Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back in Black

Duh. Duh-nuh-nuh. Duh-nuh-nuh. Bwah- ah, I've lost it. AC/DC did it so much better.

In case you haven't guessed it from my musical onomatopoeia, I'm Back in Black, baby! Xbox 360 Elite For the Win!

Little early X-mas present to myself. After I sell my refurbished Xbox 360 and cash in my NewEgg gift card, I've really only spent $50 on this beauty.

She is guar-an-teed to put out. It says so right here in the paperwork! I sure hope Microsoft fixed the chips in these things. Maybe they made them all sexy-like just to lull us into false security (it's working!)

So what if the controllers don't match? I love her anyway. Speaking of attachment to inanimate objects, we need a name for her. "Black Betty" comes to mind. If you have a better name, write a comment. Or just coo over my newest baby, your choice.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Moving On

Days after the death of my refurbished Xbox 360, Furby, I'm collecting the life insurence policy.

No tears. All business.

OK, so Wrecklaimer and I are entitled to a free, refurbished Xbox 360 under the Red Ring warranty. So we're sending the carcass of Furby out as soon as possible. While we wait, we're going to buy a new one, possibly an Elite.

When we get the refurb (no telling how long that'll take), we'll package it with our old 120gb harddrive and sell it to a friend. The math is: spend $300 on a new console. Sell refurb for $200. Net loss: $100.

I'm still pissed that Microsoft makes such a defective product. However, I do like the Xbox 360 and I already have a ton of games for it. Speaking of which, I'm thinking of throwing in "Batman: Arkham Asylum" with the refurb purchase so the guy has a game to play. Maybe mark up the price by $20?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

All I want for X-Mas... a PlayStation 3, because I am so tired of Microsoft's ticking time bomb of a console.

I just got the Red Rings of Death today. Two days after the warranty on my refurbished console expired.

I will be placing some phone calls... and emails, and letters to Microsoft. If I can't get a new console for free (or one helluva discount on an Elite) I'm gonna "lodge" my complaint up the backside of somebody at Microsoft.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fall Retrospective

The last column of November is up at It's a fall retrospective of the releases and industry news of the past two months.

There are only two columns left in the year. While the column will be around in 2010, it's amazing how fast the fall went. I pains me that I can't do any big, ambitious columns until January; term projects are starting to pile up. Among them are a Web page, a finishing and bindery scrapbook, and several term papers.

I have been playing video games waaay too much considering how much work I have to do. But that's senioritis for ya.

Buttons Pushed

Last week, the Western Herald ran my column on "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2."

So far, the Web site has had a few insightful responses from readers concerning the controversy of the game. Here are two of the comments.

From Rick:

"Ever since I first heard about this particular mission in MW2, the controversy, and the whole uprising surrounding it, I have felt dead inside.

Upon unwrapping this game, kissing it, and then sticking it into it’s warm PS3 home, I plan on taking in the story line as-is, and enjoying every moment of it. I think it’s more than ludicrous to assume that this game is a bad influence on people who plan these violent games. The parental rating on this game in the US is “Mature.” If parents have such an issue with their children playing it, then don’t buy it, and let your prepubescent morally straight kid cry about it in their room until you are so sick of hearing their bitching that you go out and buy it anyway.

As far as I’ve read, the story line is meant to blow you into perspective, and that it does well. So what, there is a mission that involves killing innocents to prove a point, and further the story line. It’s what I’ve come to love about the COD series; the deep story lines and progression. It would be much different if the entire game was about killing people are airports and other various places. Hell, I guess they could name it Virtual Terrorist. That isn’t the case though. Video games are like books to me. An interactive story. People just need to get over the whole, 'video games have made my child into a terrorist.' Nah, YOU have as parents. If you are letting your kids do what they want, smoke, drink, and otherwise, it’s your fault. Get on to the next big scare that the news will blow out of proportion. Hell, we may even be lucky enough to have another 'Shark Murderer' scare this summer, since the number of shark killings substantially increased a few years ago. Give me a break."

Eric, an Iraq War veteran, writes:

"Very astute review and observations. Being a veteran that has deployed to Iraq, I can support your assertion that one has difficulties telling friend from foe. The enemy will dress as non-combatants and if able to acquire US military uniforms will wear them to confuse us. That is a big danger with the current enemy we fight.

I also think it is good that the developer included a stage where the player plays as the terrorists. Hopefully it will open the eyes of our currently willfully ignorant public about the dangers and the tactics our enemy will use if presented with the opportunity. These terrorists will at some point in the future attack us on our soil again, that is their dream. Their apologists may try to say they misrepresent their shared belief system, by claiming they don’t support attacks and the murder of innocents. But in their belief system the only innocents are those that believe exactly like themselves. Everyone else is a valid target at all times.

If one examines the justifications used by Hamas for firing missiles at Israeli schools and other civilian targets, Hamas says that those children will grow up to be soldiers in the future, so they are legitimate targets today. However Hamas will fire those same missiles from the grounds of their own schools then have the audacity of complaining about Israel attacking the militants right where they stand as they fire the missiles. One can’t have it both ways, unless you’re a member of Hamas."

Thanks for the comments, guys. New comments trickle in all the time, even on older columns, so be sure to check on the Herald's Weekend Scene page to read more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8-bit Zombacalypse

By the way, I'm totally willing to cave to peer pressure and buy "Left 4 Dead 2" if enough of my Xbox Live friends are playing.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Apparently, the Second Coming of Christ was this past Tuesday.

Oh, my bad. It was the release of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2."

I do not plan on purchasing the game. It's because I don't like the game. This opinion, it seems, rates me below terrorist detainees and Nazis on the scumbag spectrum.

"You're the video games guy, right?" random people have asked me. "So you're waiting in line at midnight for 'Call of Warfare 2'?"


"Why not?"

"I don't preorder games," I said, "And I don't care for the 'Call of Duty' series."


"The single player campaign is too short and scripted to warrant multiple playthroughs; replayability is an important factor in my purchases. Second, I don't care for the multiplayer. It's too mainstream and competitive; I prefer more relaxed, cooperative gameplay, like 'Left 4 Dead' and 'Borderlands'."

"You're weird."

Yeah, I guess I am.

Oh, one other reason I won't purchase MW2.

No sweet mustaches.

This week's column

It's a bit misclassified on the Western Herald website right now, but this week's column is up. If you are interested in the reasoning behind my boycott of "Left 4 Dead 2", here's your explanation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Funny but true

5 Plot Devices That Make Good Video Games Suck |

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Game Brain deployed

Psyched about "Modern Warfare 2"? Good. Then you should enjoy this week's column.

If you don't read it, the terrorists win. But if we play as the terrorists, don't we want to win?

Confused? Don't be. Just read the column.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Left 4 Don't

Friends, I hated the demo for "Left 4 Dead 2." I hated it so much, in fact, that I am considering not purchasing a retail copy.

However, I encourage you to try the Xbox 360 demo. You will be amazed by the horrible framerate, aghast at the dated graphics, floored by the tacked-on qualities that make "Left 4 Dead 2" an overpriced mod instead of a true sequel.

Chances are you won't find it as offensive as I did. After all, I hated the new "Star Trek" movie while everyone else loved it. So maybe you'll look past L4D2's faults and love it anyway. I'll be left with the bitter realization that my worst fears about a slapped-together sequel may just come true.

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