Recently, after an “incident” involving my son’s teeth and a PS3 copy of Assassin’s Creed 2, I found myself in need of an economical way to bring video games into my house without buying each and every one I play.
For starters, let me address how I have been getting my games up until this point. Every see those “Buy One Get One Free” signs at Blockbuster or websites that offer “Buy Two, Get One Free”? Well, I do. I would seek them out looking for keen ways to get my hands on games cheaply through these deals, then selling some off on Ebay to cover my margins. I like to pretend that I get all my games for free in the end, but in reality I probably spend more on games than I would be comfortable with. This creates a bigger problem when the games suck. Se, you can get a seemingly good deal on a game that sucks, but by the time you realize it sucks, so has everyone else and you can’t sell it for half what you paid for it.
Let me get back to my original direction: Damaged Assassin’s Creed 2. I already bought this game once and just had a bit more to go before completing it. I could rent it from BlockBuster, but for $7 for 4 nights? No thanks.
This got me to really contemplate Gamefly. The idea is the same as Netflix, except for games. Monthly fee, build a que of games they offer, keep as long as you want, return, they send you another one, lather, rinse, repeat. I opted for getting two games out at a time. This costs $23 a month, but also included a 15 day free trial. I couldn’t lose.
I signed up 10 days ago today. I put Assassin’s Creed 2 at the top of my list and started adding lots of other new games I was interested in into my que. Could it really be this easy? The next day I received both an email and a text message informing me that Assassin’s Creed had shipped. So far, so good. Later that same day, received another text that Heavy Rain for the PS3 had also shipped. This gave me a minutes pause, as Heavy Rain was my 4th pick, not my second. I checked out my que and noticed the “availability” column. OK, understandable that they wouldn’t have an endless supply, but most all the games I picked were medium availability to very low availability. This could be a kink in my plan.
I received Assassin’s Creed 2 on Saturday and Heavy Rain the following Monday. Both games played perfectly, no problems whatsoever. I finished Assassin’s Creed Wednesday night and placed it in the mail on Thursday morning. I was anxious to see how long the switchover would be before I got the next game in my hands. Saturday, two days after placing it in the mail, I received a text that it had been received.
I checked into my que periodically throughout the weekend wondering what would ship next, what would be available, and when it would ship. Sunday afternoon, my #1 pick, Red Dead Redemption, showed as being available. I waited to get an indication that it was going to be shipped…but nothing. Finally, late Monday afternoon, I received a text that Bioshock 2 had shipped. Bioshock 2? It was #14 on my list. Granted, some of the items on my list are unreleased and I had added them hoping to get them soon after release, but still, this game was pretty low down there. What Happened to Red Dead? It now shows as once again being in very low in availability. Yes, I did have Bioshock on my list, and yes, I will play it, but this places a lot of uncertainty into when I will actually get to play what games on my que.
Let me examine where I’m at with this so far:
Tons of games available, acceptable monthly fee for service being provided, an end to compulsively buying sucky games…all check.
Turn around time? so-so. Looks to be about 6-7 days from putting one in the mail to getting the next in my hands. This is where the “2 games out at a time” deal will come into play.
Actually getting the games on my list in the order I want them? Not happening. Not unless I go through and only pick older games that are usually high in availability. Can I complain? No. To buy Assassin’s Creed 2 when I wanted it, I would have paid at least $25 (more than one month of service). Right now I am playing Heavy Rain which is a fairly new release that is still full price in the stores and would be impossible to get a full experience from in a 4 day rental.
How do I rate Gamefly as a whole? This is where a rating system would be handy. I’ll give it 4 templar blades in the back of 5 oragami killers. Go figure.