So, hey, this is awesome

I never actually expected to get anything out of it, but some awesome guy out there by the name of Logan actually sent me some money to repair my Xbox. I kind of sort of know Logan from a community we're a part of, but I never thought we knew each other well enough for an exchange like this - which just makes him all the more awesome for it, if you ask me. Big thumbs up to him.

Problem is, I lost the guy from Microsoft's phone number and now he's not returning my emails. I've emailed him like three times in the last couple of weeks trying to get this sorted out so I can repair my Xbox, but he's basically ignoring me. Thanks a lot, Glenn from Microsoft. This certainly makes me feel better about my "Xbox Experience".

Castle Crashers is bugging out for me, now. I got up to Flower Field and it's not letting me continue. Whenever I start the level, the game complains that I've disconnected my HDD and I will be sent back to the Dashboard. Obviously, I haven't, and I can play any other level before Flower Field just fine. No other games complain about this, either, and I've even re-downloaded Castle Crashers to try and clear it up (to no avail, obviously). Behemoth says they're working on a patch, but who knows how long that could take. Microsoft Certification is a long, tough road, apparently.

I'm on the final level of Bionic Commando: Re-Armed. I wussed out and played the game on easy mode, and up until now, I was considering going through on normal difficulty because the game has been almost too easy. The last level, though, is where the difficulty spikes really hardcore and the thought of doing the final area of the final level without the safety net easy mode provides is not something I plan on doing. Disappearing platform sections are the reason why I've never been able to tolerate NES MegaMan games, and Bionic Commando's final section is basically one big maze of disappearing platforms. I don't even know if I can force myself through it on easy mode - we'll see.

Judging by mIRC, the one-year anniversary of my old PC going kaput happened a couple days ago (it says I've been using mIRC, unregistered, for 367 days). How fitting, then, that finally all the pieces are in place to get my new motherboard in. I wonder what's going to go wrong this time? Hopefully very little - last year's installation was a pretty big learning experience for me, and I know how to do this properly, now. I've got a stack of 35 DVDs by my side with the plans of backing up everything I've accumulated on this HDD - all my UT2004 mods, my San Andreas mods and save files, the Oblivion mods, my music, the games I am working on... etc. Still, doing the hardware swapping part of all this is what makes me nervous; changing the processor is the worst of it, as it's something I've never done before and I really, really don't want to screw it up. Would be nice if Ashuku could come down and help me again, but he's busy moving in to a new Apartment. Hasn't even been on Instant Message for the last three days. I think he's tried to call here a few times, but he never leaves a message on my answering machine, and I screen all my calls.

I got a new game a couple days ago, new, of course, being a relative term. I didn't pay a dime for its purchase, so don't hate me or anything - but it was Shadow the Hedgehog. I've been curious about this game for a long time, and after playing the first level, all my curiosity had been quenched. It's no doubt really obvious, but this is not a very good game. I knew this going in, but I at least wanted to see what the game was like. Rubbing salt in to the wound, I got the Playstation 2 version. SonicTeam never really liked the PS2, you see, so PS2 ports of their games are considerably worse than, say, the Gamecube versions. What this boils down to is the game runs at 15-30fps most of the time. The game is sort of frustratingly awful in some ways, because you play only as Shadow, you see. In most other Sonic games, the cast of characters is so large and each character represents a different gameplay class that most levels in 3D Sonic games are really generic, because gameplay variety is represented in the number of characters you play as. In Shadow, you only ever play as the one character (Shadow himself), so a lot of the levels end up having a lot of really unique gimmicks. They are packed with tons of different things to do, and the three-way-battle between Eggman's robots, the Black aliens, and the Military really make up for quite a large variety of enemies you fight. Unfortunately, the game feels really muddy and blurry, the animation is considerably worse than you normally get in most Sonic games, and the controls can be likened to steering a nitrous-oxide fueled tank - Shadow accelerates with incredible speed and stops on a dime, but steering him left and right is remarkably sluggish. It is, without a doubt, a 3D Sonic game: You can see parts where they get stuff right, but they are far outweighed by the stuff they got wrong.

I think... that's all I have to say, yep.