So today was the Lost Planet 2 promotion that was going on in eight cities across the country. Naturally, having wreaked havoc on the immersive 3D demo at PAX and one of these eight cities was the nearby Philadelphia, I had to go hunting. I printed up maps of two good clusters in the city and wrote down a few details for a couple spots near Market St. and got into the city around noon, heading down with Rachel and Christine.

The first several locations we looked at, Chinatown and a couple spots on 2nd and 3rd St. north of Market, revealed absolutely nothing. There were no wet spots, no chunks of ice, and nobody that looked like they knew anything at all about it. I even asked one guy in a comic shop that was right next to one of the drop points and he thought I was a crazy person.

Finally we get to South St., the biggest cluster of drops on the map, and we check another few spots before we eventually found a pile of shattered ice. At last there was some evidence that the promotion wasn’t a hoax of some sort! We kept hunting past Jim’s Steaks before we saw a girl maybe 50 feet ahead of us who also had a map printed out, presumably looking for the same thing. It was just our luck, however, that some guys got out of a van just after she passed, guys who happened to be hauling three giant blocks of ice. Since we knew about the promo, we got dibs on the ice blocks, each containing a demo, just as soon as they were done photographing them.

Those blocks were HEAVY!

Lots of vultures had been lurking around waiting to snag whatever was inside the cubes, especially since it appeared on the surface to be a brand new PS3/X360 game (there was visible mention on the cover of it being a demo), so the guys advised us to do what everyone else that had found ice had done; smash the ice, take the loot, and bolt. So we did. There are several pictures of each of us hefting and smashing gigantic, two-gallon chunks of ice, all of which will be posted in an edit once I get the okay from Capcom to do so (the pictures are being submitted for a chance to win a plushy Salamander first, so Capcom gets first crack at them). All in all it was an interesting time, especially for the bike shop owner that we angered by smashing giant blocks of ice on the sidewalk in front of his store. Oops.

What we did find, however, was that the codes are all switched, apparently. If you snagged an X360 case, you got a PS3 demo download code and vice versa. Each of the demos we got had this issue, as did the demo that one of the employees of Atomic City comics got. It seems like a really critical oversight, especially given a reasonably high publicity promotion (the map page had 24k+ views and Lost Planet is a big franchise) and the great effort it takes to freeze and deliver several dozen cases across eight cities nationwide. I know if I had one system, hunted for hours and miles to find one of these blocks, somehow snagged a demo for that system, and found out that the code inside my demo was for the system that I did not have, I would have been pretty irate. As it stands, we only found blocks out of incredible luck despite solid preparation, so I can only imagine what those less fortunate went through. So it goes.

All in all? Pretty cool promotion, Capcom. Sorry, I had to.