Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chennai's very own Blur!

Nyx used to be my favourite cafe because it had something which I haven't seen in any other cafe in India; it had an atmosphere. Nyx was a place that I could just go to, to chill and relax. It also had a variety of consoles and a proper PC setup for serious gaming. It was just ideal. But sadly, Nyx was closed a few months back and Blur became my new dream cafe. But Blur is targeted at the general public and the horde of people who already visit the complex for movies. Though I appreciated the new approach, I was upset at the way they ignored the hardcore gamers.

The Blur management basically refused to provide the games like DotA, Counter-Strike, Trackmania etc. which are played by the hardcore gamers. They said that if they install these games, the pros would scare away the newcomers. If you read my previous post, then this would actually make sense in a city like Chennai. This worked very well at the start and the huge cafe was full most of the time. But I think the crowd started to decrease after a while. Now the irony is that they sponsored some college tournament by giving away free play-time at Blur for the winners of the very game that they refused to support - CounterStrike.

Today, I finally managed to spend some hours at Blur. Weirdly though, I was rather disappointed. The computers had an awesome configuration but the number of games were rather limited. For example, there were only three racing games (Grid, NFS MW, DiRT) in the computers. Come on, there are lots of awesome high-graphics racing games out there and what about the steering wheel or at least a bloody gamepad? Ok, Blur was anyways not meant for pro gaming and so, lets talk about the consoles.

The console section is located on the same floor as the arcade section which means, the place is deafening with sounds of machine guns and explosions even if no one is playing anything. I was looking forward to those awesome rocking seats with built in speakers and what not! Sadly though, all the consoles and thus the seats are placed one after the other and thus, you hear every god-damn game that everyone is playing over there which when combined with the arcade noise, is hell. I was looking forward to playing some good co-operative mode games but sadly, I couldn't even hear the guy sitting next to me.

Even the maintenance was rather poor. Some of those chairs' speakers weren't working. Nintendo Wii had very few game titles. To top everything, the cost varies from Rs.40 to Rs.80 per hour. Even Nyx's price was only between Rs.25 to Rs.40. For such a premium price, I would expect top notch service. I would expect a stampede of games and a perfect atmosphere. I should at least be able to try the different games to their fullest. But sadly, none of the games had a finished profile, meaning that, if for example I wanted to try Gran Turismo IV, I would have to drive a Lexus instead of Ferrari or Lambo. The least they could've done is put up a banner displaying the different games they provide. But they were rather keen on asking my friend to not take pictures inside the cafe.

All things considered, Blur is a huge disappointment for me. Though it could provide some good fun for everyone, it is rather a superb opportunity wasted thanks to vision-less management. More than that, they charge premium price for a mediocre product. Like they say, never meet your hero because you would only be disappointed.

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