Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Discovering a Gamestop

The other day, my girlfriend Jenna and I were milling about town before seeing "Wendy and Lucy" (a great, but short movie). We went over to the Barnes and Noble on Stevens Creek Boulevard near Campbell.

Next to B&N was a Gamestop I had never been in before. It was massive.

I had heard about Gamestop's redesigning some stores to encourage tournaments from EDGE, via Kotaku.

Trouble is, I didn't remember that the first tournament facility was in San Jose. Lucky me!

Of note:
  • Its really big. I wish I had more pictures, but there was a rush for time. The picture above is a raised platform with four small screens and four large screens mirroring the action on the former. Jenna and I sat down at a station and came to blows in Street Fighter IV. There was another station with a soccer game playing (I had no clue which soccer game....)
  • It's hot in there. With what seemed to be over 20 stations set up to play games throughout the store, there's a lot of fans running. Plenty of Xbox 360 machines were cranking their engines, several of which were equipped to play music games.
As far as games go, I played a few rounds of Street Fighter IV with Jenna. While rounds were very competitive, neither of us are very skillful yet. After a slight handicap adjustment, fights were very even. It seems like we've found something we could play together. If only I could afford the game (and maybe a couple of sticks to compete with). (ED NOTE: Jenna beat me several times).

As a bonus, the Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars preview-van (picture source) was in town as well. That added an extra 6 Nintendo DS to the hardware sampling the store had in it. I've been extremely wary about any excitement for GTA: Chinatown Wars, largely due to the top down view. My first experience with GTA being in 3D, I could never get a grip on the top down view. With a rotating camera, the DS title fixes this problem for me. As you turn your speeding vehicle, the city turns with it, so that the camera follows you down the street.

As far as combat goes, my time with the title was fleeting, but it seems like it will be easy to pull off after a tutorial mission or something like that. I didn't have a chance to check out a touch-screen mini game.

I think I'll be paying a return visit to the Tournament-focused Gamestop. I'm hoping to find time to actually show up for a tourney, or at least go to watch.

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