I was given a small gift today from a Microsoft representative. You see, where I work, I deal with lots of electronics and lots of electronics companies. I also have to deal with the socially-retarded douchebag from Nintendo who likes to stare right through my soul and ask me, interrogation style, why we don’t have any copies of Pokemon, as though a popular, high demand video game selling out is some sort of cryptic mystery on par with the Bermuda Triangle or Mothman or something.
fig. a: Mothman
Companies like Sony and Microsoft, though. Those companies are pretty fuckin’ nice to me. They come in. They talk to you, as opposed to down to you. They do their thing. Then they give you free stuff before they head out the door. It’s nice.
This small present that Microsoft gave me was a pen. Two years ago, I happened to be at the right place at the right time and got two pens, a sleek white and green XBOX 360 pen that later broke (not helping the 360’s image of constantly breaking in any way), and a pretty dull black and gray pen promoting the Zune, the iPod’s younger brother who dropped out of high school and now does heavy narcotics in a toothless redneck’s unkempt truck who nobody likes to talk about. But does this new pen, promoting the new Epic Games’ uh, game, Gears of War 2, have what it takes to compete with the mass of free trinkets I get just for coming to work relatively conscious?
BRATZ: EXTREME CAGEFIGHT
IT’S NOT JUST ENCOURAGING APATHETIC PROMISCUITY ANYMORE
Okay so I just wanted an excuse to post that image. Bite me.
First, let me mention the look of this pen. One could certainly say that yeah, it looks alright I guess, but this person would be stupid. I think it looks marvelous, especially in this day and age where everyone is tripping over each other to make their products look The Best. It is both understated yet stunning. The Gears of War 2 logo stands out pretty darn well, as opposed to some its peers (coughzunecough). Not afraid to admit it had a little help, the pen also features the ZEBRA Z-Grip MAX logo in plain sight, in relatively large format to give credit where credit is due. The clip, my favorite part, is perfectly sloped down, before slightly jutting up at the end in as perfect as current technology will allow.
Of course, looks are nothing without sound. The clicking sound, unfortunately, is a tad pedestrian in comparison. It sounds exactly the same as any other pen! Note to Epic Games: show some more love (and budget) to your sound guys.
But you are probably asking, does it work? Like a fancy looking Single Action Army, looks are sometimes the only thing an item like this has going for it. I admit, at first, that I had a little trouble getting this pen to work. But after sticking with it and getting the pen warmed up (via writing with it), I found that it wrote much better than the pen I had before (a red pen promoting a local pizza place that I found on the floor once). The black grip on the handle was a comfortable piece of rubber, on par with a more expensive 2-pack of gel pens. If it weren’t three in the morning, I would write some things with this pen and scan them so as to show what this baby is capable of (ed’s note: remember to scan stuff)!
To close this, I find that this Gears of War 2 pen is quite possibly the best piece of free video game-related merchandise I have ever acquired. Bravo to Microsoft and Epic Games and ZEBRA Z-Grip MAX for this fine piece of writing utensil!
– Looks great. Probably the best looking thing this generation.
– Writes Well.
– That clip!
– The sound is pretty weak.
– A hard item for the average consumer to find. A few thousand more copies to meet demand would be nice!
FINAL SCORE: 8.5/10