Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate – Pre-order Bonuses

Tecmo Koei Europe announced today three exclusive pre-order bonus packs for upcoming fighting title Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, set for release this September on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate

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Amazon Refunds on Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3’s ending has apparently disappointed so many people that Amazon have apparently decided to offer full refunds on the game.. gamers have been reporting that they’ve had refunds on their games, at least.  I think this is the start of a slippery slope.

Now.. I’ve not seen this ending yet.  I understand that it isn’t quite what people expected, and that people are disappointed.  Mass Effect 3 is, however, not broken, and people should not be expecting a refund because they didn’t like how the story turned out.  It’s pathetic. 

If you played the game through to the end, you’ve had what you paid for.  What’s next?  Demanding refunds because you didn’t like the ending of a film?  A book?  Can I order a three-course meal at a restaurant, but then complain that I didn’t like the sauce on my dessert, and so refuse to pay for any of the meal?

Our right to a refund is supposed to be there to protect us from shoddy goods and services, not to allow ridiculously self-entitled people to use products and then end up not paying for them by claiming they were dissatisfied.  It isn’t there to allow people to cheat their way out of paying for things.

If Amazon are offering a full refund on ME3 now, they are just encouraging people to buy the game, play it through, and then claim they didn’t like it and ask for their money back.  If you claim a refund for a game you have played all the way through to the end, you are worse than a pirate, because not only are you a “lost sale”, you are costing people money in handling the order in the first place; shipping, dealing with your emails and refunding you.  You would be less of a burden on the gaming industry if you just downloaded it, played it and deleted it.

And what does this mean for writers?  Write the ending that fans want, or risk the potential that they can cheat you out of your pay?

If writers suddenly have to start making the ending the fans want, then we all lose.  There’ll be no more creativity; only the same tired storylines that have ‘proven’ themselves satisfactory in the past.  Or maybe no story at all.  Or we’ll have fan-fiction.. and well.. that doesn’t have a great reputation for quality, does it?

Exercise Equipment!

Tim and I have had subscriptions to the gym for the last year, but fitting it in after work has been painful recently, especially with overtime and working away from home.  Rather than continue going to the gym, we decided to get some equipment for home..

I found a combination crosstrainer and cycle on Amazon.. the York XC530 Elliptical/Cycle.. which should have been £450, but thanks to a reduction and a pile of vouchers, didn’t cost near to that 😉

The delivery highlighted some poor customer service.. we put work’s address down so that nobody had to sit around at home waiting all day for it to arrive.. and then somebody from Amazon or the delivery company called to say it would be delivered between 7am and 1pm.  Seven a.m.?  At work?

I asked if I could wait for a later date.. and was told in no uncertain terms that I had no choice at all.. even if they put the delivery date back, they still couldn’t sort out a convenient time slot.  So we went to bed last night, wondering if we were going to get a phone call at 6am and have to go to work at a time when we should still be sleeping!

Fortunately that wasn’t the case, and it arrived nearer to lunchtime.. one big box, with two people to carry it.

The packaging could have been better.. almost the entire set-up was strapped together, vacuum-plastic wrapped and held in place with large polystyrene blocks.  This meant that Tim had to lift the whole thing out of the box at once, rather than a bit at a time.

There was also a slightly daunting card filled with washers and nuts and other bits..

Yay for flat-pack?

I guess it wouldn’t have fit in the car otherwise..

After nearly putting the whole thing together, Tim found one of the last parts was broken..  cue poking the manufacturer for them to send us a part..