I had my first encounter with RedBox over the Labor Day weekend. Impressive. The entire process of renting and returning a movie or game from a RedBox unit is intuitive, simple and, best of all, cheap. I rented a PS3 game for one night for $2.12. No matter how terrible the game, you're pretty likely to get $2.12 worth of fun out of it.
Sadly, I put that idea to the test right off the bat by renting 'Call of Juarez: The Cartel'. I thought I was renting a western-themed game. As you can see, the front artwork features an old hardcase in a wide-brimmed hat and duster aiming a double-barrelled shotgun at the 'camera'. Western iconography all over this thing. "Oh good," I thought. "A 'Red Dead Redemption' rip-off." Even warmed-over imitation 'Red Dead' would feed my hunger for more old West video game action. At least until the next Rare-produced 'Red Dead' title comes out.
Much smaller though, are the lady and gent on either side wearing contemporary clothes. Wish I'd noticed them before I'd rented.
From the press release: "As with past Call of Juarez games, Call of Juarez: The Cartel is from inception to execution, a Western shooter."
It's actually not. It's a crime game. Instead of running your avatar around saloons and liveries and ranches, your avatar runs in and out of the ghetto, the barrio, strip clubs, and gang hideouts. Blecch. Not to mention the hazy backgrounds, the repellant characters you either play or run with, and sub-par shooting experience. So I got took a little bit. But with Redbox, even the terrible video-game rental experiences don't sting so bad because it's only one night, and it's only $2.12. So to sum up, Redbox: good. Call of Juarez: The Cartel: bad.