“Our decisions today will change our tomorrows.” Wise words or someone was doing their best impression of a character from the movie Mystery Men. Still, I learned this lesson the hard way recently so who am I to judge.  Last night I made a decision that will have a lasting impact on my life. Being completely honest with you reader I know exactly where I went wrong. You see I am weak. Not in body, I stand over 80 inches tall, weigh 275lbs and work out regularly. The weakness that I am referring to was in will power. I broke down and made a decision, no let’s call it what it is, I made a booty call, a one night stand, and sadly cheated on the ones I love. I wish I could take it back but I can’t. What happened last night is going to stay with me until the end. I have been trying to convince myself that lots of people do it, well maybe not lots. Maybe a few if we are being all George Washington about it but still I am not the only one who has let the lust over the forbidden fruit get to them. My temptress just stood there and stared into me, causing me to doubt my understanding on right and wrong. She gazed through me as if I was transparent, right into the center of my very being. Her voice echoing throughout my soul the sounds of the joy we could have together and I broke down and said yes. Last night, I bought FUSE.

                I know, what's wrong me? It’s not like I got it on steam on sale, I didn’t find it in a bargain bin. Sadly, I paid the entire $59.99 that was asked for and in exchange got my brand new copy. As I choke back tears I realize that I must start from the beginning so you can truly understand my plight, and hope that you will come to understand and forgive me. 

(Here is my picture of my gaming library, from my actual home)

                I moved to Orlando, FL recently from the great state of Montana. My new apartment was handpicked on a set of very strategic variables that my wife and I bartered on until we found the perfect place. 7 GameStop’s, 2 Best Buys, 3 Targets, a comic book shop, Subway, Papa John’s, a 24 hour fitness, jogging trail, and a champs sports are all within 5 miles and we are also only 15 minutes from Disney world. It’s perfect!!! I went to each GameStop and didn’t look over the merchandise, I looked at the workers. Like Drake from Uncharted I was hunting for treasure in an unknown landscape. In my heart I knew I could find it, a store that would have knowledgeable workers, who were polite, appreciated their role in the service industry, with a sense of humor, some common interests, and let’s face it some value to take me back to the store instead of buying my games online. After each store I tried came up with the same pushy reps, asking for me to renew my Power up Rewards card even though I already had the card. But finally my search took me to a store unlike any before. I had found my golden goose sitting right under my nose.

My store is only 1.7 miles from my house and it has it all. It was tucked into a nice shopping center with a subway (my favorite place to eat) nearby. As I walked in I was greeted, not with the cry of asking for pre-orders like a drug dealer peddling product. Instead, I was given a sincere hello, and if I needed anything to ask. I was skeptical to be sure, I have been hurt before and the lies have been told. My guard was up as I walked around looking for the poop (that is HIMYM reference if you didn’t know). I thought that maybe they would just stand behind the counter and ignore me after a few minutes and go back to talking. Instead one begin stocking the shelves, WHAT! I had no idea that people actually worked here. I was so used to finding games in the wrong place, A's in the L section and so one. I once found an entire stack of PS3 games in the 360 section. Still don’t know if it was on purpose or they were just idiots. 

As I am walking around the store I find myself falling in love. The employees aren’t leaning up against the counter talking about their personal lives. As I was stealthy moving about the store, I positioned myself to overhear a conversation between two employees battling between which is going to be better, the new battlefield 4 or Call of Duty Ghosts. As I listen I find myself stopping to here more of the conversation. As the worked the went on in their debate and instead of just slandering the other person for liking one game over another, they were using data, information, and had credibility behind their claims. As I listened I found myself feeling safe and at that moment, I realized I am home. Ever since that fateful day in June I have gone at least once a week. I get my pre-orders, talk about games and was even offered a part time job. I turned it down because I am a full time teacher but maybe towards the holidays I will look at again. (Employee discount would be really helpful with the new systems coming out and all those exclusive titles I have been hearing about). I have 3 employees that I give all my business too. If they aren’t there I just look around and then go on my way. It isn’t that the other employees aren’t great, it is simply that when I order from Sean, Tara, or Adam I am going for the experience. Every time I see them they call me by name and they get into fun conversations with me that challenge me as a gamer. Tara and I currently have an ongoing debate on which is better, GIO or IGN. She is a loyal IGN fan and we both frequent the IGN Podcast Beyond and talk about the show.

I know this is a lot of back-story but it helps you to understand the horrible decision I made and can hopefully not make the same mistake I made. With so many new things coming to gamers in the next year we need to make sure we are making the right decisions. Not every gamer has the means to just spend money on any game they want. We have to be smart and in this situation I just wanted to point out my short comings to help those in the future from following in my footsteps.  Adam (one of the coolest GameStop employees ever) is the one who told me about Steam and how I can use a wired Xbox controller to play some of the games on my computer. So I got a steam account and have one game on it so far, Civilization 5 which has been a lot of fun for me to play. Sadly, the Xbox controller doesn’t work on that game but maybe on another if I decided to buy one. I am still a little lost and don’t really understand the purpose but I am having a blast trying something new.

Now that you know the back-story, we can begin my tale. Last night I was in a three way tweet fest with the Monkey (mojomonkey12) and the great Ace 13. In this conversation being one of my first on twitter they talked about a game called Rage. So in hearing/reading what they had to say, I decided to get up and drive 2 minutes to my favorite GameStop to pick it up. As I walked in to my store I noticed that Adam wasn’t there, Tara wasn’t there, and Sean was also nowhere to be seen. As I said before, I have been growing comfortable here so even though my favorite employees that I trust and love so weren’t there, my shields were still down. The young man and I got to talking and I told him about the twitter conversation and that I was looking for a copy of Rage on either system, needing something new to play having beaten most of my old games. The employee says, “Have you tried FUSE, I love it and it has that same feel as Rage.” As the words come out of his mouth, I shuttered. It was that feeling that you have right before you make a bad decision and sadly, I ignored it. As he made this suggestion I decided to just think about it. I mean I have so much free time during the school year and I usually use that to play games. As I walked around the store seeing if there is anything else I might like, I ran into FUSE again. It was just looking at me with its shiny cover, 4 playable characters and its promise of drop in players making the experience awesome. I start thinking of Borderlands 2 and all the fun I had playing with strangers, I thought  of Journey and the amazing bonds that were built in that game between me and the unknown who lead me on my path. Then the cashier’s voice popped into my head,

“I Looovvvveeeeedddddd iiiittt.”

He loved it. This is my store, maybe I can trust him. The people at the store have been so good to me. As I started to reach for the case, I got so excited. As I felt it in my hands, the anticipation mounted. That moment when you are about to go out on a date, you have your hair done, cloths on, feeling really good. As I drove the copy to the counter I could imagine driving it home, jumping in a game and playing around, shooting whatever evil doer is set in the games universe. As I check out with two games in hand, I feel happy as if I just picked up the girl of my dreams. As I pull up to my house the excitement is almost overwhelming. I run in, pet my dog on the head, tell my wife I love her and show her the treasures I have arrived with. I showed her the game my friends recommended; she looks at it and lets out a smile. Then she turns over FUSE and looks at me. She knows what happened before I can get the words out and she asks, “Did Tara recommend this?” questioning the very fact that if her friend had liked the game, why had my wife not heard about it.

I told her the fateful story that lead to me bringing the game home. She shrugged and told me to start it up as she was finishing some stuff for one of the classes she teaches. As I put in FUSE, the disappoint hit before the opening scene was finished. It isn’t that the game is bad; it isn’t that the game is awful. It just isn’t the game I was hoping for. I wanted a game where I could just jump in and smash things with no consequences. However, that is not the case. You have to be smart, you have to help your team and the single player mode is so easy that you might as well play Call of Duty vs. the bots on the easiest difficulty. I adjusted the difficulty, found that I was on the hardest difficulty and hadn’t made a mistake when I selected the difficulty.


This leads me to now, being $60 poorer with a game in my library that will probably sit there until the pain grows to be too much and I take it back and trade it in for a speck of its worth. I wanted to help out the gamers out there that have been in my shoes and find themselves in search of that game to play just for fun as we wait for the new consoles to arrive with a slew of games that are looking to be the next step in the evolutionary chain of gaming.

1. Don’t buy fuse, unless that’s your thing

2. Do your research. Make sure that you actually want to play the game you are about to buy

3. Sleep on it. Just because someone tells you too or you are really bored and want to leave the store with something new, don’t. Take your time.

4. Ask your friends if you are social gamer. If you play a lot of games with your friends then make sure you go ahead and ask them if they are interested. If no one you know is going to get it, is this a game you want to play all by yourself?

5. Don’t trust anyone named Kevin who works at GameStop and likes the game FUSE.



I hope this helps you in your search for your game of the year. To each their own and anyone who actually likes FUSE, do you want to buy another copy?