Tag Archives: Xbox

Back online, back in the know-how

I had to unplug my Xbox 360 from the Internet many weeks ago. It was sad, as if I was cutting off the very vein that pumped blood into my videogame baby’s heart. How would I know what games my friends were playing? How would my Achievements get tracked? How would I know what new demos and patches were available to make my gaming time that much better?

The short answer: I wouldn’t know anything.

That’s changed though as Tara and I recently got Internet set up in the Leaky Cauldron. However, we didn’t pick up a wireless Internet router yet–though we most certainly will soon–thus forcing me to constantly switch wires in and out from laptops and such to give the ol’ Xbox 360 online access. And so yesterday I took the time and patience to get online, and I’m glad I did because there’s been a small backlog of things I wanted to get done. You want a list? You like lists? Well then…here, have a teeny list.

New dashboard, ew dashboard: Before I could do anything, I was prompted with a notification that a new system update was available. I downloaded it and was treated to a very Wii-like tutorial on how to go through menus and push buttons; I quickly quit out as I’m not that big of an idiot. The style of the dashboard is very much in line with that of the new Xbox.com, meaning I don’t really love it. A lot of…white space. Oh well. Flipping between menus seems quicker though.

Fallout: New Vegas patch 1 of 4,506: Popped in the game’s disc and was quickly alerted that an update was available. Downloaded it rather quickly, and I’m not sure what exactly it fixed (or unfixed), but the game’s been playing about the same for me since I got it. Though last night my gun went invisible again on me. Grr.

Bonus content code confusion: So, I bought Fallout: New Vegas brand new a week or so after it was released at GameStop. I did not pre-order it. However, when I opened up the case, there was a postcard in there with a download code for the Classic Pack, which includes the following:

  • Armored Vault 13 Suit – Extensively patched up and dotted with piecemeal armor, this outfit is an homage to the classic ending of the original Fallout.
  • Vault 13 Canteen – This handy device is useful for staving off dehydration and providing a small amount of healing in the Mojave Wasteland.
  • Weathered 10mm Pistol – A well-worn 10mm pistol that packs an extra punch despite its modest size.
  • 5 Stimpaks – Food and water are good for long-term healing, but when the fighting is fierce, Stimpaks help keep Wastelanders upright.

So, yeah. Uh, I got a pre-order bonus buying the game brand new a week later. Good job, GameStop? Either way, the code worked fine, and the canteen is cool even though I’m not playing Hardcore mode just yet.

Expanding Borderlands’ lands: Had to also get the latest patch for Borderlands which gives players a brand new–and free–level cap, as well as rebalancing some of the enemies and fixing glitches with the last piece of DLC. Since I have the Secret Armory DLC, my new level cap is a crazy sexy 69. Sad, I’m still a mid-50ish Soldier, but I’m working on it. Nice to just have it though in case I can get back online and play some rounds with the First Hourers. What’s interesting is that I figured I should play a bit too and not just get the free patch, but I died horribly right away to some brutes because I was trying to play Borderlands using the control scheme from Fallout: New Vegas. Oi!

And that’s kinda it. Oh, and my Achievements finally updated so that I could correct my counts here on Grinding Down. Yes, very important. I know, I know. Pulled the Internet plug on the Xbox 360 again last night, but it felt good to be back, if only for a little bit. Got a lot done, too. This has not been a very exciting post, but I’m not gonna apologize for it; you either love my craziness or you go eat something harmful.

I hate the new Xbox.com

You know how the saying goes: nobody likes change.

But the revamping of Xbox.com, a website I would frequent often to scan my list of earned and unearned Achievements, catch up on what my online friends were doing, and play around a bit in the forums, has not merely been changed. It’s been made, more or less, unnavigable.

It took me a good number of clicks to find the forums, and even more to scan my list of games played as well as their progress towards 100%. What’s more annoying is that even when under my section of games played, clicking the game’s name or cover art box no longer brings me to my Achievement list; instead I am rerouted to the game’s hub page so I can hand over hard-earned money for DLC and Avatar items. Er, no thanks. No…see, I was supposed to click the “view Achievements” button off to the side. I don’t know. It’s probably a small thing to some people, but I used to think that all the covers and game names were connected to me and my progress. It is also harder to see what Achievements have been earned versus not earned; they used to be grayed out, but are now tagged the same style except they have “- -” next to the Gamerscore icon.

New features include the ability to edit avatars via the website, a combined view for messages, friend requests, and game invites, improved account notification; family reports so you can keep tabs on your household, and the ability to play web games with friends via the website or Windows Phone 7. Nothing to really jump around over. Couldn’t figure out how to play a web game with a friend via the site either.

Also, the fact that the new site incorporates so much white space gives it a vapid, unprofessional feel to it.

In short, ughhhhh. And I’ll probably end up using the site a whole lot less. Good job, Microsoft!

Do not invite Crusty Demons to your Dream Day Wedding Destination

Tara and I went to GameStop yesterday to pick up a gift card for my mother as it’s her birthday real soon. The original plan was to find her a new Nintendo DS game, but she seems to buy more games than I do, and I have to admit to losing track of what she has in her collection versus what she used to have, but traded in. So…a GC it was. That way, she can pick what she wants, and I do believe a yardsale hidden objects game comes out on her very day of birth…so there we go. Though Tara and I did see a hidden objects game all about planning one’s perfect wedding:

Oh man. Doesn’t that look exciting?! We thought this would be hilarious to give to her, but I told Tara that I didn’t think I could physically carry the case over to the counter and then pay money for it. Maybe next time? Most likely not.

Also, while perusing the shelves of old Xbox games (they had a deal of buy one, get two free, but I didn’t buy anything as I really have no clue what games are backwards compatible on the Xbox 360), a title caught my attention. And made me laugh. Out loud. In front of total strangers. Now, these games were lined up like books, spine out, so all I had to go off of was the title alone, but man did it make me pick up the game. Are you ready? I don’t think you’re ready for it.

What? You’re dying to know? Hmm…

Okay, okay. Here it is:

Ah ahahahahaha. Crusty Demons.

Sadly, this was not a videogame about a fantasy land dastardly overrun by…crusty demons. Instead, it’s about–I guess–some people riding bikes and doing daredevil-like tricks. What a tease!

In short, some videogame covers are just plain silly.