The Adventure and the Resolution
A title of one of my favorite Frank Black songs, and also the topic of this post. The following is a true account of the trials and tribulations I went through to get my xbox360. Backstory: Last November I went to try to get a xbox 360 on opening day. Of course, they were out. Several months passed and I started to get the itch to go buy one again. I figured, "Hey, it's March...they should be easy to find.". Not true, not true. Everytime I went to Best Buy or Wal-Mart I would look for one. Ever since I was in KC and saw my friend that has one, I've had the fever. So, in the last 2 weeks, I've visited Best Buy, 3 Wal-marts, Circuit City, Toys R Us, Slackers, and EB games at least a couple times each.
The Adventure: Nobody had a frickin clue when any new systems would be coming in. I finally got some answers at EB games (the 4th or 5th time I went there). They told me that a couple of systems come in every week or so. I asked if I could get on the reservation list and they said they weren't doing that anymore. So, basically it was first come first serve every couple of weeks to try to get 1 to 3 systems. The odds weren't looking good. I asked them if they new when their next shipment was coming and they said Monday or Tuesday. On Monday, I spent my lunch hour hanging out at EB games waiting for the UPS guy to show up. I finally ran out of time and had to go back to work. Just as I was leaving, I saw the UPS guy coming. So, I waited around and found out that the systems didn't come in. The guy at the counter informed me that they would be there Tuesday. I go back to work empty-handed and empty-stomached (I didn't have time to eat after waiting).
During the afternoon I was able to convince myself that I would need a high-definition tv to completely enjoy the xbox360 experience. I looked up prices on BestBuy.com and found out that CRT HD tv's weren't too expensive. I always wanted a big flat screen plasma tv for my HD tv, but I can't affort one at the moment. My first stop was to Best Buy, they had a nice 30" model with a nice picture for a good price. Unfortunately, they didn't have any in stock. The clerk said I could buy it now, and they would call me when they get it in (whenever that may be, the clerk didn't know). Well, of course I said screw that. I proceeded next door to Circuit City. They didn't have as good a selection as Best Buy. Nobody seemed that interested to help me and the information posted on the tv's weren't that informative. I found one that was decent, but not great, and marked it as a maybe. I then took a chance and went to Wal-Mart. There selection was even poorer. Most of their tv's weren't even hooked up to a signal. The prices were good, but I didn't want to take a chance on it. So, my last ditch effort was Sears. Success. They had a fair selection of tv's at reasonable prices...a little higher than Best Buy. I found a 32" widescreen tv that had a really good picture. I purchase this tv and eagerly go to pick it up. Two men brought it out on a dolly. The box was HUGE. I knew it wouldn't fit in my car unless the box was removed....even then it was going to be a tight fit. Too tight, it turns out. They couldn't clear the rear door handle by maybe 1". There was no way it would fit, but just by a small margin. I was pissed. I went back inside and asked the clerk that sold me the tv if I could have it delivered. He said it would be at least 2 days. Not good enough, since I was hopefully getting the game system the next day. I went back outside and told the dock workers to box it back up, and that I would go in search of a truck. Here's where not having any close friends in Columbia sucks balls. The only person I know with a truck is my boss and I wasn't going to have her come all the way back into town. So, I go to Home Depot. I tried to rent a truck there. The girl asked me if I had already purchased my merchandise. I lied and told her yes. She then asked if she could see the receipt. I told her I didn't have it. By then, she was onto me. She asked if the stuff I was moving was from their store. I fessed up and told her that I was picking up a tv. She said she couldn't rent the truck to me. The complete look of despair and disappointment must have been moving, because she asked how far I was going with it. I told her just to Sears and then back home. She told me not to tell anybody, and that she would rent me the truck. She said she would get in big trouble if anyone found out. God Bless that brave woman. Anyway, I told her how much that meant to me, grabbed the keys, and got the hell out of there before she could change her mind. I drive back to Sears, get the tv, bring it home, and unload it. Jade and I almost dropped it out of the back of the truck. That thing must weigh about 150 lbs. I take the truck back and hook up my tv......no HD yet. All this took 3.5 hours.
So, the next day, I again rush of to EB games at lunch to pick up my system. I only had a half hour since my secretary didn't schedule enough time for my patient. Again, they didn't have it. By this point I'm pissed because I was already having a shitty day. I go back to work and it's busy as hell the rest of the day. About a half hour after I left EB Games, they call me to let me know the system just came in. Great news, the only problem is that I'm so busy that I can't leave work to go get it. Since it's first come, first serve I fumed all afternoon about how it would already be sold before I could go get it. At four, I still had 5 inpatients to see. I set a new world record and saw all 5 in an hour. I leave work on time and once again hit EB Games, so I can get the bad news. Well, they actually had it. I think they actually held it for me. There were only 2 that came in yesterday, and I got the last one. I felt like I found a Golden Ticket. (yeah, I know...you are all thinking...what an obsessed geek. You have to remember, playing video games is my favorite hobby and has been since 1981)
The Resolution: I get home and hook up the system. OH MY GOD! The xbox360 in high definition is something that has to be seen to be appreciated. I was blown away. It was totally worth the time, effort, and cost.
The first game I played was Perfect Dark Zero. A standard FPS. The graphics were unbelievable. I spent most of the time just walking around Non-playing characters and gawking at their detail. I would consider this the first console game that truly looks 3d. 3d games have been around for a long time, but I always found that characters and objects looked kinda flat. Not true in this game. The textures and lighting are amazing. Like I said, I barely played it....just stared for a long time. Here are some screens that don't even really show how well this game looks.
The other game I got was The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. Pretty much a living, breathing world that is HUGE. It's kinda a Dungeons and Dragons style game. The graphics on this were good, but not as good as Perfect Dark. The sheer scale of the game is what blows me away. You can literally spend days walking through miles of changing weather and landscapes. Here are some screen from that game. Again...nowhere near as cool as in real life.
That about wraps up the story. Needless to say, I'm headed downstairs now to play. Poor Jade, she won't see me for a month.