Oh, you want to buy that game?

As a freelance game reviewer, you don't always get the best games. Sure, sometimes you're assigned a hidden gem, or a personal favorite, but most of the time you're reviewing the stuff that the full-time folks would rather not play. That's fine with me. I'm still getting paid to play a video game, plus I enjoy the challenge of writing a concise summary of my impressions. Any work is better than no work, even when you have to play three Harvest Moon games in one month.

You know what the best part of reviewing some not-so-great games is? Screwing with game store employees. See, sometimes I have to purchase a game I'm going to review. If the outlet I'm writing for doesn't have a review copy, or they need it done quickly and they don't want to lose a few days mailing a copy from San Francisco to Charlotte, I'll go buy it. It's always fun finding the employees that have to struggle to hold their tongues when I walk in and ask for a game they know is not good.

Yesterday, I went in and stood in front of the Xbox 360 section for a good 15 minutes searching for a game. I was asked if I needed help, but I said no, I could handle it. I found what I was looking for and brought it to the front. A brand new copy of Sniper: Ghost Warrior. The guy behind the counter picked up the game and crinkled his nose like it smelled bad.

"Uhh," he said to the other guy with him, as they exchanged a 'this-fool-doesn't-know-what-he's-buying' look.

"I'd like to buy that please," I said pulling out my wallet.


"What?" I said. "You think it's going to suck?"