BAD'S Commentary Page


|| TITLE || When All Is Lost
  || WRITER ||   BAD
  || DATED ||   05.17.2009


When shit happens, we first think it's catastrophic. But sometimes these "catastrophies" turn out to be blessings in disguise. A prime example of this is something that I (and many others, apparently) have gone through recently with my Xbox 360 account. Through some sort of strange payment option fluke, my account was placed on indefinite suspension. The result was loss of all data, from game saves and achievements to themes, gamerpics, and full versions of digital games. Literally, the hundreds of dollars and hours I put into my Japanese account, all suddenly "locked" and inaccessible. Through the ordeal, Microsoft reps told me that they could do nothing about it. And this happened after my first system finally got the "Red Ring 'O' Death!" The infamous "Red Ring" was expected; with every coming generation, hardware life seems to be getting shorter. Even though it happened at the most inconvenient time (the day RE5 came out), I accepted it, went out that same morning, and bought another one. But this whole account fluke was something that wasn't as predictable. It took more thought; I had to look at it from all angles to understand it.



By now, you're asking why I didn't just cut my losses further and trade everything in toward a PS3 (after all this shit) and start building my collection up again, but it's not that easy when almost everyone you know has an XB360, too. For those who didn't know, talking on the headset is hundreds of dollars cheaper than talking on the phone (especially for long-distance)! Some people have decided to get a PS3 after being fed-up with XB360 issues, but most of the people on my friend list probably won't do the same. Selling mine would alienate me from them! Not just that, but selling all my XB360 games and hardware toward a PS3 would be hard to justify as a means of getting back at them (since my computer runs on Windows and Microsoft basically runs the computers everywhere). Having to get a new computer to run Linux (instead of Windows) and trading XB360 versions of games (like SFIV and RE5) toward their identical PS3 versions would put me in the red just to "get back" at Microsoft. It would be a major set-back, and there are still games like Dead Rising, Lost Planet - Colonies, Double Dragon (HD), and Bikini Samurai Squad that haven't been released on the PS3. Essential for game fans.

I put in a lot of time for everything that I accomplished on my last profile, so losing all that stuff definitely sucked. Getting S rankings on every stage of 1942, winning 10 Elimination matches on Lost Planet, and passing every normal difficulty stage in Armored Core 4 were some of the most difficult feats I had ever accomplished. All the stuff I did on Puzzle Fighter was even harder! But, there was something in the back of my mind telling me that the loss of all of this could be a blessing in disguise; that it was all lost for an entirely different cause.





When I logged in to the American Xbox Live, it was immediately apparent what I had been missing for so long. While the American version of the service greets you with a plethora of intruiging features, the Japanese version is bare bones with nothing more than bite-sized versions of Marketplace and Insider. The American XBL service lets you download cool TV shows like Psych and/or LOST, along with tons of music videos and old cartoons like X-MEN. Hell, the Japanese XBL "service" not only lacks these, but any popular Japanese hits or classics that would have been fine substitutions! Insider has the obligatory hosts and some noteworthy interviews (with figures like SFIV producer Ono), but it doesn't have nearly as much substance as its Western counterpart. The Japanese "Live Park" appears to be the equivalent of the American "Game with Fame," but gaming with models and idols doesn't seem quite as interesting as gaming with developers who are actually into games. They spend so much time tailoring games for Japanese taste, but maybe they should put more effort into tailoring Live for Japanese taste, instead.

Even the themes and gamer picture packs for the same titles are scarce in comparison; the US version of live has much more to choose from (even for titles of Japanese origin). This is especially true when you look at Capcom's digital titles, most of which aren't even available in Japan (their country of origin)! This qualm in particular has made the XBL "experience" vastly inferior for Japanese players and Capcom fans alike. Series like Street Fighter, Commando, and Puzzle Fighter were all born on Japanese soil, yet the new, high-quality HD versions of these titles are unavailable for Japanese players to enjoy? Unthinkable, considering there are so many other titles on XBL with little to no production value. Strangely, they only made one title available recently, and that was Bionic Commando - Rearmed; not nearly as fun as the titles that went unreleased. What a complete waste of "service."



When it was all said and done, I thought to myself, "good riddance." Did all that happen to finally push me into using an American profile as I should have been all along, once and for all? Though I lost a lot in the process, now I am getting much more for the service I have been paying for all this time. To those who want to have everything on one account, I will tell you that you should make an American account as your primary one. Take it from someone who learned the hard way!

It's alrite though, because I've been gaming since back in the day when there were no achievements or game saves. Shit, back then I played NES games on a black & white TV! Most XB360 owners probably can't even imagine such things. I've been through worse, and I'm not giving up that easy. I'm going and I'm taking it all back; all those achievements, all those wins, and then some! Booyay!