Gamespot's Street Fighter IV Arcade Stick Roundup revisited

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With the launch of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 just over a week away, I thought it would be a nice time to revisit Gamespot's Street Fighter IV Arcade Stick Roundup. It would make sense for Gamespot to highlight this feature on the Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Launch Center page, but I didn't see it linked there.

I haven't tried any of the fightsticks or fightpads yet, but plan on doing so soon.

I need a 4-point achievement

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to get to 12345:

Gamercard - 12341

I probably won't get it though. There's a 4-point achievement in Rock Band 3, but I used it already. That's too bad, since I managed to get gamerscores of 6666 and 11111 before. That 11-point achievement from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 has been part of my gamerscore for years now.

These go to eleven

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I was playing some Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and some Burnout Paradise last night. I completed the first Spec Ops mission and obtained my Burnout License. Woo hoo! Also, it's been almost exactly two years since I achieved a gamerscore of 6666.

Here's my blog commemorating the occasion.

From the movie This Is Spinal Tap:

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...

Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?

Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

Marty DiBergi: I don't know.

Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

Crossing 10,000 points

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I did it! It only took me about two and a half years. I was playing Street Fighter IV when I unlocked the Crowd Pleasing Master (Perform 10 Personal Actions) achievement to get to 10,006. Then I beat Arcade Mode on medium with no continues to get 30 more points and unlock Akuma. It was a fitting reward for the occasion. Woo hoo!

RRoD - My Xbox's Time Has Come

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It's the second time I've had to send my Xbox 360 back too.  Last time, it was for a failing DVD drive.  It's really a sad commentary on Microsoft's commitment to a quality product in this generation of consoles.  It's like everyone who owns an Xbox 360 has to "pay their dues" at some point.  Shame on you Microsoft.

I never had a problem with my original Xbox too.  My PS2 crashed once, during the last boss battle in God of War 1, but I never had any problems with that console either.



Sequels I'd Like To See

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Star Wars Republic Commando 2, Red Dead Revolver 2, and Crimson Skies 2.

I'd love to play another Star Wars shooter, a fun Wild West adventure, and a dogfighting plane game. C'mon developers, make it happen.

The evolution of online console gaming and the effect of Xbox Live

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I've recently started playing Burnout Revenge and Rainbow Six Vegas over Xbox Live, as opposed to just playing the single player story mode, like I've always done with my games. It's a lot of fun, and a completely different experience than playing against computer opponents. There's nothing like teaming up with a bunch of other guys and taking on another team in an online shooter or the thrill of winning a race against a lineup of human opponents.

My time on Xbox Live has also made me think about how and why the original Xbox, and to some extent the Xbox 360, became synonymous with first person shooters. Before Xbox Live, you could invite a few friends over and play Halo 1 or GoldenEye on N64 with four-player split-screen, but it still felt limited. You were stuck with your own quarter of the screen, and everyone could see where everyone else was.

That all changed with the launch of Xbox Live in 2002 (the first broadband-only online matchmaking service for consoles) and the release of Halo 2 in November 2004. Now you could have 16 person battles against fresh competition whenever you wanted. You could team up with your friends and take on others, or just join an open game and have a free-for-all against everyone else. Microsoft had the perfect pack-in game to go with Xbox Live too, with Crimson Skies.

As Xbox Live matured, we found that certain game genres were enhanced by online multiplayer - shooters, racing games, fighting games, and sports games, while others weren't affected - RPGs, platformers, and single player action adventure games (like Ninja Gaiden and GTA). This might explain why the original Xbox became known as the console for shooters. Microsoft's emphasis on online multiplayer led to developers releasing more games in the genres that were improved by it, and this in turn led to more gamers playing these games over Live. In contrast, Sony's Playstation 2 only has limited online capability, and more of an emphasis on RPGs (especially Japanese-developed ones), platformers, and action adventure games.

Now, let's fast forward to the first year and a half of the Xbox 360. Microsoft designed the conosle with Xbox Live as a major feature, but they've also made a strong effort to get developers to release games in genres that aren't affected by online multiplayer. Games like Dead Rising and Oblivion , and upcoming games like Mass Effect and Bioshock , will help make the Xbox 360 a console with a more well-rounded game library. So in the coming years, we can expect to continue to shoot, race, and fight each other over Xbox Live, but we'll also be able to take in a game with a good storyline and a long adventure.
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