Don\'t worry, I have a PS3

After moving houses just a few short days ago, and with no internet to speak of, I was settling down to a nice relaxing week away from the daily buzz of the net to get some quality time with Beijing 2008, which Sega kindly sent me to review. However, it appears Microsoft had other plans. Read on for my full review of System Error – E 74.

Unlike the highly popular and successful Red Ring of Death or its sequel, Disc Read Error, System Error – E 74 (SEE74) is a surprisingly hard title to get hold of. To get yourself a copy, you need to have an older model Xbox 360 (1 or 2 weeks old should do) as well as a game you want to play. In my case, my review copy of Beijing 2008 and my Xbox Premium.

Simply insert the game you want to play into your Xbox and, with a bit of luck, nothing will happen and you get a single flashing red light and an error message. If this happens, congratulations, you’re now playing SEE74.

Red lights make me cry

The story crafted into SEE74 is one of mystery, sadness and dragons. An epic tale of a system error gone too far. Left along in an uncaring console to try to find itself in the ever changing and patching world. 74 began as just an idle error code, alone for months in hibernation as the console world changed around it.

The game starts as 74 is awoken by an unknown force. With nothing more than its message written in several languages, it is the player’s job to help 74 track down its fellow errors and solve the mystery of why it was awoken and why it was chosen over the others.

With several surprising plot twists and an ending sure to make even the toughest gamer well up, the story really is one of the finest examples of the power of video games as a story telling medium to date.

is 11 enough?

Graphically, SEE74 is a little on the disappointing side. Using simple text and only a few different fonts, the designers really did limit themselves. Displaying the message “System Error. Contact Xbox Customer Support” in 11 languages feels very standard for this generation and leaves a lot to be desired. The hardware accompaniment of a single, flashing red light is nice a touch and clearly a subtle reference to SEE74’s inspiration, RROD.

In-game soundtrack is again on the poor side. The loud internal fans do a good job of reminding the user where they are, but a little more would have been appreciated.

The gameplay feels very similar to RROD, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The game takes the classic “Ring customer support, give all your details, turn it off, turn it on, repeat”. However, there are a few differences experiences players will defiantly pick up on. Once you get to the later levels of customer support for example, it becomes apparent that your warranty will not cover 74 and you will have to pay to get it fixed.

The Customer Support AI is solid, if a little buggy from time to time leading to occasional frustration. You will also be asked for a lot of information which will cause you to have to switch between your phone and your inventory several times. The interface here could use a little more polish, but remains practical and doesn’t detract from your game

Not pictured; me crying

The story of little 74 is stunning and truly the games strongest point, however you will feel a little let down that the presentation is not up to the same level. The bugs with the AI are noticeable but bearable and although frustrating, won’t detract from the overall experience of the game.

With that in mind I would have to recommend this game as a rent, even with its top notch story, you probably won’t want to play it more than once.


  1. I Played this at my friends house last week…it was average, and after completing it it was a bit hard to go back and play the 10 other languages..

  2. Laughed De ballen uit mijn broek readin’ this review!! When I had the problem I could not always play with E74. Sometimes my console would boot up normally, giving me a curtain of curly sh*t on the screen wich stands in no comparison to the real E74 gameplay.. Man, do I miss those days….

    Oh, and MS fixed my 1.5 year old 360. It was produced in October 2005. They replaced the Motherboard and the DVD-drive.
    And the best part is; they did it all for free, without even asking when i bought the damn thing.

  3. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I wish I liked my console enough to care whether or not it worked.

  4. I just finished playing E74, which was quite a tale of woe and anger. Considering the $106 CDN that Microsoft charged me for this game, I don’t feel I got good value for my money. The streaks, lines and psychedelic colors that this caused over my other games, while amusing, were quite irritating. All in all, I completed E74 in about 2.5 weeks (thanks for “ground transport”… cheap ba****s). I just wish I could trade it in at EB Games to get some of my money back, but I’m just glad I don’t have to play anymore.


  5. I loved E74, though I finished it up a few months back, just after Assassins Creed came out. I though AC was awesome before, but after about an hour of playing and getting all trippy on me, so that I couldn’t see what the hell was going on, I realized that something great was going on. When I finally got my E74 message, I called microsoft right away to thank them. They were so happy I called (apparently, people don’t thank them enough) that they gave me a free faceplate and wireless controller. All they asked was to borrow my system for a week and a half and it was mine. I was a little upset that E74 wasn’t on it when I got it back, but they said that there policy clearly states that they are not responsible for games left in the drive. I was pretty miffed about that one, let me tell you. I haven’t been able to get a hold of E74 since then. Even so, I’m really looking forward to E75!

  6. Funny enough I just got this game, last night in fact. It must have been downloading in the background on market place. Unfortunately, my experience was rather poor as after saving the game and restarting, it no longer booted up into the game, but straight to the dashboard (I believe this is a setting somewhere). However, I’m quite sure I will have the problem resolved fairly soon and will be expecting to play E74 in no time!

  7. i had the same problem with a brand new disk and i just turned off my system and turned it back on and it worked just fine. But if u ever move ur game system and a game is in the system then u lost ur game… but the only way i know how to fix it is go to a cd store or game store that will buff it out for u and it’s just as new

  8. dude oh my man we have the same story i moved and i was waiting for internet to come and my b day came i bought cod4 and play byself and internet comes then 1 week late i getthe E74 that pretty sad..

  9. Just got my copy yesterday. Actually my girlfriend opened it before I got off work but thats ok. I’m gonna get into it hardcore later this afternoon.

  10. well well what a game, couldnt believe my luck, came home and my cousin had unrwapped this little present and started playing it for me, im so enthralled as i dont think my game will ever end. have allready paid over £80 to get the game “laser failure” and now im supposed to fork out yet more money on this latest installment of microsofts games E74 “the final chapter”. so thank you microsoft.

  11. All I can say is Wow! What a game! I thoroughly enjoyed 2 days of random, dazzling psychadelic light shows on top of whatever game I was playing. Then after a frantic bout of lightshows showing up every 5 minutes after restarting, suddenly I got a grand finale of a black screen with many languages saying “Congratulations! You won! System Error E74!”
    I talked to a wonderful Indian lady at Microsoft xbox support, and it seems that it’s now a multiplayer game, as she wanted me to send my xbox to her in Texas! I hope she enjoys the game as much as I did.

  12. My roommate opened my copy before I could even get the chance. He messed up the story line from the beginning and then saved it. It’s not exactly the type of game that you can create 2 accounts to either… It’s kind of a joint effort among the different profiles. Sucks for me. It’s like someone just came into my fable 2 world and killed everyone… that’s just not cool.

  13. Just got my copy! all in all its a pretty good game with a fantastic story line! definatly worth 10/10 i definatly recommend if you’re bored of the usual games. this game is for begginers and experts starting with a easy first level but leading to more challenging levels when you finally get to the customer support levels.
    although you most likely don’t want to play again after the first time as you can only get this game on rent and is £60 for a 3/5 week rent, but if you do complete the game you do win 1 year warranty and 1 month gold membership

  14. Just got the game this morning.

    Now Microsoft wants 99$ to fix it. It supposedly not covered under they 3 year warranty unlike the RROD game.

  15. Yes, I’ve been playing this game for five months as of now, it really gets better the longer you play, and how they integrate the hardware into the game play is great… I can’t seem to win though. Regardless of what I do, including taking apart and reassembling five times I just get this pretty little screen.

  16. i just started playing SEE74, by far it is the greatest game of my life, i am hoping i stay hooked on this game for months to come, I came across this title by playing TDM on cod 4 and my good friend decided to do a joke. He grabbed the AV cable jack on the 360, and said ” better in camera 1? or now camera two?” and switched the AV setting from Regular to HDTV, the entire system proceeded to shut down, he switched it back and turned it on, and i saw the most epic title of my life, E 74. I can’t wait to get deeper into the story its sure to unfold in insanely bloody fights.

  17. All right so apparently this happens when a game is inserted but I dont have a game in my disk drive and a message still comes up… Either Im missing out on a few things or is it a load of crap?

  18. Got a copy yesterday and I haven’t been able to put it down! Support wants $100 from me to progress past the initial SEE74 screen, but I just don’t want to pay it after putting thousands of dollars into their pockets over the last year. Best part of it all…warranty ran out 43 days ago! I did find a video on youtube where a guy actually fixes his in like 2 minutes. Xbox Support says not to do it becasue it voids all warranties, but guess what, warranty doesn’t cover it anyways! There are so many terms running through my head for those guys over at Microsoft about selling a product they know was faulty and then banking on the repairs as well. Anyhow, if anyone finds a solution, let us all know!

  19. I’m having that awesome game. But I’m some kind of retard that can’t play with it because I don’t know which controls to use.
    Sending it to MS tomorrow. Need help dealing with it.

  20. I talked to the Supervisor over their and got him to discount the repair fee to $24.75. I just told him that I was looking into the class action suit they have brewing right now and that I was aware that the problem is caused by overheating and their lack of efficient cooling systems and he got all apologetic and discounted it 75%. Just a tip for everyone.

  21. Unbelievable, so i got this game 54 days after my 1 year warranty ran out. (although i took out an extra year with the retailer). Having watched the intro movie at the beginning i was under the impression this game was a freebie, but alas, a little research and im lookin at a hefty price for this game. My only hope now is that my retailer will do me a huge favor and allow me this privilege at a discount!

  22. I just got my copy of SEE74 for the second time in a month (same console, never repaired). My system is about 15 months old. I must say the game is not very taxing on my RAM, or any system resources, it runs even easier than all of those cheesy arcade games I’ve seen but I can’t bring myself to play anything else.

    I figure if I purchase a new one and return this one, I’m pretty sure that the repair cost will go to the manufacturer, not the retailer.

    As much as I love SEE74 I need to find a way to break the addiction.

  23. i found out why E-74 does what it does. Its a chip around where the AV plug goes in. Try taking the AV plug out of your 360 and starting ur 360. I bet no red light shows up. But once you plug that Av in, it goes E-74. Problem discovered.

  24. I sent mine back twice to Microsoft(didn’t get the extended warranty with FS)…I gave up on the 3rd time of getting the 3 red lights around and fixed it myself….I used the video guides from and as it states – it’ due to overheating . I highly recommend just fixing it yourself – it was quite easy…I waited 4 weeks each time to get my xbox back from Microsoft each time. That was time well wasted….BILL GATES I WANT MY TIME BACK!!

  25. Go to Wal-Mart. Buy a new xbox. Swap the internals from your xbox into the new one you just bought. Return to Wal-Mart as defective. Wait for next error.

  26. dude i just got the see74 today its amazing i plan on thanking microsoft tomorrow about this amazing game and im going to see if i can get it for free too omg its amazing and my xbox is about 2 years old too thank you xbox so much

  27. just got SEE74 bought my 360 Elight in July and now it goes…i have no ring when the AV cables arent pluged in so thats definitely the problem….im pretty pissed..Jan01/08 was when my xbox was made…hopefully i get the new motherboard and DVD player when they repair it…Fu*king bullsh!t

  28. the E74 problem isnt caused by anyone being hard with their xbox but due to over heating……xbox decided to put a small heat sink in the xbox and thats causing allll the problems..fucking assholes

  29. 0 JORGE JHONATAN dijo hace 3 minutos:
    porqueria de microsoft, deveriamos demandarla todos los que hemos tenido el horroroso problema de las tres luces rojas, porque hacen cosas chafas, acaso nosotros no pagamos completo cuando las compramos??… demandemosla………..
    hoy me salio ese horroroso error E 47

  30. Microsoft filth, deveriamos to demand it all that we have had the horrifying problem of the three red lights, because we make things chafas, perhaps we did not pay complete we bought when them? … demandemosla ………..
    today me salio that horrifying error and 47

  31. you dumb asses, i work for microsoft and ha ha nasa is correct. All it is is your AV cables or the port it goes in it will either cause E-74 or the infamouse RED RING OF DEATH. Really all you need to do is try another AV cord and if that dont work then yeah…. unfortunatly you are kinda fucked in the ass really really hard because for some reason we charge about $100 easy for repairs -_- fuck i hate my job.

    • If that’s the case, then why does your website and microsoft customer support suggest we send it back. >.> Not saying your wrong because I know jack about electronics but it sure is messed up if you guys say there is no need to stay on the line if you see 3 red rings or an e-74 message. That is sorta messed up if it’s that simple to fix and yall are suggesting people send them in and spend ‘$100 easy’ to fix it. Wow, thank you microsoft. Oh, and I did change my AV cord and still nothing. So don’t be such a jerk and call everyone a dumbass and suggest how to fix it before you start calling people stupid. >.>

  32. Just go to the xbox support page and navigate your way to the repairs page.

    Once there, you will see that they extended the warrantee for the E74 error from 1 to 3 years. That means the fix is free for any un-modded console with a logged E74 error.

    You're welcome!

  33. I am one lucky guy to get de E74. And I must say it's awesome! I play it for about a week. Great graphics, great gameplay. Thanks microsoft for givin us the E74. It's a little bit expensive but it's worth it. Every single word of it is pure gold. Thank you again, bill gates. u r great!

  34. Oh wow! E 74 has to be the best game I have ever had! Before I decided I was tired of playing for the night, my screen had a lot of very pretty colors on it. It was very fun to watch the heartbeat sensors on CODMW2! The blue pulsation was wonderful! Of! Did I mention the fact that those little black lines were the greatest of all! They were best to play on DeRail and SubBase where everything was white so you could see just perfectly! >.> (not) Then, I decided to turn off my Xbox for the night but then wanted to play some more. Turn it on and WALA! I have a new game! Welcome to my Xbox E 74, thank you for stopping by. >.>

  35. i took mine apart and i noticed it had a small chunk of the chip cracked and peeled up this is most likely the problem cuz my little brother threw it across the room thus giving me the cursed e74