Video Games

My Baby Xbox 360 Died

Posted by Quynh on January 19, 2010
Video Games / 2 Comments

I’ve had the thing only a little over 1.5 years, barely used it for most of its short life, and last month picked it up again to play Oblivion after which it started freezing and then went kaput. No Red Ring either. At first it just seemed like a disc drive issue, as I could get the main menu going (and probably Live, if I had an internet connection), but now the thing can’t even get past the initial splash screen.

It really pisses me off that a $300 piece of equipment (actually, I think I got it when it was $350) bought brand new and treated with the utmost care is already bricked and to fix it through official means would cost upwards of $120. Words cannot express my disappointment and frustration with Microsoft right now. And to think my Super NES is almost 20 years old and still going, after being shipped across the country and moved apartments 2-3 times. Plus I got it used, so who knows what kind of abuse it was dealt from the previous owner.

In my heart of hearts I want my XBox back in working order. I want to play FFXIII when it comes out. But I’m so pissed off right now that I want to write it off and never give them my business again. I am even tempted to get a PS3—everything is cross-platform anyway these days, right? I just cannot justify throwing away that $350+ or spending over $100 to fix it, making the cost of my unit over $450 which equates to over $25 a month for the ~18 months I had it. Even without the fix or including the cost of games, at $350 it cost $19.44 per month in entertainment.

The per-month cost of entertainment was greater than the cost of a WoW subscription, and that PISSES ME OFF. A brand new entertainment system lasted only 1.5 years, and that PISSES ME OFF. It will cost $75 to get it fixed at the local game store, or $120 to send it to MSFT, and that PISSES ME OFF.

Out of principle I do not want to support them anymore. But goddamn if they don’t have me by the balls.

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Sing Us a Song, You’re the Synth Man

Posted by Quynh on November 24, 2009
Music, Video Games / No Comments

Nintendo DS Korg DS-10 Synthesizer


It ain’t a Roland Fantom-G8, but at least it fits on a plane.

Speaking of which, Lada GaGa was on one of the late night shows last night and in the background I saw a guy using a Roland Fantom-G7 and Fantom-G8. That’s when I went gaga.

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Games People Play II: Games Are Serious Business

Posted by Quynh on October 27, 2009
Video Games / No Comments

Here is a Times article on the Video Games Live show. While I’m glad the author gave the concert some recognition and praise, frankly I’m tired of reading articles like this that suggest games are “finally” being taken seriously. Of course games have advanced significantly over the decades, and it’s cool to note the milestones, but 1) we don’t need to look backwards every time something game-related happens outside the strict gaming realm, and 2) I think they’ve been taken pretty seriously for years now.

Concerning #2, video games have big budgets, real actors, real scripts, and are scored with real music. Just look at Metal Gear Solid. The game’s from 1998 and it has tons of cinematic sequences and a proper soundtrack. It might not have been the norm back then, but 11 years later, that kind of stuff is pretty typical for a big action/FPS release like Halo, to say nothing of RPGs like Final Fantasy, which has been big on cinematic cut scenes and fancy music since forever.

Mario & Zelda Big Band Live, Nihon Seinenkan Hall, 14 Sept. 2003

Mario & Zelda Big Band Live, Nihon Seinenkan Hall, 14 Sept. 2003

My other gripe with the article is it fails to note that the Japanese have been doing these sorts of concerts and having popular artists make songs for games for ages already. I understand this is a US-centric article, but you can’t properly discuss video games without touching on Japanese contributions, and I think it’s worth at least a sentence or two to note that this isn’t exactly a groundbreaking concept. Not that VGL isn’t an amazing show with sparkling new ideas—after all, it’s not just Final Fantasy or Mario music, it’s that stuff and more, all packed into one thrilling, visually exciting show.

Geez, I feel like I just wrote a 6th grade critique essay for a freaking writing class.

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Games People Play

Posted by Quynh on October 26, 2009
Money, Video Games / No Comments

Last night Rich and I attended Video Games Live, which is an amazing show if you’re into video games, soundtracks, and awesomeness. It was actually my second time going to this; the first time was a few years ago in Philly. They definitely improved on the show since then. Notably missing the first time I went was a number of Square games. Not so this time! Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger (finally!) made their appearance.

Now I’ve been inspired to get back into games again. I haven’t really paid attention to what’s out in probably a couple years now. Today I decided to go online and catch up on what’s come out the past year or so and maybe pick something up cheap and what should I find out? Chrono Trigger DS was released one year ago.

Go figure I go looking for “new”-ish games and all I want is a game from 14 years ago.

On a slightly related business note… I really want to believe in Activision Blizzard (ATVI) for the longterm. Starcraft II cannot possibly fail, and their Guitar Hero and Call of Duty series are really successful. But their P/E ratio is over 240 compared with 15-20ish for other companies in the sector. Overvalued at $12? I guess I am hinging everything on Starcraft II and Diablo III when WoW and Guitar Hero and such have already helped kicked major revenue ass in quarters past and brought them out of the red. I just wonder if it’s too late to get in now or if I should count on a boost from Christmas sales and the fail-proof games, SC2 and Diablo III. Earnings report November 5. I just like the company, really. To buy or not to buy. My heart says yes but my head says no.

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