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Paco's Notes

Friendly Reminder: WE WANT TO LEAVE, ALREADY!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007


Hi, boys and girls. It’s just me, your friendly neighborhood JW, here to remind you all that we’re currently looking for people to replace us here at Xbox 360 Rally. All you have to do is go HERE, fill out the form, and wait to hear back. It’s really not that hard.

So, get to it already — so Paco and I can get to the NEW site!

Xbox 360 Rally Logo Contest Winner

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Folks, I don’t think you know how hard it was to find a winner for this contest. Every entry received was like a gift from God herself, yes, corny, I know, but seriously, too many entries kicked mucho ass and it took much fighting between JW and myself to pick the final winner (we do it American Gladiator giant q-tip style if you want to know…… for the younger audience, it looks like this).

As you know from JW’s recent posting, we are both out of here, but, man, we are leaving whoever comes in to fill our giant shoes (hitting G4’s The Feed giant shoes! Hitting the front pages of DESTRUCTOID, Kotaku, Joystiq, and so many other great video game blogs giant shoes!), err.. what was I saying.. oh yeah, we are leaving whoever comes in some of the coolest readers to any site I have been a part of. You know who you are you regulars that may not have always commented, but I check the stats and IPs of who visits like a weirdo (I seriously have OCD about that stuff). This contest really proved it. I can’t put up all entries for this contest (out of pure laziness I assure you), but I really wanted to show some off that made it into the final rounds of the giant q-tip competition.

Note: The following are in no actual order, just wanted to show off some of the work you guys yourself put in, don’t worry if yours isn’t shown below, it was received and treated with as *almost* as much love as the winning entry, which of course you can now see at the top of every page on the site.








(Reading this and want to get in contact with any of the artists/designers above, feel free to hit me up at ocap1 at hotmail dot com and I will get with the designer to let them know you want to give them some freelance work and/or want to know their age/sex/location for hot steamy text sex!)

We want YOU! …to replace us!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007


Ok, people, here’s the deal — Paco and I are on our way out. We’re taking over at 1PStart.com in an effort to restore it to it’s former glory. …that, and I just plain want to write about another game every once in a while, is that so wrong?!

Anyways, here is what we’re looking for: A competent, capable writer with a love for all things Xbox. Now, by competent writer, we mean someone who spells “you” correctly, and knows when to capitalize. If you can do that, you’re a shoe-in. So, CLICK THIS DAMN LINK, do the required stuff, then get paid to play video games and write about stuff.

…hell, Mike and I did the hard stuff already, and YES, the GTA4 Banner contest will continue, and I will still give you a copy of GTA IV… or something. So, hop to it.

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Dear Rare: We Need Killer Instinct on 360

Friday, September 14th, 2007

it just makes sense

Dear Rare:

It’s time we talked about the future, or actually, the present plus the future, and hell, the past too. Presently there is no good fighting games on the Xbox 360, yeah, I honestly can’t wait for Soul Calibur, but Dead or Alive… meh, Virtual Fighter.. well, it is better than Dead or Alive at least. The other choices are Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. I thought RPG’s would be the top genre that would be ignored on the 360, however with Blue Dragon here, Eternal Sonata coming up, plus a decent amount more on the way, that is covered. “Casual” games, covered. Shooters, well covered (CoD4 Beta is win btw). So, now to get to the future, I think its time to bring back the past, with a little Killer Instinct.

To be honest, I would accept an XBLA version of Killer Instinct, maybe take a second out to HD the graphics (or go all out like that Street Fighter II HD Remix game). Just some nice online lag free play and throw in an extra character or level for good measure. Though I was honest, lets get down to business. Okay, Banjo-Kazooie is coming out, I am excited, but now time to move on to the next project. I realize you guys are hard at work on something already I’m sure… but, its still early, take a few of your staff (90%), and get started on Killer Instinct 360.

We all love you Rare, Perfect Dark wasn’t perfect, but, it wasn’t that bad. I have never heard anyone who has played Kameo say bad things about it. All Viva Pinata users are hooked from what I can tell. However, we want that “Goldeneye” game that will make people compare Rare to the mighty Bungie (which pound for pound I already think there is good arguments for who is “the best” out of each developer..but I digress).

Lets talk the game, 3D or 2D, I would honestly take either. I know you at Rare know the 360 inside and out by now, so go all out in the graphics department. Breakable and interactive stuff everywhere. Fire, explosion, electricity, etc. Oh, and bring back the combo system, so fun. New characters of course. As a bonus, maybe a throwback level. Killer Instinct, at the time of it coming in both arcades and even Super Nintendo, blew people away by being different and graphically amazing, now is the time to do both again. We are not alone in this way of thinking, look at these many requests:

Problems with Bioshock, The ‘Game of the Year’ Flaws Start to Show

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

picture of the month
(Xbox360Rally’s Most Overused Picture of the Month)

Woo, got my copy I pre-order from GameStop (a day or two after it came out, but its okay), put my toy on my wall, then booted up. I went through the game on hard, beat it, felt great, missed saving a little sister somewhere on the way so I suck cause I didn’t get that achievement, whatever.

Now I am going through the game a second time on easy just to get all the photography achievements, its cool because now I am really appreciating the different characters and character types. Harvesting a little sister *quick spoiler ahead* is cool with the heart pulling out and all (or ADAM slug, whatever). I am having fun choosing different abilities and combos (for the most part I have just been using plasmid powers and having the camera out as my weapon at all times).

Here comes my qualms, after all that praise, when it is said and done, this game was pretty short. I don’t consider myself a tough ass player, so when I beat the game on hard within a week, I didn’t think much of it then, but usually I don’t beat games on hard. Now on the second play through, I can see this being “Crackdown” where I might not have many reasons to ever pick up the game again after you beat it once. I would pay good money to see a multiplayer. I know how the developers feelings on a multiplayer was, but think of a game like “The Darkness,” it seems almost like the multiplayer was tacked on, but it ends up being really fun (when you get a non-lag game, but hey, they are fixing that). Think of a FPS multiplayer with the plasmids flying around, and a playable Big Daddy (that of course is tuned to be a fair fight against a human/splicer)

This game needs some new downloadable content, maybe not just right away, but multiplayer would be at the top of my list of course, however i’d settle for some extra missions maybe, just not crappy extra different new weapons/plasmids thrown in the game as the DLC. No matter what I have said, if you haven’t bought this title yet, go rent it now.

(These thoughts inspired by the game itself of course, as well as The Digital Gamer really laying into Bioshock, or at least the critics that overpraised this game)

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Get the Red Rings of Death - Get a Free Game!

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Last week sometime while on Bomberman Live, I got the dreaded red rings. Inconceivable I thought, I mean, I just got a nice “new” refurbished machine no more than a couple of months ago. Before that, I was running on my launch console for years. Well, I shut down the machine and turned it back on ten minutes later with no problems since then.

princess bridge people .. c'monForward to this week, my Bioshock pre-order arrived, woohoo, game of the century and all that, I turn it on, I play for hours and hours. The next day, I play some more hours… then… it happened.. RED RINGS! I couldn’t believe it. I tried using that new service.xbox.com page Microsoft set up, it gave me errors. I didn’t want to towel trick just yet, because the 360 does work if I let it cool off, so screw it, whatever, I just waited to give a call as soon as I woke up (which was roughly an hour ago).

Spoke to my fine Indian friend at the Microsoft call center, I always have found them pleasant even though the whole situation is a hassle to have to make the call in the first place. As I was on the phone, memories of a gamer getting a free game out of Microsoft came to mind for having to get a third 360 because of the red rings (Note: I can’t find the link to that guy’s account, but when I do I will update this post so you see how he did it too). Either way, the long and short of the conversation was:

Me: Hey, I run an Xbox web site, this is now my second time having to get a refurbished machine, and I have only had this for a couple of months now, is there anything you can offer me, a controller, a free game, something, to make sure that I do not have to give Microsoft bad press over this issue.

Them: Hold on, let me check on that *puts me on hold*

*comes back* I have Kameo, Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged, Project Gotham Racing 3, and Viva Pinata which I can offer you.

its all goodBam! So not only do they send me an extra 1 month of Xbox Live Card (if you have got a refurbished machine, you know this is what you get already), but now a free game. I highly highly suggest doing this yourself I am having no hopes of getting an HDMI machine, but I the free game is making me feel all happy. Now, if problems arise before I get my coffin, I will in fact just towel trick till I get the box to ship my 360 in.

There you go, get the red rings, get a free game, here is the cliff notes to do it yourself:

  • Call 1-800-4MY-XBOX (Screw services.xbox.com)
  • Say this is not the first time this has happened and you run a web site and will give bad press, tell them “What can you offer me!?” (be polite)
  • Pick a game, say thank you.
  • Now, just play the waiting game.
  • Ah, the waiting game sucks. Let’s play Hungry-Hungry-Hippos!’” - Homer J Simpson

    September 4th, and I have already received my copy of Viva Pinata! I thought it would be inside the box or something, awesome job Microsoft! (I guess it would be more so awesome if the machine never broke in the first place, but they admit their mistakes and are definitely fixing it!)

EA - How Far Will Gamers Allow Them to Go?

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Wow, I have never seen one company screw up so many times in one day, where oh where to begin.. lets start off small. First we have the “Bullshotted” screenshot Joystiq was able to point out. The term from Penny Arcade refers to a ‘bullshit photoshop’ of a screen made by the company themselves, below is a screen from NBA Live ‘08 from Gamespot, click to enlarge and take note of the player all the way to the left:


Pretty sad isn’t it. Something so basic, really, insulting our intelligence almost as though people wouldn’t notice, I can’t believe a company so large would be able to let something like that slip. That is just the start of their slipping however, as seen in the video below put out by gamer “,” bugs are definitely let through until the final build of their newest big thing, Madden ‘08. (Warning: there is tad bit of foul language used, so make sure to put the ear muffs on the kids if they are in the room)

GameFly vs Blockbuster - Who Do I Give My Money To?

Monday, August 13th, 2007


Video game rentals, we all have to do it. With titles that come out like Shadowrun, that may seem “kinda cool” in some ways, but you know in your heart you can’t justify plunking down $60 for a game you just aren’t sure about, we as gamers have to rely on game rental services. I started writing this a little over a month ago, noticing that Blockbuster had 6 copies of Transformers (all on the shelf), while their one copy of Overlord they ordered for the store had not even arrived yet. Quickly, I went home with a copy of F.E.A.R. and the desire to find something better. Let it be known, I have been using the Blockbuster GamePass service through my little brother for well over a year now, the most obvious problem with them however, is they are Blockbuster, or as I know them, ‘the devil.’ I have been using Netflix for many many moons now and with that I have a certain bitterness with Blockbuster as far as late fees plus crappy selection of movies, but hey, this is about the games.

Off to the Internets, I knew that Gamefly was the big contender here, but I wanted to find something else, I had already heard the stories of Gamefly discs being stolen by mailmen as well as their horrid turnaround shipping times. I remember the company Gameznflix.com, they have to be good, they were smart enough to jump into the extremely small market of online video game rentals early on, and at the same time compete with Netflix to be the Blockbuster of online (I am ignoring that ‘the devil’ has an online service of their own, damn my bias). So off to check online reviews of GameznFlix… oh man, not good. Coming from the CAG forums, in a sea of many quotes I could pull from, here is my favorite, “I’m done with Gameznflix. I had 20 games in my queue, half new, half old, and they failed to ship me a single game after 14 days.” Even the guys at XBL Radio have dropped support of the company. Want more current GameznFlix issues, look no further than NeoGAF.

Technical Difficulties

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

The servers are melting. Paco spilled his cola on the keyboard. JW’s out back trying to wrangle the horses. In short, we’re all kinds of FUBAR, so we may not be able to update as much as we’d like today.

Sorry, peeps. We’ll be back soon.

Official Retraction of SEGA TGS Rumor

Sunday, August 5th, 2007


There has been a lot of controversy regarding a recently posted rumor regarding SEGA’s possible Tokyo Game Show line-up. Now, I was originally very defensive of this piece because of who sent it in. He, a long-time go-to guy named Rob, has sent me exclusive tips for four years, and until this most recent one, they were ALL accurate.

Regardless, after the link had been posted by reader “Cedge”, I immediately contacted Rob via GoogleIM.


Six Reasons The Xbox 360 Is Not in Trouble

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Little Miss 360

GamePro has a feature article up listing the “Six Reasons The Xbox 360 Is in Trouble” .. please indulge me as I show you point by point exactly why they were completely wrong.

1. GamePro claims the Xbox 360 is unreliable. I would agree with this in the past months, however, right now I do not, with the new heat sinks and new chips, that just about covers the unreliability issue to keep the system running fine, at no cost to us. This is one reason that the Xbox might have been in trouble, had Microsoft not fixed these issue (better late than never), and a 3 year warranty for those who aren’t buying it now (bonus!)

2. It only sells marginally better than Xbox? C’mon, that is pretty good for a system that sold with no huge big franchise game at launch (Perfect Dark? You all know that game sucked).. and the more obvious reason, the $100 difference in launch price, on top of the Xbox one’s price went down a hundred bucks in six months from launch.

3. A recent string of bad publicity is the next claim, I say to that, if you are negative, you will see the negative. I can turn a blind eye to all that with the Falcon console redesign coming soon and an E3 show that wasn’t that bad, nothing can stop them now! (Note: Oh man, I feel the fanboy beast within me has awoken with this last response, Ill admit that, for that I am sorry, lets move onto the next point).


Games We Want on Xbox Live Arcade

Saturday, July 21st, 2007


Paco and I make a good team. Why, you should have seen us last night at the club. Paco was over by the bar, mackin’ on some fine women while I was over by the door, distracting the security guard by repeatedly punching his fist with my face. We work well together. Either way, once we left that joint we were drivin’ around talkin’ about what games we’d like to see show up on the Xbox Live Arcade.

…what? We’re gamers at heart.

Either way, now that my swelling has gone down, both Paco and I are proud to present to you the games we want to see on Xbox Live Arcade.


All Pro Football 2K8 - Do NOT Buy This Game - RIP OFF!

Saturday, July 21st, 2007


So yesterday on Major Nelson there was the usual list of what is on the marketplace today. Call of Duty 3 map pack, cool. All Pro Football 2K8 ReelMaker to create highlight reels, neat. I own neither game, so on I went surfing away on the net. On Digg I found an interesting post, “” .. the link went right back to Major’s page with the 2K8 listed, with the Digg user ranting on in the description portion how this should have been free. I am not too up to date on sports games lately, so seeing this did pique my interest, so off hunting for info about his rant I went. My findings were a little shocking.

1) The $5 download is only 108kb in size, that is awful small for a file that is marked as a “powerful replay editor” with the ability to construct your own highlight reel, add to this that the game was literally released just 5 days ago, those developers must have been working day and night on this lovely program that is only 108kb with so many features *sarcasm* .. let this part sink in first, 108kb, 5 days later, they just screwed you if you either bought the game and especially if you just bought the file (file = unlock code)

2) This isn’t the first time 2KSports has done this. Like I said, I haven’t touched a sports game in a bit, so this is really, all new to me. Please let me point you in the direction of Kotaku for a second, an article from December 21st 2006, has College Hoops 2K7 listed with a magical 108kb ReelMaker download, five bucks (link), feel free to be disgusted at the downloads for other games offered that all were obviously on the disc to begin with, thus you are just paying for the key to unlock this.


Capcom - Pro PC, Anti-360 (!?) - New Free Lost Planet Downloads

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

The Mega Man Nazi

In a sad and strange move by Capcom, Lost Planet PC will be getting a few new things for one of the best shooters this console generation. 360 users will get some free maps (that I have already paid for!). However, I am over the bitterness of me paying for something that is now free, I just kind of wish they would have said it would eventually be a free product (ie Halo 2 maps that I gladly waited instead of paid for.. which I guess isn’t as strong as a business move moneywise in the short term, but long term.. that is debatable). So for you 360 users, this Friday (July 20th): 4 Free Multiplayer Maps! They are really good, Hive Complex and Trial Point are easily two of my favorite maps made for the game, so honestly, check em out. They will also have a patch that addresses online connectivity issues (sometime in July).

To make you all a little jealous of new PC Lost Planet users, they will not only be receiving the 4 maps for free, but also new character skins, which include Frank from Dead Rising (NOT EVEN ON THE PC!), a NEVEC soldier named Joe, and.. Mega Man. Bah. The game hasn’t even been out a month and it is already receiving free goods AND extra content over the 360 version (which if I remember correctly, helped keep Capcom in business)

See the full post with a few screen shots of the new characters at the Lost Planet Blog, and feel free to comment directly to them, I can’t help but be satisfied with one thing at Capcom, they actually do listen to their customer base on their blogs and forums. Still, feeling a little left out with all the free downloads going to the PC people, when a few character skins could easily be done with an update to the game.

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Xbox Killing Blockbuster Video - 3 Year Warranty Boosting Sales (!?)

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Oh boy, you Brits sure do know how to crack me up. In two unrelated stories some pretty wild claims are made. First off is the Telegraph has an article up singing praises to the Marketplace and their video download services, which we have had in the States for a while, however it is just being rolled out in Europe. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing, as the article states, “It would mean movies could be watched at a much cheaper rate than buying or renting the DVDs or videos from high street stores.” Very true statement, however, they do take things a bit far by later stating, “it could spell the end for DVDs and videos and their high street suppliers.”


Maybe there is something going on in the UK that I don’t know about as far as price gouging of some kind, but just like illegal downloading of movies hasn’t stopped people from going to the theaters, and , such will be the case of people downloading movies and tv shows on the fly with their 360’s will not end DVDs, even just physcial rental services. The Video Marketplace didn’t get to be 2nd behind iTunes in the download department by sucking, but it sure isn’t changing the world.

Now the second article had me cracking up more than the first, BUT, I can admit makes a valid point in a way. MVCUK has their article up with the ideas that the 3 year warranty plan is going to help boost 360 sales. At first, as someone reading a 360 gaming blog, you are part of an elite sort, who understands the industry a little more than the common man (congrats btw!). So with that understanding, we all know that the 3 year warranty is there because Microsoft is not owning up to Xbox 360 red ring of death failures out right, instead taking a semi-pussy way out by just covering their asses without an apology to us, Joe Consumer. The valid point that the article makes that I can’t argue with, that Joe Consumer’s cousin, Ignorant Customer, will be in the store looking for a new console, and easily go “Oh wow, this one comes with a three year warranty!” That is just what I call some Fox News worthy good spin on a bad situation, damn you journalists!

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