All About EBautista
It's that time of the year, again!
Believe it or not, this is my first red ring of death. Fittingly, Left 4 Dead is what sent my supposed "RROD-proof" Halo Special Edition console to its green, green grave. The poor thing was barely a year old! Fortunately, my cousin has my back-up premium unit, which I had sent back to Microsoft twice already for repairs.
My final thoughts before Xbox 360 #3 bit the dust:
"No Mercy on easy difficulty with pistols with no health packs and no friendly fire. I can do it!"
"Oooh, gpbmike is on. Oh, but he's watching some lame Netflix movie."
"I'll just jump straight off this building for a short-cut, thank you very much. Follow me, Bill!"
"Wait--What the hell? OK, reset. Wait a minute. Breathe. Turn back on."
"Well ... Damn it."
EDIT: Could it be the NXE? "Is NXE causing red ring of death for Xbox 360?"
During this sun-filled weekend of picnics and barbecues, be sure to set aside at least a few hours of indoor video gaming with friends—like real friends, in person.
On Friday night, my old roommates from college paid me a visit, and after a nice, healthy dinner at Round Table Pizza, we sat down in my living room to play two of my most recent XBLA purchases: Bionic Commando: Rearmed and Castle Crashers. My first impressions of the multiplayer modes earlier in the week were disappointing, but I gave them another chance. I'm glad I did.
It took my friends half a dozen suicides to warm up to BC's old school controls (and the pretty terrible Xbox 360 D-pad), but we were swinging around in the multiplayer modes in no time. By far, our favorite mode was Don't Touch the Floor, customized with five minute match times and 10 lives per player.
The first DTTF map, Construction Chaos, is perfect for 2v2 team play. ProTip: Each team should fight for control of the bottom two platforms in the center. Have one guy push the enemy off the higher level to a teammate below (the "cleaner") who can sweep the trespassers off the edge with a flurry of bullets.
We died a lot in the second DTTF map, Warehouse War, due to our collective lack of grappling skill (and the pretty terrible Xbox 360 D-pad!). The bottom platforms are too close to the spikes below to perform a full-extension, last-second save when falling to your death. Inversely, the side walls are too far from the platforms to easily pull yourself back in from a wall-slamming push. Holding the down and B button to grapple horizontally while falling is the only way to do save yourself in these situations, and that takes a bit of good timing.
The last DTTF map, Lethal Liquid, is a great place for shootouts. Unlike in the other maps, the platforms here aren't symmetrical on both sides of the screen, so there were times when my friends would have to crouch on a right platform just to shoot me standing on a left platform. I like how the platforms are close enough to the walls to where you can stand at the edge and pin your falling enemies to the walls with a string of bullets. Reminds me of Devil May Cry.
OK, this post was supposed to be about Castle Crashers too, but I didn't realize I'd write this much about BC. We take our games seriously.
I'll keep this part short. Basically, Castle Crashers online is frustratingly buggy and Castle Crashers offline with friends, chips, and dip is a highly entertaining experience. We just beat the game last night, and it's worth every penny. I do hope they fix the online mode with a patch of some sort. Wait--does that even happen with XBLA games?
In the epic conflict between ships and shapes, I think I've posted a few fairly decent high scores:
Hopefully, some of those will hold up while I take my tours of duty through Bionic Commando: Rearmed and Braid. Bottom of friends list is no fun.
My Recent Reviews
My family and I play SingStar together for the first time and discover the magic of digital video.
A music video made from my SingStar clips with a little dancing Wookiee thrown in for good measure.
It's a relay race against time as "asset runners" Dave Toister and I venture out on a mission to retrieve the second half of Microsoft's E3 2006 press conference for GameSpot.
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