Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Beast is back! ....Sort of...

Grandma's XBox 360 came back from repair just before last weekend. Well, not really her 360. It's a replacement unit with an April 2007 manufacture date and a new serial number. Apparently The Beast was beyond repair. Microsoft treated Grandma well throughout the whole ordeal; but there is still a DRM issue we're trying to get corrected (They are walking her through the process of getting all 47 of Grandma's XBLA games to work correctly on the other profiles on the machine.)

She's been playing Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters on the PSP along with Oblivion (again) on the PS3, and now that she has a 360 again, she's become somewhat of a Catan addict.

The night before the 360 arrived, Grandma had checked the UPS tracking number forwarded to her by the Microsoft repair system... thing.. and confirmed that it was scheduled to arrive sometime between 8am and 7pm. Someone would have to sign for the package, otherwise it would go back to some pickup center in Northeast Ohio. Grandma is extremely hard of hearing, and I'm not much help if I'm downstairs, and neither one of us really entertained the idea of positioning a chair next to the front door and staring out at the driveway for 11 hours like some crazed redneck ready to take potshots at a census pollster with a rifle.

So we devised a better solution:

Even after our brilliant and artistic plan went into effect, we were both paranoid for the rest of the day; jumping up to the front door at the slightest of sounds. The collective panic was never denied, all it took was one of us to say "did you hear something?" and we would both bolt to the door with our faces scrunched together by the tiny window to get a better view of the front porch. It would have been funny if it wasn't so god damn sad.

When the unit came, I happened to be the one closest to the door so I signed for it, brought it into the game room and took a picture of the box. Grandma looked over and yelled at me for not immediately telling her of it's arrival.

"Goddammit!" she said. "I've been waiting for how long for the fucking thing and you don't tell me because you want a picture of the goddamn box! I would have let you take a picture if you wanted before I opened it. Christ!"

So she opened the box.

It was a similar two-foam-inserts and a static bag set up as when we sent hers out to the repair center, plus a letter apologizing for the inconvenience and instruction on how to hook everything back together.

After we snapped the HardDrive to the new unit and plugged in the Component, Audio, and Power Supply cables, we fired it up and fucking prayed. We're not religious people by any means, but we're not typically lucky in such situations either. The possibility of getting the wrong unit back was something that crossed our minds simultaneously; just at that moment when the ring of light started pulsating and working it's magic.

It worked beautifully.

There was a brief setup for transferring her XBox Live Account and Gamertag to the new machine so the XBLA games would work, and everything was right again.


Mom is the kind of causal gamer that craves Luxor 2 and Zuma, and her profile on Grandma's 360 was chock full of achievements in such games. The repair came back with a card good for a month of XBox Live, and Grandma mentioned in an email to Evan that she would probably give the card to Mom so she could compete a bit and add her scores to the leaderboards. Evan replied back that he had a code for a year of XBox Live if she wanted it, and it was Mom who answered back "Thank you thank you thank you YES!!!"

Evan has always been cool like that.

But it was after Mom had created an XBL account (Gamertag "LSainte" if you want to send her a friend request; she's kind of lonely at the moment in the gaming world) that she and I realized that all the XBLA games for any profile other than OGHC now reverted to the trial versions of the game.

It's a known DRM issue, Mike from Microsoft is working with Grandma now to correct it, and there is even a "download again" feature in the marketplace for such things, it's just a matter of us getting it to work (it hasn't yet.)

The new games Grandma has downloaded since the repair, such as Catan and Double Dragon, work on all profiles, but the older ones are in limbo.

We'll update you as soon as we find a fix, I know a few of you have gone through similar things with your 360's.


Our next post is going to be about Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters for the PSP. I'll try and get some video, but it's different for handhelds; a little more complicated. Grandma is trying to teach me how to play Catan, and we're both trying out some evil characters in Oblivion just for the hell of it. As it is now, Grandma is looking for something to really sink her tooth into after she's done with Ratchet and Clank.

Any ideas? What are you playing right now? It can be for any system; Grandma just needs some recommendations.

Also, I have to share this one with you guys: We were at Wendy's one day for lunch and noticed they had those weird little Wii toys and figures so Grandma and I decided that if they had a cool one that day, we'd just fucking buy the thing to accent her Nintendo Wii shrine.

It turns out they did have the Mario Ridin' a Shell toy, so we asked the girl how much they were.

Wendy's Girl - "You can't buy them."
Grandma - "What? Why not?"
Wendy's Girl - "You have to order the kid's meal."
Grandma - "..."
Me - "Well how much is the kid's meal? I'll have one of them."
Wendy's Girl - "Umm... which one do you want?"
Me - "I don't care. Hamburger. Whichever one will give us Mario."

She laughed for a really long time.

Game on!


  • At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Kyle said…

    I remember when they had Rayman toys at wendys or something. I never got a chance to get one and I really wanted one. Anyway, you should get Ninja Gaiden Sigma. That's next on my list after I get MLB 07 for my birthday (just a possibility).

  • At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    glad to have you back!

    saw you online playing Catan bt it kicked me out of the game.

  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Jessica & Blair said…

    We just grabbed Mario Party for the Wii and it's fun.

    Also, Tomb Raider Anniversary comes out next week and is supposed to be sick on the PS3

  • At 4:20 PM, Anonymous briggs said…

    Yeah, I plan on picking up Tomb Raider Anniversary. Right now, I am playing Odin Sphere, on PS2, a game Grandma would probably like. I am playing Dawn of Mana, too, but it is not really that good. Have her give Portable Ops a try on the PSP, and maybe Crackdown on the 360, I don't think she has played that yet.

    I am waiting for Call of Juarez and the Darkness, Shadowrun is mighty fun. Metroid Prime 3 comes out August 20, so I am really just waiting for that, Bioshock and Blue Dragon.

  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger Tom said…

    Gotta love DRM hindering PAYING CUSTOMERS!

    Keep up the good work Microsoft!

  • At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Grandma and Timothy Can u guys do a guitar hero 2 video

  • At 3:31 AM, Anonymous pi! said…

    "we're both trying out some evil characters in Oblivion just for the hell of it."
    Try the quests to be the Rogue guilmaster (speak to a guy at midnight in capital docks)
    Or kill someone without any reason. Should activate a quest which may let you enter the "murderers" guild. ^^

  • At 4:53 AM, Anonymous Jen (dontgiveahoot) said…

    Yay! The return of the Beast! I should have known there'd be a post about it because earlier today I sent you a letter saying that I hoped you'd get it back before my letter arrives there. Kinda figures.
    I'm sorry that LSainte's stuff isn't on the new Beast - it always sucks so bad to lose all of your achievements, particularly when you've put in so many hard hours on it.
    Can't wait to hear what Barb has to say about the PSP Ratchet and Clank! Also, love the little Mario figure. Wendy's doesn't sell those in Australia, which is a bit of a shame.
    Game on!

  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger Xtian said…

    I feel your pain when it comes to receiving packages from UPS, as a I live in an apartment building and there is no buzzer outside! All day long I'm cramming my head out my window trying to see a UPS truck & keep the TV on low in fear that I will have just missed my package!

    Glad you got it fine and it's working... so far!! :P

  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger Tommie said…

    LSainte, huh. I'll remember that, but just to be fair my Gamertag is Spectre Sigma. I only got 4 people on my friend list so I'm always looking for people to game with.

    Great to hear that Grandma got her 360 back, good luck with getting all your XBLA games back

  • At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    MLB07 is nice. Mario Party is coming out soon for the Wii, I think. You guys would have a ball with that one.

  • At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Blue said…

    HOORAY! Very glad to know the 360 is back and working - I'd say the Beast has returned, it just as a new robot body ::wink:: That's freaking fantastic - very awesome to know that your stuff was in such good hands.

    Ooh, if there's one game I have to recommend to you - that I've got actual time to play (aside from Puzzle Quest, which Josiah keeps stealing!) - is Odin Sphere. It gets hard as hell - and quickly - but my god, it's a fun game, and almost preposterously beautiful. The developer, Vanillaware, has another game coming out soon called Grim Grimoire that's more of a side-scrolling RTS (seriously. Madness!), but looks to have a similar art style, and hopefully just as intriguing of gameplay. Wish I could send you a copy - it's a really excellent game ::smile::

    Must run - but as always, take care, be well, and GAME ON! ::cheer:: ::hug::


  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Mreechan said…

    The Beast is back! Hurrah! We just got a 360 ourselves, a (very early) Christmas present (and probably birthday, too). I must suggest Dead Rising. It's so fulfilling to beat zombies to death with giant teddy bears.

  • At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you like killing stuff, Dead Rising and Rainbow six vegas are possiably some of the best games I've played in awhile.

  • At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Could you please post what happens with the issue in regards to the XBLA games and the other profiles? I went through the same process and Microsoft told me there was nothing they could do. I'd like to hear what they do for you guys when you've got a little more clout than the regular consumer. Thanks!

  • At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've never had to use the process myself, but from what I've heard: if you complain enough, Microsoft will credit you sufficient points to re-purchase your Live Arcade games. They can look at your purchase history and confirm which arcade titles you've bought, so they will know how many points they owe you.

    From the way the Penny Arcade forum guys make it sound, this is an easy thing for a customer service person to grant. I don't know if that's true or not because I haven't seen it happen personally, but it sounds like you should just keep calling back and keep making a fuss until they give you the points from your previous purchases.

    (I've then heard people say they will use those points to buy other things instead of repurchasing their previous arcade games, but I don't know what happens to people when they do that. I've only heard people talking about doing it.)

    --Michael Spencer

  • At 11:18 PM, Blogger pika23 said…

    Well...i have one idea...does grandma have an account at Pogo.com? its that site from EA where you play games for tokens and money....they have a game out for the DS called Pogo Island, its 5 of the most popular pogo.com games and when you play you can transfer your tokens via wifi...to your online pogo account...

    if you want the really good version of the site, its 39.95 a year...lots of fun...maybe your mom would like it.

    I've also heard of nothing but good things about Planet Puzzle Leauge. Its like teteris attack with wifi and stuff...for the ds.

    Big Brain Academy Wii Degree is coming i think this Tuesday? I forget...

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger TenaciousAssassin said…

    I'm curious... Is grandma looking forward to Bioshock? Or even Assassin's Creed? Or maybe even GTA IV?

  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger admin said…

  • At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Jackie said…

    I just love your Grandma. :-)

    Right now Im playing GH2.
    Did Grandma give up on that?

    In the arcade Im sooooo frustrated over Soltrio Solitaire. I have all the badges but 3. And that darn Archway game is KILLING ME!!!

  • At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well... my friend has a PSP and he's playing the godfather on it and it looks neat. The only thing is there is no free roam or car driving but it's still good.

  • At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad to her grandma got her xbox 360 back, and that it is working. I hope shes enjoying it as much as im enjoying my ps3 =). And i read in a previous blog that she has a ps3, if so could u ask her if she wants a new ps3 friend? I can add her online id and we can kill whoever gets in our way online =p. If she doesnt mind could u send me an email including her online id? my id is Assassin8er, and my email is gamefreak9593@hotmail.com.

    Long video games! =p

  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger Müzik Dinle said…

    supper site very good thanks
    müzik dinle mp3müzik dinle

  • At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh my fucking god! Free Wii points!


  • At 4:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello my name is Jamie I live in the U.K and am a huge fan of yours.Please may you add me to xbox live my gametag is ryuk115 and am glad you got your xbox 360 back I had to sent my away due to it breaking my games I had to wait over 4 weeks to get it back.


  • At 12:09 PM, Anonymous viagra online said…

    at the beginning this excellent console was a piece of junk, and now is back more powerful than ever, you know I don't really trust in Microsoft products but with this one I regret all my words.

  • At 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    From the when Buy Diablo 3 items they experienced D3 Gold Rayman toys at wendys or something. My spouse and i certainly not acquired the chance to get one i D3 ITEms really wanted one particular. Regardless, you should get Ninja Gaiden Sigma.


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