MAP Episode 6: SEXbox360 HardCast

Download Link: Produced 2009.03.22

The second in our series of console investigations, this week focuses on the Microsoft XBox 360. Some say this podcast is a disaster; and that the original recording was ten times more British. All we know is it’s called the MAP.


  1. I hope this is just as great as the first, but I guess we’ll never know.

  2. Thirty minutes in and I’m loving it. You guys should mistakeningly not record the first hour every time. The bitterness and delirium is fantastic.
    The best part is Lee getting so incredibly pissed off at the off-topic discussion, even though it is hilarious and the most amusing part of MAP.
    Otherwise a fair assessment of the 360, I’m looking forward to the next 30 minutes.

  3. I was angry, very angry! I will play Persona 4 and finish it, but….. if for some reason the game does deliver I will be angry.

  4. One of the funniest podcasts yet, if the original really was better then that is truely a loss for all humanity.

  5. Oliver, you are VERY WRONG. I would like you to take a look at THIS!
    Now if you are too lazy to look at that it says “Xbox 360 Elite console: The console is equipped with an HDMI port, HDMI cable…” So you are very, very wrong.

    [Your post has been edited. Govern yourself, please. We are talking about video games and consoles. There is no need whatsoever for personal attacks. -Lusi.]

  6. @Reetin: That may well be true, though I don’t see how this invalidates the larger point Oliver was trying to make: that the *Arcade* is a bad value. If anything, it is only more damning that the lack of cables in the Arcade now stands in stark contrast to the Elite–as opposed to what we thought before: that the lack of cables was common to all XBox systems and wasn’t specifically a situation with the Arcade.

  7. Well what I was trying to prove was that he said “None of the consoles come with HDMI cables.” and he was indeed wrong and I was wanting to mock Oliver for not knowing what he is talking about.

  8. He may well be wrong (in fact, he often is) but that is no reason to descend to personal attacks. Try to be civil, that’s all. You’re certainly welcome to attack his words, just try to steer clear of attacking *him*.

    To be fair to Oliver, I can’t think of anything that I’ve ever been right about, myself.

  9. Actually I think I am in just a spiteful mood because I watched a terrible movie last night and I want people to suffer as much as I did last night.

  10. OK, the thing about game saves. While you can’t DL stuff, game saves are just fine on a 256MB memory card. I can’t think of a single disc-based game that would require more than that.

    As for stability, I’ve had nothing but trouble on the PC. The PS3 is game to game, really. Resistance and Killzone are wonderful, while I still can’t get into a multiplayer game on 50 Cent: BotS, and I can apparently only play SFIV when I’m hosting. None of those problems on the 360.

    The pay-for wireless is inexcusable, but I don’t get why the Wii gets a free pass for not having ethernet. Not everyone has wireless, first off. Secondly, why any serious multiplayer gamers would tolerate the speed compromises that wireless entail. At least the PS3 has both.

    The tone of the industry is NOT set in Japan. Hasn’t been set in Japan in a long time. Britain is now a bigger market than Japan, which has now switched almost entirely into a handheld market. The States and Europe now dictate the movement of the industry, and even Japanese luminaries like Hideo Kojima know it.

    Is the 360 perfect? Hell no? But I suppose the anti-360 bent is to be expected considering the podcast is run by PS3 fanboys.

  11. No Lusipurr the movie I watched was worse than that, The Mario Brothers Movie is a masterpiece in comparison to this vile filth. The movie I watched was Twilight. The only redeeming part was making fun of the movie while one of the fan girls of the movie was sitting there and giving me angry stares the whole time.

  12. @MasterChief:

    1) Some games do not allow you to save to memory cards. I believe that is the point Oliver and Nate were making.

    2) You may argue that issues with the PS3 are game to game. As for your complaints with the PC, I would argue that those are computer-to-computer issues. I’ve never run into a problem that I couldn’t fix, and I’ve seldom run into problems. Most of the big companies know how to implement their networking well enough, to the degree that it still works more than a decade later.
    For free.

    3) The Wii is not the subject of this podcast, and the issue was not brought up in the comments thread last week. But, as for the the argument that wireless entails speed compromises, that is only the case if you are using an internet connexion that exceeds 50M/s throughput (which I suspect you aren’t), and it presumes that the server is capable of sending more than 50M/s throughput to individuals (which I very much doubt), and that the game would actually improve with a connexion greater than 50M/s (which I cannot imagine). Are you quite clear on how networking works?

    4) When 4 out of the 5 current-generation systems are made by Japanese countries based in Japan, and when those consoles are the sales leaders worldwide, I think we can safely conclude that the tone of the industry is set in Japan.

    5) Three of the podcast anchors gave it a thumbs up, and I would give it a thumbs up if I didn’t have to pay for online multiplayer. If you consider that the ‘anti-360 bent’ of ‘PS3 fanboys’, it shows how unwilling to accept criticism you are, and once again displays the ‘if you’re not with us you’re against us’ mentality that I pointed out before.

    People can level just criticism at the 360 without being ‘fanboys’ or having an ‘anti-360’ bent. Not everyone in the world is as polarised as you are.

    Moreover, it’s the people who scream everytime any criticism is levelled–who take every critical view of a system as a personal insult against their sainted purchase–who are the real fanboys. Show me where that is, and I’ll concede the point. I will admit that I can see it, but it’s not within the staff of this site.

  13. @Reetin: Twilight is one the most terrible tragedies of our age–that fact that it was written and successful, I mean.

    The fact that movie is equally successful (and I’ve seen it) serves only to highlight the fact that people today are so unlearned that they do not even know what a good story is. And also that teenage girls will buy anything as long as the male protagonist is dark and emo enough.

    It is shocking that in a world where Hugo and Dumas are available in the public domain, people think that trash like Twilight is the height of literary achievement.

    Anne Rice’s vampies–no stranger to emo-tastic wankery, themselves–would beat the little pissants from Twilight all around the town.

  14. “Is the 360 perfect? Hell no? But I suppose the anti-360 bent is to be expected considering the podcast is run by PS3 fanboys.”
    Yeah, this comment surprised me too.
    I actually expected the cast to bash the 360 a lot more, but it was very positive and, like Lusi said, it was a majority of thumbs up.
    There wasn’t even one full thumbs down!

    Anyway, I DO pay for Xbox Live, and were I on the cast, I would have talked about how I actually think it WAS legitimate when the service was first introduced. It was the first of its kind in the console space, and the ability to maintain a single friends list for all games with constant stability and a unified interface was worth the purchase.
    But with the continued improvements of the PSN, fewer and fewer features are standing out about Xbox Live. I pay for it, I know it’s a rip-off and I won’t defend it. I just want the ability to play with my friends, so I suck it up.

    Anyway, I love my 360, and Lusipurr admitted he’s picky. I’m a little picky but not nearly as much, so I own about 10 great games for the system, and I’ve only had it 6 months.

  15. I don’t know how three thumbs could mean we don’t like a system? I don’t know but am I missing something here?

  16. OK, I’ll give you that I’m overreacting a tad. Still, it seemed that the negatives of the 360 were discussed far more than the positives, of which there are many, most notably that many a multiplat game looks and plays better on the 360 (Resident Evil 5 comes to mind right away).

    And regardless of “Japanese” consoles (all three home consoles use western graphics solutions: The Wii and 360 use ATi cards while the PS3 uses the nVidia-developed RSX), western GAMES have a much better international penetration than Japanese games, especially if you exclude Capcom (a rare Japanese software company with its pulse on the international landscape). There’s a reason we see more Japanese support on the 360 than we ever did for the original Xbox, even beyond MS’ deep pockets.

    Not that I dislike Japanese games – far from it. However, to think that Japanese game makers determine what the world gaming community likes anymore is as asinine as people last generation thinking that whoever had the most RPGs would rule the roost, when in reality the situation was reversed.

    Listening again, it wasn’t AS bad a show as I’d initially thought, but I really hope next week isn’t all PS3 praise with a very brief glossing over of its faults.

  17. Oh no I will have plenty to say about the PS3. I think I would say that the 360 is the essential console to own this generation.

  18. Yeah, the PS3 fanboy remark was a bit over-the-top, and ironically enough, it cements MC’s position as a true-blooded Xbox 360 fanboy.

    About game saves, trying to ameliorate the Arcade model’s lack of a HDD is a losing battle through and through. Maybe you can save some games, but that’s about it – you can’t download any demos, HD trailers, HD movies or TV shows, the list goes on and on. Any gamer above the age of eight is going to need an HDD in their system.

    I can actually agree with Ethan concerning the value of Xbox Live when it was first launched – perhaps not worth $50, but worth something I suppose. Today? No. Not in any way.

  19. @MC: I will simply reiterate that, despite all the ‘negative’ stuff about the 360, there were three out of four thumbs up, the fourth was an almost-thumb-up. Considering the negatives discussed, it should be evident that the positives must be substantial to outweigh them, as they clearly do in 3.9/4 cases.

    The PS3 is by no means a perfect system and you can expect us to discuss its faults in detail next week just as we discussed the failings of the Wii last week and the failings of the 360 this week.

    As for why we discuss failings, it’s rather hard to ‘discuss’ successes for any length of time. What would one say? “Well, they’ve done a good job. Yes. Hmm. Moving on. . .” Any involved discussion necessarily means that there is something to discuss, after all. If the system were perfect, we’d have nothing to say. If you listen closely you will notice that we do point out the successes of the consoles that we discuss.

    At least we try to. It’s hard to find much that is right with the Wii. If there’s an anti-console bias, it’s there. I wish I had asked for thumbs-up/thumbs-down on that system. (FYI: I’d be giving it only the very slightest of thumbs up, and even then I’d feel a little dirty.)

    @Olivia: To be honest, I don’t give a flying turd about HD trailers, movies, demos, or telly programmes. What I do care about is downloadable games. This is, in my opinion, the problem with both the Wii and the Arcade 360. Whilst I can move games from the SD to the Console (Wii) or play them from a bunch of extra memory sticks (360), I think that the basic memory should be a LOT more substantial for both systems.

  20. I’m pretty pro on all three systems, actually. It’s why it’s a shame I missed the WiiCast and am busy every other Sunday. I feel like I could play devil’s advocate to a lot of the negatives.
    But again I felt like most, if not all, the criticism about the 360 was entirely valid, and I love that system.
    Also, Halo Wars is a good introductory RTS for those overwhelmed by the thought of facing the genre.

  21. Even though I don’t like the 360, I can’t can’t give it a complete thumbs down. The Games are great, the online has better features(Not justified of being paid for though.) My distaste was earned from it dieing on me three times. If I am to be deemed a PS3 Fanboy, the 360 is what made me one.

  22. It is beyond me why anybody would willingly see or read Twilight, by doing so you’re only justifying its existence in the first place. As far as I can tell it’s little more than a tween girl mastebatory aid.

  23. Well, people love Twilight because they’re generally poorly-read. Not that I’m cracking open books for hours at a time, but even I can tell schlock from literature.

    On another note, people complaining that the Arcade doesn’t come with a headset? Why the hell would you WANT an MS-branded headset? I got one because it was pre-packaged with the Chatpad, and my GOD, it is the choppiest-sounding, most uncomfortable, most fragile piece of shit ever. Go Plantronics, I say.

  24. Is that the chap with the carefully confected hairdo who wears alot of make-up?

  25. @Lee- About your Eternal Sonata (AKA Eternal Sonatra) question, my criticisms are far too varied to list every time the topic comes up, so I’m just going to copy and paste what I wrote in the CatFancyCast thread when chris asked us to list out least favourite games:

    “1 Eternal Sonata- Do not be seduced by the pretty graphics, this game is a feculent wellspring of dross. This noxious little mound of night soil gave new meaning to the term limited environment, but that wasn’t even the worst of it. Enemy AI was almost non-existent which resulted in the enemies reacting the same way every time, further compounding this ineptitude was the grand total of about 5 different enemey designs which were colour swapped and used again and again until they smelled as bad as an incontinent vagrant’s Yfronts. Then there were the annoying characters and nonsensicle story wrapped in an obnoxious and superficial facade of faux philosophical prolix, the writers of which seemed in perpetual infatuation with their own turgid prose. All these aversive elements served to combine into a fecund miasma of the worst order, a wretched game I simply could not abide. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the King decided that he would voluntarily hand himself over to the games antagonist and everyone expected the party to go off and save the git from his own foolishness that was about the time I couldn’t stomach anymore and traded it in.”

    It’s a bad game wrapped up in a very pretty presentation.

  26. Just like that criticism is mostly fluff. So you didn’t like the AI, enemy design, story, and characters? Well that’s definitely enough reason to not like a game, but (excepting AI) a lot of that seems subjective to me. I’m going to judge for myself because I’m only 5 hours in and greatly enjoying it so far.
    Also, thanks for the spoilers.

  27. In defence of SilconNoob’s CatCast Comment, I do have to say that there is a lot of pseudo-philosophical psychobabble throughout Eternal Sonata. The story is dire, to say the least, with the main point being the epistemological “Is this a dream or is it reality?” stuff which is driven home–nay, SLEDGED home–at every possible juncture.

    It is clear they are trying to make the story far deeper than it is, and it is clear that the story that *is* there is, unfortunately, fairly shallow–at least, it is clear if one has any idea of what deep, subtle, nuanced story-telling is.

    A lot of his complaints are justified, Ethos. SN isn’t saying that he doesn’t like the plot–but rather that the story itself, plot aside, is shallow and overwrought. The AI *is* terrible, by the way.

    Also, as SN traded the game in, but I got to watch it played from beginning to end (several times), I’d like to add that it doesn’t improve over time. If anything, it gets worse the closer to the end one gets.

    Having said all that, the presentation is excellent and the game is, occasionally, fun to play. Unfortunately the story is a real let-down, and the game’s obsession with its own philosophical premise (much like an emo high-schooler who thinks he is the first person to have doubted the nature of reality) serves only to detract from the experience.

    Hopefully the makers of Trusty Bell will look for someone over the age of fourteen to write the script next time ’round.

    Also Ethan: Suck it up. The game has been out for years, and the ‘spoiler’ in question is minimal to say the least. If you’re afraid of having things that are years-out spoiled for you, then you’ve no business being on the internets.


  28. Oh I’m the first to point out that story and plot are separate.
    Also, I was more objecting to the fact that SN was stating his argument as if it was objectively a bad game.
    I was also trying to point out the irony of his comment. “It’s a bad game wrapped up in a very pretty presentation.” SN seemed to be focused on unnecessarily dressing up his comment.
    Again, I was never saying he wasn’t justified in feeling all the things he felt about the game. I might even end up agreeing with him when I play through the thing, and in either case, I’m not one to attack an opinion.
    And the game hasn’t even been out for two years. I think spoilers should be generally respected for the first three years a game is out. I’m aware of the nature of the internet, but I would not like to clump in the readers I know, like, and respect with the internet-at-large who hide their disrespect behind an anonymous persona.

  29. A shallow plot that attempts to sound deeper than it really is through excessive melodrama?

    Sounds like you just described the JRPG genre at large.

  30. You’re welcome to think that spoilers should be respected for three years, and others are welcome to think they should be respected for ten, or one, but here, on my farm, I honestly don’t care if they’re not respected for a week.

    This is the internet. The game was released, discussed at length, and reviewed here there and everywhere more than a year ago. As before: suck it up.

    @Oliver: “A shallow plot that attempts to sound deeper than it really is through excessive melodrama? Sounds like you just described the JRPG genre at large.”

    How’s Persona 4 going? You know, that JRPG you told everyone to buy last week.

  31. @Oliver: Yeah, pretty much. But there are a lot of games that benefit and excel from that Melodrama. ES is not one of those games.

    I played the upgraded PS3 version. This game has the longest, most over dramatic, pointless, underwhelming, and annoying death scenes I have ever had to suffer through.

  32. @Oyashiro- I know, these guys make Shakespeare look conservative by coparison.

    @Ethos- I’m sorry for the spoilers, I thought everyone had played this already.

    @Oliver- There’s a difference between a shallow story that lays on melodrama (like most jrpgs) and a shallow and melodramatic story which then affects a pretentious facade of meaningless psychodribble to diguise it’s true nature. But like a peasant clad in her finest Sunday dress in an effort to look respectable, Eternal Sonata is what it is, and I’m truely astonished that so few people can see it as such.

  33. @SiliconNooB S’okay! You meant no harm by it and I appreciate the apology. Plus, I’ve been explicitly told to suck it up anyway, so that’s that.

  34. @Lusipurr: Wanna know the main reason I recommend that game to anyone? Because it largely manages to avoid such conventions.

    Not that you would know, since you’ve never played it and I’m confident you never will.

  35. The explicit nature of Ethos’ sucking it up is, unfortunately, too much even for to describe in full detail.

    So you’ll have to wait for our Summer Special.

  36. @SN: Probably around Rebellion & Mutiny Day, when Ethos and Oliver will be within sucking range of each other.

    Update: I was going to photoshop a picture of Ethan and Oliver so that it would look like they are making out.

    But then I remembered that I am lazy and I don’t have photoshop.

    Just thought you should know.

  37. @Bup I hate you.

    On another note, I still love Eternal Sonata and would count it as among the best RPGs I have played in quite some time. This fact may be because I am in love with classical music, and I actually did enjoy the story no how shallow it might have been. I would have to agree with Ethos that it would be nice for people who have not played to game to avoid spoilers, or at least give a warning that you are doing so.

  38. Yeah that was my bad. I actually did have the spoiler obscured out when I originally posted it in a Cat Fancy thread, but when I copied and pasted it I didn’t really think about it.

    BTW PS3 FTW.

  39. PS3 = The Suck
    I have many reasons for this but my main reason is FFXIII for Xbox = The Win.

  40. Thats your main reason?…

    FFXIII is for the PS3 as well, And FFXIIIVS. Not to mention the plethora of other exclusive announced for the PS3 that are coming out this year.

    Usually you go with Exclusives for = “The Win” and not Multiplats. But I can see the reasoning seeing as the 360 doesn’t really have a lot of upcoming exclusives announced.

  41. FFXIII + FFvsXIII for the PS3=The Lose????????

    You’re making no sense Reetin, I can’t hear you over all the glowering fanboy ire.

  42. Am I going to have to get my anti-fanboy boots on? No really Reetin if you think the PS3 does suck, then please tell us with a little more detail.

    The PS3 does indeed “suck” for a number of reasons i.e the cost,lack of early good exclusives I am sure you can come up with more.

    The PS3 podcast thread will go up today at some point today.

  43. Anytime someone says “the win” or “the suck,” their argument is negated, because those phrases are horrible.

  44. Haha wow that got a lot more replies than I thought it would. Alright it is true I do indeed favor the xbox360 however that does not mean i think the PS3 is a bad system. The PS3 is a good system but the only reason I was planning on getting it was because of FFXIII, now that FFXIII is coming out for Xbox360 I do not need to pick up a PS3.

  45. Also initially there were other reasons that I would not purchase a PS3 or Xbox 360. Both of them were over priced when they came out, but thankfully the Xbox lowered in price so I bought that over the PS3. The backwards compatibility is not functional in the PS3 which was another main reason for me to pick up the PS3 so if i were to get one i would probably go the Ebay route and find one that can play the old games.There are not enough games i actually want to play on the PS3 to merit a purchase. From what i hear the networking on the PS3 is very “hit and miss” with certain titles while on the Xbox 360 (even though you have to pay) is much more reliable…yeah just a few reasons.

  46. As someone who owns a ‘fully’ backwards compatible 60GB PS3, I think I’m qualified to tell you do not spend a load of money on eBay for a backwards compatible PS3!!!

    Keep your PS2 and use that for your PS1/PS2 games, and then buy a nice cheap current model PS3 and use it for PS3 and Blu-Ray. The upscaling/smoothing is not worth the extra cost, and there are loads of issues with the backwards compatibility anyway.

  47. Well you see the problem with that is that if i do want to play my PS2 i have to buy a new tv because the one i currently have only supports HDMI and does not have the component cables. This is because it is actually a monitor that i use as a TV to watch TV on and play video games.

  48. I gotta say, I just got around to listening to this, and Lee – I adore you. I had to muffle a giggle in the computer lab I was working in it when you started singing the Pokemon theme.

    Also, I hope Ashley enjoys VP: CotP. I’m a huge VP fan myself, and I’m actually struggling to enjoy this game. On one had, I find it refreshing and different, but my inner fangirl is struggling to accept the game because I just can’t stand Wylfred. Makes me sad.

  49. Glad you enjoy the show Sam. Keep listening ever week next week I might sing something new and even more exciting.

    In the first one we recored before Lusipurr messed it up I was singing a lot more. I guess the internet will never know those delights.

  50. @Sam-Lol that reminds me of a about a week or so ago when I was listening to MAP on one of the computers in the Uni Library. Bup started doing his Lee impression and I burst out laughing, then everyone turned around and looked at me like I was deranged. Fun times. I believe I will listen to MAP at home henceforth.

  51. Lee, I’m terribly sorry but there is nothing more exciting than the Pokémon theme.

  52. I can agree with that. Pokemon Theme = AMAZING.

    Also, I loved the DQ5 discussion. I did actually burst out laughing only to be scolded by the person beside me. Must be the sing of a good day.

    I think I may have to listen to MAP only in computer labs. The entertaining chatter seems to keep me motivated…and I need this entertainment because editing a thesis and other essay crap is very, very depressing.

  53. Sam yes essay’s are very depressing. I think my teacher was nice and passed me because she saw that I was putting a bunch of effort into it. Hopefully your teacher is the same otherwise if you are having as much trouble as I did you might do as bad as I should have.