Category Archives: play n trade

The Value of Good Customer Service

When I heard about the free play offer on DC Universe Online for October, I decided it was time to buy the game I wanted the most, but never bought because of that pesky monthly subscription fee thing. So I went to the usual two places I have gotten my PS3 games from, Play N Trade, and then Walmart, and both let me down.

I was about to turn to the wonderful online worlds of Amazon and eBay when I remembered that there was a Game Stop right in town, mere moments from my home. I have been hesitant to shop at Game Stop as a company for one reason. My sister is a librarian, and some years back, there was someone filching videotapes and DVDs from the library, and selling them en masse to the local Game Stop. Considering that all of the items were marked with ‘property of said library,’ there’s no way the GS folks couldn’t have known what was up. It had to be a partner job. I had a hard time trusting Game Stop after that.

Proximity, and a crazed need for the DC Universe Online game prevailed and I called the Marlton Game Stop, not the one in the incident described above, it should be noted. Yes, they had a copy of the game, and sure, they’d hold it for me. Woohoo. I went right over.

When I went in, they knew exactly who I was and what I wanted. They tried to sell me on other games, but in a friendly, conversational manner – not like it was their job to do so, but because they wanted to. They hipped me to a game The Bride would definitely be interested in, a pseudo-sequel to the Portal games called Quantum Conundrum. And we also talked for a bit about comics and tabletop role-playing games.

Suffice it to say, the next time I’m looking to buy new games, they will be my first stop. That’s the value of good customer service. And for more info about playing DC Universe Online for free, check out this link.

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The Power of Portal

This should answer any questions you have about the difference between my gaming experience and The Bride’s. About a week after we got the PS3 we hit a place right here in Marlton called Play N Trade. It was local and less expensive than a Gamefly subscription, and the staff was friendly and helpful – even to me.

The Bride picked up The Orange Box, featuring Portal and Half-Life among a few other games. I got two older PS1 games (still compatible with the PS3) of old Atari 2600 game compilations. Specifically, I got Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Midway Collection 2 and A Collection of Activision Classic Games for the Atari 2600. Yep, that’s about my speed. I feel so old. Even the guys behind the counter felt bad for me.

When we got home, The Bride put her disc right into the PS3. As of this date, I still haven’t even tried my two purchases. But from that moment on, until she actually finished Portal 2, I couldn’t even use the TV. She was addicted. Thus is the power of Portal.

I don’t think she even ever looked at the Half-Life portions of the disc. The Bride is not a first person shooter type person, but more of a puzzle person. And apparently, while looking like the first type of game, Portal is really the second.

In the game, you play a young girl named Chell who runs around on preposterous leg stilts to make jumping easier, and a handheld teleportation device. With this ‘portal gun’ you make holes in this maze complex to travel toward your objective. Your opponent in this quest is an annoying artificial intelligence named GLaDOS who keeps promising you cake. Over and over and over again.

The Bride wanted this cake bad apparently because she played day and night, she played every waking moment, she played all the time it seemed. Even in my insomnia-rattled state, she was playing when I went to bed, and she was playing when I got up. And all the time, GLaDOS never shut up about that goddamn cake.

The Bride finally beat GLaDOS and was greeted with an amusing song by Jonathan Coulton, but not surprisingly, no cake. I had noticed The Bride having symptoms of withdrawl at that point so I bought her as a gift… Portal 2

And thus the cycle began anew… I hope there’s not a Portal 3