Recently when playing a game, I’ve come to a point where one of two things have happened; either I’ve got so bored I can’t bring myself to play it, or I’ve reached a point in the game which makes me want to throw my controller at the TV numerous times. So I’ve taken it upon myself to play some older games and get myself caught up on all the big titles I’ve ignored over the years. For example, I purchased Halo 3 having never played any of the previous games. Unfortunately I found myself completely and utterly lost, and a little underwhelmed by the whole fandom surrounding it. Halo fans please don’t stone me for saying that, I’m still going to give it a go before I give up all hope. However I have had much better success playing Gears of War. I’ve had the game for over half a year and never got round to playing it (well my first achievement dates back to November). But recently I’ve been playing it on Hardcore co-op. And I must say I’m really enjoying it. I’m itching to go play it now!
The 1 vs 100 Beta was released last night on Xbox Live. I made sure I was there bright and early for it waiting in the lobby. I was really excited and looking forward to it. Unfortunately however, I have never watched the game show or understand the rules (I’m not going to even bother trying to explain them) and so I really didn’t have a clue what was going on. I knew the One was the main contestant and he had to answer questions. But I couldn’t differentiate between the Crowd or the Mob. As it turns out I was in the Mob to begin with, but wasn’t aware that meant I could properly play! So I got a question wrong and I was eliminated. Thus ending up in the crowd. Which to begin with was extremely exciting. My brother and I were shouting at the screen and laughing at all the people getting the questions wrong. Which was very very fun.
But an hour later of the same thing it started to get tedious. Participating in the crowd, I was up against the same three players each round. I would have liked to see some other people there.. make new friends, maybe see my own friends and be able to compete against them! Also, I almost always seemed to be the leader of the round.. I got practically every single instant answer and a really long streak. Now that suggests the questions weren’t all that hard. And they weren’t. Some were stupidly hard, which is really good and makes it more challenging! But some were silly.. for example “Which TV host should you “Watch out for”? (Or something along those lines) A: Jeremy Beetle B: Jeremy Beadle C: Jeremy Beagle.” Two people in the mob did actually get that wrong..
Xbox Live. It’s awesome. Play with friends and enemies, download games and movies and get your weekly dose of SuperKaylo and MrPointyHead. Of course you have to pay for Gold. But whatever. Some of my funniest and best game moments have been playing online with friends. Lately, it’s been Left 4 Dead on Expert campaign which has had my parents yelling at me to shut up from screaming at the TV. Previously it was games like Call of Duty 4 and 5. Zombies changed that all. Anyway for a little while I’d had some free trials I’d been using which allowed me to have a Gold membership. But I decided it was probably about time I purchased a REAL account! Something my hard earned cash would pay for.
Well my brother informed me that Microsoft were doing a deal where purchasing Gold for a month would only cost £1. I wasn’t going to turn that down! So I logged onto my xbox.com account and went through the process of entering my card details and choosing which membership offer I wanted. And there we go! Easy as pie I have Gold for an entire month! Brilliant, right? WELL.. as it turns out, Microsoft offer an Auto-Renewal option which allows the user to carry on buying Gold automatically without any hassle, or turn it off and just buy it when you want to. I fall under the latter category.. I don’t want to be forced into buying Gold every month (I’m in the car market), but from the looks of it unfortunately.. there is no off button. There is no cancel membership button either.
I’m incredibly disappointed! Microsoft’s evil plan worked perfectly. I can’t get out of paying for a Gold account now! I had plans to buy a 12 month membership in the not very distant future.. but thanks to their online membership method, they’ve forced my hand into buying it now. Now I don’t know whether it’s just me not looking properly but I can’t find anyway out of this. I even had a friend look into it for me too. The only method he found was to ring up Microsoft and personally ask to cancel the membership. But he found that on a forum.. there’s nothing in the FAQ or support pages about this! So yes.. I have always preached Xbox Live as brilliant! Who cares you have to pay for something when it’s certainly worth it! But now.. this just feels sneaky and wrong. If I can be proving wrong before 24th July, I’ll take everything back. My membership and the feeling of disappointment towards Microsoft. And then I’ll buy a Gold membership card gladly from a shop.
I’ll always have a Live account whether it be Silver or Gold, because there’s no denying the content available isn’t worth turning down. At the same time.. I don’t want to be tricked into paying for something whether I want it or not.