Thursday, October 22, 2009

Days 1 and 2 of Xbox 360 Purgatory

So my Xbox 360 died and I had to send it back. This leaves me in some kind of purgatory. Do I wait until my console comes back? Do I buy (another) back up because it's going to be awhile? You knows.

What I do know is that the first time I had to send my original console in for repair all my friends who had done them same said it took them 1-3 months before they got their system back. I couldn't wait that long. So I bought a back up. Who knew that I would get my original system back a week and half from the date I dropped it off at the UPS store?

It worked out to kaiakapero's advantage when I let him borrow my original, while I played on my backup. Then within in the last couple of months kai's died (again) and I had to make arrangements to send that back. That time also only took a week and half to two weeks for the total turn around time (even though he was out of a system much longer because I didn't send it in right away).

So how much time will it take this time?

Who knows.

This time it's a different error. The dreaded "E 74" error. And probably related to the graphic chip set. This isn't going to be an easy fix. Will they repair my console, which could take awhile, and then ship it back? Or once they receive my console, ship back a different one that they have already repaired? I hope not. In the mean time I'm left to wonder how long it will take before I have an Xbox 360 back to play on.

In the meantime I've decided to pull out my PS2 and catch up on some old games. It hasn't gone well so far.

Day 1:
After watching TV and eating a relaxing dinner I pulled out my PS2 and dusted it off. Then I had to hook it up. Apparently that wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. The TV cable wasn't connected in the back and I didn't feel like moving everything around to get back there to connect it. The multi-cable system I had in the front didn't seem to want to connect all the way in. I couldn't figure out which TV a/v input channel to put the TV on. I had a hard time finding a controller. But finally I got to turn it on and start the gaming. At least that's what I thought.

I realized that I needed a game disk in order to play something on the PS2. I know that sounds funny, but with all the Arcade games I own on the 360 there's tons of games I can start playing immediately without having to bother with a disk. And don't get me started on carrying around a CORDED controller again.

I pulled out my binder with all my PS and PS2 (and original Xbox) games and had to dust that off as well. Then I started flipping through all those pages of games. So many choices . . . so little time. I finally decided on Bust-A-Move '99. Why? because it was towards the front (alphabetically) and it would be a quick, easy transition into the Dual Shock controller. Except that it wasn't quick.

The load times were terrible. I think I sat and waiting for screens to load longer than I actually played the game. If this was what the system was like for a simple bubble popping game what would an RPG or FPS be like? I couldn't remember.

After my frustrated warm up I decided to put in a game that would give me a greater sense of achievement (unfortunately without the beep and a little pop up box). I pulled out Final Fantasy Tactics. I loved that game and I've played it recently on my PSP so the game mechanics were familiar to me even if I hadn't played it on the PS since 2007 (according to the save game file). Even though I didn't spend a whole lot of time getting familiar with my current cast of characters I picked some out and jumped into my first battle. Big mistake!

On the map there was a high wall that separated my team from the enemy. Unfortunately I didn't have anyone with a high enough jump skill to get on top of that wall or anyone with a range to cast a spell past that wall (or more than a couple of squares away). Within three rounds my whole team was dead except for one and he wasn't going to last until his next turn. I killed the power, called it night and went to bed.

Length of gaming session? 30 minutes (at most)

Day 2:
This day I was going to be prepared. I thought long and hard about what I was going to do and I had a plan. I was going to play Half-Life. I've started it several times (like so many of my older games) but hadn't gotten very far. If I just focused on that game and played it every night for a week and a half (based on past experiences) I could be well into the game to continue once my system was back . . . or will have finished the game by then. And if I finished? I could play Half-Life 2 on my Xbox 360. Win-win situation right? Not so fast.

After putting the disk in I got a message that it couldn't read the disk. Oh great. Is my PS2 going to die too? Or maybe there's just too much dust collected inside for it to work properly. I took the disk out, made sure there wasn't anything on it and blow into the disk tray. I put the disk back in and after a very long time for the system to be "reading the disk" it finally loaded up. Yeah!

Then I was left with a decision. I had a saved game file but I didn't know where I was in the story (and I couldn't remember the controlls or story line). Do I start over? Or pick up where I left off? I decided to start over.

I rode the tram through the facility and listed to the announcements and sat through annoyingly frequent load screens. I finally got to a put where I could move around and I started off on my merry way. Got my hazard suit on. Headed down the hall. Tried to access a terminal. And got stuck. Literally.

Apparently I tried to access a terminal at the same time a NPC walked up and stood right in front of it. When I tried to walk away my character couldn't move. When I tired hitting the access button all it would do was talk to the NPC. So I decided to wait until he moved off. Surely I could move then. Unfortunately he couldn't walk away because I was stuck right behind him. Great. I can't move until he moves. But he can't move until I move. I'm having so much fun.


I decided to load the save file and see where that put me. Apparently I didn't make it through the training the last time I played.

Power off.

And goodnight to ya all.

Length of gaming session? 30 minutes (at most)

I think this is going to be a long week and a half. And for my own sanity I hope it doesn't take longer than that before I get my Xbox 360 back. If any of you have any suggestions of other, more productive, things to do with my time let me know. Or if you have older games you'd like me to play and review/chronicle my woes in drop a line in the comments. Who knows what I'll play tonight. If I get to play anything at all.


metallicorphan said...

funny,because when my 360 went back,i played Half life on my PS2 as well..i finished it though ;)

why do you not want a replacement 360 Penny?,surely time will be up soon on that machine(3 year warranty) and next time you may have to pay to get it fixed.

As said in the other thread,they sent me back a 2009 machine,which means i am covered until 2012

Pengwenn said...

My funds are limited right now. If I got a backup box (for me) then I wouldn't have any money to buy Dragon Age Origins, Modern Warfare 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Borderlands, and one more game that's coming out in November that I can't remember the title of right nwo. Of course I dodn't really have enough money to buy all of those games new anyway so some might have to wait awhile. Bummer.

metallicorphan said...

i meant a replacement that MS send back to you

yeah i have had to sacrifice Borderlands and Forza 3...for MW2 and DA:O

Pengwenn said...

Dain got a replacement when he sent his back awhile go and he's had nothing but problems with it ever since. I want mine back or a new one, never used.

BTW they got my machine in the repair center yesterday. Whoo hoo! We'll see how long it takes now.

metallicorphan said...

hmm,when i got mine back(well the different one)i am not sure if it was new,it did have 2009-01-03 date on it(this is June i think i got it),and it had the clear plastic stickers over the infer red sensor thing and the on the disc tray,so mine prolly was new

if your 360 is in the repair center now,i reckon you will be playing on the 360 again a week from today at the most