Tuesday, July 18, 2006

retell the retail: binge of consumption edition

Since I work retail (I'm the Nintendo Guy at my buddy Canada's one-stop-geek-shopping emporium Nerdful Things), it's only natural that on my day off, I go off to hang out in retail environments and spend my money. That worthless bastard Collision wasn't working to-day, so I dragged his sorry ass along.

After a thorough imbibation of coffee, we staggered on down to the mall. He was mainly staggering, I think, because he was still drunk from last night. I don't think he'd slept at all. Collision's deep in his rum phase at the moment. I blame myself for this: I've been making him play this game about pirates with me, since there's too many random encounters for me to deal with by myself, if I'm to maintain my sanity. Me, I was staggering because it was knee-bucklingly bright outside; hurty!

Once at the mall, we hit the Barnes and Noble to read free magazines for a bit. Once these pleasures palled, Collision staked out his usual spot in front of Torrid. There's a bench there he likes to hang out on, eating fries and ogling the plus-sized ladies; "they got real low self esteem", he likes to say. He's a scumbag. I bounced between GameSpot and EB Games, which are the same company but different stores, with different prices, bafflingly enough. It's cool: I like shopping. The Hulk game has gotten pretty cheap at all the places that still have it, but I was on a different mission to-day. Spartan: Total Warrior looks like a competent God of War substitue for a PlayStation2less critter like myself, but I was on a different mission to-day. Okay, that's not true. I was on no mission whatsoever to-day, I just didn't really want to drop thirty bucks on something that's just going to sit on the shelf in its shrinkwrap while I plow through my vast backlog of unfinished games.

No way I could pass up Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, though. Not for fifteen bucks! (The 'nets want thirty for it, usually, according to my last online shopping binge.) Embarrassingly, I dig all the FF GBA ports, and I really dig turn-based strategy games, so it's pretty much a no-brainer. Now I've got something to play after I finish up Advance Wars 2, which should be any year now. (Last night, I unlocked a five-star mission. I tremble in fear at the difficulty this will put me through.) And maybe sometime I can get back to Age of Empires DS, but I dunno.

Collision insisted on bento, like he always does, but I talked him into conveyor-belt sushi (my favorite way of eating) with talk of sake. He's so easily canalized it's not even funny. After that, we hit up the local Goodwill. They've got a Dreamcast sitting there that I like to visit now and again, and their fiction section is frankly a marvel.

Their science fiction area is primarily composed of books written in universes invented for television and movies. Sort of a denatured, professionalized fan-fic. I picked up a Homicide: Life on the Street novel for Collision, since he's a noir-obsessed putz, and got a grab-bag for myself. Between an X-Files novel, a Pokemon book, that Peter David Deep Space 9 book, a weird Cartoon Network book about Gundam Wing, and a couple Star Wars books, I should have plenty to read during the slow hours, once I go back to work.

At this point, the coffee kicked back in, and I felt like stretching my legs a bit more. Collision needed to pass out, and after an all-night drunk, coffee, sushi, and sake, I'm not surprised. I grabbed one of his bikes and flew out to Target, just 'cuz it's far enough away that it feels like doing something just to go there. They had a new-in-box copy of Resident Evil, so I clearly needed to hook that up. (No, I never played it. Shut up.) On the way home, I swung by CompUSA and ransacked their clearance bin to the tune of a collection with Mortal Kombat II on it and a ten-buck copy of Polarium, in case Canada ever gives me back my DS. Not quite sated, I decided to give Freddy's a quick peep.

Their clearance shelf had a further %30 off, so I snaked River City Ransom and Ultimate Muscle: The Path of the Superhero. And now I can rest.


5 Comments + Unabashed Criticism:

Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

1. Your Consumption is both advanced and wretched, you should see a doctor. "Pennies for your thoughts and dollars for your sins," as the song goes.

2. As far as the Accumulation of Stuff goes, I've been wrestling with the possibility that the wierd/offbeat-semirescluse, who-has-books-deadmedia-general-debris-of-pop-culture, stacked nigh to the ceilings, has some sort of romantic sciffy roots which exert a strong & powerful gravitas on the right people. SIR! I am that people. You am them people.

3. Aforementioned Dreamcast must be purchased or, if its the Goodwill I think you're talking about, I'll purchase it first, the only problem being I sorta want to start accumulating Sega Genesis (Genesi? Genesises??). But your desire to have a [purportedly] obsolete console ["the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated"] fits with my second point, is mirrored in the fact I cannot seem to actually bring myself to pack my PSOne up in a box and put it in the closet where it belongs, as opposed to not-hooked-up and just sitting in the corner.

4. AdvanceWars2 is fan-fucking-tastic, but as far as turned-based, micromanaging strategy games go, the king (Emperor? Mandarin?)is still Romance of the Three Kingdoms. That's a freakin' 1600 pound gorilla there, my fuzzy friend. The goal is to conquer all of China, and its takes sooooo long your commanding officers can, and will, die, of old age!!

- d.d.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Pfft. I'm calling yr bluff, Sparky.

No way, no day do you make it up past north of Broadway on the east side for a Dreamcast. You talk a good acquistion-mission, but when it comes to rolling up into my quadrant? Frankly, I don't think you've got the grapes.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Somewhere in that day, I also scored a pair of Castlevania games on a single GBA pak. Supposedly a couple of the best GBA games out there, like I need to buff out that collection any more...


2:29 PM  
Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

"No way, no day do you make it up past north of Broadway on the east side for a Dreamcast. You talk a good acquistion-mission, but when it comes to rolling up into my quadrant? Frankly, I don't think you've got the grapes."

Wrong goodwill, 'parently. The one in my quadrant, however, always has 3-4 Genesis kicking around, at which I stare lustfully.
But just like how I didn't get a Dreamcast a year ago when I was talking about it, and just like you'll do the same, I'll probably never buy any of those Genesis.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Heh. Sucked you in, and here's the coup de grace! It's clobbering time!

I bought the Dreamcast last night. I only got seriously interested in the thing last week, and while I waited, and pondered, and slept, they dropped the price from 25 down to 15. That's 15 with two controllers, the power cord, the RCA plugs, the wierd little LCD-memory card, alla that. What the Empire might call a fully functional battle station. Totally a better option than the thirteen-buck Nintendo 64 with no controllers or cables.

And I picked up two well-thought-of games from the cut-out bin of the Hollywood a block away, cuz daddy ain't buying no console with nuthin' to play. (In other news, "daddy" is the world's worst player of Space Channel 5, the Dreamcast's finest panty-shot simulator/rhythm game.)

I get the fucker home, take it out of the plastic bag they'd shoved it in. The console itself doesn't look mint, exactly, but is in sterling condition. The controllers? Never touched by human hands, this I'd stake my reputation on. But after all that, the best thing is actually that there was a copy of Soul Calibur in there, just waiting for me.


4:13 PM  

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