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Ask X3F: it's so hard to say goodbye edition


Ask X3F returns this week with a brand new batch of questions. This week we tackle hardware exploitation and which 360 games do it best, Master Chief's fashion sense, HD DVD (still). Also, we discuss the difficult process of getting XBLA games tied to a new console. For those who have endured this process, our sympathies. Just for grins, we'll toss in some Bully troubles and missing reply buttons too. Read on for great justice.


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.

Hey folks, I have a question about Halo 3. I know I could possibly google this, but i figured you guys are Halo whores as much as any other so: Master Chief's gloves changed in Halo 3, why? i don't believe anyone ever said why. please and thanks youz.

It's a well-known fact that Master Chief is very fashion conscious. Using his sixth sense (which he totally has) the Chief knew that fashions on earth had changed since he left in Halo 2. In order to avert an ugly and disastrous faux pas, he quickly changed his gloves while he was latched onto the exterior of the Forerunner ship at the end of Halo 2. How he did this and managed to maintain his grip in zero gravity we may never know. But seriously, we have no idea. Generally, we assume Bungie has some sort of explanation for things (they even made a backstory for the Spartan in DOA4), but we get the feeling it was just a design change. After all, there wasn't really any point between Halo 2 and Halo 3 when the Chief had an opportunity to get some new gauntlets. So, the short (and unofficial) answer: because they look better.

Anyone have a better theory?

Hi guys,

Regarding the HD-DVD addon ... I feel like a vulture asking, but do you know if the 5 free HD DVD mail-in offer is still in effect?

Thanks in advance,

-AoE


Alas, Mr. Vulture, the promotional offer is over. According to the official form, the offer had to be redeemed by February 28. Of course, if you can somehow show that you purchased your HD DVD player before February 28 and have the form postmarked by March 31, you can still claim the offer. Otherwise, well, you'd best start looking for sales. Incidentally, we talked about HD DVD sales during last week's Ask X3F, so you may want to check there for some less spectacular (though still cheap) HD DVD deals.

Seriously...what the hell happened to the reply button? Please bring it back as every time I try to reply using @ [Subject Name Here], by the time I'm done there's usually 20 comments between my reply and the comment I was replying to. And it sucks...

-JakubK666


Jakub, we feel your pain. We love those little reply buttons just as much as the next fanboy, maybe more. The reply buttons disappeared as a result of our fabulous developers implementing a new profile system. We now have user profiles that are specific to each website on the Joystiq network (like this one). Fear not though, for the reply buttons will be making a return. Unfortunately though, we're honestly not quite sure when. In the meantime, we ask for your patience as our developers continue to build and improve the Joystiq network.

Hey Richard,

I purchased an Xbox 360 Arcade back when they first released, which was great but of course it came with complications. It's the usual stuff, such as Arcade games only being available when signed into Live on the gamertag purchased with.

Having listened to this weeks Fancast I noticed Alexander got this problem fixed by phoning support. I was just wondering what he asked for when he phoned up, I've tried to contact them twice about it but both times I got asked if I was thinking of something else and one time they just hung up on me?

Thanks for the help.
DaveC


It sounds like you're getting the runaround. First, you'll probably want to tell the representative that you want to speak to a Tier 2 representative. After that, it's really simple, tell them you've had a console replaced -- whether you just bought a new one or had it replaced by Microsoft -- and now you can't access your XBLA games when you're not logged onto Xbox Live. It's likely they will have you delete and re-download all your games. Chances are that won't work, so you'll have to call back and demand that your content be retied to your new console. You paid for the content and you should be able to access it whenever you want. Unfortunately, it may take a few calls to make this happen, especially if you get a representative who literally doesn't understand what you're saying (which is why it's important to speak to someone higher on the chain).

Eventually
, you should get around to an agreement to retie your content to the new 360. Unfortunately, even then you'll be waiting a few weeks before it actually happens. So, the answer is put on your patience hat, grit your teeth, and make those calls. Don't back down and demand what's yours. Also, feel free to send us a report on your success or lack thereof. Hopefully, we can share your joy in a future edition of Ask X3F.

Anyone else out there have tips for Dave?

Rockstar says the problems on the Scholorship edition of Bully are only on older Xbox 360 consoles. What do they mean by older consoles? I have an elite and my game just froze. AGAIN. Does it mean pre-falcon?

No idea. What we do know, however, is that Rockstar is developing a patc ... ahem ... title update for Bully. Even better, the update is due out sometime this week, so you shouldn't be waiting too long before you can get back to your bullying ways.

How many games out there actually take full advantage of the 360 and its hardware capabilities? What games on the horizon will be doing so...etc?

Mark J Smith

Well jeez, Mark, kind of a difficult question doncha think? It's arguable whether any of the games available on the 360 have really taken full advantage of the 360 hardware. Graphically, it's almost a guarantee that no game has yet hit the 360's peak performance. This isn't because the 360 is the most super awesome powerful thing ever, but more because it's usually relatively late in a console's life cycle before developers learn to wring out every last ounce of power. Having said that, there are plenty of games that do an excellent job of pushing the graphical envelope such as Gears of War and Call of Duty 4. As for the future, keep an eye on Ninja Gaiden II, as Tecmo and Team Ninja are historically very good at using hardware for all it's worth.

As far as capabilities, there are plenty of avenues left to explore. For example, the upcoming Community Games feature is something to keep an eye on. Also, while Halo 3 may not be the Xbox 360's graphical powerhouse, there's no denying that it includes one of the most robust suites of community features out there. Expect more games in the future to include similar features (Ninja Gaiden II, for example, will allow players to record and share videos as well).

Finally, and this is sort of sidestepping your question, but does it really matter? A fun game is fun, yes? Frankly, we're very excited for future XBLA releases like Dishwasher: Dead Samurai. Is it the most high tech game available? No. Does it have excellent gameplay and compelling design? Hell yes. Also, games push technology in different ways. Dead Rising for example, may not have the most sophisticated character models (though they are damned good), but it does cram hundreds of enemies onto the screen at any given moment. At any rate, if you think we missed an obvious answer for Mark, feel free to put it in the comments.

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

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