Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Grandma chooses Evil over 80's

Grandma and I had a little extra cash today. This is a pleasant opportunity for entertainment we couldn't pass up, so she decided on a new game. It all came down to 'Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80's' for the PS2, or 'Overlord' for the XBox 360.

Grandma decided to go with Overlord.

Everything she and I had read about the 80's expansion for GHII was fairly negative, especially about the price and the short playlist. That kind of thing REALLY stands out when she's making a decision. "It'll be cheaper later," she predicted; looking at the box the way clairvoyants look at tea leaves. She hadn't played anything resembling an RTS since Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth so "why the hell not?"

I'm really hoping she likes this one, seeing as Odin Sphere is pissing her off so much (more on that later). Grandma doesn't shop for games to get digusted, she buys them to have fun.

God help me if this isn't like Fable.

At Best Buy we noticed small piles of Wiis and PS3s stacked neatly in pyramids while the employees stood to the side, apparently shooting the shit to pass the time:

BB Dude #1: "Yeah, a guy came in and saw all the Wiis and PS3s around and he said 'are those boxes empty?' and I was all like 'nope!' So he bought TWO of each system!"
BB Dude #2: "A lot of people don't know we have them in stock!"
BB Dude #1: "I know! Well, these will be gone soon, I'll tell you that right now."

Now I caught this set-up; so did the guy in the baseball cap who breathed through his nose in something like a laugh. But to the rest of us, the bait was planted; in the crowd milling about the games section pretending to look intently at the front label of the movie 'Rent' on UMD and flicking through strategy guides, reaching for their cell phones or trying to remember something in the back of their minds... Are these things rare? Should I get one? Maybe I could sell it if everyone can't find one. I bet the kids would know. Man, they'd be thrilled if I got them something nobody else can get...

The trick is to let the bait stick. The sales associates go back to whatever they were doing, shut up, and let the customers come to them. That's the way Baiting is supposed to work. But these guys were hardly seasoned pros; lacking the skills and tact of a Ricky Roma-esque, Five Tour Black Friday veteran. A mistake was made.

BB Dude #1: "Um, Hey Bill. I gotta tell you about this guy. A guy came in and saw all the Wiis and PS3s around and he said 'are those boxes empty?' and I said 'nope!' The guy bought TWO of each system!"
BB Dude #2: "People don't know we have them in stock!"
BB Dude #1: "I know! Well, these will be gone soon, that I can tell you."

They recited it just a tiny bit louder and just a little bit closer to the center of the crowd. Only 10 minutes had passed, maybe a bit more. It was almost comical. The bubble popped. People sensed insincerity. They smelled it on these guys. They grabbed their carts and went away, into the appliance section, into the DVD racks, into the cameras, anywhere but there.

The Best Buy guys lost their fish. It was hard to suppress the urge to give them some knowing, jackass smile; something that said "They know what you did."

We grabbed Overlord from the rack and left them to their shame. It would probably be another 45 minutes or so before a new crowd gathered close enough for them to try again, that is- if they could work up the courage.

Maybe they learned something.

I don't know.

The EDF: 2017 completion is coming slow because, honestly, we both suck at the harder levels, and when you split the screen vertically in half it makes noticing mobs of insects flanking you sort of difficult to spot.

Ah well.

Has anyone played Overlord yet? (PC or 360, I'm just trying to get an idea of what to expect.) What do you think?

[We have to moderate comments now; sorry about that. You can still post anonymously without signing up for anything, I just have to check it off before it shows up.]

Game on!


  • At 9:44 PM, Blogger Gamer Named Tim said…

    Whoa. That has to be one of the funniest things I've heard all damn day! I would've laughed my as off right in front of them if I had the opportunity to witness such a hilarious event. I'd say the Wiis are definitely more rare than the PS3s because, well... Nintendo owns the fucking world at the moment; and they know it. I saw tons of PS3s justing collecting dust at my local Circuit City when I went to buy my Xbox 360 Elite. I hope Grandma has fun with Overlord!

  • At 11:13 PM, Blogger Crazy Raven Productions said…

    Awesome...I saw the demo for Overlord. It looks like Pikmin with really, really, REALLY awesome color. I wish we had a 360 so I could grab it. :)

  • At 7:58 AM, Blogger The Frog said…

    I played through Overlord I thought it was pretty easy.
    Grandma will have no trouble at all with this one.
    It is pretty fun though with some good laughs.

  • At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think that's kinda funny that the Best Buy people did that. Everytime I walk into EBgames I always see one person asking if any wii's are in stock. By the way I don't know anything about Overlord because I don't have a 360.

  • At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh yeah and thx for replying to my question!

  • At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I haven't played Overlord, myself, but a friend of mine says he loves it.

    I might buy it for the PC at a later date.

  • At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yo guys what's up? i got to play the demo for overlord on xbox live and i was actually very suprised how good it was. from reading your blog for a little under a year now, i can honestly say i think grandma will definitely enjoy it. game on!

  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I'm really hoping she likes this one, seeing as Odin Sphere is pissing her off so much (more on that later). Grandma doesn't shop for games to get digusted, she buys them to have fun."

    That's exactly what I was predicting when I mentioned Odin Sphere a few entries back. The game is more of a tedious and constant chore. A lot of people couldn't look bast the nice graphics and music, though. I'm glad I did by stopping after the first character story and it saved me future hassle.

  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    I played the demo for Overlord from Xbox Live Marketplace last week or something. It made me giggle in evil glee. I have read the camera control is weird though. Which was true for me, kinda weird to control the minions with the right thumbstick instead of controlling the camera.

    So I'd expect a lot of cursing at the camera and evil cackles at the minions from Grandma.

  • At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    how do you manage to remember whole conversations, word for word exactly, Tim? It's ridiculous...

  • At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    u should post another video soon and a video of her playin guitar hero

  • At 3:39 AM, Blogger BugnLVoe said…

    Overlord for the 360 is AWESOME!!!!
    I am at the end of the game... and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
    I hope they come out with an Overlord 2.


  • At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Overlord is pretty decent. I bought it on launch day, since I had it pre-ordered and was looking forward to it for a couple months. It reminds me of Dungeon Keeper, an old EA RTS for the PC. The game had a few annoying parts, mainly due to the imps NOT OBEYING ME and some bosses requiring a LOT of "divide and conquer" imp placement...Grandma will know what that means when she gets there. (Halfling homes boss come to mind) Overall a great game, but had a few really aggravating moments that could have been prevented with proper play testing.

  • At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I picked up overlord on launch day, it is a good game. It took me about a week to go through it all (around 30-40 hours) and if you go for the achievements (which i know you do) you will have to play it twice at least (once as bad and once as not so bad. Definitely worth checking out imo.

  • At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Overlord does have the visual style that is similar to fable, similar voice acting and has a bit of a slapstick humour. The chief entertainment comes from the minions (mainly the browns) and all the crazy things they do. They are like a bunch of homicidal children with kitchen knives running around killing,braking and pillaging things.

    The game is mainly single player but its rather long and the storyline is somewhat decent. Although its not as much of an action game but more of a puzzle game where you have to figure out how to use your minions to proceed to the next part of the dungeon. Overall a fun game, for some a rental but it has some replay value by going "good" or evil.

    One note, there is a gamebreaking bug. In the brewery (dwarf lands) when you get all the spokes for the elevator, you have to turn/activate the elevator before you leave otherwise you wont be able to proceed further in the game.

  • At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really got sick at EBGames, always saying they didn't have any Wiis. So I bought mine on Ebay for what I thought was a fair mark up for the seller, about $330.00. Screw EBgames!I hate those snotty
    little shits working there.They think if your not under 30 yrs, you can't really be a game player.

  • At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hate EBgames or game shop retailers snotty bunch of shits working there. I would go to Walmat first to get a game. I bought my Wii on Ebay. So I won't get a X360 there either.

  • At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi all!!

    I've a question about Overlord, do you think I can play the game on a 50hz TV?
    THe game doesn't say anything about High Def., but if you can only play it with 60hz it won't work for me! :(

    Greetings from Europe


  • At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I liked it ok, but I expected a kind of dungeon-keeper type game and instead ended up with something like a 3d version of lost vikings, except with hundreds of vikings. I was disappointed that the base building I had heard so much about was actually just a series of objects you find in a fairly linear progression. ah well, still it was fun. The best part is watching your little gremlin dudes wear the armor of whoever they just killed... regardless if its the right size.

  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger Faithful 2 U said…

    Overlord is pretty cool.

  • At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Guitar Hero's a stinkin' bar game, anyway.


  • At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I never pay for any of my WII games inside Hong Kong. Over here inside Hong Kong nobody EVER buys original games. And people don't give a damn of the whole guarantee thing. What I mean is when you buy a video game machine inside GOLDEN PLAZA of HK usually the machines (Wii, especially) are being altered. About $1,000 dollars (HK dollars BTW) more expensive but it's worth it. What that means is that now you can go home and download a list of WII games. Download Link www.uwants.com but their all in TRADITIONAL Chinese. Oh, and I'm sure you've heard of this trillion times already, yes, you're extremely updated of just about every miniscule things that goes around inside Hong kong. So I'm sorry I just bored you with the same old stuff.

  • At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I actuallyD3 Gold enjoyed it all right, on the otherD3 ITEms hand expected a typeCheap Guild Wars 2 Gold of dungeon-keeper sort online game and also as an alternative were left with something such as some sort of Animations edition regarding missingDiablo III items vikings, besides with hundreds of vikings.


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