I figure I should warn everyone about something Play-Asia pulled on me recently.
The short of it: My copy of the regular edition of Mushihimesama arrived the other day. The game essentially cost me $160.
The long of it: I placed Mushihimesama on preorder back in May. At the time, I was flat broke, but I figured I would have had a summer job for several weeks before it shipped on the 21st Of July, so no problem. Plus - and I have to stress this - Play-Asia stated multiple times through the preorder process that my check card would not be charged until the item shipped.
Due to this being a small town and the economy being utter shit, the second half of July rolls around, and I seem to have no job and only ‾$30 in my bank account - not nearly enough for Mushihimesama. I resign myself to the idea that I won't be able to get the game at this point, and go to cancel my preorder on Play-Asia, but not before double-checking my bank account online to just make sure that I really can't afford it. This is July the 17th. Lo and behold, my available funds (my bank account displays both 'available funds', which is the balance with credit card transactions yet to be processed, and 'actual funds', the money physically in there at the time) are in the negative, and I see that the reason is that, yes, Play-Asia has charged my card. My actual balance is still in the clear, so I'm not totally freaked out, but I send them a rather angry email instructing them - in no uncertain terms - to cancel my order, as they have charged my card long before they were supposed to. I get what must be some sort of canned reply about how it was just a preliminary charge and most users don't even see it on their statement and thanks for my business. No cancellation, and just as I expected, the order is processed on the 19th, the amount for the game is subtracted to my available funds, and thanks to 6 small transactions of $1-2 (Taco Bell) that went through when the Mushihimesama charge was first applied, I'm now looking at 6x$30 overdraft charges to my already negative amount. I talked to the bank in a panic, and while sympathetic, they were - for some reason - only able to reverse 3 of the 6 charges (Hey, Mr. Potter has to get rich too, you know...), which was better than nothing. I managed to bum some money off of friends and get everything squared away, but Play-Asia never cancelled the order, nor did they reply to my request to make up the $90 in charges - not that I expected them to, in Hong Kong, but it was worth a try.
I glared at my Mushihimesama box for a good 15 minutes after it arrived before I gave into the temptation and borrowed my roommate's PS2 to play it. Maybe it's just me, but it almost - ALMOST - seems worth the insane price I paid.
The moral of the story is this: Never trust a company that says they don't charge your card until your order ships. They're fucking lying through their yellow, rotten teeth. If you have to cancel an order, do it a month in advance - don't give those bastards any leeway.