I bought Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube from GameStop Online in November for my video game convention. When SSBM arrived in the mail, I was aghast: though the game cost $50, it was disc-only (*sigh*) and scratched so badly on both the top and the bottom of the disc that both sides looked like a pile of spider webs. This condition was even after a disc-resurfacing which I could tell happened due to the paint in the middle of the top of the disc being worn off from the resurfacer that GameStop used. However the convention got delayed from November until January, and the Wii hardware which we were going to use for the convention was stored away with all the other convention materials in storage tubs in a shed surrounded by snow and ice, so I had no practical way to try the game to make sure it worked. Furthermore I figured that since GameStop guarantees its merchandise that it would hopefully work despite its poor appearance.

During the day of the convention the fighting tournament starts. Our Wii runs Sonic Gems Collection (GameCube) just fine and people are able to play Sonic The Fighters. Later it is time for another tournament and so I go to start SSBM. The Wii won't recognize it. Oh no. I try it again and get the same story. I try cleaning the disc with a lens cleaning cloth and try again. Still nothing. I try changing the orientation of the Wii to sideways. It recognizes the game. I try booting it. The game fails to boot with the console giving a "couldn't read it" error message. We try again a few more times, trying different orientations and cleanings from the Wii's drive to the disc itself, but all to no avail. Sometimes the console recognizes the game and will try to boot it; other times it won't recognize the game as a GameCube disc at all.

A year or two ago I had also bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up from a local seller. TMNT: Smash Up was also scratched up but not nearly as badly. So I tried to boot that game as a substitution. However, while it would sometimes boot, it would also fail back to the Wii's menu either during the splash logos, the opening video, or during the game's main menu. We eventually surrendered and played a different SSB game for a different console.

But if my copy of Sonic Gems Collection for GameCube was in nearly perfect condition and booted just fine, it wouldn't have been the Wii's laser or drive, right? All of the other games we ran on there from the Wii's SD card and a USB drive worked perfectly too, so it isn't the core Wii hardware that is at fault either, right?

So what should I do? GameStop only guarantees its games for return for cash / credit / refund for seven days and for exchange for thirty days and it is well past those time-frames now.