Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Xbox Live price increase

Microsoft announced yesterday that they will be increasing prices for Xbox Live. Starting November 1 of this year, one month will move from $7.99 to $9.99; three months will be increasing from $19.99 to $24.99; and a one-year membership will be changing from $49.99 to $59.99.

Of course, many people are foaming at the mouths about this and they have every reasons to in some respect. $60 for a year of online play is a lot of money and if you have more than one in a single household, like me, it can be crippling. I am looking at $240 a year.

Now Microsoft had also announced 'Family Packs' starting in November at $99 for 4 memberships. They haven't made an announcement on whether or not they will be increasing that price as well or if they have scrapped the idea altogether. I hope they haven't. I am willing to pay $120 for 4 if I have to.

Microsoft hasn't stated exactly why the increase but they are quick to point out the fact Xbox Live offers Netflix streaming, Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm. They are going to add a video chat with the Kinect, Hulu Plus and ESPN.

Okay, sounds cool, right? On the surface, yes. But let's take a closer look.

Facebook: How many people actually access it through XBL? Honestly, it isn't that great. You can only see limited items on XBL Facebook. You have always been able to access Facebook through the Playstation Network for free since it has an internet browser. The Wii has an internet browser also.

Twitter: Again, kind of a pain to use through XBL though not as bad as Facebook. Again, free through PSN and Wii.

Netflix: This is the same across the board, need to sign up to use.

Now Hulu Plus sounds good except, there is a $9 a month subscription fee for Hulu Plus according to their website. So raise XBL $10 and then add another $9?

Last.FM: Sorry I don't use this at all on XBL.

ESPN: Wow, not into sport so I don't even care for this option.

Video Kinect: I don't even have the Xbox Cam. I don't plan on buying the Kinect unit and my family and friends do not have Xbox 360s much less this so we can talk. I have Skype and that's good enough.

I like the idea someone had of having 3 membership tiers. Leave gold the way it is and have a platinum one with the new added features. Frankly, I don't think Xbox needed Facebook and Twitter. Get rid of those and try these though I seriously doubt Video Kinect will get used for much more beyond video mutual masturbation and exhibition, sort of like the Xbox Cam now.

Let's have a moment of silence

My Xbox Elite started flashing it's one little red light of death. I have sent it out for repairs.

I had planned on buying a new one after Christmas and moving the Elite upstairs to replace my old 20GB. $106.75 later....

Hopefully it won't be gone long. The new Mass Effect 2 DLC "Lair of the Shadow Broker" comes out on September 7th and I really want to play it. Plus Halo Reach drops this month. It completely figures, right?

If I could afford it right now, I'd just get the Halo Xbox. It looks pretty sweet and it makes cool noises.

Going back to Mass Effect 2, I saw this today: http://kotaku.com/5625154/hey-its-jack-from-mass-effect-2/gallery/3

I am not into cosplay but I can totally appreciate the work involved in some of the costumes. I am really impressed by this plus she shaved her head! How cool is that? I have seen some spectacular Mass Effect 2 cosplay costumes lately.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No support for girl gamers

Halo Reach is right around the corner and they have already released the Limited Edition controller. My son wanted it for his 4th birthday so we got him one. I decided to keep the code for the avatar item that was included with the controller because my 4 yr old doesn't have an account.

I opened it up and put the code into my account. Then I got this message:

Can't redeem your code because the item only fits male avatar. Your avatar is female. You may want to share this code with a friend who has a male avatar.

Wow. I mean wow. Sorry girls, we can't stand the fact you play games so we will deny you. Get back to the kitchen. That message is worded very badly.

I loaded it onto my husband's account so I could have a look at what it was thinking maybe it was armor or something reasonable. Nope, it's a remote controlled Banshee.

Way to support girl gamers there Microsoft and Bungie.

Now I know this is probably a coding glitch but it reinforces the idea to those special guys that girls shouldn't play video games.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mass Effect 2 for PS3

I just read that Mass Effect 2 has been announced for the PS3 and due to release in January 2011. While this is fantastic news for PS3 owners...what about Mass Effect?

Mass Effect 2 is a great game on it's own but without playing Mass Effect and being able to import a character and storyline, they will be missing some important appeal of the game. You won't have the Mass Effect 2 game reading your past decisions and creating a personalized game based on that. Instead you'll get the intuitive game that will try to guess what you would have done in Mass Effect. Too bad really.

Now I wish they'd hurry and release Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for Mass Effect 2. I need a fix.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Medal of Honor Beta/ BFBC2 Onslaught

Finally had a chance to sit down and check out the Medal of Honor beta. Babies take up so much energy and time, I have been neglecting my blogging.

I know it's a beta but I hate the death lag. Let's hope they fix that. Basically, when you die the whole screen freezes up, then you're dead. The graphics are awesome! I'd have liked to see more than 2 maps and 2 game modes. One map was for the Mission and the other was for Team Assault. The characters are hard to see in the game and some guns seem VERY overpowered. I mean sniping someone you can barely see from across the map, with an AK? Seems a bit much. Yet the starter sniper is completely worthless.

It's also difficult to make out who is friend and who is foe. The tiny little white triangles get lost in the environment. Lord help us all if they have a hardcore mode. There will be accidental team kills right and left. This will lead to fights and frustration. Trust me.

Got through Onslaught on Battlefield Bad Company 2 in regular and Hardcore mode. Definitely have 4 people for hardcore even if you have to start a game, leave it open and wait for people. I recommend leaving one person as far back as you can, sniping, to act as an anchor. If all 4 people die, game over and you start over. This can be frustrating if you are at the last capture point. All and all, I like it. I wish kills in Onslaught counted towards your awards but they don't.

Halo Reach comes out next month and I hope I can pick it up. Well, even if I did I probably wouldn't get a chance to play it. I am very far behind at work so that makes me behind in pay...making me behind in bills. Sucks.