Showing posts with label Xbox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Xbox. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Xbox 360 3 Flashing Red Lights

If your Xbox 360 has died recently, read on to find out what not to do. And at the end, find out what you should do.

Last summer my Xbox 360 died and showed me those notorious three flashing red lights. At the time I had no idea what they meant. All I knew was that nothing worked anymore. So I ran a search on Google for “Xbox 360 three flashing red lights,” and pretty soon I realized I was in trouble.

Three flashing lights on your Xbox 360, I discovered, meant a general hardware failure. And by the sounds of things, there wasn’t a lot you could do except send it back to Microsoft and wait for a repair.

So I was all set to return it to Microsoft. Until I read on the official site that it could take up to 8 weeks for them to fix and return my Xbox 360. There was no way I wanted to be without my console for that long, so I started looking into other ways of solving the problem of the Xbox 360’s three flashing red lights.

Unfortunately for me I found a website that showed you how to crack open the Xbox’s case and perform some do-it-yourself soldering. Apparently the Xbox 360 is known for having weak solder joints, and following the instructions on the website would allow me to re-solder the faulty connections.

Anyway, idiot that I am I gave it a try. When I turned the Xbox 360 back on after my repair attempts the three flashing red lights were gone. The trouble is, so were all the lights. Something I’d done inside had resulted in complete shutdown. The thing just wouldn’t come on at all.

Angry and desperate, I then gave in and sent the thing back to Microsoft for them to repair. A week later it came back to me with a short note attached – the note informed me that due to my breaking the seal the warranty was now void, and that my console was no longer eligible for repair by them.

A week later and I was in a store spending my hard-earned money on a replacement Xbox 360.

Not long after all this I started posting on blogs and forums, warning people not to try fixing your Xbox 360’s three flashing red lights on your own. Any time the subject came up I instantly told people to get their console back to Microsoft right away for a repair.

I’m no longer giving that advice, though.
Not since a friend of mine managed to successfully rid his Xbox 360 of the three flashing red lights. He found this system online called The James Dean 3 Red Light Fix Pro. He gave them a try because they had a money-back guarantee that he would have his console in perfect working order in less than 2 hours.

And it worked just like they promised. He followed their video tutorials and an hour later he was playing Guitar Hero 3 on his Xbox 360...minus those dreaded three flashing red lights.

So now when the subject of the three flashing red lights on the Xbox 360 comes up, I tell people to give The James Dean 3 Red Light Fix Pro a try. And everyone I’ve recommended it to has found that the fix works just as well as it did for my friend.

If your Xbox 360 is dead, isn’t it worth a shot? With the guarantee of getting it up and running again in less than 2 hours, I’d say it is. Click here to fix your xbox 360 now!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review

Hours of Patrick Stewart. This is the first thing players should know about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. There is so much Patrick Stewart here it may give even the hardiest Next Generation fans pause. Patrick Stewart not only narrates the entire experience, but he is a major character in Lords of Shadow as well.

The game throws players into the action quickly as Gabriel Belmont. You are initially tasked with protecting a small village from a band of attacking werewolves. A tutorial encompassing basic combos, dodging, ranged attacks, and quick time events is included here. Combat is fairly simplistic, and even with most of the moves unlocked by the end of the game, players should not feel overwhelmed. Gabriel's weapon of choice is the Combat Cross, a metal cross with a retractable chain whip. The whip is used as both a melee weapon and a Bionic Commando style grappling hook. It can be used to grab enemies at range, or to swing Gabriel to otherwise unreachable areas, but sadly the grappling aspect is contextual.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is by no means an open world game. Players may feel as if they are on rails at times, and some levels feel absolutely claustrophobic. Each level has multiple branching paths, and once a path is chosen, most will not allow players to backtrack and explore the alternate fork. To me this feels like artificial replay value, forcing me to replay the level simply to find out what I potentially missed. After each level is completed, the game provides a summary page detailing what items were available in the level and what the player has missed, serving to tease completionists into another round.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow periodically provides upgrades to both the Combat Cross, and Gabriel's combat abilities. Things such as light and dark magic, double jump, sprint, and hand to hand combat are distributed after downing the games various bosses. This serves to encourage exploration of previously completed levels using newly acquired abilities. Players earn currency by defeating enemies, which can then be used to purchase additional combos or special magical moves from the game's menu at any time.

While I've heard talk of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow taking 20-25 hours for many to complete, I ran through the game in about 15 or so. The game has four modes of difficulty, but certain mechanics keep the game from being overly challenging. Human sized enemies can be grabbed at range and instantly killed via a single button quick time mechanic. This, combined with the fact that Gabriel is invulnerable during the grab animation, make dispatching large groups of enemies a breeze. This tactic feels so cheap at times I felt ashamed to use it, prefering instead to chalk it up as a design flaw and use Gabriel's normal fighting mechanics in all but the most dire of circumstances.

Enemies and character's are interesting, and level locations are varied and detailed, ranging from swamps to gothic cathedrals. Bosses are generally epic, however they seem to get easier as the game goes along. The first Dark Lord is quite a challenge, but the game never seems to hit this high note a second time. While it's possible the initial boss forced me to get better at the game's combat systems, the challenge was not proportionally increased throughout the remainder of the game.

Patrick Stewart pushes the narrative along between levels, explaining Gabriel's emotional struggles and introducing the newest locale. However the game never takes the time to emotionally develop Gabriel through it's various cutscenes. The story itself has several twists and turns, but the ending is cryptic and forgettable, leaving plenty of room for DLC or sequels to expound upon. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is fun, especially for fans of the action genre, but a shallow narrative, lack of genuine replayability, and a combat system that feels gimmicky at times serve to keep Castlevania: Lords of Shadow from being a must have title this season.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Red Faction Battlegrounds

Red Faction Battlegrounds is a mainly-multiplayer-focused dual-stick shooter in which you jump into a buggy, mech, armored vehicle or tank and move around an arena-type enclosed area. Depending on the given mission structure, your objective will be different from match to match. The offerings consist of Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and King of the Hill. I really tried hard to like this game, but it seems like it’s not firing on all cylinders. And while I’m not the biggest Red Faction fan on the planet, even I can tell that the relation that this game has with its full-blown disc-based brethren is flimsy at best.

Beyond the multiplayer aspects, there are also a limited number of “training” courses, basically set up in order to give the player the ability to hone their skills somewhat before jumping online. Usually these training missions will have a specific goal, like simply surviving an endless onslaught of enemies, killing a certain number of baddies within a time limit, etc. The player then gets judged with a three medal rating (bronze, silver, gold) and that’s that. I could see some people REALLY wanting to get all golds for the training missions, but there’s not really much meat to that aspect.

he controls make sense, and anyone who has played a dual-stick shooter before will be able to jump right into the action. Included in the control scheme is a secondary-fire button (RB), which will deploy either a “suck you into a black hole” bomb or a couple different kinds of land mines. Movement of the vehicles differs too, which is a nice thing to see. At least the developers made sure you could pull a U-turn more quickly in a little dune buggy than a huge tank.

Graphically the game is pretty good - the models look nice, but you rarely get a chance to look at them even remotely up-close, since the camera is super-pulled back to ensure you can see all the action happening on the screen at the same time. The audio design is nothing to write home about, but it’s really nothing spectacular either.
Strategy isn’t the name of the game as far as multiplayer goes, even in non-deathmatch modes. A combination of the aforementioned pulled-back view of the screen, thus having a hard time getting a good handle on the action, plus the explosive containers riddled throughout the arena, make for kind of a cluster of activity. There is likely to be the most strategy employed for the King of the Hill mode, but even there the action can get confusing and frustrating.

All in all the game simply does not do much to impress me. It doesn’t stand out in the field of XBLA games that are vying for your hard-earned MS Points. It’s not a terribly-made game, there just not anything... exceptional to it. For the money you’d spend picking this title up you’d be better off picking up any of a number of other Arcade games which provide a unique and engaging experience.



Gears of War 3 is about humanity on the edge of annihilation by the Locust and a new enemy, the Lambent. The women, who were not allowed to be Gears, have now taken up arms and joined the fight. We're expecting lots of enemy bits splattering across the screen, tons of curse words, and some silly plot twists. But with lessons learned from the first two games, we're hoping Epic can deliver answers and some genuine emotion to go along with the pretty visuals and over-the-top action.
The real question is the multiplayer. It's not really a concern of whether or not the tweaks to gameplay will make it better or if the new modes can satisfy long-time Gears fans. All we want to know is if the matchmaking system is actually going to work, if online matches are going to be stable, and if it's not going to be a hassle to play with your friends. Has the community spoken loudly enough for Epic to make things right the third time around?