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Ask X3F: spam be damned edition

A new batch of Ask X3F questions is now ready, hot and fresh just for you. This week we take on more Xbox 360 DRM questions (this time about Rock Band DLC), another missing 360 title, good 360 joysticks, and -- one of our least favorite topics -- spam. Find copious questions and abundant answers after the break.

Got a question for Ask X3F? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com.

Reading the question about City of Metronome reminded me of another game that was supposed to come out.
Possession was due to come out near the launch of the 360, i read about it in a few magazines, including the UK official xbox magazine if i remember right, and it was also featured on the television show GamerTV. It looked promising. If my memory serves me correctly, the game was based around zombies running riot around the city and you played the leader. You had to go around the city killing other people in order to increase the size of your zombie horde, also the zombies were supposed to decompose throughout the game. ANd i havent heard anything about it in frickin ages. Any idea what the hell happened?

Cheers matey(s)

Declan Webster (Webster1990)
South Yorkshire

Declan, while not officially canceled, things aren't looking good for Possession. Your memory does serve you correctly, as the game had players in the role of a super zombie of sorts who could infect (possess) hapless civilians. Alas, updates on the game are few and far between, with the last mention of the game appearing about a year ago. At the time, developer Blitz Games announced that Possession was on hold while they took on a "major new project." Said project is being developed under Blitz' Volatile label, with their website noting that the project is expected in 2009. So, you can expect Possession some time after that or, perhaps more rationally, never.

I have a question regarding the top games played on Xbox LIVE. I have both Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3 and play them about the same amount online. But when I see the amount of people supposedly playing the game in online matches, Halo 3 consistently has 200,000 or more people playing on their little counter thing at the bottom of the page. How does Call of Duty 4 always win if there are more people playing Halo 3?


Our best guess (and we're shooting from the hip here) is magic. We mere mortals were not meant to understand the deep and mysterious workings of Xbox Live. Such things are best left to the sentient machines that maintain its monolithic servers. Seriously though, we have no idea. There are a few possibilities to consider though. One, the Halo 3 counter isn't quite accurate. Two, the Call of Duty 4 counter isn't quite accurate. Three, the numbers you see are only indicative of the times that you like to play -- it's possible that the bulk of COD4's players are on at different times of the day (or week for that matter). Just be glad that one game having more or fewer users doesn't affect how much fun your having with it.

Hi Guys,

Is there any good joystick for fighting games on the 360?
I'm looking forward to Street Fighter IV and REMIX but 4 face buttons and a analog stick ain't gonna cut it.
Maybe third party controllers have better D-pad?
Any thoughts?


Joey, when it comes to official products, you have two choices, and both of them are just the same stick with a different skin. Both are made by HORI. First, there is the Dead or Alive 4 joystick. While it was already pricey at $60, it's now hard to find, making it even more expensive. HORI, however, also made another joystick to coincide with the release of Virtua Fighter 5 last year. It's the exact same stick, minus the DOA4 artwork, so you're not missing anything special. We tried it out at E3 last year and walked away impressed. It cat be had for $50-60 online. There are a number of unofficial (and even more expensive) sticks out there as well, such as Arcade-In-A-Box's 360 Arcade Stick.

Of course, none of this compares to our dream joystick, an Xbox 360 compatible Virtua Stick
(which isn't that far-fetched really). Now we're talking.

Dear X3F Gods:

In many games like Halo 3, COD4, and other FPSes, radio conversations in a singleplayer campaign are put through the speakers. I have to wonder why a controller's headset isn't used for them. Is there a technical reason for this, or had it not occurred to the developers to implement an extra bit of realism?

Jake "Mr. Biggs" Turner

Our first inclination is to pick the second reason. That's actually a really good idea. Get on it, developers!

Hey Guys,

Is there anyway to erase gamer pics and themes from my HDD? I've tried before and can't find anywhere that I can do this. I usually download any free themes and pics that come out to check them out. Most of them I don't want and would like to free up my HDD of their space. Is it possible to erase these items?

Thanks, Levon in San Diego

Indeed there is, Levon! It's easy to delete themes or gamer pictures. Just head over to Memory section in the System blade in the 360 Dashboard. In this section, you'll see categories for both Themes and Gamer Pictures. Here you can delete themes and gamer pictures to your heart's content. Enjoy freeing up that space. And thanks for reminding us because we had some space hogging themes clogging our hard drive.

1. Are the songs I donwload to Rock Band like arcade games, where they are tied to my gamertag, harddrive and xbox 360? I want to know if I can take my harddrive to my friends house and play all of my downloaded songs on his 360.

2. why does go anywhere but C'mon guys, get on the ball.

3. Whats with the whole "ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com". why not just put [DELETED] so we can all Ctrl-C that thing.

1. Yes they are. As long as you have your hard drive and you are connected to Xbox Live, you should be able to access all your downloaded songs.

2. We already have the One True URL. Why would we need some cheap imitation?

3. There's a very simple reason that we don't just slap our email address onto the page in standard format. You know how easy it is for you to hit Ctrl-C? It's even easier for spam bots to do that. Their trained in the art of seeking out and spamming email addresses, and they do it with robotic fervor. They're good at it. They enjoy it. When we started Ask X3F, we never intended for the questions to be whether or not we have trouble pleasing the ladies or if we're willing to store the funds of a Nigerian prince in our bank account. That is why we use the funky formatting, and it's why you should too if you have a website. Unless of course you like spam (the email kind, not the edible kind -- that stuff is delicious).

Mass Effect's two sequels are supposed to be coming out on the 360 (not future gen consoles, right??) And supposedly there was going to be some plot advancing DLC (movies or playable?) in between, so shouldnt' we be hearing something soon??? Any word on a release date for ME 2??



First of all, yes, BioWare's stated goal was to bring the entire Mass Effect trilogy out during the 360's life cycle, though it will likely appear on other platforms now as well thanks to EA's acquisition of BioWare. Regarding DLC, one pack has already been released entitled "Bring Down the Sky." It's 400 points if you're so inclined. Given that it only awards 50 achievement points of the alloted 250 extra that can be added on any game, other episodes are expected between now and Mass Effect 2. Speaking of Mass Effect 2, all we can say is calm down. The original is barely 6 months old. it's going to be a while. Take a deep breath. We can get through this.

That's it for this week, folks. Keep sending your questions to: ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

[Original image by scragz]

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