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GS Awards 2007 - Xbox LIVE Impecable Timing - Christmas Games

Ok, so the GameSpot Awards 2007 have been revelead. First may I give a hand to GS for the awards! I thort they were a great feature as always and keep up the good work guys. However, thats not to say I agree with all there nominees/winners *cough* Bioshock not even nominated for 360 game of the year *cough*. :D

Overall I thort the awards wer gud and largely as I expected, altho I thought 1 or 2 titles wer overlooked more than I would have liked.

Anyways, my next bit is a moan. I'm sorry people, but I work really hard all year. I get a week off for the holidays and find Xbox LIVE to be more than a little unresponsive. I'm suprised the skeleton staff they have on here @ GS haven't put something up about it so far as alot of other gaming sites have. Xbox LIVE is having major A$$ problems!!! :(

I find I can't connect to Xbox LIVE 95% of the time and when I can, I can't play games online, it constantly tells me my friends are signing in and out and movie content I download won't play. I have a few days to play 360, as anyone who has read my blog over the last 18 months will know, that since graduating from University, I don't get to play games half as much as I wud like: so this disruption to the service is at the worst possible time for me and likely is for a lot of players.

Finally a quik note to say, loving the two games I got for Christmas. Ive completed GHIII Career Mode on Easy (weak I know :D ) HaHa, and Assassins Creed is simply breath taking!!

Follow Up To Xmas Eve Blog - Xmas Games Confirmed - What Did You Get For Xmas?

OK, so as a follow up to the blog update from Christmas Eve, I can now confirm the 2 games I got for Christmas.

I was correct about 1 of the games, but my girlfriend completely got me with the other one. Luckily it was one I had asked for, but had no idea she wud actually get me.

So without further ado:

My Brother Got Me.............Assassins Creed
My Girlfriend Got Me.............Guitar Hero 3

Was really impressed with both choices and a good mix of titles I think. I have played about 1-2 hours into the Assassins Creed campaign and can say it has been nothing short of breath-taking so far. The graphics are simply amazing and the story has really made an impression.

In regards to Guitar Hero 3, I have probably had it on for around 5 hours so far (unfortunately that time hasn't all involved me playing it, its gone down really well with the entire family).

All in all, its been a great Christmas. Hope everyone else has had a similar experience. So what games did u get for Christmas?

Pre-Christmas Points Update - Happy Christmas To Everyone On GameSpot

Quick points update from me. Thort id do it 2day for Christmas Eve, as I know am defo getting 2 360 games for gifts.

So current 360 points tally (pre-xmas) stands @: 13500.

I think the 2 games I have got will come from a list of these 3:

Mass Effect
Assassins Creed
Call of Duty 4

I shall update the blog, the next chance I get to confirm the games!! :D HaHa

Anyways, to finish off. I wish everyone on GameSpot, a Happy Christmas! I hope you have a great time and enjoy it with family and friends.

Points/Progress Update - Annoyance In Halo3

Quick points/progress update from me.

So far this week I have managed to more than double the pitiful points tally I had managed to get out of Forza 2 in 6 months. Forza points stood @ 70 for ages - current points tally is now 195.

Also this week I have returned to the world of Master Chief. Currently playing through the Campaign mode in Co-op on Legendary. Also playing abit more multiplayer for the fun of it.

This leads me onto an annoying occurance that happened to me on Halo3 yesterday. Me and my friend had made it up2 my least favourite mission on the Campaign mode (discovered during my solo play-thru on Heroic) - Tsavo Highway.

After 1 hour and 20 mins of fighting our way to the end of the level. We kill the main brute here at the end of the highway - go to complete the level......and the game boots us to the lobby, we're not disconnected from Xbox LIVE, we're still chatting to each other over the headset, but we're no longer in the game. The game didn't keep any of our progress either. So when the relief I felt to think to myself "I never have to do this level again" is now gone. :(

Ah well, never mind, these things happen!

Cuurent Gamerscore stands at: 13420.

G.R.A.W Completed

Completed G.R.A.W on the 360 yesterday (on Normal difficulty) so far managing to get 300 points out of it. I can more than double that total if I play-thru it again with hard on (now now children) ;)

Currently trying to make more progress on Forza 2 and Halo 3 prior to getting some new games for Christmas.

Current points tally stands at: 13260

Till next time!

Goodbye G-Man

OK, so I guess everyone knows what the topic of this post is. Am actually not gonna say all that much on the situation as no doubt most people have read tonnes of opinion and speculation on this.

I think the one sole important point I want to get across is that:

Jeff I'm really sad to see you go and it goes without saying that GameSpot won't be the same without you.

I really don't see how this is gonna pan out, but the future looks bleak in a non-obvious way. No doubt GameSpot will continue on, as will Jeff (hopefully in the public eye, coz the guys hilarious), but I think GameSpot has hit its peak already and don't think it will recapture what it was.
For me and I know for alot of other people, GameSpot wasn't just a place to get news, reviews and b1tch about games - it was a community and if you were a regular user, u felt a part of it (I know I did anyway).

For me the peak was Summer 06 - There was Rich, Jeff, Greg, Brad, Carrie, Bethany, Alex and The 2 Ryans. On The Spot was a weekly "must-watch" show and you felt like you had a duty to visit the site at least once a day.

The departure of Rich, Carrie and Greg obviously affected that a great deal, but this mite just tip it over the edge for a lot of users.

I have been a Paid-Subscriber on and off in the past, but I'm not sure if I ever will be "on" again. I wish the guys that are still there (and honest) all the best of luck, I honestly do.

To Jeff - Thanks, you've been very entertaining over the years and keep going. I, and am sure a vast number of others, all want to see you doin' your stuff again in the not too distant future, whereever that may be.

The Whole Xbox360 Repair Saga - Its LONG Enough To Rival Star Wars (LOL)

Finally the whole Xbox (RRoD) Experience is over! What a ride it has been. This is a warning to every1 out ther who has a 360 and is likely to be using the Microsoft Repair Center in the UK anytime soon.
Which lets be honest....is about 85% of the Xbox360 owners in the UK.

OK, here goes.....Deep Breath.

So my console broke on Tuesday September 4th 2007. Cause of Death - 3 Red Lights.

[First Unsuccessful Call]
The following day I call the Microsoft Repair Center to arrange the repair of my console as its still in warranty. Unfortunately their systems were down and I was informed I would have to call back after 2pm in the afternoon.

So I thort "Ok", systems have problems, its likely not their fault. So I waited until after 2pm and then called them for the 2nd time.

[Second Unsuccessful Call]
I was told at the end of this conversation that I would be e-mailed a UPS receipt so that I could arrange the collection of my console. However, when the e-mail was received a few hours later, the UPS receipt was broken.

So I called them back the next day to report the problem.

[Third Unsuccessful Call]
I was told the original repair order was now cancelled and a new repair order had been created. I should receive a new e-mail soon and I could continue as planned from there. However, 24 hours later and I'm still waiting for this e-mail.

So I called them again.

[Fourth Unsuccessful Call]
I was informed that actually the e-mails can take upto 72 hours to arrive.

So I thort "Ok", i'll wait it out. However, more fool me, coz afta 72 hours had passed, ther was no new UPS receipt to be found. So I call them back again.

[Fifth Unsuccessful Call]
I was told that actually no new repair order had ever been created and the original order was still active. I was told a Supervisor would call me back within a MAXIMUM of 48 hours to sort out this mess.

After 24 hours had passed without receiving this call, I was a little pessimistic about my chances of ever hearing from this "Supervisor", I mean Come On, you've been reading this....who wouldn't be?

[Sixth Unsuccessful Call]
Anyhow, I was told that he would definately be calling me back within the next 24 hours GURANTEED!!!

The 24 hours passed.....and....THAT'S RIGHT! YOU GUESSED IT! NO CALL RECEIVED.

I call them back again.

[Seventh Unsuccessful Call]
They apologise for not getting back to me and say that they will send the UPS receipt to me by POST, so that there can't be any more "broken" receipts.

I left it week to give them chance to arrive (the post is pretty unreliable sometimes here in the UK).

So I call them back again.

[Eight Unsuccessful Call]
They apologise again, but the POSTAL order was never created. They say that I don't need a UPS receipt anymore, coz they are going to arrange everything for me with UPS and that all I would have to do is wait for there arrival within the next 14 days.

UPS never arrived. :(

So I called them back again.

[Ninth Unsuccessful Call]
They apologise again for some kind of mixup at their end. They say that I am special priority and that they will send UPS specially for my console. This will happen within the next 3-5 working days. Also they will fast track my repair, so that I can have my console back in my possession within 10-15 working days.

Again UPS never arrived. :(

[Tenth Unsuccessful Call]
They apologise again. The guy on the other end of the line is very helpful and promises that he will sort this whole mess out for me and that I would need to do no more. He detailed everything which was to happen and then politely put me on hold in order to provide me with a reference number. Suddenly the phone is cut off - THEY HUNG UP ON ME!!

I call the straight back.

[First Successful Call]
I explain everything that has just happened and what I was promised. The polite lady explains that she can find no record of this on her system (well of course not, the guy had no intentions of ever helping me). She says that all she can do is e-mail a new UPS receipt.

Saddened and disheartened by all this....I reluctantly accept this offer.

Low and behold the UPS receipt arrives some 6 hours later. But more importantly - IT WORKS!!

I print off the receipt and call UPS, they inform me they can be there within the next 2 hours. :)

I box up my console, they come and collect it on time and away it goes for repair. Some 1 month and 29 days after it first broke down.

My final thoughts on this now that my console has now been returned to me from Microsoft (I say "My Console" but what I really mean is "A Console" as it isn't the original unit that I sent to them).
The entire process has taken just shy of 3 months. It took 10 calls too many to arrange. The Customer Service was shockingly bad. I have no beef with UPS who I have to say were excellent. To keep this post shorter (yes, shorter) I haven't detailed the content of all calls. Each call can take up2 15-25mins 2 complete and you frustratingljump thru the same hoops over and over agen everytime you call. :(

Coincidentally if anyone from Microsoft is by any chance reading this - I have all the call reference numbers (apart from the guy who hung up on me) to prove my version of events.

To anyone left still reading this - Thanks for sticking with this incredibly long and detailed post. I hope you found it enlightening!!

Good Luck All 360 Owners!! :D

360 Repair Status = No Change - Portugal 2007 - Fifa 08 - Stranglehold

Hi All,

Back again with another blog post.

First up...I've just come back from a trip to Portugal. I went with some family and friends to Albufeira in Southern Portugal, staynig in a Villa for 7 nights. I had a fantastic time and it was just the break I needed (which included exactly 0Hours 0Mins 0Secs game time).

Anyhow, moving on. I have been to see 2 films this week and enjoyed both of them:

I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry

- Was very funny...altho the g@y jokes wore abit thin towards the end.

Resident Evil: Extinction

- I'm a huge fan of both the games and the movies and I really enjoyed this latest installment.

In an update to the whole XBOX360 repair saga....believe it or not...there has been no progress. Before I went on my trip to Portugal I was informed that I would be sent the necessary paperwork via post and I shud receive it within 3-5 working days. I thought "great" it will be here by the time I return home. I return home and nothing!
I still haven't got around to chasing them up about it...I mite do that 2moro. :(

Anyhow, the weekend before I left for my holiday, I purchased a CORE 360 with a free copy of Halo3 and thankfully managed to complete it b4 I went away. That week wud have killed me, had I not known the ending!! :D

I think its a gud job I have bought a replacement console as this repair process of Micro$soft is an absolute joke. Seriously.

Apart from that, the only other news, is that I finally finished with Pro Evo 6 and traded it in for the AWESOME (dare I say it) BEST EVER FIFA - Fifa 08. Truly fantastic footy game, which is just eating in2 my social life at the moment. I played the Stranglehold demo and loved it, so a friend has borrowed me his copy so that I can blast thru it...so that shud keep me busy for the next week or so.

Until next time.....

360 Repair Debaucle Continues....

OK, so ANOTHER update on this.

As things currently stand it has been 6 days since my 360 broke down on me.

I have made 6 calls to Xbox Customer Support.

I am still no closer to arranging for my console to be fix, than I was last Tuesday.


Firstly, the arranged to e-mail me a UPS receipt, so that I could arrange for collection of my console. The e-mail arrived within a few hours, but the links in the mail didn't work. So I contacted them again, they scrapped my first order and repeated the process (so I was told).

24 hours pass....

No 2nd e-mail!

48 hours pass....

No 2nd e-mail!

I call them again, only to be informed, that the e-mail can take upto 72 hours to arrive, they never told me that last time I spoke with them.

72 hours pass....

No 2nd e-mail!

I call them again, this time I am informed that the original order was never scrapped and no new repair order was ever created. Thus the 2nd e-mail would never ever arrive.

Now I have been told that they can not setup a new repair order, as the original one is still unresolved.

So, I have been "reliably" :D HAHA, informed that a Supervisor is going to call me within the next 48 hours. Why do I get the feeling that this call is never going to be received??

I Can't ******* Believe It!!


Last night after a long day at work and a hard gym session, I get home, open a cold one and sit down in front of the TV ready to play some Pro Evolution.

I can't remember why, but I was messing with something whilst the console was powering up, so I was out of the room. Upon my return I was greeted with complete Darkness. Where a bright and colourful light of my TV showing the Xbox360 Dashboard shud be, was complete darkness. I turn to my Xbox and what do I see........


Yes thats right everyone, my Xbox has gone**** UP! Just 7 whole days before the release of Halo 3.

I waited until today to make this post, as I thort I wud at least give Microsoft the chance to resolve this problem.

Firstly, I filled in their online repair form, submitted it......only to be informed that an error has occured and I will need to contact Customer Support, which was closed until 9am this morning! So, I waited until this morning and called Customer Support directly (whilst I'm in work, may I add).

After being on hold for 5 minutes, I finally got thru to a member of the Customer Support Team, who cudn't speak a word of******* english.

The final straw was that, after a frustrating and lenghty conversation of working out wat the person on the other end of the phone was saying, and repeating myself over and over again, I was informed that they were having techincal difficulties and they cudn't retrieve my details.

I now have to call them back again at 2pm to repeat the process.

Hopefully then, I will be able to arrange the free-repair of my console.

That is all well and good, but what it does mean is that I won't be able to complete Pro Evo 6 before Fifa 08 comes out. Thus when I get my console back, finish Pro Evo and Trade it in at my local Blockbuster, I will be lucky to get pennies for it, as they will then consider it to be last years title. So this is going to hit me in the pocket.

Secondly, I have only just resubscribed to Xbox LIVE (Ready for the arrival of Halo 3) and now I will have no console for 4 weeks. Again hitting me in the pocket.


Whilst the world and his brother will be happily enjoying the new Halo game, I will be sat twiddling my thumbs doing**** all!


Bare in mind, that the console is only 11 months old!

That's it, RANT OVER!