Sunday, November 30, 2008

Left 4 Dead Left Me Feeling Underwhelmed

This zombie survival game has been getting a lot of praise. It's hovering between a high 8 and a high 9 as far as number ratings go. On top of that all of the gaming podcasts that I listen to are praising it as well. Before I go into my thoughts on Left 4 Dead I should probably let it be known that I've only played the split screen co-op mode with my nephew for a total of about 3 hours. I figure that's enough play time to give some opinions on the game.

You start out by being able to pick one of four characters. From what I could tell the characters were all pretty much the same and didn't have strengths that the others didn't have. Basically it doesn't matter who you choose. That to me is kinda lame. I would also have liked to have seen more characters to choose from.

The weapons are pretty standard. You get pistols, shotguns, machine guns, and a scoped rifle that I totally don't understand why was even put in the game. Combat is close and in your face all of the time. If a zombie is far away you definitely don't have time to bust out a scoped sniper rifle to shoot it. I'm also finding that using a shotgun for melee attacks is usually better than using it to actually shoot zombies. You can clear out rooms of zombies just using melee attacks with your gun.

It's also a rather short game with only four levels to beat. Id this were a 40 dollar game I'd have no issue with it being short, but it's a 60 dollar game. Sure you can get a lot of gameplay out of it by playing co-op, but I see myself getting bored with only four levels to beat. This is where DLC will come in. Instead of shipping the game with 6 or 7 levels we'll no doubt have to shell out cash for extra downloadable levels.

I'm not saying this game is bad. What I am saying is that it's overpriced and doesn't wow me graphically. It's an ok game. If you plan on buying Left 4 Dead I would personally wait untill you can find it for about 40 bucks. More levels would have probably made it worth 60 bucks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For Video Games & Robster Craw Style

It won't be long before we're all stuffing our faces with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie lots of glorious glorious pie! While sitting here trying to decide just what the hell to blog about I decided I'd give a list of things I'm thankful for. I'm not going to give that long boring "I'm thankful for my health and my wife" and all of that bullshit list though. I'm going to give you what the title of this blog suggests.

I'm thankful that the new NXE update didn't "brick" either of my Xbox 360 consoles.

I'm thankful that I didn't have to pay shipping costs for my second Xbox 360 to be sent out to Texas for repairs.

I'm thankful that even though Xbox 360 consoles are basically junk they do have a lot of good games to play unlike my PS3.

I'm thankful that my PS3 still works even though their aren't really shit for games to be played on it. It probably works so well because I rarely use it.

I'm thankful that my Nintendo Wii still works...wait does it actually still work? I wouldn't know because it's sitting in my living room collecting dust because I never use it!

I'm thankful that the guys at have decided to STOP talking about music games on their podcast though they were smart asses for a bit on episode 15. HaHa!

I'm thankful that FALLOUT 3 has given me way more than my money's worth. I've put in 60 hours now. That's a buck an hour, and I still have a long way to go before I finish it.

I'm thankful that my wife has decided to show an interest in my hobby of gaming by playing Little Big Planet with me no matter how bad she stinks at it. It's headache inducing to play games with her, but at least she's trying.

I'm thankful that Sac has picked up an Xbox 360, so that he too can feel the pain of having it break down on him right after he bought it.

I'm thankful that Phil still swings by here to read the random bullshit that I blog about. I swear to you Phil we will play some co-op of some game one day on the PS3.

I'm thankful that I'm still stuck in the 80's and can recite REVENGE OF THE NERDS word for word while watching it...that goes for FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH as well.

I'm thankful for streaming Netflix movies on the Xbox 360.

Right now I'm thankful that I finally ran out of things to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving Video Games & Robster Craws readers! CHOW DOWN! I know I will.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust

I shipped out my second Xbox 360 for repairs today. The idiot thing that I didn't do was put my return address or repair # on the box. My return address is on the UPS shipping label though. Also my console is registered and Microsoft knows it's being shipped because they sent me an e-mail. Of course they sent me the e-mail well after I had already shipped the box. The online instructions they gave me were to print out the UPS label and tape it on the box. I did, and sent it out. Hopefully all will go well and they'll send it back to me repaired. From what I've read online I'm not the first person to do this, and I'm sure I won't be the last. I guess it just makes it easier on the repair center if they don't have to go looking up your serial number and info in their computer. Oh well, what's done is done. I'll track the box online. If it takes them forever I'll call customer service. This is my second Xbox that has had a dvd drive take a dump on me. Luckily my warranty isn't up untill the middle of December. Man these consoles are junk, but the games are awesome.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The New Xbox Experience Is Here

I got the update today just like millions of other Xbox 360 owners. I played around with it for a little over an hour. Here are some first impressions...

I loved the opening intro. Very cool, and nice to look at.

The total time for the update took about 3 minutes for me. Quicker than I expected.

I spent about 20 minutes making my "Avatar". I tried to make him look as close as possible to what I actually look like. Of course the Avatar looks better. HaHa! I noticed that other people's avatars that I know really don't look like them, but I guess some people don't want their little dudes looking like them. I guess myu only complaint with avatars is that there just aren't enough clothing options right now. We all know that will change in the form of DLC that we'll have to spend space bucks on err I mean Microsoft Points. Hey, if they offer me Iron Maiden shirts for my Avatar or a Dallas Stars jersey I'm all over it.

I did have a couple of issues while messing around with this new interface. I decided to check out my friends list. After I was done looking at a friend's profile my Xbox froze up for about 40 seconds and then went back to the main interface. I've already read online about this happening to other people, but others have actually had to shut their Xbox off and then on again. Microsoft will need to patch this if it's a widespread problem.

The other issue I had was a dirty disc error while installing FALLOUT 3 to my HDD. I of course ejected the disc to check it out even though I was 100% sure the disc was totally clean. I then tried again and it installed just fine.

I plan on getting Netflix, so I'll blog about that in the future, so I can tell you just how good or not so good that will work as far as streaming to my 360 goes.

My favorite feature is definitely installing games to the HDD. There are a few reasons why. I'm directing this part to anyone who thinks this feature isn't important. Forget about tghe few seconds faster that a game may load during certain sections. I couldn't care less about that. Forget that it makes your 360 pur like a kitten because that disc drive isn't working overtime. How about the fact that an installed game will save wear and tear on your already crappy disc drive. Believe me I know they are junk. I had top send my first 360 in because of a faulty disc drive. On top of that your 360 shouldn't get as hot and red ring because your disc drive doesn't have to spin for hours on end while you're gaming. While I do feel kinda sorry for you people without the 120 HDD I gotta say that I'm happy that I bought one the week after they released. It was a steep price, but hey a hardcore gamer has do what a hardcore gamer has to do. At this point if you still have a 20 gig HDD I really think you're a fool if you can afford to spend the money on a 120 gig HDD and don't.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Low Blow Sony, Low Blow

I know a lot of Xbox 360 owners are excited about being able to stream Netflix movies with the New Xbox Experience update. It's just too bad that Sony has decided to play hardball by not allowing Xbox 360 users to stream Sony's Columbia Pictures movies. I'm not surprised, but man does Sony suck ass for this!

Here's the story from

[Original headline: "NXE Netflix streaming queues suddenly gimped"]

Our Netflix streaming queues just got considerably shorter on the eve of the NXE launch. Acting on a tip, we popped into our Netflix account and sure enough, our "Instant Queue" had a new "Notes" column with an oft-repeated, red (nobody likes red!) notice: "Not available on Xbox." Logging onto Xbox Live (with an NXE account) confirmed that these titles were no longer available for streaming on Xbox 360.

We've reached out to Microsoft for a full explanation -- so keep your fingers crossed that this is just a launch period mishap (like someone flipped the wrong switch ... or something). We're betting on licensing issues, though, which could further cripple the service. Currently, there's no way to tell if a title is excluded from Xbox streaming until it's added to the Queue (reminder: this can only be done from a separate computer). We're not much for statistics, but we can tell you that 13 of 110 items in our Instant Queue are now unavailable, all of which are feature films. The blackout seems to have hit a range of flicks, from: Superbad to Bad Boys; Drunken Master to the entire Karate Kid trilogy (that's right -- the entire trilogy! We don't count that Next Karate Kid noise). We'll update when we learn more.

Update: We've found a common thread! All of the affected titles from our Queue are distributed by Columbia Pictures. Columbia Pictures, of course, is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Microsoft rival Sony. Case closed?

Oddly enough, Sony Picture Entertainment movies (listed here) are still Xbox-enabled.

Update 2: It appears that the sudden yoinking of Columbia Pictures films from NXE Instant Queue access is a licensing issue with Sony after all. MTV Multiplayer pinged us with word that, on the rental service's official blog, Netflix corp. communications VP Steve Swasey writes:

"As watching instantly becomes a more prominent part of the Netflix service, our goal is to have all of our streaming content licensed for all of our partner devices. We're doing well in this area, but it will take some time before we fully achieve that goal. Today, titles regularly come in and out of license and there is a natural ebb and flow to what we have on license at any given point in time. In the case of Xbox 360, a few hundred titles are temporarily unavailable to be streamed via the Xbox game console. Those titles are still available to be watched on subscribers' computers and on TVs via other partner devices, and we hope they'll be licensed for Xbox 360 shortly."

[Thanks, Mark]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gripes About People That Play Music Games

First let me start out by saying that not all people who play Rock Band and Guitar Hero bother me. I'd also like to let it be known that I bought the very first GUITAR HERO game in late 2005 for the PS2. I was on board LOOOONG before it was cool and trendy like it is now. I also own GUITAR HERO 2 for the PS2. No, I'm not trying to act like I'm the shit because I owned them from the beginning. I'm just saying I'm not one of these bandwagon music game jumpers like most people seem to be these days. I have a few gripes, so let me get started....

After buying and playing GUITAR HERO I had a lot of fun. The song selection got old quick. A while later I picked up GH2. That was fun for a short time. Then it got extremely boring. This is the main reason why I haven't bothered buying any other music games for the Xbox 360 or PS3. It got old. That and the fact that the song selections mostly suck. It seems like the music games cater to people with really shitty taste in music. Yes, I realize that opinions on music differ, but I'm a bit of a music snob. I've been into music much longer than I've been into gaming. When the two mix you get a bunch of people who really have no idea what the hell they're talking about. Basically what I'm saying is gamer nerds shouldn't try and act like they know something about Rock & Roll or Metal when they clearly have no clue...

If you're reading this you know I listen to several gaming podcasts. Most of the hosts of these podcasts are gaming nerds who play music games. NOTE: I have no problem with gaming nerds. They are generally fine people, but hey they're nerds. Stick to being gaming nerds. Don't try and act like you know a thing or two about Rock & Metal when you don't. Recently I listened to a podcast where the hosts were talking about the Beatles music game that is supposed to be released next year. Two of the hosts ragged The Beatles saying their songs were old and boring. Then a question came up about what artists they liked and what songs they would enjoy playing in a music game. One of the hosts actually said Third Eye Blind! Are you kidding me!? Seriously!? You're going to sit there and rag an influential band like The Beatles and then turn around and say you want a music game where you can play Third Eye Blind songs? HaHaHa WHAT A FUCKING JOKE! One of the other hosts then stated that he didn't mind The Beatles stuff from the 50's. He didn't mind the music they made in the 60's though. Hey jackass, their first studio album wasn't released untill 1963! If you don't know what you're talking about please just shut up because you sound like idiots.

Another thing that annoys me is when I hear people say they actually felt like they were rocking out with a real band? Seriously? You felt like you were rocking out while holding a plastic guitar with a plastic strum bar? You feel like you're rocking out when you play a tiny plastic drum kit? Like whoa dude I feel like I'm in a real band when I'm playing ROCK BAND! Hilarious!

Don't get me wrong I know it can be fun, but some of you gaming geeks take it way too seriously. Do me a favor and at least get to know about the music you're pretending to play before you get on a podcast and make yourself sound like a complete tool.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gears Of War 2 Second Impression

After playing alone and having a mediocre experience I decided to have my nephew come over and play it via local co-op. What a difference that made. GOW2 alone = boring! GOW2 co-op = FUN AS HELL!!! I generally hate playing games on co-op with a split screen, but it didn't bother me at all. Something else that surprised me was a certain giant worm swallowing you level that I've heard quite a few people say is lame. It's far from lame. It's one of the most awesome levels in any game I've ever played in terms of gameplay and graphics. Oh, and the graphics are are just breath taking. This is a beatuiful game to look at even though the color pallet is full of grey and black. I'm on board with GOW2 now. I figured I would be as soon as I started a co-op campaign. The only problem now is that I won't being finishing the campaign untill my nephew comes back for a four day Thanksgiving weekend. Oh well, I can wait, I still have a lot of FALLOUT 3 to go. Man, it's great to be a gamer right now!

One last thing, the flame thrower in GOW2 is THE best flame thrower in a video game ever. Finally a flame thrower that works! If you own a 360 you need to own this game.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mirror's Edge Demo...Meh

Before Mirror's Edge was released I was hearing a ton of good things about it. The guys who do the In Game Chat podcast (formerly Evil Avatar Radio) were gushing about how great the demo was. After hearing them talk nonstop about it I had to check it out for myself. In case you don't know what this game is all about it's a first person platformer where you are constantly running and jumping from bulilding top to building top. When I played it I found that a lot of it had to do with trial and error. You basically die a bunch of times untill you figure out exactly where it is that you have to jump. I also found that at the times the controls were unforgiving. The art style is actually quite cool, and probably the best thing about the game. From what I'm hearing there is some combat in the game, and that combat truly sucks. On top of all of this the game is a short 5 to 6 hours to finish. $60.00 for a game that will frustrate me and that I'll be able to finish in 5 to 6 hours? No thanks. I'll pass.

Watch The IGN Mirror's Edge Review

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Early Game Of The Year Pick & GOW2 First Impression

After playing FALLOUT 3 for 25 hours now it's clear to me that this game is the best game I've played all year. It's clear that Bethesda spent 3 years making it. I spent 70+ hours on their other title OBLIVION. I never finished that game because well it got rather boring after playing it that long. I really don't see that happening with FALLOUT 3. There is no doubt in my mind that I will easily be able toi get 100+ hours out of FALLOUT 3. The side quests alone have me fully immersed in this post apocalyptic world. The characters are interesting. The creatures you battle are interesting. The side quest stories are also interesting. Once again I have to say that even people who don't care for role playing games will probably like this game. I definitely feel like I'm getting my 60 dollars worth as well. At this point I don't even want to make time for all of the new games being released. I'm fully addicted to this one. Time will tell if I continue to feel this way, but I'm pretty sure my mind won't be changed.

I actually did take a day off from playing FALLOUT 3 to finally pop Gears Of War 2 into my Xbox 360. After listening to podcast after podcast over the past year as well as reading previews and reading reviews I already knew what to expect from GOW2. It's a prettier version of GOW with better multi-player modes. With that being said I haven't played any of the multi-player or co-op modes yet. I started the single player campaign though. To me it was underwhelming. I've never been a huge GOW fan, but I do consider myself a fan of the GOW world. Afterall this was the second game I ever played on the Xbox 360. I also remember that I had a ton of fun playing the original GOW campaign on co-op with a good friend of mine. I decided to start the GOW2 campaign on Hardcore mode because I had heard over and over again that if you had played GOW and finished it this is where you should start. I'm glad I did because I found the first level to be a cakewalk. Then again I never really had a lot of trouble with hardcore on the first GOW either. All in all I spent an hour playing GOW2 because I just wasn't wowed by it. I thinking if I were co-oping the game with a friend or polaying Horde mode I'd be having fun with it. Playing it alone just isn't floating my boat though. I think my other issue with it right now is how linear it feels after playing 25 hours of FALLOUT 3 where I can go and do whatever I want in a vast world full of things to do. NOT that I'm comparing GOW2 to FO3 because I'm definitely. not. Just saying...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gears Of War 2...I Own It And Still Haven't Played It

I decided to cash my check on my lunch break this past Friday, so I could go pick up Gears Of War 2. I'm hearing nothing but great things about it, but I still haven't played it. How do game developers expect us to drop one game we're playing and start another one? All of these awesome games being released over the course of a couple of months is just insane. I'm at the point where I feel like I have to rush through one game to get to the next one. I refuse to do that with FALLOUT 3. Hell, this game could take me 100 hours to finish depending on how much exploring I plan on doing. I'd also really like to co-op GOW2 my first time through it, but I'll probably end up playing the single player campaign first. It's not like I'm bitching about having a lot of great video game choices, but the least game developers and publishers could do is spread out these games through the year instead of expecting that gamers will have the time and money to play all of these great games. It's madness I tell you...MADNESS! Now I must go, so I can play FALLOUT 3 or hell maybe even GOW2.

Gears Of War 2 IGN Review

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Bleakest Game Ever Created?

I started playing FALLOUT 3 this past Monday. In case you weren't aware it's a first or third person (depending on how you want to play it. I choose to play it in the first person view) action rpg set in the post apocalyptic world of Washington D.C.
I can honestly say that I've never played a game that is as bleak and hopeless as this one. There are no happy fun times. There are no bright vibrant colors in this world. Everything about this game is dismal and depressing. Bethesda really nailed this world perfectly. The vibe of the game is like no other I've ever played. I'm about 9 hours in and I have to say early on that this is one of THE best games I've ever played. I like the fact that you're on your own to wander and explore always having to watch your back so some crazed mutant or insanely big radiated creature doesn't kill you. I see myself spending a lot of time with FALLOUT 3. I'm liking it so much that I may actually hold off on buying any other triple a titles untill after I finish this game.

Watch The Review For Fallout 3

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Really Couldn't Care Less About Politics

Let me start out by saying that I've only ever voted once. I voted for Clinton the first time around. I didn't want George Bush in office again. With that being said I think all politicians are scum of the earth. You can dig up dirt on pretty much all of them. I didn't vote today. I may never vote as long as I live. One major problem I have besides the fact that the candidates make a lot of empty promises to get my vote and yours is that we don't have enough choices here in America. We get a democrat, a republican, and haha an independent that will never get voted in. Damn it, I want more choices! I want like 12 different candidates. I want more choices. I don't want to vote for the man or woman who is the lesser evil of the two. I don't want McCain or Obama to lead this country. They both suck if you ask me. BTW I'd also like to address the bullshit statement about not being able to complain if I don't vote. As an American I can bitch and complain all damn day long. I can bitch about the fact that both candidates suck monkey nuts.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


First let me start with Fable 2. Yes, I'm still plugging away at it. There are just so many side quests to do. Obviously I want the full experience, so I'm going to do most of the side quests. There are a few that I don't really care about, so I'll probably skip those. There are some evil side quests that I'm not touching because I'm a "good guy". I'll go back a second time eventually and play evil as hell though.
I'm having way more fun than I expected. I knew I was in for a good game, but this is a great game that I'm hooked on. When I finish I might be a bit bummed out though I doubt it because Friday I picked up FALLOUT 3, so I have that waiting in the wings.

Little Big Planet isn't an incredible game. There I said it. So many people are acting like it's the second coming of Christ or something. It is a really good game, but it's not perfect. I've played it for a few hours alone and on co-op with the wife. The controls just aren't as precise as they need to be sometimes. Also going from the foreground to the background can be a pain in the ass at times. I do like the style of the game. I need to finish single play before I can start using user created content. That's actually what I'm most interested in. I doubt if I'll ever create my own levels. It just looks like too much damn work.

This coming week my wallet takes another couple of hits with Gears Of War 2 and Resistance 2 being released. Both are must haves if you own the 360 and PS3. Where the hell am I going to find the time for all of these games? The week after this it's Call of Duty: World at War and Mirror's Edge. Left 4 Dead the week after that.

I hope you all had a good Halloween. Mine was swell.

Oh, one more thing a certain idiot in Maine can suck it for this comment "haha the Bruins gave the Stars a lesson in violence last night! Beeeez win with an exclamation point 5 to 1!" My comment is this: The last Stanley Cup the B's won was in 1972. That was the year I was born. :D They'll be lucky to win another one before I'm dead and burried.
Games I'm Playing:

Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360)

About Me

My photo
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
I'm 38. I'm addicted to Xbox 360 gaming and Dallas Stars hockey. I make a decent living at a boring job where I run two autoclaves and do various other tasks. My escape from this boring as hell life is video games, hockey, and music. I generally listen to Metal music, but I also love 80's tunes as well as 70's tunes. I have an unusual love for the band Overkill. They do it for me for some reason. Blitz is GOD!

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