So, for my birthday last week, I went ahead and bought Batman: Arkham City. Having loved the original game, Batman: Arkham Asylum, I figured it would be a no brainer that I would love the sequel – and for the most part that’s been true.
Still, I had a bumpy ride and wanted to offer up a few thoughts.
Pre-order spiffs suck. I know that a lot of people like them, but when they come in the form of codes that you have to go online to retrieve, that bugs me. The whole idea of being forced to go online period bugs me. If I’m paying full, day-one-launch price for the game – GIVE ME THE FREAKING GAME! Don’t say, “Oh – here’s the game, but if you REALLY want to have fun, go online and enter in this 25-digit code to DL it…”
I saw the commercials for ‘exclusive Robin playable character’ at BestBuy when you pre-order and actually considered it until I realized you had to go online to get the content. You may be surprised to hear this, but I have -never- hooked my XBOX up to the Internet, have never gotten an XBOX live account, etc and so on. I just wasn’t interested in messing with it. I also didn’t pre-order this (or any other) game.
BUT, I did -buy- the game at BestBuy, which, as it turns out, was enough to get codes for both Catwoman and Robin.
Now I had a pickle and a decision to make. Did I want to have those characters in my game? The answer was yes, but dealing with the XBOX Live stuff was not appealing, so I thought about it for a few days before breaking down and deciding to do it.
Let me fill you in on some logistical details: I have a wireless router/modem all in one. Bought it years ago when Comcast kept telling me that my connection problems were ‘equipment’ related (at that time, I had one of their modems and then a separate wireless router. I had the modem replaced multiple times and changed routers twice – still had connection issues (turned out to be the shitty Comcast wiring in the neighborhood)). The router has 1 hard connection port on it, which I use for whatever computer I’m recording the podcasts on. Everything else in the house connects wirelessly, including other computers and the TiVo.
So, I looked up a wireless adapter for the XBOX. Ouch. $70 on Amazon and I’d have to wait while it was shipped. I had a RewardZone certificate for BestBuy, which I decided to use and purchase a Wifi adapter for the XBOX. Only I forgot to print the cert before heading to BestBuy. Sigh. Paying full price, I took the little thing home, opened up the packaging (I hate the blister pack shit), unfolded the English instructions (there were several in other languages) and promptly read that you must first HARD WIRE your XBOX to the Internet to download an update before you can install the Wifi adapter.
Digging through box after box in the basement, I come up with a Cat5 cord (the one I use for the podcasting is actually 50 ft long and passes through the floor and, therefore, would be a pain in the ass to use for this), hook up the XBOX and start the updating process. Rather than be idle, I decide to go on the XBOX Live website and read up on it. There is a free account, which is good, and I can retrieve the characters I want with that free account, which is even better. The XBOX, meanwhile, is updating, restarting, updating, restarting. I figure the best thing to do is just sign up for the Live account so all I’ll have to do is put in my login info once it’s done.
And I was wrong.
First, I put in the email address I use the most. The website tells me that my email address is already associated with a Live account and takes me to a ‘sign in’ page. Huh. Wracking my brain, I try to think when I could have ever used that email address with anything XBOX related. Did I create an account way back when I first bought the XBOX? (Like, 5 years ago? HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG HOLY CRAP!) Trying some of the passwords I used to use all the time for stuff like this, I keep getting the ‘red words of doom’ telling me the username/password combo is wrong. Huh.
Frustrated, I decide to use my backup email address. Good old faithful. Used whenever someone forces me to give them an email address in order to get something I want in return (I hate that). I plug that sucker in and the website tells me that it, too, has already been used to create an XBOX Live account and takes me to a ‘sign in’ page.
Okay, WTF? There is NO WAY I would use both of these email addresses! I cycle through the trusty old passwords (I don’t use any of those anymore, btw) and keep getting the red words of doom. SERIOUSLY, XBOX? SERIOUSLY?
IT SHOULD’NT BE THIS HARD AND NOW I ALMOST DON’T WANT TO PLAY AS ROBIN ANYMORE YOU’VE STOLEN MY SENSE OF FUN AND WONDER (see what I did there?) BY MAKING ME JUMP THROUGH ALL THESE HOOPS ONLY TO HIT A BRICK WALL YOU STUPID PIECE OF MICROSOFT SHIT!
Okay. I search both email address inboxes for any mentions of XBOX Live accounts and just come up with some spam stuff. Fine, whatever – time to move on. There is another email address that I HAVE NEVER GIVEN TO ANYONE EVER so I will use that.
HOLY FREAKING CRAP IT WORKS! I am able to create an XBOX LIVE account! OH HAPPY FREAKING DAY!
Just in time, too, as all the updates are now done. So I go through the XBOX menus and click on JOIN XBOX LIVE and start filling in all the information about my account. I get through to the end and it says that the account I have entered is associated with another gamertag, would I like to create a new account? No – I just did that you piece of shit. CLICK CLICK CLICK – WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T USE THE ACCOUNT I JUST BUSTED MY FREAKING ASS TO CREATE?!
STUPID F&^%*#G MICROSOFT!
*search website for phone number to call*
“Hello. I want to complain. I want to whine. I want to smash things and call them Microsoft.”
It turns out that I can, in fact, use the account I created – BUT IT WILL NOT BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOGIN I HAVE USED FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS ON THE XBOX ESSENTIALLY WIPING AWAY EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER DONE OH MY GOD ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME YOU STUPID F&^%*#G ARRRRGGHHHH!
“Hold on, there’s another solution. You can click ‘Join XBOX Live’ on your console and use another email address to create the account under.”
“Oh, let me tell you about email addresses buddy!”
“What? No! Why do I have to do that? Where does it say I have to do that? IT NEVER SAID I HAD TO DO THAT IT SAID I HAD ALREADY USED THESE EMAIL ADDRESSES WITH XBOX LIVE!”
“Yeah, it’s not very intuitive (NO SHIT?). You have to convert your email address over to a Windows Live account first, giving you access to (TONS OF SHIT I DON’T F&^%*#G WANT) and then we can setup your new XBOX Live account.”
“Has anyone mentioned that these extra steps ARE A PAIN IN THE ASS?” (maybe)
So. Three hours after starting this whole freaking mess, I have TWO XBOX LIVE ACCOUNTS, I have a Wifi adapter hooked up and working, I have downloaded my ‘exclusive content’ and I still want to smash things.
…luckily, there are a bunch of inmates of Arkham City who are willing to oblige me. Okay, Bats. Let’s break some bones, shall we?