A Winner is Me!

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I'm not sure how many people are aware, but Sony and Microsoft both have Retail Loyalty Sites available to those who work at approved retailers of their products. Basically, since I work at GameStop, I get to go to these fancy sites and learn about their products and take little quizzes to test this knowledge. Upon completion of quizzes I earn points that can be redeemed for merchandise. Sony's is currently free (though they play to start charging but are promising better stuff) and Microsoft charges a bit of money. Either way, it's pretty awesome considering I've gotten Motorstorm, Heavenly Sword, Folklore, Resistance, Pursuit Force, Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow, and a Dual Shock 3 from Sony for absolutely nothing. And before Microsoft upped their prices I got Gears of War, PGR3, Viva Pinata, Halo, Halo 2, the original Forza, and another wireless 360 controller from MS for $50. That was just my first order from them.

Okay, so that bloated explanantion turned out to be a bit of a bragging fest, but I can't help it, it's just really awesome for a gamer like me. Well, sometimes when you complete quizzes you get entered in for contests and it turns out I am a grand prize winner in Sony's MotorStorm: Pacific Rift Sweepstakes! Sadly it wasn't one of the big contests where I get a system or anything, but I have a free MotorStorm hat coming my way! So remember kids, working retail can sometimes have its benefits!

Celebrity Store Visit #2: Rose McGowan

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So, a while back (in fact just a few blog posts down from this one) I mentioned that Lauren Jackson, one of the star players from the WNBA team the Seattle Storm visited the GameStop I worked at.  I ended up selling her a PS3 and Guitar Hero.  Well, Saturday (November 8th) I had my second celebrity sighting at the store, this time someone much more well-know (no offense Lauren).

I was sitting in the back room working on processing a shipment from another store when my store managers walks in blushing and says to me: "Rose McGowan is in the Wii section right now."  I was pretty surprised.  I knew her best from the show Charmed (thanks Mom), but most will probably  recognize her from her roles in Grindhouse and is playing Red Sonja in the upcoming movie adaptation.

She was picking up a Wii and a bunch of games for her dad whom apparently lives in the area. Thankfully not to many people bothered her (I always feel bad for celebrities about that), but she was nice enough to pose for a quick picture with my store manager, lol.  What was really funny too was one of my coworkers that was ringing her up had to check her ID since she was paying with a credit card.  Of course I had to card Lauren Jackson too even though I had seen her on the news the night before, haha.

Okay, so it's not the biggest news, but it's not every day that one gets to meet a celebrity in-person.  This makes a total of four celebrity visits to our store since I have been there.  Rose McGowan and Lauren Jackson which I was present for.  We've also had a visit from the Swedish rock band The Hives (which I am still mad I missed because I love the band) and Deadliest Catch capitan Sig Hansen.

Five Years with GameSpot

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Okay, so I am a couple days late, but Friday marks five years I've had this account with GameSpot. It took quite a while before I even got involved with the community features. When I originally made this account it was just so I could download trailers and demos and things like that. Then during one of my high school classes I was really bored and that's when I began to venture into the forums. I really have come to love the site, even though I may not always be happy with some events or review scores, but it's always been here for me and my gaming interests.

Here's to five years with GameSpot.

Broke 10,000 Achievement Points!

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Man, those achievements are addictive. I've finally made it into the 10,000 point club with thanks to Condemned: Criminal Origins which I'm playing right now (awesome game, by the way). I don't know what it is about them, but they are a lot of fun to get. I still have more games to play and new ones on the way so you can be sure I'll keep racking up those points :P

Lauren Jackson Likes Guitar Hero

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So I was working today at GameStop and it was just a normal day like any other. Helping customers, selling games, etc. That is until a 6'5" woman came strolling into the store and asked me about Guitar Hero. She looked really familiar to me, but I wasn't sure where. Of course I started piecing things together once she walked in. Really tall and athletic, had an accent, and was really to throw down the money for a PS3 and Guitar Hero on a whim. Finally I realized it was Lauren Jackson of the WNBA team the Seattle Storm (I work in downtown Seattle if you haven't guessed already). I don't follow sports very closely, but I had seen her on the news and various sports reports before. She even holds several MVP awards. Apprently she also really likes Guitar Hero. Maybe not the biggest celebrity, but I thought it was a cool part of my day.

Though it's not the first time we've had a celebrity appearance in the store. Not too long ago we had a visit from Sig Hansen, captan of one the ships featured on the Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch, but I wasn't in the store at the time, lol. Though he did sign some of our marketing for the upcoming game.

Beyond Good & Evil Returns!

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I can't possibly say how excited I am that there will finally be another Beyond Good & Evil. The first was my absolute favorite sleeper hit of last generation. It's an absolutely wonderful game. I loved the story and the characters. It was one of those games that actually touched me emotionally and by the time I finished it I was sad it was over. Not to mention an ending that begged for a sequel. But now it's going to happen and I couldn't be happier!!

Today is my birthday!

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Yep, today I turn the big 21. My brother and his girlfriend are planning to take me out tonight, though since it is a Tuesday I don't plan to party too hard, lol. Fortunately my class tomorrow doesn't start til noon so I can at least stay out and have some fun.

New TV!

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Over the weekend I got a brand-new 32" LCD HDTV. I've already got my PS3 and Wii hooked up, though my 360 is off being repaired for the SECOND time (which is why you can't see it in the picture). I've played on friends' HDTVs before, but it's awesome to finally have one of my own. Everything looks great and I can finally get the most out of those next-gen systems. The PS3 in particular looks spectacular. Not that the 360 wouldn't either, I just haven't been able to play it! Aside from games, since I don't have cable, I use an antenna to pick up stations, but since my TV has the built-in tuner I can pick up digital channels and they come in clear as a bell instead of having to deal with crappy analog signals. Overall it's great! I'm glad to finally be digital.

Patapon Impressions

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I was excited at work today because we finally got our demos for Patapon. For those of you who don't know, this game comes from the creators of LocoRoco. Unfortunately I still need to get a copy of LocoRoco, but Patapon is looking like it will be another great title for the PSP.

This game is about a mighty society of people known as the Patapons. They were strong and prospered thanks to the leadership of the Great Patapon, which is essentially their God. By leading them with a magic drum, it instilled strength and vitality in the Patapons. There was no foe they could not overcome, no treasure out of reach. The story at the beginning also mentions them in search of something called IT. Yes, they are in search of IT. Who knows what that could be. I find it pretty hilarious myself. Anyways, over time the Patapons lost the guidance of the Great Patapon and lost their strength. Now you, as the Great Patapon, must use the rhythm to help bring their society back to its former glory.

In the demo you find out also that the Patapons are at war with a people called the Zigotons. Your early missions involve you first gathering food for the Patapons. Then next you must launch an attack against walls placed around the Patapon's city, Patapolis, which is guarded by the Zigotons. Patapon is a 2D game, but what makes it unique is that it's a rhythm action game. I suppose the only game that comes close by comparison would be DK Jungle Beat, but even that is a very loose at best. In the demo you only get you hands on some simple commands, I imagine there will be more in the rest of the game, but it's a good glimpse into it.

A beat plays in the background and you have to hit the face buttons on the PSP in a particular order in time to the music to command the Patapons to act. Square is the "Pata" and Circle is the "Pon" different combinations yield different results. "Pata Pata Pata Pon," for example, will advance your army. Meanwhile "Pon Pon Pata Pon" will command them to attack. It's a whole new take on fighting that I've never seen before. It's really very cool. Successfully issuing commands in succession will build combos, like most rhythm games. Once you reach a x10 combo your Patapons go into Fever mode where the music speeds up slightly so you can issue commands faster.

While the gameplay sounds simple, half the fun is in the presentation. Just like LocoRoco, this game is highly stylized. If you know me well enough then you'd know that styIe really scores major points with me, the quirkier the better. The look is very graphic, with great animation, is colorful, and overall very fun to watch. The characters are very simple in design, mostly just walking eyeballs, but they can be fairly expressive, and dare I say it, cute. Second is the music. Music is pivotal in rhythm games, and Patapon most certainly delivers. So far I have absolutely loved the soundtrack with ethnic drum-heavy beats that play well with the look and premise of the game and just sound fantastic overall. I also love how the Patapons will repeat back your series of drum hit commands after issuing them. It's great.



This game is also looking like it will also contain a decent amount of strategy to some degree. Before entering levels, you can set up your Patapon armies. While I only had one at my disposal, from what I could see you can configure three smaller groups at once. It's looking like you will have different Patapons to make up these groups and further still, you can change their armor and weapons for certain specialties. Again, this is some speculation since obviously not everything is open in the demo.

In the end I am even more excited about this title than I was before. I very much look forward to getting the full game and if you guys with PSPs get a chance, try to snag a demo if you aren't sold on it. Either way, it's fun and an awesome value since it will debut at an awesome price point of $20!