well as read the description VERY CAREFULLY. The bargain of a lifetime I thought - even though I have 2 already, but they are both PSP1000, not the 3000 of this one.

Off to the counter I go and ask the lady to check it on the register for me. Then all of this heads off to crazy town. Another staff member is there and I could see they were extremely tense. One with a stock gun grabs it off her and scans it. Without showing me the screen, she says it isn't on file. To which I tell them it scans at $25 on the price check point. I am then told that it is a mistake and I can't have it for that price and one of them takes it away.

I thought bummer and I am not one for a confrontation so I let it go. I didn't let it go for long though. I spoke to my partner who is less inclined to take guff from shop assistants. She told me that I should still get and then went to get it herself. That ended badly when they told her that I didn't see it for $25 and then promptly ignored her. The worst part about this was they were calling me a liar. Neither were okay with that.

Upon arrival at home, we rang Head Office to complain about our treatment. Whilst non-committal, they said they would get the store manager to contact us. The whole evening went on and more and more I was getting irritated about being called a liar and in fact, that was more important than getting a great bargain. First thing in the morning on my way to work I dropped into the store to see the Store Manager myself. I had no intentions of being beligerent, rather I intended to sway him/her with reason and how offensive all of this was.

I explained to him the back story. Much emphasis was on how rude it was for the staff to call me a liar. He explained to me how the computer kept marking the product down for clearance, but it had been in the storeroom, meaning it was a mistake that someone put it out by mistake. I am a conservative looking person, well spoken and was dressed in smart business attire, so that helped my case. In the end, he wanted to maintain good customer relations so he apologised to me and gave me the bundle for $25.

So now I am the happy owner of a shiny new red PSP at very little cost and it matters little that the Vita is out, as I have about 60 UMD games I will continue playing for years to come. I learned some lessons for the future as well - if I ever find a great bargain like that again, I will not let it leave my hands until they have agrred that the price is right (come on down).

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