Don't Buy These Games

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posted 11/26/2008 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
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They Asked For Penny Arcade Adventures Episodes 1 & 2 ...

So Don't Give American McGee's Grimm:
You thought you were off the hook for this one, since little Timmy insisted that you could buy both episodes of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness online without taking a trip to the game store in the mall. After getting John Scherer (the CEO & founder of Video Professor) to help you get your computer online, you're off to the races to figure out how buy and download the games he wants. And that's when you see the price is $30, lot more than you were expecting to pay for a pair of downloadable game. But that's when you see GameTap's advertisement for American McGee's Grimm. For around the same price you'll get a dozen episodes of Grimm, as opposed to the two you'll get from Penny Arcade. It sounds like a good deal to me.

But wait a second. You stop and think to yourself that this year you would really like to get little Timmy something he wants. You want him to be happy when he wakes up on Christmas morning. You don't want a repeat of last year when instead of getting him Call of Duty 4, you got him Hour of Victory. So you go back to Steam and get your credit card information ready. But just as you're about to click to purchase, you start to think about each of the two games. On one hand you have a game about fairy tales, while the other game is about a web comic? How lame is that? Those Grimm episodes include Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots. What does Penny Arcade have? Robots? Hey, what is that robot doing to that orange?? Yeah, American McGee's Grimm is definitely the way to go.

The Logical Conclusion:

I hope you're happy, mom. Because all of those fairy tales you tell little Timmy as you tuck him into bed are about to scare the bejesus out of him. Think that Cinderella is an innocent story? Just wait until he's done playing through the freakishly twisted version of it in American McGee's Grimm. He's never going to trust any of those stories you tell him, not The Girl Without Hands, The Fisherman and His Wife, The Golden Goose or even A Christmas Carol. Then again, he should have known something was up with The Devil and His Three Golden Hairs. I mean, seriously, it has the Devil right in the title.

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They Asked For Resistance 2 ...

So Don't Give Turning Point: Fall of Liberty:
Little Timmy sure is excited about this game, you cannot believe how much he talks about it. And it was adorable how he came up to you and tried explaining that he should get the game because it has historical value. How cute, as if a video game was going to teach you the history of our country. Still, it would be nice to get at least one of the games on his list. But what was the name again? All you remember was that it's a first-person shooter that takes place in an alternate reality where World War II ended in our defeat. What was that game again? After explaining the premise to the store clerk he gives you the recently-discounted Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. It's perfect, the description of the game makes perfect sense and you can understand why little Timmy would try and sell you on the historical narrative. But really, who is he fooling?

As you sit at the red light you start to read the back of the box. It occurs to you that you've been buying your son a lot of war-based first-person shooters these days. You wonder what kind of damage these games are having on your son. Maybe he actually believes that Turning Point is based on history, which starts to make you angry. You wonder if instead of buying him another shooter you should return it and get him something useful, like a subscription to the New York Times or a gym membership. Nah, you're fine with World War II-based video games changing his perception of history. You're sure the school district is good enough to teach him the facts and get him a good education.

The Logical Conclusion:
Unfortunately the public school system isn't good enough to educate your son on World War II. Instead of discussing the important things, they spend half the semester telling you why it's important to vote and how Christopher Columbus found America. No wonder you grow up thinking that the Germans won and we're all living under a Nazi police state. That would explain why little Timmy now has a gun collection that rivals any gang in town and is afraid of his own shadow. If you had just bought him Resistance 2 like he wanted he would have thought aliens had invaded, and since that's out of the realm of possibility, his life would have been spared. But no, you bought him Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. You've ruined him and his future. No wonder he voted for John McCain.

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They Asked For Need for Speed: Underground ...


So Don't Give Need for Speed ProStreet for the PSP:

After failing so many years in a row, you know you are going to get the right game this time. You keep telling yourself, Need for Speed. Need for Speed. Need for Speed. You're one-hundred percent sure that this time you're going to remember Need for Speed and get him the right gift. Every time you say that name in your head you snicker a little bit, because it's what you call your husband's sexual prowess. But this is not laughing matter; you have a job to do. You get to the store and ask for "the new Need for Speed." After a short pause the clerk asks you what system you want, and you find yourself caught completely off guard. You think about all of the systems little Timmy has, but the only one you ever see him with is that damn Sony portable thingy. You blurt out the Sony portable part and he reaches for a used copy of Need for Speed ProStreet.

Is this the newest Need for Speed game for the PSP, you ask. He shakes his head and you run out of the store a happy customer. How were you expected to know that Need for Speed ProStreet came out back in February, four months after it debuted on every other console? How were you to know that this is a terrible racing game with a poor sense of speed and abysmal controls? How were you expected to know that there are dozens of Need for Speed games out there? How were you expected to know any of this? That's not your job. You're the person that gets them out of bed each day, the person that takes them to their soccer practices. You're the person that binge drinks when they are away and has a secret obsession with pain pills. You aren't expected to know the difference between Need for Speed ProStreet, Carbon and Underground. That's some nerd's job. You need a drink, it's time to relax.

The Logical Conclusion:

Happy to get a Need for Speed game, little Timmy goes on believing that ProStreet is actually the newest game in the series. From here on out this affects every game he asks for and purchases from now on. With his Christmas money he also picked up Madden NFL 09, Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Tony Hawk's Proving Ground. But he better save some money, because next year he's planning on going to Quantum of Solace and pick up the new Guns N Roses album. This also affected his grades, forcing him to graduate one year later. It was a total tragedy that would ultimately drive him crazy.

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They Asked For Mercenaries 2: World in Flames ...

So Don't Give Call of Duty: World at War:
You've had it with this kid, he's never happy with the gifts you give them. And those stupid retailers, they never let you take stuff back anymore. It's not like the good old days, you reminisce about all of those Holidays when you could take back the crap you didn't want without a receipt. But those days are long gone, and with it a part of the fun of Christmas died. But you're not going to let that get the best of you, instead you're going to go in there and buy Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, just like little Timmy wants. Or was that Universe at War? Or maybe it was Call of Duty: World at War. Oh no, you don't remember. He talks about so many different war games, it's impossible to tell which one he really wants.

You run up to the counter and ask for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. You explain that little Timmy talks about so many war games, it's hard to keep track. The store clerk grabs Mercenaries 2, but also explains that what he was probably after was Call of Duty: World at War. He regales you with facts and bullet points about Treyarch's new Call of Duty game. Tells you that it supports online play, has amazing graphics and is addictive as hell. He then proceeds to tell you that Mercenaries 2 is a complete waste of money. But you're sure little Timmy wanted Mercenaries 2, it just sounds right. So you tell him thanks, but no thanks to the new Call of Duty game. Then you buy Mercenaries 2 and run home to wrap it. For the first time in years you're absolutely sure that you got the guy the right gift. Good job mom, good job.

The Logical Conclusion:

Unfortunately it wasn't mom that confused Mercenaries 2 with Call of Duty: World at War, it was little Timmy! The moment he plugged the game in he realized the error of his ways. Little Timmy remembered reading all of those bad reviews a few months ago and knew that he was in for a lot of pain. For the first time ever little Timmy got down on his knees and prayed that all of the retailers would wake up and start letting us take back gifts without a receipt. He also made sure to always write down the name of the games he wanted, that we he could avoid all of the pitfalls that come with getting a bad gift. His mom was content, his dad was happy and everything in the world was good ... except for the fact that he got a terrible game, his mom has a drinking problem and his dad has been staying at work late to have a discreet affair with his secretary. Outside of that, everything was peaceful and right.

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