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Games Entertainment

Review: RedOctane Game Rental Service 105

An anonymous reader writes "Are you thinking of subscribing to the RedOctane game rental service? If so, you may wish to read this review before signing up. Bottom line? Slow turnaound times make it uncompetitive with local rentals."
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Review: RedOctane Game Rental Service

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  • However... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Saturday October 05, 2002 @02:31PM (#4393937)
    First post? I dunno.

    The VARIETY can't be beat. The sheer number of import games ALONE makes it worth while. I'd like to see an import store that does rentals. or a rental store that does imports. Atleast in Las Vegas where I live.
  • Depends on the gamer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skadet ( 528657 ) on Saturday October 05, 2002 @02:39PM (#4393971) Homepage
    I don't game that much, so my local video store works fine for me. They'll give you 2 games for 7 days for $10. Taking into consideration the waiting time involved with RedOctane, the store in town's a better deal.

    I imagine RedOctane's main draw will be for gamers who want to play imports or other hard-to-find titles. Their selection definately can't be beat.
    • A good friend of mine used to rent games from RedOctane, since they always had superior selection to the local video stores. In particular, it seemed hard to get new RPG's in a reasonable amount of time, and we were RPG nuts (still are, really). So the selection and the import titles made it completely worth it. That, and the serial port based modchip in our PSX meant we could "acquire" about 3 games a week, for $20 a month.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Isnt it better to get a $20 or so /month games
    freedom pass from blockbuster? Get as many
    games as you wish for a month.
    • That's a summer only promotion. They no longer have it.
    • The Blockbuster Pass is $29.99 a month. We can compare the two services based on a couple of different things. The first is the time it takes from when you rent the game to when you actually get it. At Blockbuster it is immediate and in this impatient age of information that is not the best option for some. This is again evident from the review of RedOctane, it appears that he did not like the waiting involved for the new games to get to arrive in the mail.

      One /. poster and RedOctane user had a better idea than the person who wrote the review of the service. Que up a bunch of games so when you do return one game that you have out then another is more than likely on its way. So to resolve the issue of how RedOcatane service operates as written in the review, it may come down to that the reveiwer was using the service incorrectly. In grade school we are taught to take a positional stance on the articles that we write. The reason for the reviewer's dislike of the RedOctane service may come down to him purposely taking a position of dislike in his article and thusly trying to write prose that portrayed this.

      The 2nd way we can compare the service is based on how you interface with the rental company. RedOctane is online/mail-in. Blockbuster is live. There are going to be different strategies for each service that people will learn to enable them to get the games that they want to rent. Slashdot posters have suggested strategies for both in this post. In order to answer this question you will have to ask yourself, "Do I mind waiting for that game to come in". This gives no mention to how you prefer to wait for the new games to come in. Do you want to call your local Blockbuster weekly to see if that "hot" title has come in or do you want to take your chances and see if you are the lucky person on the RedOctane que to get the game.

      I think I could go right on comparing the two services, making conjectures on what I am not sure about, for you see I don't own a gaming system and play everything on my computer. It comes down to how you like to rent your games. There are going to be advantages and disadvantages to everthing.

  • Yes, but... (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Pi-Guy ( 529892 ) <[joshua+slashdot] [at] [joshuawise.com]> on Saturday October 05, 2002 @02:41PM (#4393975) Homepage
    what about the DDR mats? =)

    I personally want one, anyone know if the RedOctane pads are any good?

    • The RedOctane pads are among the best non-Konami pads you can get.

      I'd recommend them for DDR any day of the week, and many others would too.
    • The pad works great. It does have a few drawbacks tho:

      1. If you have large feet (or are a big person) it may seem a little confining.
      2. Playing on carpet, the mat slips (to the left for me) enough that higher level songs/speeds are impossible without the fear of falling. I've tried all kinds of non-slip devices to avail.
      3. Due to number 2, you have to constantly look down to make sure you are hitting the buttons.

      Otherwise, it's a great mat!
      • nd I, both with pretty big feet, have found that if you just don't stay in the center once the song starts, you'll almost never bleed over between buttons. Plus, bigger feet can slide more easily between buttons.

        2. Try plywood. Using two mats, some plywood, and a good bit of tape, it should work great.

        3. Isn't that why the buttons are raised? So you don't have to look down at them? Not a problem I'm having.

        I'm consistently getting B's on 8 and 9 foot songs, these pads are ama
  • Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Saturday October 05, 2002 @02:42PM (#4393981) Homepage Journal
    This is the exact same thing as with buying games online. For about a year, I bought all my games online and had them shipped to me. I thought, "Hey, I don't have to pick up my games at the store, they're right on my doorstep!" But eventually, I got tired of waiting for terrible shipping delays, having my shipments sent back because nobody was available to pick up at 10:00 in the morning (does UPS realize that people work during the day and can't pick up packages at home?)

    It's ten times simpler to buy it at a local store. They worry about shipping charges, they worry about pickups of games, and they always get the games at the earliest possible date - sometimes before. You also have the convenience of walking home with the game, and also interaction with other gamers. I originally had no clue what Serious Sam was until I went into an EB and heard people talking about it. It's one of the best FPS games I've ever played, and it's only $20.

    There are only two reasons to buy something online:

    • It's so unbelievably rare that you'd likely never find it in a store
    • It's significantly cheaper to buy it online (after shipping) and you don't mind when you get it.
    This rental service is just proving that all over again.
    • next bullet point,you are a student that doesn't have a car, or want to ride te bus to the mall.

      Or, the mall/EB/wherever is 15+ minutes away. That wastes a 1/2 hour + of your life. for what, 5 dollors and the game 3 days sooner?.
    • Re:Nothing new (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      (1) Try buying from EBGames [ebgames.com].
      (2) Get your deliveries sent to your place of work.

      I have had zero problems with them, and with 1-day overnight shipping (frequently free because of coupons / special offers), I usually get new games the same day that they appear in stores. It's nice to arrive at work in the morning, only to find a FedEx package sitting on my desk with a shiny new game inside.
    • You forgot the 3rd and most important reason:

      -You live in a forest and the nearest store that sells games is nearly an hour drive from your house.

      Personally, I could care less if a game gets delayed 3 or 4 days from shipping. It's less of a hassle than making time in the day to drive completely out of my way. I signed the little waiver they stick on your door the first time they couldn't deliver something because you're not home, and now they leave it on the doorstop. My only problem is, it's too easy to buy games since I don't have to go out of my way :P Damn internet..
    • But eventually, I got tired of waiting for terrible shipping delays, having my shipments sent back because nobody was available to pick up at 10:00 in the morning (does UPS realize that people work during the day and can't pick up packages at home?)

      That's why I used to have all my online orders delivered to me at work. I'd get a polite phone call from our receptionist telling me a package had arrived, and I'd go upstairs and get it. AFAIK, credit card companies will let you specify an alternate shipping address (and since you usually give them your work address as well, that can also be an authenticated address).

      The only hazard was that, occasionally, the package would get delivered not to me but to the Charles Schwab brokerage downstairs.


      • This worked great at my old job. The mail room guy would come and deliver the packages to my desk when they arrived. At my current job however, I am lucky to ever see the package. More than likely it will sit in a bin underneath a shelf for 5 days until the mailroom staff finally gets around to sorting it, then they will put it near my (not in) my mailbox. If I want it, I have to go find it.
    • (does UPS realize that people work during the day and can't pick up packages at home?)

      Yes, but it'd cost you a lot more in shipping to hire people to work hours most people are home.

      Personally, solved this problem by having my purchases shipped to my office.
  • Netflix had a terrible turnaround time also. Only recently did they open a depot in New York City. Now, it only takes a day for my returned movie to reach them and the next video in my queue to arrive. I've sent back and received in less than 24 hours at one point. Location. Location. Location.
    • It seems only popular dvds come fast.

      I was a member 2 years ago, and it would take like 3 days for my dvds to come in (and 3 days to get there), at the time they only had like 1 office.

      I rejoined a few months ago, Now i was getting dvds the next day! This is because they now have an office in MA, and im in RI. This happened for a while but now that ive rented all the new movies, I started renting older movies and now its taking forever. I sent my dvds back tuesday and they just got them yesterday (friday), and I wont receive my new dvds until wednesday or thursday.

      oh well
    • by Frank of Earth ( 126705 ) <{moc.snikrepf} {ta} {knarf}> on Saturday October 05, 2002 @02:56PM (#4394034) Homepage Journal
      I must have joined after the depot opened in NYC because I have great turn around time. In face, the only lag I have found is with myself making time to watch the movies.

      I thought I would actually run out of videos to rent after a few months but I still have 15+ in my rental queue.

      A lot of people compare Netflix to the BallBuster monthly plans but the beauty of Netflix is that you don't have to go the video store with all the other morons and walk around like an idiot trying to find a video to rent. I can just sit back and relax on my laptop, read reviews and pick the videos I want to see. Since I always have three videos in my possession, I never have to worry about getting movies for a rainy day.

      Not to totally bash BallBusters, but check this out:

      Q: Does BLOCKBUSTER edit the movies in the store?
      A: No, Blockbuster does not edit the content of its films. But whenever able, Blockbuster will order 'edited for content' versions from the studios that go light on displays of violent or sexual nature.

      There is no mention of this tactic anywhere on their website, and the worst part is that most of the rentals don't mention anywhere on the packaging that the consumer is about to rent a lighter version than the one playing nationwide in theaters. We waited until movie night and tested these findings. An agent of ours rented "The Wonder Boys". This one actually said right before the movie "this film has been edited for content." Boy did we feel jilted. Naturally, we would have never rented the thing if it said on the box "edited for content." We marched back to Blockbuster and politely but firmly asked for our money back, which we received without a problem.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Every video version of Wonder Boys has been edited for content:

        In the theatrical version Tobey Maguire mistakenly refers to Alan Ladd's death as a suicide. After complaints from Ladd's family, Paramount removed the offending line in all future releases of the film, including home video. VHS and DVD releases carry a disclaimer, shown before the feature, warning that the film has been edited for content.

        From IMDB's Alternate Versions [imdb.com] page.

      • I have wonderful experience with Netflix, although I think they opened a depot in Houston, and I live about 200 miles west.

        I really like Netflix for a different reason than avoiding the store (and I suspect I would enjoy this service for that same reason): I rent things on Netflix I normally wouldn't rent.

        In both models, you're paying a subscription, not a per-movie charge, so it's in your best interest to queue movies you kinda wanted to see, but aren't willing to get instead of something you REALLY want to see. Right now, Natural Born Killers is in my queue. I haven't seen that movie in about 8 years, so while I do remember liking it, I don't remember much about it. Everytime I walked into Blockbuster, I'd see the DVD, but I'd always say, "eh, I really want to see X". Now, I get to see it. Ditto for anime series, for example. I'd feel extrememly ripped off if I paid, say, $15 for a 3 episode volume of some anime. In a lot of cases, very few local rental stores stock the shows, so that's the only way to go. In comes Netflix... Sakura Diaries arrived Wednesday, was viewed Wednesday, and was in the post box Wednesday. Additionally, I take a lot of film classes and english classes which require analyzing films. While everyone else is driving to nearby cities when the one copy of a movie is rented out, mine's been sitting at the house for three days waiting for my chance to watch it. Netflix isn't the way to go for people who like to up-and-rent a movie when there's nothing to do on a weekend, but it works great for people who just generally enjoy watching movies.

      • I spent some time working at a Hollywood Video, so I'm familiar with their policies (and those of Blockbuster, because they're basically the same).

        Both stores claim to be "family" stores. Thus, they do not stock movies rated NC-17. For this reason, you're missing out on, say, Todd Solondz's Happiness [imdb.com], and Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream [imdb.com].

        (Wonder Boys [imdb.com] was a special case, as I'm sure somebody has pointed out. Director Curtis Hanson consented to trimming a bit out of Tobey Maguire's celebrity suicide scene out of respect for the family of the deceased.)

        Studios realize that they're not going to make money in the after-market if they're not available at Blockbuster, though. And so sometimes they'll impose cuts on a movie to get a lower rating.

        Censorship is just about my only hot-button issue, so this always frustrated me immensely. Anytime a customer asked me about one of the movies above, I'd fill them in on the situation and tell them which independent video stores had the uncut version available, if they were interested.

        Here's the really odd thing-- movies that were originally rated R, and were then released in director's cuts in unrated form, or sometimes even released unrated in the first place, seem to slip through the stores' filters. Just this weekend I rented Romero's Dawn of the Dead [imdb.com] from Hollywood Video, which is probably the most grotesque horror movie I've ever seen.

        Chalk it up to ignorance on the part of the stores. There's probably no way to pick up on each special case, and so they institute the blanket "no NC-17" policy without regard for the details.
    • I'm on the five disc plan and find that I've really been getting good use out of netflix. The best thing is that I can slowly work my way through the various anime series that I've always wanted to see but didn't want to buy. So I've now seen all of Trigun and am working my way through Cowboy Bebop now.

      I had been a netflix subscribe previously and then canceled for a while. The problem was I was on a plan where I got less discs. So I'd end up at home with all of my discs and not interested in watching any of them at that moment. I went for months without returning any discs because I just wasn't in the right mood for the movies I had. Seemed like a big waster of money.

      Now with the plan I'm on I haven't really noticed shipping delays and I keep the discs circulating pretty rapidly. I've almost always got one or two discs on hand and we get to see about one anime disc/week which is just about the right pace to keep it fresh in your mind but not get oversaturated by it.
    • NetFlix, as a friend of mine who is a subscriber has told me, has gotten amazing with turn around. Now, if THEY would just add games, I'd sign up in a heartbeat.

      One side note. The local stores have turnaround that is great (immediate) IF it's not a new game. New games seem to fly off the shelves faster than they hit them. So, unless you're extrememly lucky, you're not going to get a new game for a couple of weeks anyway (Blockbuster doesn't do reservations and the locally owned places have all been driven out of business, but DID do reservations).
  • Ok I am no hardcore gamer but this seems a bit steep. At Blockbuster I can rent a game a week and keep it that whole week for $4 a game. Thats $16 + 8.25% sales tax (Dallas) a month. And that's renting and playing EVERY week. Most games I want to play more than a two or three weeks I will buy. How much of a video game addict does one have to be to subscribe? No offense but don't most people have better things to do? You know a hobby that isn't in front of a glowing box or panel?

    No doubt I'll get the "This is /. man, we don't know the meaning of physical activity."
  • Unfair analysis (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Circus Maximus, a game I returned after one day, cost me a full month of waiting: 2 weeks for it to arrive and 2 weeks for the next game to arrive.

    It's not fair to count two time intervals per game, because in the long run you'd count all the waiting times twice.
    • Re:Unfair analysis (Score:2, Informative)

      by Fembot ( 442827 )
      Actualy it is. As I understand it another game isnt shipped until one is returned thus each game has a delay at it's begginging and start, so there are two delays associated with one rental.
  • If this service was offered by someone like Netflix, who I subscribed to for two years before dropping it in favor of cablemodem access, I'd be buying an Xbox or PS2 rather quickly, where right now I have no reason to consider anything but my PC and Dreamcast (which hasn't been hooked up since my move three months ago) for gaming use.

    Netflix has great service, in my opinion. With a games inventory, they'd do quite well considering the improvement they made in turnaround times a little bit before I had to cancel my subscription.

    Console games are expensive, rarely "demoed" and limited in lifespan rather significantly for the most part. They're perfect for rentals, but not all that great to own if you have any kind of financial conservatism in you.
    • If you would've read the comments at the bottom, perhaps you would've caught this tidbit:
      ya'll should check out http://boomeranggames.com/ it is the netflix of video game rentals, cuz it was started by netflix. a buddy of mine has it and it's proved as reliable as the netflix service
      There was also this comment...
      Another good site is http://www.getanygame.com . I'm using this service now and am pretty happy with the game turnaround time.
  • by MooRogue ( 223321 ) on Saturday October 05, 2002 @02:50PM (#4394011)
    As a former RedOctane member, i can attest to how their service has gone down over time. I'm virtually local to RedOctane's office, and up to a year ago, I was getting 2 day turnaround times from their service. On their G3 program, I was able to play almost 3 games a week, with 3-4 days to play each game.

    However, this year, I found it increasingly hard to obtain *any* games from RedOctane. Any popular or new game would have a 2-4 week waiting period, or they would simply send you one of the games in lesser demand in your queue. Right before i cancelled my service, I would have only one, sometimes none of my 3 alloted games actually in my posession and playable.

    I guess RedOctane was a victim of it's own success. As it started growing and getting more members, it did not expand it's inventory of necessary games and/or staff to keep up with demand.
  • .. pr0n. I'm too embarrased to go the back of the local video store to rent pr0n and the times I have, there was always some weird guy reading the boxes like they were Shakespeare sonnets.

    I remember this one time I rented Boobie Babes or something like that and all my luck the 16 year old girl working the counter couldn't get it to scan so she had to call the manager. I'm not sure if minors are allowed to help you rent p0rn, but it should be illegal!

    Anyways, nowadays I just download crappy videos from Kazza.
  • From the review:

    Circus Maximus, a game I returned after one day, cost me a full month of waiting: 2 weeks for it to arrive and 2 weeks for the next game to arrive.

    With those accounting skills, I wonder if the reviewer isn't a former Enron employee.
  • by tjgrant ( 108530 ) <tjg AT craigelachie DOT org> on Saturday October 05, 2002 @03:03PM (#4394055) Homepage

    I've bought a couple of them for my three sons and myself. $19.95, two games out at a time, as many games as you can get in 30 days. It's a heck of a deal, there've even been times where we got a game in the morning, decided it sucked and returned it that afternoon for something new.

    I usually get one game for the kids (T rating or lower and one game for me M rated). [I have to get something that only I can play cause my kids kick my butt on anything I play with them!].

    Blockbuster doesn't necessarily have the best selection, but they've generally got enough to keep us interested.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    www.consoleclassix.com -- /. did a story on them a while back. It's too bad that NOA & co. are always trying to shut places like CC down, because its turnaround is *much* faster than this place's...
  • Netflix (Score:2, Insightful)

    Having just acquired a new PS2, I'm wishing that Netflix rented games as well as movies. I think this model is perfect for games, because you could actually keep the game for a few weeks and play it leisurely, without penalty. Since I already have their subscription for movies, though, I'm not willing to shell out another $20 just for a games subscription. I'm not a big gamer, and I just want to play occasionally, so I just can't justify the expense.

    Netflix certainly have the movie thing down, though. Since they opened a warehouse near Boston, I've been getting DVDs sometimes as soon as 2 days after I put the last one in the mail. 1 day for it to get to them, and another day for another movie to get back to me. That's impressive! And well worth the price tag, if you ask me.
  • From the review:
    Now wake up to the sting and stench of reality that hits you like a sturgeon to the jaw.

    Looks like Jon Katz could take some lessons from this guy....
  • by Buck2 ( 50253 ) on Saturday October 05, 2002 @03:50PM (#4394195) Homepage
    I've been a G3 member of RedOctane since shortly after the PS2 came out. I never hesitate to recommend it to anyone who owns or is interested in buying a console. It's not a company for everyone, though.

    After looking at my last credit card statement, I see that I pay $23.76 per month to have 3 games for as long as I want. This, to me, equates to about $8 to rent a game for a month! I think the rates have gone up slightly but they haven't raised mine. I find this a nice touch.

    I believe that the way that I use RedOctane's service may be significantly different than the person who wrote this review. In the early days of my membership I discussed, at some length, RedOctane's policy for the determination of the next customer to be sent a game when one is returned. They said that it's a first-come-first-served basis, meaning that from the moment you enqueue a game, you are on the list. Your place on the list is also not penalized if you are "passed over" for game shipment because you already have all of your allotted games.

    The way to do best at this system is to immediately enqueue a game as soon as it becomes available. Many times you can enqueue games weeks before they are actually sold. If you do this then you ensure an early spot on the list and a copy will come to you soon enough.

    I don't worry about these details anymore, though. Currently my queue consists of (please forgive the PS2 redundancy, /. won't let me post with "short lines"):

    Parappa the Rapper 2 (Playstation 2)
    Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance (Playstation 2)
    Devil May Cry (Playstation 2)
    Rez (Playstation 2)
    Tony Hawk 3 (Playstation 2)
    Final Fantasy X (Playstation 2)
    Jak and Daxter (Playstation 2)
    Deus Ex (Playstation 2)
    Guilty Gear X (Playstation 2)
    Mr. Mosquito (Playstation 2)
    Virtua Fighter 4 (Playstation 2)
    Red Faction (Playstation 2)
    Ace Combat 4 (Playstation 2)
    Test Drive (Playstation 2)
    Way of the Samurai (Playstation 2)
    Onimusha 2: Samurais Destiny (Playstation 2)
    Tekken 4 (Playstation 2)
    Akira Psychoball (Playstation 2)
    Spiderman: The Movie (Playstation 2)
    Spy Hunter (Playstation 2)
    Supercar Street Challenge (Playstation 2)
    Star Wars Bombad Racing (Playstation 2)
    UFC Throwdown (Playstation 2)
    MTV Music Generator 2 (Playstation 2)
    Legend of Alon Dar (Playstation 2)
    Wild Arms 3 (Playstation 2)
    Summoner 2 (Playstation 2)
    Kings Field: The Ancient City (Playstation 2)
    Cookies and Cream (Playstation 2)
    Yanya Caballista: City Skater (Playstation 2)
    Smash Court Tennis (Playstation 2)
    Tetris Worlds (Playstation 2)
    SOCOM (Playstation 2)
    Medal of Honor Frontline (Playstation 2)
    Stuntman (Playstation 2)

    I currently have Metal Gear, Harvest Moon, and Blood Omen 2 checked out. I've had Metal Gear since _June_ just because I kinda like playing it every once in a while but don't feel like buying it (in three more months I should have). I have two other "slots" that I've been burning through. Since I have so many games queued up, three days after I put a game in the mail I usually get two emails in the afternoon, one saying they received the returned game, and one saying they shipped a new one. Within a couple of days I'm playing a new game which I thought may have been interesting to play at some time or another.

    So, what does this mean? The best way to use RedOctane is to queue up as many games as you think might be fun and kick back. Get the games you have to have for a party or for the weekend or whatever at your local rental. Otherwise, think of it as some person you know who just sends you games you yourself have said are intriguing and waits patiently to take them back whenever you feel like it.

    I don't know how many games I've gone through with them, probably on the order of sixty or so, and I've only had one that was unplayable. They have twice neglected me (not shipping _anything_ for a week) and after inquiring about it they gave me a free month's membership both times. I figure that when all is said and done, if I would have rented those same games at Blockbuster or wherever I would have spent much more and not had that feeling of luxury that RedOctane gives.

    I really like it. If you are not the kind of person who must have the latest game _immediately_ then it's well worth the money.
    • what I do is wait a month or so, go to Funco (I refuse to call it Gamestop), and just buy the game used, you save lots of money, and for the cost of just a few rental for a really awesome game, you can own it and enjoy it again and again. seems to me like the logical thing to do.
      • Instead of bothering yourself to hassle Funco with when they get a game in stock you can always try the used game sites on the web.

        Half.com [half.com]
        Amazon.com [amazon.com]
        Ebay.com [ebay.com]
        GameRankings.com [gamerankings.com]
        UsedGames.com [usedgames.com]
        Recycle-Video-Games.com [recycle-video-games.com]
        ABC-VideoGames.com [abc-videogames.com]

        Heck Gamestop even has their own site [gamestop.com]. You can always try on their site instead of going to the store. I am not sure if they have a fully integrated web site and brick and mortor store. If they don't they should hire me to fix that! :)

        • why go to the website, it is not fully integrated, usually I just go to the storefront at the local mall, ask whoever is there "hey you got so and so game used yet", takes about 3 seconds, no shipping and handling, and you get to talk to, gasp, real people. I prefer to talk to real people sometimes, yes real people, as opposed to fake people, I realize now how stupid that sounds.
  • well, how long does a game stay on the 'wanted' list of a gamer(even on the consoles)? 1 month? 3 months?

    compare that to the life of a dvd release, you can still enjoy 3 years old dvd releases, which are made from movies that are friggin 30+ years old themself.

    my point? it's much cheaper to run dvd renting business than game rental(thus allowing more money to go into posting&etc)..
  • Going to the video store takes too much time (and is just plain annoying) and buying games is too expensive (especially when you buy a crappy game). For me, RedOctane and NetFlix totally rock.

    When I hear about a new game I just add it to my queue and forget about it. I always have at least one new game to play and it costs me a fraction of what I used to spend buying games. I live in California and their shipping turnaround has been extremely quick. My experience with NetFlix has been similar.

    Between Tivo, NetFlix, RedOctane, and my wife, I have everything I need!

    • This is rediculous. How much effort does it really take to go down to the video store??? I mean, are you trying to not leave your house at any cost? What the hell, I like going to the video store, I think renting videos by mail order is the height of lazy american consumerism. What next? Buy grocheries, or pet food over the net. OH wait.... never mind.
      • People like you "just don't get it".

        1. Its cheaper. I can turn around 4-6 movies a month and only pay 19.95. What are BB's prices these days for new releases? 3.95 or something like that? So round it up...4 bucks. So $16-24 and...

        2. With BB you have to get in your car and get to the store to return it the next day (new releases) or else they start slapping you with tons of late charges. With Netflix I return it when I'm done with it. Get some friends with Netflix and trade rentals and return them all when your done. Turns out to be even cheaper if you trade with friends. With Netflix I just pull the seal and pop it in any mailbox anywhere in the US. Simple and takes no time. Even just put it in the outgoing mail at your place of work.

        3. Selection. Netflix's selection is a million times better than any BB store.

        4. Rental queue. I can't keep a running list at BB with the movies I want to rent. I can't walk into a store and say give me the next one on my list. With Netflix when they get one back they send you the next one in your list, that day. Netflix is doing 2 day turn around. The day they get it, they ship the next one. In 2 days you have a new movie.
        • I wish I had mod points today..

          4. Rental queue. I can't keep a running list at BB with the movies I want to rent. I can't walk into a store and say give me the next one on my list. With Netflix when they get one back they send you the next one in your list, that day. Netflix is doing 2 day turn around. The day they get it, they ship the next one. In 2 days you have a new movie.

          It may not look like it, but this is a Big Deal (tm). Netflix is a step beyond the normal rental places because of this. Just think about it: you're bs'ing with some colleagues over lunch and someone mentions a movie you've never heard of and how great it was (e.g. Harold and Maude). After lunch, you go back to your desk, log on to Netflix, find the movie, add it to your queue, and forget about it. When that movie comes up in your queue, you get it in the mail, and watch it. Sure beats writing it down on a post-it note, shlepping down to the video store, and asking some frazzled video clerk about a movie whose title they've never heard of. Good luck finding it in stock too.

          I won't even go into how much money Netflix has saved us in late fees at the store.

          Don't believe me? Try it!
  • Blockbuster sucks. Anyone who discourages widescreen DVDs can bite me. I also live in the city and have no car so getting there isnt easy.

    I looked at 3 different online game rental services and chose red octane. My first impression was dissapointing, none of the games on my queue seemed to be available. Here is my queue, you can see how many are out. These are all for Xbox, Those that say "not yet available" have not yet been released.

    NFL 2K3 Short Wait
    Jet Set Radio Future Available Now
    Star Wars: Obi Wan Available Now
    Dead to Rights Long Wait
    Unreal Championship Not Yet Available
    Blade 2 Not Yet Available
    Wreckless Available Now
    Kelly Slaters Pro Surfer Short Wait
    Outlaw Golf Short Wait
    Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 Not Yet Available
    NHL 2003 Not Yet Available
    Sega GT 2002 Short Wait
    The Thing Short Wait
    Timesplitters 2 Not Yet Available
    Blinx: The Time Sweeper Not Yet Available
    Max Payne Available Now
    X-Men: Next Dimension Not Yet Available
    Medal of Honor Frontline Not Yet Available

    Many games are short to long wait, that sucks. Below you see the email that gets sent out..

    Your game rental has shipped! We have shipped the following title:

    TITLE: Terminator: Dawn of Fate (XBox)
    SHIP DATE: 9/27/2002


    In The US Expected Delivery

    First Class Mail 3-5 Business Days
    First Class Mail (HI,AK) 4-6 Business Days

    This game shipped on friday the 27th, Post Office is close on sunday and the game arrived on Tuesday the first. I live in San Francisco, not far from them. I have yet to send a game back so I cant comment on their turn-around. I do like that they include the full original manual with the game. Many rental stores do not include the manual.

    I really hope RedOctane works out, I do wish netflix would rent games and porn though.
  • I don't mean local chain outlets, I mean local stores and rental places.

    I go to a local place that'll rent 2 games for 7 days for $12 CDN. You can exchange games part way through the week, too. It is actually part of a chain, but it's a game store chain, not a rental store chain.
  • Check out GamesMania which allows you to download games over the web without limit. They have a fair selection although a couple of years old. And, the price is very cheap! $15 canadian / month.
  • ...if mainstream stores carried Japanese versions of games.

    I simply don't play the American versions because they are usually 1) dubbed , 2) censored , 3) modified in some other way, or more often 4) just plain don't exist (most of my favorite games were never ever given a U.S. release, like Giren's Ambition series, Tokimeki Memorial series, Shin Megami Tensei series, etc.)

    There are exceptions, where there is a good, non-mangled non-censored English translation and the voices aren't dubbed over, but they are few and far between.

    This is where mail-order stuff comes to my rescue. :-)

  • Are there any services available that allows gamers to trade games they own? Each trader would just pay their own shipping. I searched for this service one time but couldn't find anything like it available.
  • I was a Red Octane customer for over a year when they first began, and I was very satisfied. Games would arrive within roughly one week. On the G1 program that was hardly enough, but when I upped to the G2 one would be played while the other one was sent back. I can see why they emphasise the G2 on their site.

    Their selection of rare / old / out of print titles is to be commended. I never did get that copy of Dance Dance Revolution 4th mix I had queued for six months, but I did get a lot of obscure and not-so-obscure titles, from Pang Pang to Sillohette Mirage to Silent Hill. It really felt more like a classic of the month club, as my Q was maybe 15 titles long, and I was never entirely sure which new surprise would be waiting on my doorstep. This may turn off some people, but it really encouraged experimentation, especially with the backcatalog of Playstation games available at the time.

    I never had a damaged game arrive. Once again, this could simply be good fortune, or the age of the program at the time. I mention it to balance the reviewer's bad experience. Likewise, turn around time was a quite reasonable one week. This may be because of the proximity of Orange County, CA, to their headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, or it may just be, again, the age of the program when I signed up.

    Red Octane may not be a best choice for X box owners right now. The benifit of going with a nationwide rental company is having a tremendous variety of games that you wouldn't find at a local shop. However, the XBox doesn't exactly have a tremendous variety of games one would want to play yet. A local shop might be more than adequate. Likewise, if you don't have a sense of the classics and an appreciation for what isn't the latest and greatest, you may be dissapointed that the waiting time on "hot" games can be a problem. As I said, I never did get that copy of DDR 4.

    Still, though, my experiences with Red Octane have been nothing but positive, and I would be a customer to this day if a series of moves (which are ongoing) hadn't prevented me from keeping a steady mailbox. However, I did like the service enough to donate half of an hour writing this review. If you are curious about giving them a try, I advise you to do so. If you don't like it, you are only out the cost of a used copy of Madden 2001. And how much is that, really?

    - C
  • I tried Red Octane for a few months and the service was mediocre... good selection but poor availability.

    I'm now using getanygame.com [getanygame.com]. Their selection isn't quite as good as Red Octane, but the service and response time has been excellent.

    Getanygame also has a feature that lets you submit your old games to rent out to other users... sort of a P2P type thing. I sent them a few games that I no longer play and so far I've made 8 bucks... better than a kick in the teeth :P -JE

  • When you have 200 programmers trying to write code for one
    product, like Win95 or NT, what you get is a multipule personality
    program. By definition, the real problem is that these programs are
    psychotic by nature and make people crazy when they use them.
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