Darn You, Lou Anders – or – My New Love Of Skyrim

Everyone’s been talking about Skyrim recently.  How awesome it is.  How the gameplay rocks.  That sort of thing.  So a month or so ago I went by the Skyrim website and looked at it.  I thought, “Cool”, then resolved to do what I normally do with games for my PS-3: wait six months to a year until the price comes down before buying it.

I was all set on that plan.  And then Lou Anders struck.

A week or so ago, he wrote a great blog post about Skyrim.  I don’t recall how I got there, but I read the post.  And my jaw dropped.  The kind of gameplay and character development he described was just…awesome.  So I went back to the Skyrim website, and I watched several demo videos that they have posted.

I could not help myself.  I did what I almost never do: I ran out to Gamestop and bought a copy, at full new release price.

Smiling elatedly, I drove home and turned on my PS-3.  And watched as the system froze up completely.  Well, that happens sometimes.  I secured power then rebooted.  And it froze up as soon as I logged into my account.  Then it did it again.  And again.  WTF?

Fortunately, my 15 month old likes to grab remote controls and play with them.  At one point in the last couple weeks, he was screwing around while my back was turned and somehow created a second PS-3 login.  So I decided to try logging in with that one.  It worked without a problem.  Except that I could not access my saved game and other data, because that was all saved under the other login.

What to do?

The troubleshooting guide in the Playstation website gave some tips, but some of them were rather extreme, like erasing the entire system and restoring the factory default settings (thus losing all my data).  Rather than going there, I called the toll-free number to tech support.

They offered a number of other solutions, which I tried.  But none worked.  Finally it came down to the full factory restore and the loss of all my data.  I was reluctant, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I mean really, what did losing that data mean?  I would just have to replay all my games if I wanted to get those save game data files back.  Perish the thought!  🙂

But alas, it didn’t work.  As soon as I set up my account, logged back into the Playstation Network, and tried to do anything, the system froze up again.  The tech support guy determined that there was a catastrophic fault somewhere and I needed to send the PS-3 back for repair or replacement.  Since it cost the same amount either way, I opted for the replacement, which would end up doubling my hard disk.

Hanging up, I was dejected.  I could not play my awesome new game!  A few hours passed and I decided to try the system restore again.  This time, I did not log into the Playstation Network, but instead just installed the game and started playing.  No issues whatsoever.  What the heck?  So I called tech support back.  If the problem only arose when I logged into the PS Network, maybe there was a way to fix it short of a full replacement.  But alas again, the tech guy (it was a girl this time actually) assured me that this still indicated a catastrophic fault and I really needed a repair or replacement.  So I acquiesced.

But the game still worked.  For the last four days I’ve been playing Skyrim on my faulty PS-3 and loving every second of it.  I’ve enjoyed the other games Bethesda Softworks put out (I LOVE Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas), but Skyrim, so far, seems a cut above.  The interface is easy to use and the gameplay what I expected.  The landscape rendering, however, is stunning.  And so far the plot and character interaction is great.  I got up to level 7 early this morning (for some reason my 4 year old got up at 0430 and wanted to go downstairs.  So she watched The Land Before Time on Netflix on the iPad and I played Skyrim).

Then this afternoon I got back home and found a box at the door: the shipping box meant to bring my PS-3 back to Sony.  With trepidation, I loaded it in the box and took it to the FedEx store for shipment.  Now I’ve got a week and a half to two weeks to wait before I get my replacement unit.

I’m already feeling the lack.  I want my Skyrim!

Darn you, Lou Anders!