Thursday, September 16, 2010

"I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire"

Even though plenty of eager gamers got their hands on Halo Reach over the last few days (without hacking Microsoft's servers this time around), Halo fever shows no signs of dying down. My Xbox 360, however, is another story.

Microsoft wins! FATALITY!
I have a first generation 360 that I thought was invincible, until the first signs of trouble cropped up in Aug. 2009 while I was playing Fable II. When the incongruently pretty Red Ring of Death shined its burning light as I explored the awe-inspiring landscape of the world of Albion, my heart sunk deep into my pantaloons.

"This cannot be!" I exclaimed, adding "A fie upon it!" because Fable had put me in an old-worldy kind of mood. Then I read the part in Macbeth where the drunken porter talks about how wine puts you in the mood for love but, ironically, makes your willy sleepy at the same time.

Bandits, before I savagely murdered them.
 But when I put the book down, all I had to do was reset the console. The Red Menace was vanquished, and I was once more free to sleep with as many citizens of Albion as I could simultaneously in an attempt to unlock Fable II's "The Swinger" achievement. The Red Ring showed up one or two more times in the next year, but recently, upon acquiring two new games, I was lucky if I could go an hour without good ol' Red coming 'round. Then, on Monday, September 13, at 6:36 p.m. - less than five hours before Halo Reach's midnight release - my 360 breathed its last, fiery breath.

Good thing I couldn't care less about the Halo series or I might have been really upset.

To quote Macbeth's porter, the Red Ring of Death made my Xbox 360 "stand to, and not stand to." The system turns on, and if that satanic circle doesn't char its hate into the power button, I can hear the opening fanfare and the sound confirming that I've signed on to my profile. I just can't SEE anything. There was nothing left to do but laugh when that happened; a cruel twist of fate indeed.

"O, I am slain!" exclaimed my Xbox.

I'm pretty sure all original run 360s have either suffered the scar of the Red Ring at this point, or if they haven't, Bill Gates showed up and bashed them with a comically large sledgehammer on principle. So why did mine last as long as it did, I wonder? Maybe it's because I didn't use my 360 that often. Generally the PS3 suits my needs much more than the Xbox 360, what with the free PSN access, what I consider a more comfortable and responsive controller, and Blu-Ray functionality. I had only really used my Xbox for exclusive titles like Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, and of course, Burger King's ultra creepy Sneak King. But the second I started in on those multi-system releases, my ol' Xbox went to Hell. No halo for you, 360.

This didn't end well, trust me.

Now that I'm going to have to rely on other consoles for my gaming endeavors (kind of like I did before) I guess there's only one thing left to say to Microsoft's flawed fun machine: Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better:

My who-box is what now? ...Hey, can we talk about this later? I'm trying to save a princess here.


  1. How did you fix the cartridge reader?

  2. It wasn't broken. It's been working since 1989. Old tech = the most reliable?