Guitar Hero II is destroying my wrist.

I managed to break through my blocker song tonight! Yes! After some serious practice I managed to defeat “Freya” on Expert.

Rockin’.

I charged on ahead into the tier 7 songs only to be defeated once more by “Rock This Town”.

Argh. More practice required.

I was browsing through the XBox Live leaderboards for GH2 and noticed that I’m ranked 1499 out of 320000 odd on Cheap Trick’s Surrender. This is a fairly easy song but being in the top 0.4% of players isn’t too shabby. And I’m sure I can nail this one 100% with maximum bonus if I practice it a bit. I wonder where that would land me….

Associated Press lies to the public.

There is an article showing up on all Associated Press affiliated news sites regarding the new GTA IV teaser trailer saying:

In previous versions of the game, players killed both police officers and prostitutes, and sold pornography to children.

The emphasis on “sold pornography to children” is mine. This is a blatant lie. At no point in any GTA game do you sell pornography to children. In fact children don’t feature in GTA games at all.

The article also quotes NYC officials trying to distance themselves and the city from the fictional, satirical, parody of New York named Liberty City that is featured in the trailer, the game, and at least two prior GTA games.

When will the mainstream press just damn well stop writing such sensationalist drivel and posting it as news!

XNA Content Pipeline NAnt Task.

I decided to start doing more stuff with XNA. However I want to use Visual Studio Pro rather than the Visual Studio Express. Unfortunately Pro doesn’t support the XNA content pipeline or deploying to the XBOX 360. For the moment I can live without the deployment feature (my 360 is busted anyway) but I need the content pipeline. So what I’ve done is started developing an NAnt task for processing XNA Content with the XNA Content pipeline.

I’ve put the source code up on my Github page here. So far for what I need it to do the task is sufficient, but I’m sure as my needs increase I’ll be extending it a bit.

Geometry Wars killed my Xbox 360.

I wondered when it would happen, and it happened tonight. In the middle of a Geometry Wars game my console locked up. I reboot and I got the red ring of death. Joy. The build quality on Microsoft Xboxes is so fucking shit. The console has always made weird noises and crashed in games. I figured it was just a matter of time before it borked itself completely. Guess I was right.

On further investigation I got the extended error code out of the machine (0102) using the instructions here. The error code 0102 means “unknown error”. The guide I found on the Xbox Scene forums suggested trying to switch between SD and HD TV settings on the AV cable. Surprisingly this actually worked. The console attempted to boot in standard def TV mode. It never made it to the dashboard. I switched the setting back and tried again. This time it booted to the dash. I returned to some Geometry Wars action. It didn’t last long. Again the console locked up. This time it didn’t red-ring-of-death on me when I restarted, but it also didn’t last long rendering the Xbox logo before locking up again. I think my Xbox’s GPU is getting too hot like this one. But if I open it up to see I’ll invalidate my JB-HiFi warranty (and any MS warranty I might have ).

If MS come back to me saying “you’re out of luck buddy” on the 1 year warranty extension they issued, as my Xbox is less than a year old, I guess I’ll be packing the little sod back in its box and taking it back to JB-HiFi.

Perhaps I should just buy a PS3…. I can get one at wholesale from Sony.

Microsoft unveils Xbox 360 Elite

So it appears that Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox 360 Elite. Good news for Americans. For an extra $80US you get HDMI and a 120GB hard disk. There is talk that the Premium SKU will get the 120GB drive and HDMI sometime in the not too distant future as the Elite SKU sells out. This makes sense of course because the cost of having two motherboard revs in production is probably quite high.

Of course for us existing 360 owners this isn’t so fantastic. The standalone 120GB HDD upgrade is going to cost $179USD. Which is just stupid money for a 120GB Hard Disk. Sure I can accept that you’re not going to get the accessory for the same price as you would get an 2.5″ drive of the same size in an external USB enclosure but something at least remotely close to that price would be nice.

Though as I think about it there is very little point for owners outside the US who have an XBOX 360 with the 20GB drive to upgrade. Sure you can fill up the 20GB drive with lots of demos and ripped music but I’ve found that after I’ve looked at a demo for a bit I just delete it, meaning that I usually have a few gig free ready for me to download something else. The real advantage of the larger hard disk comes with the TV & Movie download service that MS provide in the US. So until that is made available elsewhere there isn’t a lot to recommend the Elite bundle. Other than the nifty black finish.