Sunday, September 18, 2011

X-Box LIVE Gold: Reconsidered, Rejected

Ever since I inducted Radiant Silvergun for the X-Box 360 into my Game Library, I have been seriously thinking about jumping back onto X-Box LIVE Gold. This is not necessarily to accommodate the online multiplayer element of that game (something that I know will be hardly playable if Ikaruga was any indication) rather, I felt that Microsoft should be rewarded for giving the 360 owners the ability to play this magnificent game. I was also made aware of the fact that Guardian Heroes, another great game from Treasure will be making its debut on the 360 later this year and this would be a game that must be played with others locally or online (the latter would be my only choice) but thankfully, rumor has it that this particular title may also be released on the PlayStation 3 eventually.

It's always good to be the exception from the norm... but not in this case.

Then, I was reminded of Gears of War 3 that will be released very, very soon. Some of my fondest LIVE Gold memories involve playing through the campaign mode for the previous Gears of War games online. The question then becomes this - Is LIVE Gold worth it just for GoW3 alone? The answer to that is of course quite clear. No, it isn't. I have to take things into perspective: I play on all of the current gaming platforms, the Personal Computer included. Why is it that I have to pay to play the online multiplayer portion of a game on the 360 when I wouldn't have been charged anything if I were to play the game on the other platforms. It just doesn't make any sense. Sure the PlayStation Network on the PlayStation 3 lacks the communication convenience offered by LIVE but there are ways around that and when you are connected with other players online in a game, there is truly no difference in regards to the actual multiplayer experience between the two consoles. Then, there's Steam, the superior gaming client on the PC that offers robust community connectivity and online options, provided to anyone who wishes to adopt it free of charge. Even without Steam, the online experience for PC gaming has always been free of constraints and unnecessary service fees. These things reminded me that there is absolutely no reason for me to get back into LIVE Gold. I now see that paying for the LIVE Gold subscription is like paying for the free basic Skype and as a bonus, you are no longer being locked out of the online multiplayer modes! There will never be enough exclusives to justify my return to LIVE Gold since I can always play bigger and better online games both on the PC and the PS3.

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