Red Ring of Death = flux capacitor?
Recently I got the privilege of seeing what a red ring of death was like first-hand. A longer string of expletives I have never uttered. At first I was distraught because I was in the thick of a delicious zombie game sandwich (Resident Evil 5/Fallout 3/Left 4 Dead). After staring blankly at the screen for the greater part of an hour and weeping like a child, I started weighing my options. I had the thing far too long to validate any warranty, and even if it still was within the time frame, I’d already voided said warranty a couple times over. I put it aside and tried to think of what would fill my waking hours.
From within a dusty drawer I heard a faint noise that I instantly recognized. My old friends all started clamoring for my attention as soon as they realized the great one had fallen. I never realized how much I had missed my systems until that moment. I spent the next few days playing everything; Contra, Double Dragon, Captain Skyhawk, Deja Vu, U.N. Squadron, Sim City, Out of this World, and so many more. To complete the feeling, the cords couldn’t reach the entire way back to the couch in my home so I plopped myself down in front of the TV cross-legged and gazed upwards with childlike awe. I may have gotten a few eye-rolls from my wife, but the trip down memory lane was well worth it. The death of my 360 had taken me back in time to my young gamer days just as well as any tricked out, time-travelling Delorean could have.
Another benefit was that I was able to finally take the time to play some other somewhat older titles that I had missed due to not having enough money to buy every game that I heard about or having no time because I have to for a living. I cracked out the PS2 and put in a borrowed copy of Shadow of the Colossus. I had a friend rave about if before but I never took to playing it. Later on another friend lent me it and yet again, it just sat around while I was dazzled by 1080P graphics and digital surround sound from newer titles.
It took only 5 minutes to get completely hooked. I beat the game within 2 days and immediately started attempting the time attacks. After playing games that had tons of action in between the major quests such as Fallout 3 and Oblivion, the simple steady pace of relaxing on a galloping horse with no fear of random attacks or degrading weapons and armor made for an experience that was gaming bliss. The juxtaposition of that alongside the epic music and staggering battles with the Colossi made the adrenaline pump and then gave you time to recover as you look for the next.
I was almost saddened when I learned how to fix the 360 myself. I knew that I was able to return to my games that I had been so devoted to previously, but I also realized that with my limited time and resources that I’d be falling back into my previous rut. After a little tinkering, a blood sacrifice, and a transmutation circle, I got the box back to working order and continued on my way. I may have moved on, but I will still take that hiccup as a reminder from the gaming gods of how far we’ve come and that the oldies are still goodies.