Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Practicum #7 - Jeff

I tried to get EndWar working again, but I was having the same server issues as before. Apparently it's been a big problem ever since the game came out. I'm a little disappointed because it looked like there was going be an an interesting multiplayer mode. Supposedly you choose to play as the United States, Europe, or Russia and fight for control over specific territories. There was also a bonus for new players if they decided to play for whatever the losing faction was when they signed up. I heard the multiplayer experience was similar to single player in that as players earned more points, they could spend it on upgrades for their units, but if their units were killed on the battlefield they would have to start over. The game is also played mostly through voice commands. I remember one time earlier this semester one of my friends was playing in an online match and I shouted into his microphone "WMD Alpha," which apparently was the command to nuke his own army.

In the time I wasn't playing EndWar I decided I had time to check out Hulu Plus on LIVE, and I have to say I'm not impressed. Months ago when Microsoft announced that it was increasing the subscription fee for Xbox LIVE, one of the ways it justified the hike was by citing the addition of Hulu Plus, implying that the LIVE subscription would cover the cost of Hulu. It was revealed later that users would have to have a Hulu Plus subscription to use the feature.

Xbox LIVE users are able to try Hulu Plus on the Xbox through Friday, which is how I am able to try it without a subscription. After logging into Hulu, downloading the Hulu Plus application for the Xbox, and linking my Xbox with my Hulu account, I tried to watch one of my favorite TV shows on Hulu, Archer. I was severely disappointed when I learned that Archer is only available to PC users! So when it comes to one of my favorite shows I either have the choice of watching it for free on my computer or paying not to be able to watch it on my Xbox. Obvious choice.

Playing around on the Xbox LIVE platform was a blast this semester. The assignment gave me a chance to try out a few games I have never played before and probably wouldn't have checked out otherwise. I'm also glad I discovered some of the lesser known features of LIVE, like the indie games section. I'll continue subscribing to LIVE, and am will look forward to future improvements to the service.

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