How many times have we all wondered if a certain game is worth our hard-earned money? Let’s face the honest truth. Thirty to sixty dollars for a handheld or console title, or even more for a PC game, is not just a price anymore; it can be considered an investment! But how can we be sure that the return on this investment, both in legal tender as well as our gaming hours, can really be worthwhile? Why not RENT the game beforehand, try before you buy, right? Sadly, with rental stores like BlockBuster closing up shop, even portable services like Redbox are swiftly disappearing. Where can a poor gamer turn to make a sound judgement with his wallet? GAMEFLY, of course! Who knows if even this service is worth your time, though? Now, the truth about GameFly and their services has arrived. Let’s start the dissection, shall we? Onto the GameFly Hunter SERVICE review!
Selection~[3/5]: While the sheer volume of available games for any one console is quite vast, spanning almost any game for the consoles available, the actual number of consoles supported is really quite small. There are NO PSX/PS2/Xbox/GBA games available at all. Period. One could argue that the amount of people capable of using those titles is not the majority, but the sheer fact that they are not available nor even considered lowers this grade slightly in my eyes. What could be a historical bank-vault of classic games for people to enjoy at their leisure, mostly only caters to what has been available/popular over this current decade. However, nothing trumps this most-glaring flaw in this service’s selection; the law of supply and demand is all but ignored in their stock. Games can go weeks or even months on their availability status of Low, which all but guarantees that you won’t hold it in your hands until everyone else has tired of it and moved on. Furthermore, what is Low probability, anyway? If Wal-Mart or GameStop can tell me precisely where to find a copy of a game to the day, then how difficult is it for the shipping inventory to keep an accurate record of what is available? Revisions in the system are highly recommended.
Service~[2/5]: Having had some experience with the CSR team, I tip my hat to them on this alone; there are many easy options to solve simple problems, both on the website and even in LIVE CHAT or over the phone. However, why would the e-mails have banker’s hours? In this era, there is simply no excuse for heavy delays on e-mailed requests; even a return response with suggested links would be appreciated more than nothing until the next business day. And furthermore, with exception of physical problems with shipping, which is handled swiftly and professionally, most of the time what is given in reply is a short, curtly-addressed negative… which anyone in retail will tell you is a bad idea. In several situations, my experience with the CSR staff led to hurried replies, which speaks volumes about the training given to those involved. This whole facet of the company is one of the weak points of anyone’s experience with GameFly, when it should be the best.
Shipping~[2/5]: Now for some good news; shipping is FREE for the service at all times! Also, opening up the games upon arrival and repacking them for returning are both so easy, my elderly father can do it in seconds. Personally, my residence is one-hour away by car from one of their hubs, which is an ideal best-case scenario, as there are currently only five shipping centers stateside, located in Pittsburgh, Pa – Tampa, FL – Seattle, WA – Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA. Even with my location, it takes a grand total of THREE BUSINESS-DAYS MINIMUM from when the postman scans the package, that you will have your next game on the ‘Q’ in your hands. That means if you send it from the post office on Monday, without holidays, the earliest you can have your next game is Thursday when the mail comes into your mailbox. This painful fact of delays across the board means that unless you have a busy weekend, the latest you can return a title is Wednesday… and hope that it is one of the growing number of titles with the GF ‘FastReturn’ system attached to it, for receipt on Saturday morn. Otherwise, it can take up to one week to get a new game! Now this is an extreme case, based on holidays and timing, but when monthly dues are required, one week without game is almost unacceptable, at any cost.
Cost~[4/5]: Speaking of cost, we’re back to some good news once more. Considering that the average title can be played for as long as you desire, which for me is around ten days, and most games today range from $40-60.00 per title with low paybacks on returns/trades in the retail model, being able to play 2-3 NEW games a month for only fifteen dollars is an excellent bargain! Having another game available for 1.5x as much in dues? Still a decent deal mathematically, even if I don’t participate in it. Furthermore, the service does offer several discounts over time, and selling older games at discount-bin prices does sweeten the deal a little. Want a challenge? Do the actual math; figure out how much money you would save renting all the games you want to play, or even making use of their discounted sale prices, instead of buying them from normal retailers over a fiscal year. Profitable for GameFly and me? Good decision in my book!
OVERALL~[6/10]: While there are facets of this service that I am unable to cover, due to lack of personal experience on my part, for renting console games, I had to ask myself some basic questions about GameFly and their services. Would I continue using their service? Yes. Do I consider their service cost-effective? Yes! Are there other services available? Yes, if you search for them. Does this company provide the best service to their customers? Sadly, this time, my answer has to be no. There are problems with GameFly, indeed, but this is also a business in natural evolution. In time, I know their service can improve… but in the meanwhile, if you are looking to ‘try before you buy’, GameFly gets my vote… and my monthly investment.
SOURCE (http://fav NULL.me/d5pwt4r): Revised from original