Hey, lookie here. It’s a podcast episode! That’s right, we finally got off our butts for the first time since February to record a show. We had a whole slew of ideas kicking around, but ultimately decided to discuss how online services for consoles have really changed the playing field. Whether it’s exclusive demos, downloadable content, further making magazines irrelevant… services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network (and perhaps to a lesser extent WiiConnect24 and Nintendo’s Wi-Fi connection) have created an entirely new vocabulary gamers must be familiar with just to exist these days.
There was just so much content cover, we didn’t even get around to discussing things like the reliability of services (PSN run slow for anyone else?), paying for access and the future of paid services (Gold, anyone?)… and on and on and on.
We were happy to bring Meri on to shoot the shit with us this episode, and can’t wait to have her on in the future, again. In addition to talking about the games we’ve been playing and our main topic, we also gave our Top 10 Console Download Games.
As always, big special thanks to everyone out there sticking with us while waiting for a new episode by contributing your responses on the blog posts and continuing to drop us a line. Whether it’s your own Top 10 Games or a question for us, we would love to hear from you.
Yesterday, our buddy Kevin coordinated a cross-country gaming date for the evening over Twitter. Myself, Andrew, Kevin, and our buddy Ryan all joined up for a little play-through of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles classic arcade game over Xbox Live (10:30 pm eastern time, 7:30 pm western time). Seems like an easy enough recipe for a good time, right?
What we quickly found ourselves doing instead of just playing the game was fighting with the Xbox Live service to simply allow all four of us to join up. We initially started with Kevin creating a “Party”, and then he invited the entire party to a private match in the game. No matter which order people joined in, who tried to set up a match next, inviting through the party system or one-by-one manually, we simply could not get all four of us into the same room. The fourth person would always get the “Game session is no longer available“-style message, even if they just got in on the previous try. We even all tried joining into a “quick match” together at the same time, and ended up with the same problem (only three of us able to join in, though it was a hilarious miracle and testament to the game’s play-drop-off that we all ended up in the same random quick match).
Around fifteen minutes into this epic struggle against Microsoft’s back-end, Kevin randomly suggested that we try signing off and back onto Xbox Live. Andrew and I did so, and we were magically able to all immediately connect to each other in-game. This proves that it had nothing to do with our ISPs, our firewalls, any port-forwarding in our routers, or any nonsense like that. It was nothing more than random nonsense on the Xbox Live side of things, and nonsense we typically only expect from the free PSN, as opposed to a service we pay ~$50 a year for (and therefore, rightfully so, expect a near-flawless experience with).
Once we got into the game, we sufferred little in the way of hiccups (with the exception of some minor lag problems on the “Come on guys, we gotta save Splinter!” stage). We managed to make it up to Krang, and while Kevin survived long enough to get him blinking, the rest of us succummed to his mighty kicks with the measely amount of lives we had left at that point. We all made a couple stupid mistakes, but now that we’ve played again… I fully believe we need to set up another session so we can not only complete the game for that achievement, but also make sure that Andrew doesn’t get himself flame-throwed in the face so we can all get that achivement, too!
So this morning I tried to download another one of those songs that I’ve been dying for and drowning in anticipation for: “Under the Bridge” by a certain band with Chili Peppers that may or may not be Red Hot.
Note that I’m not really the biggest RHCP fan in the world. In fact, I don’t really like them that much at all. Especially over the last few albums, I feel that it’s VERY much turned into a monotonous string of the same music over and over. Does that say something for Anthony’s getting clean? I dunno. But that’s not really what I’m here to talk about.
“Under the Bridge” is one of those new-classic-rock songs, having been one of the most played songs of the early 1990s… and quite frankly, being amazing. I was still a kid/teen in the early 1990s, and so I have the same rememberings and fascination with the song that, perhaps, songs from bands like The Who and such are for an older generation.
Needless to say, I hopped right on Xbox LIVE this morning to grab the song. It’s not like I was going to have any time to play it before work, but it’s the principle of the matter… I like knowing it’s sitting there already on my hard drive, ready to play when I eventually get home (have a meeting with the DJ for our wedding after work today, so my playing is getting delayed even further :P).
Clicked to download. 1%. Ran off to cook breakfast. Came back. 1%. Raised an eyebrow. Sound effect and notice that it failed to keep a connection and I would have to re-download. Huh. Tried again. Same end result. Signed off and back on. All other internets working. Tried again. Same end result.
Here’s hoping we don’t have another Moving Pictures-style “technical difficulties” issue, and it’s all resolved by the time I get home tonight…
Anyone else have any issues? How about you PS3 rockers?