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1:47 AM on 12.16.2009

This Can't Be Life: Post 360 RRoD Surgery Complications





The E-74 virus.

That's right kdis, you cure Polio, and AIDS comes and fucks your disco up with the quickness.

The first time it occurred, I had ye olde Best Buy 2-Year Service Plan. I went up to the counter all Scot Hall-like with the "Hey yo", then I gave them my 360 and the proof of insurance. Question for anyone who went through this particular phase: did it make you as angry as it did me that they knew exactly what it was and had a whole pyramid of 360s and apologies in 7 languages waiting for us? With that said, I took home my trust new 360, and ran that mother like no other. I hooked up a fan to it, a regular floor fan was in the vicinity, I was determined to record and witness the first ever set of blue rings.

A year and a half later, and the same 3-ring circus returns to my home theater. This time, it had vicious intent. It was Black Friday, and I had just blown $700 on a brand new 42" Panasonic HDTV. You know that feeling when you get home with a new tv, you just want hook up anything you can find to it, and of course the crown jewel of your setup. After placing everything together, and playing an episode of Justice League Unlimited through the 360 HD Disc Drive, it happened. The 'scust in my heart was like no other. Someone from Ohio State could have been banging my mom to a Genesis song (Phil Collins, you uncultured fucks) and I would not have been as angry as the timing of my 360's demise.

The problem this time, was that I didn't have my handy dandy Best Buy warranty. Now, my options were to send it in to Xbox and wait for god knows how long during the biggest holiday shipping weekend, and I had a brand new HDTV waiting for me like a hot chick sitting on your couch while you argue with your ex-girlfriend on the phone in the kitchen. I reached into my inner Vivica A. Fox and said "OH HELL NAW'L!!!" and made some calls. A friend of mine opened up his own gaming shop and repaired consoles for like 30 bucks. Opting for a mercenary rather than the actual Microsoft Core of Engineers, I put my faith in an unproven method. Three days later, good as new! :D

I knew it was on its last legs. Anyone with a 360 knows that the consoles are like your favorite dog: You enjoy it while it's around, but after every surgery, you know you're closer to having to get a new dog.

For another year, I played, patted and paid as much attention to my 360 as possible, knowing soon it was just going to have to be put down. Oh, how it fired up like a champ even though it was in its twilight. It played the games, ran the illegal torrents I downloaded, pumped music through my sound system so proudly. It's like if Michael Jackson actually did a leg of his final tour before he got the gotcha. My mistake during all of this, was that I eventually allowed myself to become comfortable with my 360 again, believing we can live happily ever after, or together forever as Andy and Chucky once promised themselves. Alas, the fateful day came, and it happened once again on Black Friday.

The thought of new electronic hardware must have put it into its comas. Like if we planned on bringing a cat home and your dog just flips the fuck out from somehow knowing his territory was about to be invaded. Nevertheless, the new death called E-74 took my baby from me, and I wept. Unfortunately, I had no money for a new dog, and I hade way too many collars and leashes for one NOT to have one. So, I opted to go with one last emergency surgery, in hopes that my HDMI-less console can live at least one more year, until I am ready to update to the great show dog Elite, that so many of us are now upgrading to.

To my surprise, my friend has now partnered with a repair service to his game shop as a year has passed. No longer was he repairing consoles while dried Recees Peanut Butter Cup chocolate crumbles form his fat cheek onto the circuitry below. Now, a group of professionals who do this shit for a living were about to give my baby a REAL second chance at life. I took it in, paid my $50 bucks, and waited too long, agonizing weeks before my baby came home.

She has never run so silently.

So smoothly.

So powerfully.

I imagine the technical overhaul done to this upgraded many a thing that I can't even begin to understand. What is good to know is that this method exists for those who couldn't even afford a console to begin with and somehow no longer have warranties via Microsoft or through another store.

Jesus Christ, this damn machine has played with my emotions for three years now. I only hope I can get another year out of it, maybe more with the complete overhaul of its innards. Maybe by then, something new and blu will be available then, who knows. All I know is that I got mah dog back. :D   read


7:22 PM on 11.01.2009

This Can't Be Life: Great Games Released in Back-To-Back Weeks

In a minimalist world, you scrape and claw to enjoy the good things in life. As a Batman fan of troubling levels, I haven't even been able to secure myself a copy of Arkham Asylum cuz of horrid economics. In the recent days, my ability to afford a used copy has been a reality, but now that two potential GOTY candidates are ready to unleash, I'm putting AA on the back burner.

Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 are games that will have to be in most gamers' libraries by Christmas. I'd like to believe that Black Friday will offer us deals on these two games, but I'm not holding my breath. It wasn't till the Sunday after Christmas in 07 that CoD4 was on sale at Target for $37. I can't hold out that long, that's just crazy. The sound of NEIGHBORS through the basement walls let me know that they enjoy modern gaming as I do. I know those guys are gonna have a copy. Plus, my online homies are already setting up nights for long runs of multiplayer.

I know some people can get these two games on the drop dates without batting an eye, but folks like myself usually save up on shillings for a while just to get ONE game. I remember back in the day when I would bust 2 games at a time. I saved a receipt with Final Fantasy X and Max Payne on it for the F of it cuz I paid full price and could afford it. Oh, the ignorance of youth. Now, I save a receipts if I pay full price for Big Macs.

I guess taking the previous winter and summer off of gaming stuff was a smart idea, as I can now indulge in games this Holiday season via gift cards and puppy dog eying moms and pops.

OH, and my Xbox Live subscription is up December 1st.

This can't be life.   read


1:37 AM on 10.20.2009

Self-Inspired Gaming: Rearranging Your Setup



Along the long road of gaming, you tend to hit a snag or two, when it comes to being into your games. In the most recent years, gaming and home theater setups have become synonymous with each other, prompting us all to put together our most creative setup that defines who we are. This is the case for us gamers who enjoy all facets of entertainment, especially movies, sports and television. Adding the affordability of HDTVs to this mix, and home theater setups have all but become a total contest.

This may be a personal issue, but sometimes I grow bored of looking at the same surroundings. I do believe in familiarity, but I find that within the contents of my setup, rather than the arrangement of it. I first posted my serious set up here a while back, and since then it's gone through this change (and a broken digicam as well :/ ).

Its been about a year since this setup, and I think I'm ready to change it up once more. It's surprising how stale a setup can be, even if it is still kicking so much ass as is right now. But since my first setup, I've gained an HDTV and tried to get cute with a retro gaming station with my old tv. I'm gonna try to set it back up to the original spot, but optimize my area much more. I'm pretty excited to do this, since I'd love to see that first setup with my HDTV and retro spot implemented.

Do you guys change your setup around periodically to "keep it new"?   read


7:56 PM on 09.26.2009

Crackdown 2 Multiplayer Gameplay Warms My Heart

http://gamevideos.1up.com/video/id/26561

In my absence from blogging about gaming, a few newsworthy items appeared that peaked my interests. Among them was how Prototype didn't quite live up to the epicness that I had held out hopes for. Another was the announcement that my grandfather game for the 360 Crackdown had finally been given the green light for a sequel.

The link above provides fan footage from the Tokyo Gameshow that shows us the multiplayer aspect of the game up close. I am pleased to find out that the physics and graphics have returned in what appears to be a perfect transition from the first game. We were promised that this was the case, but sometimes you really need to see it to believe it. Even the voice over guy is back, talkin his brand of garbage to you.

I really hope there is a free roam style a la GTA IV, and we're not stuck with only death matches.   read


3:24 AM on 05.24.2009

Back After Months of No Innanets; STILL Playing Saint's Row 2 (spoilery)

The economy sucks balls.

With that being said, I've just gotten back into the swing of things as far as a JOB goes, and I'm among the
living once again. Unfortunately, my gaming experiences have not changed much. Or maybe that's a good
thing?

Since launch, I've been playing Saint's Row 2 non-stop.I have 3 different characters at over 80 hours a pop,
and I really show no signs of stopping. I haven't finished Gears of War 2 because of this, and I embarrassingly
only have like 2 hours tops in Fallout 3. They sit on my shelf, just waiting their damn turn, while I ignore their
cries of boredom. To make things even WORSE, I haven't even finished GTA IV.

I recently purchased the first DLC pack for SR2, and have had mild amusement with it. I'm loving the subtle, but
obvious teases that are implying that the Row will soon be infected by the walking dead. I mean, the engine
already exists in the Zombie Uprising mini-game in the crib. Why not find a way to use that to have zombies
replace the pedestrians of Stillwater?

To my shock, I learned a few days ago (as many SR2 fans had) that the next batch of DLC will be available
NEXT WEEK!. I'm pretty pumped for this, as I'm now going through the game for the 4th time, this time using my
favorite saved character to do co-op on Xbox Live with a friend. SO glad to be back online.

If any of the D'Toiders are living the life in Stillwater still, I'd like to hear about it.

With money coming in once again, I can look forward to the purchasing of 2 games I was worried I'd be
missing out on this summer: Batman Arkham Asylum and Prototype. Both are looking absolutely phenomenal,
and I expect them to give my Saint's Row 2 disc a much needed vacation.   read


3:05 AM on 05.24.2009

Back After Months of No Innanets; STILL Playing Saint's Row 2 (spoilery)

The economy sucks balls.

With that being said, I've just gotten back into the swing of things as far as a JOB goes, and I'm among the
living once again. Unfortunately, my gaming experiences have not changed much. Or maybe that's a good
thing?

Since launch, I've been playing Saint's Row 2 non-stop.I have 3 different characters at over 80 hours a pop,
and I really show no signs of stopping. I haven't finished Gears of War 2 because of this, and I embarrassingly
only have like 2 hours tops in Fallout 3. They sit on my shelf, just waiting their damn turn, while I ignore their
cries of boredom. To make things even WORSE, I haven't even finished GTA IV.

I recently purchased the first DLC pack for SR2, and have had mild amusement with it. I'm loving the subtle, but
obvious teases that are implying that the Row will soon be infected by the walking dead. I mean, the engine
already exists in the Zombie Uprising mini-game in the crib. Why not find a way to use that to have zombies
replace the pedestrians of Stillwater?

To my shock, I learned a few days ago (as many SR2 fans had) that the next batch of DLC will be available
NEXT WEEK!. I'm pretty pumped for this, as I'm now going through the game for the 4th time, this time using my
favorite saved character to do co-op on Xbox Live with a friend. SO glad to be back online.

If any of the D'Toiders are living the life in Stillwater still, I'd like to hear about it.

With money coming in once again, I can look forward to the purchasing of 2 games I was worried I'd be
missing out on this summer: Batman Arkham Asylum and Prototype. Both are looking absolutely phenomenal,
and I expect them to give my Saint's Row 2 disc a much needed vacation.   read


8:23 AM on 01.08.2009

Prototype: My Second Confirmed Purchase for '09

[embed]117352:16849[/embed]

So this clip popped up at Kotaku, via G4. The gameplay looks stunning, for a sandbox putz such as myself. The usage of superpowers in the open world looks to be heavily improved upon since those of us who appreciated Crackdown to the fullest felt its true awesomeness. Those fans are now chomping at the bit for a sequel from the Realtime Worlds stunner, and I hope they are taking notice of Prototype.

The setting of New York MIGHT have some people rolling their eyes over the fact we've just been to Liberty City this gen. I'll appreciate being able to actually be at Central Park and Times Square, this time around. The authenticity of the Apple adds a bit of flava to the overall game. Now, that's just the setting you are given to do as you please in. The gameplay shown is easily some of the most impressive we've seen of this genre to date. I remember before Crackdown came out, very hopeful details emerged as the days led up to the release of the greatest game demo of all time. The demo of Crackdown should have been on every 360 with a Live connection, as some of the blind Halo fans continued their pursuit of the game simply for the Halo 3 beta.

I bring up Crackdown simply because this game has received minimal hype up until now, at least from my perspective. I hope that when the day comes of either a good demo or drop date, we are rewarded with mind-blowing game play that this preview clip displays.

The powers shown off by the protagonist Alex are fitting of a character in a linear storyline. Games with a character seeking to reclaim their identity normally don't give us the chance to go out into a city setting and destroy any and all that gets in our way. Perhaps this will resemble the Incredible Hulk game of not too long ago. I recall that game getting a lot of praise for the open destructiveness, even from a licensed title we all expected never to hear good things from.

Perhaps Prototype can take the lessons of every sandbox game created before it and build us some of the most impressive sand castles we've yet to see from this genre.   read


5:05 AM on 01.07.2009

Um, WOW (NVGR)

I don't know if D'Toid has been graced by this piece of genius, but just in case it hasn't...

[embed]117204:16821[/embed]

I would like to know what is the legal age of baby making in Australia. I bet Yahtzee slams this after video reviews.   read


3:33 AM on 01.07.2009

Console War Journal #1: I'm Ready to Do My Part

Since the PS3 debuted, the Console Wars have reigned upon the interwebs. I, a man of peace and love, have toured the war-torn wastelands that had once been enjoyable and readable message boards. I grew more and more 'scust as I bared witness to my fellow fat-asses square off in posting smackdowns to the point where I wanted no part of them.

All this time, I stood by as I already staked my place in this war, but I could not succumb to the battles.

No longer.

'm like Sting when he walked on the rafters while the WCW and nWo were in the middle of their war. I'd come down every now and then and perform a Scorpion Deathdrop on some fools, then I'd go back up till next Monday.

I'm getting so annoyed by this whole thing, so I think I'm ready to join my 360 brethren against the PS3rd Placers on a full time basis. We gotta let them know that the PS3 has its own RROD, it's the duration of time between release dates for GOOD exclusives and install times. Yeah bitches, I'm on my 3rd 360 in 2 years. The last console I played this much was by Sony, and I recall sending that defective lense-having piece of shit back about 8 times cuz it couldn't read dick. Compared to that nightmare (which made me give up gaming, look at my bio), I won.

Maybe war will taste better when I have seasoned my meals with blood.

My gaming library has doubled this holiday season, and my green disc cases look ever so sexy on my shelves, awaiting their lord and master to slap some OWN on all of the campaign modes.

I swear to thee, my fellow Xbrother, you will not be left alone against the onslaught of desperate PS3 dogs, hopelessly trying to find meaning for their fail existence. Whenever a story, a blog or even a thread is flamed, I will be there to slap-fat fight back with you!

Now, wtf are our exclusives this year? Halo Wars isn't what I'd call a good start. :/   read


5:44 AM on 12.30.2008

The Year in Gaming from an Xbox 360 Owner

2008 was a grand year indeed in the world of gaming. There are many things I would like to pontificate about, but I can't hold attention spans long enough to go through everything. Alas, I have some of my most poigniant thoughts ready to go.

The Console Wars

The so called "Console Wars" continued an even more hilarious battle, as the best selling console managed to get hammered as a non-gamer machine. Even funnier, an epic battle ensues between one machine that's overpriced and underutilized, and the another that has hardware as reliable as an American automobile and a questionably overpriced online service.

Does it seem that Sony and MIcrosoft seemingly switched spots since the previous gen?

The PS2 is almost unanimously the most successful gaming console in the history of brain cell murder. So many people, including myself, who got a PS2 at launch had to send it in for repairs on NUMEROUS occasions. The damn thing stopped reading discs about 8 times before I performed a Dem Mok to it. The RRoD is almost a case of the sniffles compared to the horror I encountered with my PS2.

When the Xbox came out, a superior and ahead-of-the-trade console started gaining quick momentum. I never owned one until Halo 2 came out, but even then did it seem moot to attempt a second library of games when I had what I wanted for PS2. The only game I got for Xbox that I already had for PS2 was GTA: San Andreas, and was last Christmas. I loved and missed that game so much that I needed to rekindle it somehow, and my Xbox was the only last gen working.

I want a PS3 badly now, but its more for the Bluray capability since I know have an HDTV, and potential of a few exclusives that have yet to be announced (*cough* FF7 remake *cough*).

Most Anticipated of the Year

When January hit, the first on my list of an epic year of gaming purchases was Burnout Paradise city. I played the holy hell out of it, along with my twin nephews. It lost legs for a bit, until the badassary of free DLC came out and reignited our love for this game. It's fun to turn on for a few minutes at at time now, just to do a few jumps and epically crash w/o the threat of losing a hot, Welsh princess.

Let me not pretend that the game that had me tossing my own salad was coming out in April after a delay, which was GTA IV. On these blogs, I had joined others in our saladthons in waiting for this game. In my first Midnight launches (while dropping $80 on the SE), it had been a while since I was that hyped about anything not a new Batman movie. The days following the launch, I assumed that the difficulty and lack of a few key elements I've always been used to in the 3D GTA series was due to the game being more better than I am. I thought the tripping over steps, realistic driving physics, and awesome Verizon network never dropping a cellphone call were all in part of this game being too awesome for me to handle.

Not until another game scheduled for release this year started dropping trailers left and right, did I start to learn what was missing from my GTA experience.

Fun.

Good god, where was my good olle army chasing/epic cop dodging/stupid ass fun? It was nowhere to be found. GTA went and did what so many other forms of entertainment do that eventually lead to the fall of Rome: it took itself too seriously. Maybe a game like this should NOT attempt realism. What the hell do any of us want to do in a GTA game that has anything to do with REALISM????

The fallout from GTA IV nearly put me back in a gaming purgatory, as games that peaked my interest like The Force Unleashed and another Madden loomed on the horizon. I skipped on Madden and thankfully The Force Unleashed. Two games that were guaranteed purchases by me were Gears 2 and Fallout 3.

Haven behold the beauty of Gears of War 2. Like the first one, I'm taking baby steps with the game, hoping to make it last as long as possible. I only play a few check points at a time, between doing other stuff on my 360. Fallout 3 is waiting in the wings. I am in the belief that it will consume all of my gaming time, so I do NOT want to play this while finishing up other games. I believe it will be that demanding.

As I continually ride the jock of my favorite Caped Crusader, I locked up Lego Batman and MK vs DC late in the winter as well. I only picked up these two games cuz they were on sale at good prices. I was honestly gonna pass on both, but Lego Batman was on sale for $25 bucks at Meijer on Thanksgiving Day. I was only supposed to get some last minute fixens for dinner, but came home with that and Lego Indiana Jones for $20 as a xmas gift for my nephew. MK vs DC has only been mine for two days now, since Target had it and other games on sale for $39 bucks.

Surprise Purchases

I'll go on record right now saying that I HATE Gamestop. I refuse to do business with them. Its that simple. Since I don't do online shopping either, my access to used games is all but dead. Thankfully, one of those private owned gaming shops opened up near by called Destiny Games. Since I'm n olf fashioned Detroit boy, I love supporting private businesses. With that being said, a gaming version of this business model was enough reason to partake in some good, used games.

I picked up Saint's Row just to fill the fodder time after I stopped playing GTA IV. I didn't even bother worrying about achievements as I cheated my way though this game. It was a good idea, IMO, as taking over Stillwater black-by-block was a fun experience.

Rainbow Six Vegas was another used purchase, which I pulled off a few days ago as well. I loved the tactile based FPS action, as I missed playing COD4, but was no interested in World at War. It's becoming a bit of a pain the ass getting into online games, but I'm gonna play this along with Gears 2 until its time to make love to Fallout 3.

I saw at Destiny Games a copy of Bioshock for like 20 bucks. I may get that after I finish Fallout sometime before Resident Evil 5's arrival.

Another set of surprises came from the world of Xbox Live Arcade. I pulled the trigger on 4 games games that have made my days vetty happy.

Castle Crashers is simply a revelation in arcade beat'em-ups. Going 4 players with all three of my nephews was undoubtedly the best fun I've had with them this year in gaming. The graphics and silly gameplay make this a game great for party atmospheres and hang outs with the churrins. I know there are a lot of bugs playing online, so I hope none of that occurs if I play it local.

Everyone's rocking Uno, but I got it for the first time this month. I have a bunch of online friends who now own 360s, so we chose this simple game to play while voice chatting. It's pretty fun playing this with only the DVD remote.

My nephews played the hell out of Assault Heroes, so I jumped on that when it was on sale for like 400 MS points. I really don't touch it all that much, but I love watching them play it.

Finally, the beast that I had been waiting for on Xbox Live is Turbo Remix. Super Street Fighter II is legendary in every respect. An HD REMIX came out at the same time as I got an HDTV, so it made the want of this game shoot through the roof. I'm one of the many getting owned almost every time I play, but its still fun to play and I'm glad I have it.

Favorite of 2008

This year in gaming on the Xbox 360 gave us so many gems. I haven't beaten arguably the two best games in Gears 2 and Fallout 3 yet,, so I'm sure my opinion may change. Until then, one game busted through the door this year, and turned my GTA IV frown upside down.

Saint's Row 2.

No where NEAR the best game of the year. You won't even see it being considered, but not a rat ass do I give. Saint's Row 2 has become my favorite game on the Xbox 360 this year, a space I had set up for the other sandbox game of the year. This game is easily the biggest surprise, but sits at the top as the best fun I've had in a game all year. We all strive to find that perfect game that is polished so clean, you can't tell if its real, or if its the the final installment of an epic franchise, or if its a game so hyped up that there's no way it could represent the suck. Saint's Row 2 was not a spotlight game, nor a highly anticipated game in the gaming world. What it was and still is, is a very viable alternative.

Maybe its because it takes me back to the days of San Andreas, but who knows. I get that feeling I got with the GTA games on the PS2 more from Saint's Row 2 than from GTA IV, and that means everything to me.

So 2008 was a splendid year, I spent the most on games this year than any other year, and I'm very please with all of my choices. I'm wondering if I should have gotten Fable 2 along the way, but maybe I can swipe that up used, along with a few other down the road.

I hope your 2008 was just as awesome, and here's to a good 2009.   read


2:16 AM on 12.25.2008

New Setup, NOW w/ HDTV, but also Crappy Pic Quality :/

So the magic happens, I finally got a new HDTV. But being the slob that I am, I hadn't cleaned up the joint enough to take pics of the fine machine as it fits into the setup. However, Christmas came a-callin', so I had to clean the joint for when family came over.

Unfortunately, I misplaced my regular camera somewheres, so I had to borrow my baby cousin's lame-ass dgicam. What follows are pics of my new Panasonic 42" Plasma and a couple more barely see-able pics.

I hope to keep the place clean enough so I can take new pics when I find my or buy a new camera. :/

EDIT: For some reason the pics are cropped, so click to view for full shots.





  read


7:36 PM on 11.29.2008

Happy New HDTV/RRoD Day!!!

After years of waiting, I am the owner of a brand new HDTV. It's not one of the TVs I researched over the years, not even the same technology. I got the Panasonic 42" 720p plasma viera for $549 on Black Friday. The tv is simply sex compared to my original tv. After waiting in line from 4am to 8am to get my cheap beauty, I was greeted with my second case of Red Rings of Death when I gleefully returned home.

Oh, the fail...

Two thoughts immediately jumped in my head:

1. FUCK!!!!

2. No mo' warranty. :(

That last one was probably more of a technicality. Basically, I was trying to convince myself to take it to this guy I know who makes a living fixing RROD'd Xboxes at his private-owned gaming shop.

So, here I sit watching HD College Football and Red Wing hockey, and all I wanna do is play some of my damn games in HD for the first time.

Anyone else being cock-blocked from enjoying HD gaming goodness?   read





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