Wednesday, February 24, 2010

4.2 Miles in 35 Minutes, All In The Name of Gaming

By Kirk Hamilton

"Heavy Rain came out yesterday, so I should have no trouble picking it up this afternoon," I thought. "Surely the stores nearby won't sell out by then!"

Wrong. As of this morning, every store within reach of the school where I teach (in the Haight) was sold out. Ditto every Gamestop in the SF area. The only place with a few remaining copies was the SoMa Best Buy way down on Harrison, more than two twisted, congested city-miles from school.

Rehearsal wrapped up at 11:30 and our 50-minute lunch break started. I had until 12:20 to get to the store, pick up a copy, and get back in time to sub a class. No time for second-guesing - I am playing this game today. By 11:40 I was out the door.
11:42 - Haight and Masonic
Busted out the door and caught a 6 heading downtown. Lookin good, Kirk.

 11:50 - Haight and Laguna
Last stop before the 6 heads for Market, time to go on foot. Ran mostly downhill, about a mile and a half from the stop to Best Buy. Some thugs make fun of me but they're already eating my dust. I get lucky with stoplights, but can already tell that I'm going to cut it close.

11:58 - Best Buy Ahoy
I light into the store and track down what might be the actual last copy. The cashier doesn't card me, saves me at least one minute. No, I do not want to buy insurance for this game. Here is my receipt, person at the door.

12:04 - Gotta Cab It
There is no way I'm making it back in time on the bus. Jog back up 14th to Valencia, hail a cab. First time in a while I've taken a cab during the day.

12:16 - Victory
Roll into school, Heavy Rain in hand. I've got time to grab lunch and stroll into class.
Sometimes it's the small victories that are the sweetest.


Jay said...

*big claps*
Well done, Kirk! I work near the SoMa area and I don't think I've made it to that Best Buy and back that fast. While I totally appreciate your Trainspotting-paced adventure through SF, I am REALLY f-ing glad I had pre-ordered (a rarity for me) through amazon with release-date-shipping. As I trudged home through the rain (btw, how amazing was the weather yesterday for this?!) I found my copy waiting for me at the front door. I felt totally spoiled. Can't ask for better service than that... well, short of the UPS guy leaving an origami crane on the package. Anyway, this was the first time I pre-ordered like this and I don't know if I can go back. Its like walking into a Blockbuster after you've had Netflix for a year. I also wound up saving a couple bucks, shipping included. Just a heads up in case you wanna check it out for next time.

Choose life. Choose a console. Choose a game. Choose a big fucking television.

Tim Mackie said...

I must confess, Kirk, after reading that I'm going to be watching carefully to see if you like this game, and if you don't, I'm going to have to find it funny.

Maybe I'm just jealous that the mass transit system up here isn't as well-developed as there. I probably wouldn't be able to pull that off even if I wanted to. Props to you and the San Francisco department of transportation for that.

The Sonia Show said...

Sonia Mansfield likes this.

Dan the Man said...

Ha! Wild applause.

Also, Farmville Kirk is a dirty hippie.

Kirk Hamilton said...

Ha, thanks guys. It was a pretty epic trip, and even if the game totally blows, at least it made for a pretty good story.

Okay, it made for a story, anyway.

Jay - I've thought about doing the Amazon thing... I think that's how David got his copy, too. When I started pre-ordering back a couple years ago, I actually kinda liked rolling into Gamestop on launch day and getting a copy. Sort of took me back. But yeah, things are busy enough these days that it'd be nice to just have the game delivered.

Tim - The SF MUNI system and I have actually had a tumultuous relationship of late. But yes, more often than not, it'll get you to the church on time. Or, I should say, it'll get you to Church and Market on time.


So far, I'm digging the game. The voice-acting is, frankly, bizarre, and the QD folks seem a little too pleased with themselves over the mundane crap they let you make the characters do. But the attention to detail in the environments is amazing, the action sequences are heart-stopping, and I can tell that the story is going someplace good.

David's playing too - we'll have more to write as we get further in. I can certainly tell you that the fight in the prostitute's apartment was a lot more one-sided the second time around. I was laying in wait for that jackass.