&t Phil on Games: October 2007 <$BlogMetaData$;

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Christmas decorations available at Target



…so it must be time for Halloween! This home stretch at the end of each year is one of my favorite times. The air gets cool, the leaves change color, and everyone decorates their homes with gaudy knickknacks each month until the new year arrives.

Maybe it’s something in the air, but this time of year always “feels like change”. I’m not sure how to properly describe the feeling, but it always seems to me that significant life events, be it life altering or just a fun unforgettable event, happen this time of year. There is already this feeling of ‘change’ in the air, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s just the anticipation of the holiday’s, where I get to spend more time with family and friends that I rarely get to see.

On the game’s side of things, this time of year is usually super busy as you’re preparing your game title to come out in Spring, or you’re taking it fairly easy because you just shipped (or are about to ship) your product in time for the Thanksgiving rush. Thankfully, I’m finding myself somewhere in the middle at the moment, which is a nice comfortable spot. I can’t wait to unleash Laser Cats on the world!

In other news, following up on my 2 previous posts, we had yet another false fire alarm and everyone still lazily piled in the back parking lot to be virtually burned to death.

Also, my Xbox 360 is STILL broken. I did receive my FOURTH unit in a timely fashion; to bad it gave me the Red Ring of Death after only 2 hours of playing Half-Life 2. I won’t go into too much detail about this latest round of dealing with Xbox Customer Support, but it has been a friggin’ nightmare. Normally they are very professional and jump at the chance to help their customers (I think I’m on a first name basis with half the crew at this point, and I should have them on speed dial), but this time I wasn’t going to let them send me a FIFTH unit that isn’t one of the new HDMI [High Definition Multimedia Interface…aka: a fancy video cable] enabled motherboards. Sending me one of these newer units greatly reduces the odds of the replacement unit breaking down since it includes the smaller, cooler running processor. Despite my reasonable demand to one of the heads of the repair center, and explaining that they have already spent $150 just in shipping for all my broken units, they would not guarantee me one of the newer model units. “We will repair it to the current specifications of the 360 hardware, or replace it with a refurbished model that meets the same specifications.” Pardon my French, but what kind of bullshit is that?! Obviously their current specifications for refurbished models are whack, otherwise the one they just sent back to me would have worked fine. I don’t even care about the HDMI port itself; I just don’t want to worry that every time I turn on my 360, it could be the last time it works.

Microsoft should have hidden achievements imbedded within their system. Something that adds 250 points to my Gamerscore every time I get the Red Ring of Death would make these problems easier to deal with.

Thankfully I’m able to borrow an Elite unit from a friend, so I haven’t been without Halo 3 this entire time. Consequently, the borrowed Elite unit, which has the newer hardware with the HDMI port, has been running flawlessly so far.