Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In Xbox Exile

Halo 3 is almost upon us, and in the meantime, I'm waiting for Microsoft to send back my Xbox 360 after they fix my "three rings of death."

Actually, this "three rings of death" term isn't really accurate, because it's more like three arcs, or three quadrants. They're talking about those little lights around the power button that show which controllers are connected.

HZG was afflicted with the tell-tale red lights, and his was repaired and back in his living room after three weeks. But last weekend, a friend at the local game shop said he knew of a guy whose repairs took 10 weeks! So now, I'm pretty worried. Are they getting a backlog of repairs, as people race against the Halo release? To make my anxiety worse, Microsoft has just posted an intensely cool live-action video of Halo combat. Take a look:

I got to play a little bit of Bioshock on my cousin's machine, but other than that, I'm back to slogging around with the old original Xbox, playing through Jedi Outcast. It's just not the same anymore, after getting used to the 360.

If you endured the Ordeal of the Three Rings of Death, how long did it take? Did you play an old system while you waited, or did you go cold turkey? Since I haven't been gaming much, I seem to be filling the time by starting blogs ...

Monday, August 27, 2007

"A new era!"

Our cousin, who will be known as "crownshend" on Xbox Live, unwraps his brand new Xbox 360. "It's the beginning of a new era!" he proclaimed. Already he's ascended about four missions in Rainbow Six Vegas and created a character in Oblivion. He's also finished exploring the medical wing in Bioshock and learned to fight Big Daddies. If any of my friends encounter him online, please consider him a friend. When he gets some more practice, I'm certain he will be an ace in the Sythbane Squadron!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sythbane: The action figures

A lot of the fun of video gaming to me is creating characters. When I come up with a cool character in a game, sometimes I see if I can recreate the character as an action figure by customizing a toy. Here is Sythbane as I appear online in Halo 2 (and soon, in Halo 3), which I made by customizing a tan Halo 2 action figure.

I also came up with another Sythbane avatar for Rainbow Six Vegas by painting my beard onto a G.I. Joe, as you can see here.

Welcome to the Sythbane Squadron

A lot of times, I have something to say about a game that doesn't really fit any venue. It's not good to launch into a commentary when you're in the middle of a mission with friends on Xbox Live, or among strangers. It might be an observation about gaming in general that's not appropriate to include in a review of a particular game. That's why I made this, to give us a place to talk about it. At left, you see my friend HZG and me, Sythbane, as we appear in Rainbow Six Vegas. HZG and I are often wingmen for each other in this game and others. Thanks to the miracle of the Xbox Live Vision cam, this is also how we appear in real life -- minus the body armor, helmets and automatic weapons, of course. Now, let's start this mission!