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andymacdonald27 Blog

Will the last one out please switch the lights off.......

So after a morning of reading Blogs it does seem that it is all over. Much as I love Brad, Ryan, Aaron, BK, Justin and the rest Jeff was the heart and soul of Gamespot for me. Seems a crazy decision on CNET's part considering that so much of the site's content is people expressing an opinion. They definitely got this one wrong. I plan to cancel my mebership and go elsewhere.

It's been a joy. Just a shame it came to such a bitter end.

Pleasantly surprised!!!!

So I finished Halo 3 yesterday and decided to go online and play some "multiplayer". Now I was playing "alone" as my friends list was obviously away doing something far more interesting so fearing the worst I didn't plug in my headset. Of course that didn't stop the voices coming out of my television and as you can well imagine.......

EVERYONE WAS REALLY NICE!!! I played for 6 hours and in the whole time I had one game where people used gay to meen neither happy, or homosexual but as a euphemism for rubbish. Everyone else was just quiet during games, limiting themselves to a few thank-you's post match. Or really really happy and stoked to be sharing in a sublime online experience.

Anyone else care to comment. Have Bungie purged the maps of 12 year olds? We need to be told.LOL!!

Game backlog!!!!!

I've just moved house and my consoles (and everything else) are still in boxes. Also due to a screw up with my electricity company I have been limited in my usage over the past 3 weeks, I have a prepayment meter and it needs to be reset!! So I haven't gamed for a bit and have bought TW 08 (unaware of the bug!!!) and Madden 08 and still haven't played them. Hope to get on Xbox live today as I have a COD4 Beta code!!!! (Yes!!!) and need to play so badly. Going to trade in Bioshock tomorrow and get Skate.....or NHL 08 or both!!!LOL!!!! Too many games!!!!

LAIR a PS3 Exclusive!!! Xbox fanboys rejoice!!!!

Finally games are being released for the PS3. Just a shame that they are LAIR!!!! LOL!!! and HEAVENLY SWORD!!! Way to justify that price point Sony!!!!

Still there is always Ratchet to look forward too. Though I thought I may buy the entire R & C back catalog, play through those first and when I am finished, say January, Sony will have dropped the price of the console.......

Next stop UNCHARTED, that's got 6.5 written all over it!!!!! Tomb Raider + Kill. Switch = derivative mediocrity. They had to rip-off the cover system from Kill. Switch because Uncle Phil won't let them play Gears of War.

Red Rings of Death!!! I should be so lucky!!!!

OK so what basically happened was this. Whilst installing the most recent XBOX Live system update I got kicked out of Live and the machine rebooted to early and when it came back to life my console and my HDD were no longer speaking. The HDD was totally invisible to the 360. Did all the clearinf the cache stuff, booting up with sync held down etc etc nothing.

So I phoned the UK Xbox Customer Support number!!!! That was when the hell began!!!!

I'm not sure where in the world the Call Center is but all the staff appear to be Belgian girls called Monique or Natalie which is very very cool if you're having a gap year and hitting on them in a bar in Amsterdam over a few Kronenbourgs but far less attractive if you need then to help you with a problem with your gaming console.

Highlights of my experience include;

The kind lady who when discovering that my 360 and Laptop are connected told me I could format my HDD using format on my Laptop. She even went so far as to suggest I select the c;/ drive on my laptop and hit format!!!! I didn't I hasten too add. Reports that she recently told someone that the 3RROD problem is due to the cooling elves, small faerie like creatures homed within the case of your 360 that blow cooling air on the overheating chips, being "all puffed out" are unconfirmed at this point.

Eventually it transpired that unless your console has gone completely and the staff at Xbox HQ can send your a shipping label they are in fact completely uselsess, rude and very very unhelpful. Especially the girl who didn't know what a HDD was and hung up on me. She'll be wearing her Kronebourg when I next bump into her in Holland. Or better still I know a nice little Hostel in Bratislava where her and all her Microsoft cronies can go holiday.

As for my 360. I bought a new HDD. It works fine although I lost all my saves dating back to 12-15 am 25th Nov 2005.

It sucks!!!!!!


Going on holiday for a week so no gaming for me!!!!! I do have a DS but for one reason and another I'm not taking it. I am going to see my lovely love ly girlfriend though so every cloud has a silver lining.

Be good. I'll be watching fron afar!!!!!

I'm no hater..........!!!!!

Over the last 4 days as I watched all the feeds from E3 I hung out in the chat room's and on more than one occasion I was accused, off the back of my comments, of hating Sony. Let us get one thing straight I do in no way hate Sony. Like a recalcitrant chils I have a lot of time for Sony. Indeed my love affair with all things console gaming began when I was randomly bought a PS1 for my birthday. Prior to that I had been a die hard PC gamer. But as vast hours of my life were sucked up by Rage Rager I decided that I like the whole console thing and was fixed. From PS1 onwards I have owned every single console that has been released. I have 2 PS2's. A domestic machine and a Japanese one. I've had 2 xbox's and now an Xbox 360. But as of yet I do not own a PS3. Why?

Well quite simply so far Sony have gone out of they're way to alienate me. Firstly they saddle the machine with expensive and to me at least pointless technology. I do not want to watch Blu-ray DVD's on my Games console. I want to play games. I also like a bit of rumble when I'm desecrating Manchester Cathedral. Why in gods name did they remove rumble from the sixaxis. Opting instead for a badly implemented gimmick that no-one really uses and only does so because it is there and is probably written into their third party license agreement as a requirement for publishing.

But mostly it is the price. It is the mind boggling arrogance that a company can have such wildly varyingapproaches to pricingin different areas. It is blindingly clear that Sony America and Sony Europe don't talk to each other but do they think that consumers are the same. How Sony can justify charging more for a machine that has the same games as it's cheaper competitor beggars belief. So no I do not hate Sony, I would happily skip hand in hand with Phil Harrison to my local game shop and buyPS3 tomorrow if it was competitively priced and had the software to back things up. But it doesn't. It is an overpriced machine being mis- managed by a bunch of arrogant fools while we all laugh at them. I do not know a single mate that has a PS3 but they all have 360's and Wii's.

Come to think about it perhaps I do hate them.......LOL!!!

What I learnt at E3......I'm Andy and I'm happy.

Ok so there we go. I suffered the time delay (8 hours ahead here in the UK), lost loads of sleep and watched a lot of game demos. It was very very cool. I made loads of new friends in Room 4 (ZAP A ZOMBIE!!!!!) and here is a brief overview of what we learnt at E3.....

For my money XBOX was the platform of choice and with the games they have forthcoming will be getting all my money between now and Xmas.....

Sony appear to hold consumers especially European gamers in contempt......

No Rumbleaxis announcement either although a peripheral announcement has been teased for Leipzig so fingers crossed. Oh and word to the SFB's Rumble is not last gen....It's any gen.

Where was Alan Wake?

Bioshock will rule. As will a million other games.

Although the game I want the most right now is Luminous Arc (DS). I love SRPG's. All you casual gamers can wiifit your brains out. I'll be all alone in a darkened room, in an item dungeon, levelling up a frying pan......

It'll be a nation of millions that'll hold us back

The first day of E3 was overshadowed by one of the darkest moments in gaming history. I write not of Peter Moore singing, the HOME skits in the Sony PC or even Sony deciding not to announce a rumble enabled sixaxis. I write with trembling fingers of Wiifit and more disturbingly the greatest video game designer in the world ever reduced to measuring Reggie's BMI.

Now I may be out of touch with what gamers want but as someone who has seen this industry through thick and thin I feel I have an opinion. An opinion that those who made us great now seek to marginalise. The decline surely started with Sony. Prior to the PS1 gaming was niche. I make no bones about it, I liked it that way. But along come Sony and all of a suddenthose that thought I was weird love gaming. But that was fine, because for every million or so FPS or Driving game that was released we'd still get proper games. Gameplay, substance and even on occasion 2D graphics!!

But now we enter dark days indeed. Casual gamers must be made to play. We must cater for all. Demographics must be rethought. Hang on a second why don't we bang out loads of tat as long as there is a waggling element to the controls. Even better let's abandon games altogether and make a step peripheral!!! Old women do notexist to sell games to. I don't mess with knitting they have no business messing with games.Grannies exist purely to ensure stray copies of badly reviewed games get bought at Christmas for long suffering Grandkids.

I for one will not be taking this lying down. Already I have barricaded myself in my flat, I have fashioned a wall from my 200+ games except for my mint copy of Radiant Silvergun. The casual gamer can pry that from my cold dead hand. Over time this will surely dilute gaming. As Andy Warhol famously said "One day everybody will game for 15 mins" and devoid of plot, story or substance the games longevity will be exactly that. Shame on you Miyamoto. At least Peter Molyneux's mid life crisis only gave us a dog.

Now who's up for a game of Gun Valkyrie?