Three Red Lights of Misery

I suppose it was inevitable that my second Xbox 360 would fail.

During my time sharing the hell out of things yesterday, I probably had the 360 on for a few hours, most of it unattended. I also had the PlayStation 3 on for a similar amount of time. During those hours, I downloaded the demos for Devil May Cry 4 and The Club on both systems. The plan was to compare them in a blog post sometime this week. After watching Live Free or Die Hard last night, I wasn’t real tired so I decided to start on that project.

The PlayStation 3 versions of the games have superb framerates and gorgeous looks. Devil May Cry 4 is as stunning as its prequels but of course with high-definition graphics. It’s not exactly breaking any new ground, but what’s there is good.  

The Club on the other hand is a an altogether unusual bit of shooting. It’s essentially a first-person shooter time trial. You fight your way through a level as fast as possible and with as high a score as possible, racking up combos and mowing down non-descript dudes along the way. The concept is pretty much the idea of speed running a game mated with high-score contests of the arcades of yesteryear. I found it refreshing to play a shooter designed that way because it’s just not how most of them are designed. Usually the skills you need are focused on multiplayer, but here, you have to focus on sharpshooting and awareness with uncanny accuracy at speed.

Once I got my fill of the games on the PS3, I flicked on the 360 to try out The Club first and Devil May Cry 4 second. I only saw about five minutes of The Club on 360. My system started screeching and the graphics froze up with digital squares of crap everywhere on the screen. I turned it off immediately and when I turned it back on… three red lights. I tried it two more times with the same result and then cursed, again and again. This is my second system that’s kaput. The thing is a piece of crap. Monday I’ll put in the call to see if I can get it fixed/replaced. This was a refurb replacement for the one I bought at Christmas in 2005 and it lasted about a year and a half, though I really didn’t use it too terribly much in 2007, probably extending its life through lack of usage.

Either way, the Xbox 360 is the single worst console in the history of videogames in terms of reliability. I think Microsoft has an insulting contempt for its customers given how these things still break even after being replaced. If I didn’t need a system for future work, I probably would simply call it quits with the whole thing.

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