If you want the chance to get your hands on Mario Kart 8 a few days before it launches you’ll be able to get a test drive at select Gamestop stores this weekend. On May 17th and 18th over 2,700 Gamestop locations will have playable demos of Mario Kart 8 available between 12:00pm and 4:00pm. These events are being labaled Mario Kart 8 Test Drive Days. Also anyone that pre-orders, or has pre-ordered, the game will get a double sided poster.
For more information about the event and to see if a location in your area will be hosting this event check out Gamestop’s official page.
The next installment of the Skylanders franchise, Skylanders Swapforce is coming soon. To get you excited about the game Activision is giving you some incentives to plop down your money early. If you pre-order the game at Gamestop you’ll get an exclusive Light Core version of Hex, an undead Skylander. Anyone choosing to pre-order the game from Target will receive the first ever magic pre-sell cards that will unlock in game upgrades when placed on the Portal of Power.
Regardless of where you choose to pre-order the game from you’ll get the chance to play with the new 16 SWAP Force characters that you can mix and match into more than 250 combinations. You can also use the more than 100 characters that are currently available for purchase.
I’m really excited about this one. I’ve enjoyed playing both games so far with my family. Activision has done a good job so far building quality gaming experiences around these toys to get you to buy them and it’s worked. I have a huge box full of figures and I’m planning on getting plenty more when the new set launch later this year. What about you? Are you interested in Skylanders at all?
For the second week in a row, we have a two hour podcast. This has to stop. It’s already too late for this show so you might as well listen to it… or as much as you want to anyway. We got the normal crew back for the show this week. Enjoy our voices and witty-ish banter as we talk about Runner 2, Nano Assaults, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, Epic Mickey 2, Journey, Flower and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. After we talk for too long about the games we’ve been playing, we hit the news of the week in a “lightning round” fashion. Download, listen, enjoy!
Starring – Tony, Micah, Shannon, Shelby
Run time – 2:00:11
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I’m saddened by the events recently that happened at THQ. I thought they were a publisher that was making a lot of the right moves. Ultimately it didn’t work out and things took a turn for the worse. Many people blame on specific thing on their demise, the uDraw Tablet. That was a device that actually sold really well on Wii, but failed miserably when the company tried to apply it to the Xbox 360 and PS3. I thought the device was neat. It had some fun games (Marvel Super Hero Squad and the Spongebob game especially). It was a device that got used pretty well around my house on the 360.
My son was given a version of the uDraw tablet for the Wii at Christmas by a family member. As part of my recent purge of some game related clutter I was going to trade in some of the games I had for the 360 tablet. Alas, I couldn’t. Gamestop will not accept anything related to the uDraw tablet in trade. They said everything for that device, and games are worth a penny to them so they won’t accept them.
It’s sad to see.
I recently found out a number of stores in the Tulsa area received Wii U demo stations this past week and I headed down to GameStop to check it out. The following is an email I sent to the rest of the Nintendo Okie crew outlining my initial thoughts with the system.
I found out that the GameStop over at 71st and Memorial (not in the mall) had a Wii U demo station and I headed over there a few minutes ago on my lunch break to check it out. My goodness was I impressed. The controller itself, I thought, had some weight to it, but it wasn’t uncomfortable in any sense. I could hold it easily in one hand and use the touchscreen. They only had the Rayman Legends demo available, but I was much more impressed with that game based on the two levels that I played than I was with Rayman Origins. That Black Betty level was fantastic fun. Rhythm game/runner and it was a lot of fun.
I really liked the way that you interacted with the game through traditional gameplay and using the screen to do different things. The different ways that they used touch and tilt on the GamePad along with the game on the TV was interesting and I could see that being a lot of fun. It didn’t allow for off TV play, but I can only imagine that there are going to be a lot of times that you have to use the GamePad in addition to the TV so that would essentially be impossible with a game like that.
The sticks were good. They controller fit perfectly into my hands and all of the buttons as well as the touchscreen were easy to reach. The only thing that’s going to be weird is having to remember to move your hands up for the right stick rather than down like we’ve been trained for so many years, but I think that would just come with time.
Overall, really impressed with the limited amount of time I had with it (about 15 minutes). Hopefully they’ll have some more demos available soon so that I can see how some different games are going to play
So early on I’m fairly impressed with the hardware itself and the one game demo I got a chance to play. Due to financial considerations I won’t be able to get my own system until February and it’s going to be a long wait.
In their bid to control every single aspect of the game’s industry, GameStop has announced plans to open 80 new stores across the country. What makes these stores different than the stores they already have, you ask? Well, they’re targeted specifically to younger gamers. The stores, called GameStop Kids, are currently planned to open in malls with an established GameStop store. The stores will be next door to the existing locations and will feature games rated E and E10+ alongside related toy merchandise.
Expect to see lots of dual displays where Mario toys are sitting next to the newest Mario game or foam Minecraft toys are next to download codes. I would not be surprised to see an entire wall devoted to Skylanders and its related merchandise.
“This is really a way for us to take share away from people who are in the toy business and have an expanded assortment,” GameStop CEO Paul Raines told the Dallas Business Journal, “and show people how to drive kids to new experiences, new products or an expanded assortment of existing products like Skylanders and Angry Birds.”
So yeah. GameStop is going after Toys ‘R Us, Walmart and other stores that market items to kids. This store is both genius and incredibly devilish. I know now I’m going to spend just as much time in these stores as I do the regular ones.
For the full list of stores coming, head here.
It is time for the podcast of the Okies. This week we have a throwback show as both Micah and Shannon are MIA. In there stead, we bring in Will and Josh. As you may expect with the change, things don’t exactly go as planned, but go nonetheless. We talk about some games, we talk about some news, we laugh; good times, people. Hope y’all enjoy the show.
Starring – Tony, Will, Josh, Shelby
Run time – 1:32:13
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If you’re going to shop at GameStop, chances are you’re not looking for something very old. You’re looking for current generation stuff, though the company has kept stock of things usually one generation behind. They recently phased out GameCube trade-ins and finding any games for that system is nearly impossible in many areas.
GameStop CEO, Paul Raines, thinks that needs to change, at least if you’re going to GameStop’s website. He recently told Verge:
“We think there’s a vintage sales opportunity, so we’re accumulating some inventory. If you go to eBay and look at all of the gaming stuff that’s on there, it’s unbelievable. Collector’s stuff. We’ve got to be in that business. We will be.”
So GameStop has been hording old games and collecting an inventory so they can get into the market that is currently dominated by eBay and vintage shops around the country. If there’s money in the video game business to be had, you can bet GameStop is going to get their piece of the pie.
It’s smart, when you think about it. There are a lot of people out there that love to collect vintage games. I think every person on the Nintendo Okie staff has some sort of collection of older games. Will has hundreds of NES games. Micah has WAY more than should ever be discussed and I’m getting into the classic handheld stuff in a big way. Will I be going to GameStop’s website for my vintage purchases? Only if I can get classic GBA and Game Boy games for less than what I can get by going into our local Vintage Stock.
GameStop, in their effort to take over the entire video game industry, has announced a new way they’re getting into the digital market. They’re going to allow you to start your DLC downloads instantly from the store as soon as you purchase the content.
The retail chain will soon be implementing a new policy that will send an email to you within a minute of purchasing that DLC. All you have to do is pull out your smartphone, or internet capable device if you’re near a Wi-Fi hotspot, and click on a link in that email. The content will then immediately begin downloading on your Xbox 360 and will be ready for you to play as soon as you get home. No more waiting for those extra levels, new maps or shiny weapons to download.
The system is only going to be available for the Xbox 360, but GameStop President Tony Bartel forsees more systems being implemented in the future. It will work with any DLC you purchase for the Xbox 360.
It’s another slow news week but we manage to make a full show once again. Shannon and Tony talk about the games they have been playing before Micah and I talk about Persona 4 Arena in extensive detail. In the news, we talk about the important issues regarding video games today; patches, hacks, box art, betas and giant chickens driving cars. Some may be more important than others.
Starring – Tony, Micah, Shannon, Shelby
Run time – 1:38:48
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