Tag Archive for 'xbox-360'


Drifting back into PC gaming…

Take a seat and let me tell you a story. I’m going to tell you right now that it’s long winded, so take a bathroom break now if need be…or skip the 2nd and 3rd paragraph if you can’t be bothered with learning the circumstances behind my glorious main return to PC gaming. You can also skip to the end if you need an ultra-abridged versionbut why would you be here reading this if that were the case?

You may or may not know that my gaming history goes as far back as the NES, yet I would have to say that it wasn’t until PC gaming that I really started getting into it. Series like Duke Nukem, Doom, early Command & Conquer and others were big influences on the gamer I am today. I’ve dialed back alot though in recent years in favor of consoles such as Xbox 360. Not to say that I haven’t been console gaming in past years since my roots (because I have…alot) but recent years have shown my gaming consumed by Xbox 360 for the most part (Wii and PS3 to a much lesser extent). I was fine with that at the time, I’d be lying if I said Xbox 360 wasn’t still my favorite console to co-op and communicate with friends and family, until circumstances started sending me packing to different means of gaming.

A little while back you might remember that I had a dreaded E-74 error (one of the many forms RROD takes) on my 360.  I was a bit pissed about it at first, but quite a bit relieved when I found out that they extended warranties for this particular error (since a boatload of people were getting them…nice job again M$). I guess I was somewhat lucky too that I had my console for a few years before any serious problems (after hearing all the other RROD horror stories out there). So I UPSed (that’s a word, right?) my console in…BANG ZOOM…got another console back a little while later and everything was jolly good again. Everything was going peachy until a couple months back I noticed random console freezing during a couple different games I was playing. It got to the point where it was frustrating to even try to play anything. I tried all sorts of troubleshooting: installing to hard drive, playing without hard drive, playing offline, etc. with no success (if anyone can shed some extra light on this I would be grateful). I’m thinking it’s a DVD drive issue, which I’ll probably try replacing once I get some extra money for a new one and I’ve already started looking into the replacement procedure. I then started seeking solace with another console until…tragedy.

Being fed up with the 360, I figured I’d fire up the PS3 and give it some lovin’. Only to find that it’s plagued with a black screen at startup (startup chime + black screen). I’ve had my PS3 for only a bit over a couple years now and though I used it no where near as much as the 360, I had taken good care of it (or so I thought atleast). So here I am, trying to conquer this problem as well. Trying to restore to default settings (only to get through the initial setup and back to black screen), restoring the file system (only to get a corrupted file system message) and others in the reset menu to no avail. Thinking I’m going to have to get that new hard drive sooner than I planned. I’ve wanted to upgrade from my 40gb…BUT I’m probably going to lose my old data now (seems to be the case the more I look into it). I’m almost afraid to even boot up my Wii now lest it succumb to some ill fate as well (and continue this seemingly cascading effect).

Now that I’ve fully explained the situation, I’ll get back into my resurgence of PC gaming (if you’re still awake). I’ve been getting back into my Steam game backlog lately. I, like many others I’m sure, have been collecting up Steam purchases for awhile now and like collecting anything it can be quite addicting. When alot of these games go on sale for $5 or less, how can you possibly pass them up? When they start piling up after many sales and what not it’s nice to actually go back and PLAY some of them (I know, crazy concept right?). Though I’m still far from playing through all my Steam titles (131 at the time of this posting), I have been dipping into a few new titles lately (some old, some new in reality).

Aquaria was one of the first ones, which I had come to acquire through the Humble Bundle a couple months ago. I had scoured it’s lands for more than 20 hours and even if it had been the only game in the bundle I’d say that I had gotten more than my money’s worth. I can’t recommend it highly enough for those that are into Metroidvania type adventure games. Ever heard of a little game called Amnesia: The Dark Descent also? If you’re truly into survival horror games then it’s not one to pass up at all. Audiosurf is always a good standby as well with endless potential. It’s the music game that keeps on giving as long as there’s music to feed it with. It’s always a good time for classics as well, isn’t it? I acquired Star Wars: Dark Forces through the Steam Star Wars pack this winter and have been loving it, having wanted to try it out for awhile. Other classics outside of Steam I have been setting up with a certain DosBox Frontend for back in the day fun (classic Apogee and ID Software titles are among my favorites). I could probably go on forever like this but this is what I’ve been up to lately in gaming. My desktop isn’t a top-of-the-line gaming rig, but it should be pretty moderate for the newest PC titles as well (having built my desktop just a little over 2 years ago).

I guess the moral of the story is this: consoles can be a harsh mistress sometimes *sigh* …and if you’re mainly a console gamer don’t completely forgo the viable world of PC gaming.

…On that note, pick up Duke Nukem Forever for PC before consoles! 😀

– DGM-payne

UPDATE (3/2/2011) : Purely coincidentally, Amnesia : The Dark Descent had just gone on sale on Steam for half price. All the more reason to pick it up now. I would recommend Braid also at $3 during the mid-week sale if you haven’t picked up that indie puzzler yet.


The State of Co-op (cooperative) gaming

Cooperative video games, to me they’ve always been much more rewarding to play than any other form of  multiplayer. Working with a friend or family member through puzzles or the adversity of waves of enemies is just plain fun when formed correctly. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy competitive gaming sometimes. The occasional deathmatch, capture the flag, search and destroy, etc. is entertaining but to me it gets old after awhile. I never get tired of playing Co-op. That’s why when I heard that they wouldn’t include Co-op, but only regular multiplayer, in the newest Wolfenstein game I was quite disappointed. Co-op was a good part of the Xbox version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and I would’ve liked to see it return. A Cooperative mode (especially offline AND online) is a major plus in my book. Let’s take a (somewhat brief) look at some of the Co-op modes of recent years…


  • Gears of War 1 and 2 – First of all, the campaigns on both games were pretty epic (excuse the pun) with Co-op. I’d recommend going Co-op anyways if you plan on tackling insanse difficulty, it’ll save some time. Even better, Gears 2 added the Horde mode that allowed up to 4 people to get together to whoop wave after wave of locust. It can be quite a challenge even on lower difficulties  to get up to wave 50 and offered plenty of replayability. There’s also some achievements for Horde, especially now since the new map packs came out. Also, the “deleted scene” is inbound with the dark corners map pack later this month to offer even more co-op and new achievements.


  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance  – If you’re a fan of Marvel comics AND Co-op gameplay then there’s no reason not to atleast try this one. It’s the perfect combination of both worlds and one of the first Xbox 360 (multiconsole, version I bought) games that I truely had a great time playing with friends. Tons of marvel characters, beat ’em up action, and up to four player Co-op online/offline…what’s not to love? What really gets me excited is that there’s a sequel on the way. Sign me up!


  • Call of Duty : World at War – First of all, the main campaign is up to 4 player Co-op, which is pretty cool I guess (though I rarely play over 2 player myself). There’s also challenges that can only be done in Co-op to raise your XP in multiplayer. A downside though, and I’m sure I’m speaking for my cousin here, is that the achievements were almost entirely built for single player. Which is alright if you wanna  go through the whole game by yourself on the hardest difficulty (which I did) but alot of people probably want to tackle it in Co-op. There’s also the competititive Co-op (still sounds like a huge oxymoron to me) mode where you compete for the highest scores in campaign. Finally though, what I really wanted to get to, is the Nazi Zombie mode. You face up against waves of zombies with up to 3 friends (or strangers) until everyone dies. The first map that came with the game, Nacht Der Untoten, was kind of MEH because it was pretty limited in movement and weapons but it was a start. The next map, Verruckt (might be spelling that wrong) that came with Map Pack 1,  was when things really started to get interesting with the perks machines and electric barriers. The latest (and most hectic map), Shi No Numa from Map Pack 2, puts a new spin on the mode with Japanese zombies and Hell Hounds, a new trap called the Flogger and electric weapon (which I’m not even going to attempt to spell in german, but we like to call it the “wonder waffle”), and 4 new characters that can be quite funny in their sayings. Not only is the newest map even bigger and replayable than previous but it also added new acheievements that further added to the experience. My cousin and I have spent plenty of hours playing the various zombie maps and probably even more time than regular multiplayer, which we did play quite a bit at the beginning but Nazi Zombies still takes the cake. I really must hand it to Treyarch for creating a downright fun game mode in Nazi Zombies. Right now I’m just looking forward to what Infinity Ward will do with Co-op in Modern Warfare 2 (since the first one lacked in that department). Anyways, I think I’ve trailed on enough…let’s continue.


  • Resident Evil 5 – I’ve been a long time fan of the Resident Evil series and I was quite eager for the arrival of the first Co-op adventure, so much so that I followed every trailer and news for years before the actual release. When it finally came it was quite the experience and I only wished it would’ve lasted longer. It’s the kind of game that you just NEED to play with a friend to get the whole experience in the bosses, puzzles, etc. (see my last posts about Resident Evil 5 for more). AI Sheva can be alright, but if you want to tackle this on Professional difficulty and get all the achievements  then you should really be playing along with someone else.


  • Castle Crashers – The creators of Alien Hominid have done it again! This time offering us great and cartoony multiplayer beat ’em up action (with plenty of humorous characters and situations, as expected of behemoth style). Join up to three friends offline or online to take on the ridiculous bosses and save the princesses. There are playable characters, weapons, and animal helpers galore. My only beef with the game right now is with the online portion, which seems to be having some problems with 2 people starting up a game together (kicking both players before the game even starts). It’s a known problem that many have been having and hasn’t been patched yet as of this posting. Why? Don’t know but it seems like a pretty big problem to me…


  • Rainbow Six : Vegas 1 and 2 – Next to the Splinter Cell series these are my favorite Tom Clancy games. Not nearly as stealthy as Splinter Cell, but tactical in it’s own way with team-based action. If you’re playing single player then you get to boss around 2 teammates, in Co-op you still get the teammates but only the first player can boss them around. Which is probably a good thing because we wouldn’t want the AI more confused than they already are. Speaking of which though, I noticed the AI teammates were a bit more annoying on Co-op for whatever reason, being more unresponsive and getting in the way more than usual. Playing on Realisitic difficulty with Co-op is a pretty decent way to rank up, unlock new weapons, and get some easy achievements atleast.


  • Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles – A bit of a refreshing change of pace from the usual Resident Evil, Umbrella Chronicles not only gave us good arcade shooter action (along with the Wii Zapper) but also some back and in between story of the series never seen before. To me it was one of the best Co-op titles to hit Wii thus far. It’s also no surprise that the sequel Darkside Chronicles is on it’s way to fill in some more gaps around Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica (and maybe more? Time will tell).

Well, there you have my opinion on it…

What do you think about Co-op gaming?

Let us know on the Forums.

– DGM-payne

P.S. – Top anticipated of 2009/2010 coming up next…keep watching.



Still one more week until the 360 gets back, estimated delivery date next monday. Definately slow, but atleast it’s on the way back…

More to come.


2 things missing from Resident Evil 5

I’m sure you’ve already seen me praise Resident Evil 5 in one of my past posts but there were a couple things that disappointed me a bit…


Sherry Birkin

  • Last Seen : End of Wesker’s Report 1
  • Current Location : Presumed under control/watch of Wesker’s lackeys (according to report)
  • Why? : It was rumored for awhile before RE5 that she would make an appearance in the newest installation thanks to a trailer that showed a mysterious blond woman in a tube but this was debunked when Jill’s role was revealed. So where is Sherry now after she was apprehended post-RE2? I love Jill and all but the Resident Evil staff is missing a great new storyline opportunity if they let Sherry vanish forever. The creators have stated that they’d like to do a reboot of the series with the next game so we’ll just have to see what’s what when we get there.



  • Last seen : Snapping necks in RE4 Mercenaries mode.
  • Current Location : Unknown (but guaranteed to involve badassity)
  • Why? : A mysterious Umbrella operative that’s single handedly kicked ass in numerous hostile zombie encounters and survived everytime, it’s a no-brainer. He’s hands down one of my favorite Resident Evil characters. The guy SNAPPED zombie necks left and right in RE4 (I tried to find a picture of said action but my searches did not turn up much). He’s been a pretty big staple in atleast secondary game modes since RE2 but unfortunately he is missing completely in RE5. I guess there was too many chris and sheva characters in RE5 Mercenaries to fit good ol’ HUNK… :\

Am I right or what?

On a related note, I also can’t wait for the Darkside Chronicles (you might have noticed it made The List). The first one was a great use of the Wii zapper and insight into the story of several of the games as well as expanding  further with the Umbrella compound invasion at the end. I just hope they can do the same with RE2 in the Darkside Chronicles.

Xbox 360 update: It’s one week later and my 360 is finally at the repair center as of today, hopefully it doesn’t take them too long.

– DGM-payne

Last watched movie in theaters – Gran Torino
Last watched on DVD – Stephen King’s Riding the Bullet


Curses E74!

That’s right, after sticking with me faithfully for the better part of almost 3 years I finally hit my first major error for the 360 (OH JOY!). What’s even crazier is that this happened roughly a month after my cousin’s xbox 360 suffered the same fate. I mean c’mon…what are the chances of that? Seriously. Needless to say I was quite glad when I did find out that they atleast extended the warranty to 3 years for the E74. My favorite part of that page is this line:

While the majority of Xbox 360 owners continue to have a great experience with their console, we are aware that a very small percentage of our customers have reported receiving an error that displays “E74” on their screen.

Oh how optimistic of you Microsoft, perhaps you haven’t taken a look online?

Anyways, my 360 is being shipped off today and then we play the waiting game…

On an unrelated note I finished Killzone 2 recently for the first time. I only have MGS4 and Killzone 2 for the PS3 right now but I’m still looking for friends to play with. You in?

– DGM-payne

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