Monday, April 19, 2010

The Xbox Live Experience (in poetic form)

To prove that I don't call myself Pengwenn for nothing, here's a very rough poem for your enjoyment. And no, I don't think I'll get the Noble Prize for Literature based on this.

The Xbox Live Experience

A disembodied voice in my head
Pompously said he’ll see me dead
But I was there to have some fun
So I took out my sniper gun

I picked a spot and waited there
Safely hidden, without a care
But an enemy came running fast
Before I knew it I was stabbed in the back

I hit the button to respawn in the game
My weapon choice remained the same
But before I could sight and make a kill
I got shot from the sniper hill

One more time, I’ll try again
Although this life might be in vain
And like before I was dead
This time by a shot to the head

But never fear, I don’t give up
I’m not some poor noobie schlup
I’ll change my gun and jump back in
This time I will play to win

With my SCAR I ran around
Shooting everything I found
It happened once I found some one
I shot them dead, now that was fun

But I didn’t see the guy behind
With a flash grenade I was blind
And once again I was dead
(Is it time to go to bed?)

Now I’ll run and I would knife
Surely I’ll have a longer life
And so I ran around really fast
I didn’t want my score to be last

I used my knife, I got some kills
I rediscovered those gaming thrills
Of having fun and doing well
Where teamwork starts to really gel

We made a push to come from behind
Our winning fate was intertwined
With other’s skills, but not my own
Because I was always getting “pwned”

The game was over, our scores revealed
Our stats recorded, our numbers sealed
My kill death ratio (a sadly state)
My number was below point eight

I got some deaths, I got some kills
But most other players had better skills
And in the end I DID have fun
But there's nothing to fear from this girl with a gun

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little Bunny Snipers

I had an interesting time the other day playing Special Ops with Evil Ric in Modern Warfare 2. We were playing the sniper mission where you have to cross a lot of grass land. The best way I can sum up the experience is in a song. Sung to the tune of Little Bunny Foo-Foo (if you have kids you should know it).

"Little bunny Evil Ric
hopping through the grassland
sighting out the snipers
and shooting 'em in the head"

And that's exactly what happened.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sleeping with the fishes

So yesterday I thought I'd pull out the old Xbox (original version) and play some games the way they were meant to be played. Unfortunately things didn't turn out that way.

It started with the fact that I couldn't connect to Xbox Live at all from my original Xbox. I knew they were stopping games on the 15th but I thought there were still games out there you could play online. Maybe the servers were full. I tested my connection and it failed at the Xbox Live stage so my system was okay (although a little dusty).

So I couldn't play online but I could still play games right? First I had to disconnect the Ethernet cords so I wouldn't get the online error message every time I changed games. And I changed them a lot.

I've been replacing all my games since the break in but I've been testing the original Xbox games out on my 360. Most of them can play on the newer system. Some of them can't. So I started to test those games. Unfortunately some of them were getting disk read errors. Yeah me. I'd put a disk in and it wouldn't load at all. Or I would get through the title screen only to start the actual gameplay and find the game freeze up before getting a disk error.

I put all those disks aside with the note to find their case and maybe try to replace them . . . again. What I found interesting was that some games that played on my 360 were having problems on my Xbox. And sometimes it would have problems the first time but the second time I put it in it would work fine. There were even some that had issued on the 360 that played just fine on the Xbox. I think I'll have to do more testing before I start replacing games a second time.

I ended up with six possible replacements. And four duplicates.

Yes, when replacing games I actually replaced some of them more than once. I didn't really have a good system to keep track of items I was bidding on in ebay vs. items I had won, paid for and received. Throw in the fact that I had to bid on 7 or 8 different auctions in order to win some games and you can see why I might have been confused.

Some of those duplicate games I already have. Others I'm waiting to receive in the mail. I figure I might just sell them to GameStop and use the store credit to pick up some of the last games on my list or maybe some new ones (I've picked up a couple new games in the process, but more on that later).

There is a duplicate game that I might give to a friend if he ever comes back online. It's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2. I've been dying to play that game (and the original one) but all of my friends have sold their copies back a long time ago. I'd give it to any one of them if they would play with me but one of them might need the help financially more than the others.

I know I won't get much store credit for old Xbox games but I just don't understand why people would sell back good games (besides the duplicate issue I'm having). If you really don't need the money for something why not keep it and enjoy it for years to come?

Don't get me wrong, I do know what it's like to need money. I had a job a long time ago that was really hard to even live pay check to pay check. I've pawned items to make it to pay day (and then got those items back). One month it would be the Tv, the next month the stereo, etc. I lived off of Ramen noodles and sometimes hot dogs (sans bun because I couldn't afford 'em) or potatoes. Maybe that experience has taught me to cherish and keep the things that make me happy and entertain me instead of toss them to the wind as my fancy strikes me. But now the original Xbox is dead.

So after three hours of testing games and trying to get online on my original Xbox I went to bed wondering if the Xbox has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Is it extinct? Will you ever be able to connect to Xbox Live on your original system again? Is there any games left that you can play online? I don't know. It was late. I was tired. I went to bed. While my sleep was refreshing for me I couldn't help but think the original Xbox experience is now "sleeping with the fishes". May it rest in peace.

Friday, April 9, 2010

One last time

Okay folks, we've got one last weekend with some of our old favorites. I plan on spending a lot of time online this weekend in Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2, Counter Strike and Halo 2. Yes, I included Halo 2. Care to join me?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Poll - Your favorite avatar outfit of mine

Here's my latest poll.

Which of my avatar outfits have been your favorite?

my current one
the school girl look
the rocker chick
the winter warm and toastie look
the sports jersey (and little else)
the tavern wench

Vote for your favorite and you just might see a reappearance when the poll closes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Poll Results - Spilling spoilers

It should come as no surprise to my friends as to what I voted for but here are the results anyway.

When can you give away spoilers in a new game?

2 weeks = 1 vote
1 month = 3 votes
2 months = 1 vote
6 months = 1 vote
1 year = 0 votes
You should never give away spoilers = 1 vote

I'd love to be able to play a game for hours on end when it first comes out. Unfortunately I have a job, a house, and yard with an endless supply of weeds to tend to. And that's not counting all the invites I get from friends to play games with them. They're just so needy that I feel bad for them so I can't help but accept. But I'm not complaining.

What I will complain about is when friends blurt out (although innocently enough) a major spoiler to a part of a game that I haven't gotten to yet. Like "I was really sad when my dog died in Fable II" from JimBeam. What? The dog dies? Don't say another word, I don't want to know. It made it hard for me to bound with my dog (who I just acquired) because I didn't want to get too attached to the little critter. Once I got over that, I decided to make his time a joyous one. Every chance I got I played with him. I played fetch. I told him he was a good boy (it helped me pick up the ladies). And I never scolded him. Unfortunately I wasn't advancing the plot very much in my effects to give my dog a memorable life.

Since then my friends have been very good about trying (desperately) to not talk about games I'm playing (or trying to) without giving away too much information. I guess the riot act I gave them after "the dog incident" had an effect. But there have been some times I've had to unplug my headset so they could talk freely about a game and I wouldn't have a stray bit of information ruin it for me. Unfortunately there's no way for me to know when they are done talking AND no way for me to communicate with my teammates during the match.

I am a little surprised by the "2 week" vote. Seriously? I know games are getting shorter these days but who can finish a game in two weeks . . . if they also have a life? I've taken a couple of days off to play a new game but even then I haven't been able to finish a game in two weeks. Maybe that's just me.

I guess two months is a more reasonable time frame with the exception being the last part of the year. There are so many games that come out between October and December that there's no way someone could play them all. Those games will need extra time to play just because there usually is so many of them to get through.

I've know a thing or two about spoilers for a long time. Dain and I use to meet up at my parents house to do laundry and we'd bring our systems and play games. And for single player RPGs one of use would play and the other one would watch. There have been many games where I watched dain play through an area long before I got there in my own game. While it gave me pointers on how to handle certain key boss battles, it did ruin key moments in games (like the ending to Final Fantasy X). In hindsight I wished I hadn't watched him play games, but I really did enjoy those times together.

If you do need/want to talk about spoilers in a game I would suggest you make a "SPOILER ALERT" warning to all your friends. Then they can decide if they want to listen in and have moments of the game be ruined or tune your out and preserve the magic of the moment. If they tuned you out you might want to reel 'em back it when you're done discussing the game. Or not. Depending on if you prefer their silence to their usual banter.

And while spoilers are terrible things to let loose in the world without providing your friends with the necessary precautions, I do like hearing people talk about the games they are playing. I've picked up a few games based on those recommendations (and avoided a few more) and I hope to continue to do so. Just be kind and give me a heads up if you're going to blab the ending to a game. If it so pleases you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010