Seemingly not content with the regional favouritism that they enjoy when it comes to software release dates, online content updates, and access to trade shows and expos, North American gamers are once again venting their collective spleens.
This time our trans-Atlantic cousins -- of the Xbox 360 variety -- are dredging up the same complaints they voiced during last year’s release of the Limited Edition Halo 3 tin, only this time they’re aiming their derision at four-disc RPG epic Lost Odyssey.
While disgruntled Halo 3 fans perhaps had a point in complaining about scratched discs, ineffectual mounting nubs, loose content, and possible damage, the cries currently emanating from across the pond appear to be grounded in jealousy rather than fair play.
Various reports on the matter indicate that US gamers are displeased by the way Microsoft has chosen to bundle the four game disc that make up the Lost Odyssey experience. Apparently, three of the four discs are stacked together on the box’s mounting nub, while the fourth is loosely packed into a protective paper envelope -- presumably because the nub won’t hold more than three.
Now, while not perhaps the most attractive solution, the real problem arises when viewing the Japanese version of Lost Odyssey’s box, which is fatter than its North American counterpart in order to allow for convenient flippable trays that hold the game discs in a well presented manner. Prepare to fume.
How dare Microsoft scrimp on a market that has thus far failed to truly embrace any of the traditional RPG releases it has offered? How dare Microsoft use slightly more expensive and elaborate packaging in a region where it’s fighting to maintain a foothold and appeal to a demographic that generally adores the Lost Odysseys of this world? How dare Microsoft, an American company, treat its home consumer base with such obvious corporate loathing?
Look, dear American gamers, exercise a little common sense when it comes to Lost Odyssey.
First, if you’re really that concerned about scratches (which, by the way, DO NOT render a game unplayable unless carved in with a chisel) then don’t buy online but perhaps go to the store and lightly shake the game’s packaging. If it clicks and rattles then, chances are, its discs might be loose. It not, then consider it safe to buy.
Hey, if you're still not convinved, then open the box in the store after purchasing it... just to be on the safe side. You'll have the receipt right there with you.
Crikey, kids, it’s JUST packaging. Are any of the game discs missing? No. Do you have repeat discs (which was also a legitimate Halo 3 complaint)? No. Does one or more of the discs contain hardcore pornography? Sadly, no. Is the packaging different from that released in another region and you’re simply stamping your feet like spoilt brats?
On that note, as usually disgruntled European gamers accustomed to being pushed to one side while the US and Japanese markets repeatedly receive preferential treatment, we will now order our (cheaper) copy of Lost Odyssey from an import Web site, safe in the knowledge that the Japanese version not only comes with really cool packaging, but that it’s also PAL compatible and plays in English too.