Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Xbox Live

Filed under: Reviews,Video Games — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

You can’t download the cool new tracks for Project Gotham Racing 2 without a membership to Xbox Live. You can’t download the cool song packs for Dance Dance Revolution without a membership to Xbox Live. It kind of sucks when you know there are cool additions to your game that are out there, but you can’t get to them without a bunch of red tape.

You can’t just log onto Xbox Live with your computer or Xbox and start a membership. You have to go into a store and buy a stupid Xbox Live membership. Once you input your magic password from your membership card, the first thing they ask you for is your credit card number (so you can pay for those cool tracks and songs). Why didn’t they just let us give them our credit card number and log in without the stupid card from Best Buy? It’s really very confusing and it makes me feel like I’m jumping through hoops for nothing.

I did get this little microphone/headphone thing with the membership card, though. It works with the Karaoke thing on Xbox Music Mixer, so I can sing and dance at the same time. It makes me feel a little like Britney Spears. You’re supposed to use it with the Xbox Live competitions so you can talk to your competitors.

I bought all the song packs for Dance Dance Revolution as soon as Mike logged us onto the system. They totally rock. My two favorites that I downloaded are hard and kick my butt, but I still love them. Heaven is a ’57 and Afronova Primeval are fun songs that I had played on the DDR machine at The Gateway arcade a month or so ago. It’s nice to have them on the Xbox to play whenever I want.

Mike bought one of the tracks that he wanted for PGR2, but he was a little disappointed by them. I think he was expecting Cone Challenges or Street Races and such, but they are just tracks that you can race on alone. Maybe they are useful for competing on Xbox Live.

Mike was the first to try playing Xbox Live against other players. He did a couple of games, but he told me he didn’t really like it. He told me that the kids with the headsets were annoying and it really felt like he was just racing against computer drivers if they didn’t talk.

When I tried Xbox Live with DDR, I was a little disappointed because there were no matches available on Light Mode. I’m not good enough to compete on Standard or Heavy yet. Sometimes there weren’t any matches available at all. I felt like no one was using Xbox Live with DDR. I tried to convince Stacey to get Xbox Live so I would have someone to play with, but she was having none of it.

On a lark this weekend (while avoiding writing my chapter), I decided to Create a Match that I would like to play with a song that I liked. I set it up and within seconds, I had three people desperate to compete with me. We played, they kicked my ass and I created another match. I played for over an hour with a total of about ten users (I lost count after ten.). I realized that these kids didn’t know how to create a match and were much more willing to join one that someone else created.

I have logged on twice again since then and played Xbox Live against tons of people. I’ve met people from New Hampshire, California and El Salvador. I had no idea that so many people out there wanted to connect with fellow DDR players. It has been a solitary game for me outside of the arcade experience, so it is so refreshing to play against others, even if they kick my butt.

On the whole, Xbox Live is totally worth the money they ask. I’ve already played enough to pay for the month. The downloads were totally worth it for DDR, but Mike didn’t like the tracks for PGR2. Now, they just need to create a method for people to start their memberships online instead of having to buy the membership at the stores. Not everyone is going to appreciate feeling like Britney Spears with that little headset thing.


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