Archive for the ‘xbox360’ Category

MAFIA II 24

Image by bigdigo via Flickr

I had been eagerly anticipating the release of the game Mafia II, and the day it finally came out was almost like Christmas had come early. I sat out on the porch, just waiting for the friendly neighborhood UPS man to come pulling up in his giant brown truck. Then, when he pulled up, I ran out to meet him, and grabbed the package out of his hand and practically started ripping into it right there.

No, I am not a fan of the Mafia game franchise. In fact, the original Mafia game I completely despised. The sequel though? It called out to me, and despite my dislike for the original, I had to get it.

So, enough about waiting on the game right? I am going to skip past the bit where I run in, stick the game into my console and all that. I am going to get right to the meat of this post. The Review of the game.

When I began playing Mafia II, I found the controls fairly confusing, however by the time I finished the tutorial level I was quite intimate with the controls. In fact, it felt to me like I had mastered it. In this regard, the games tutorial did exactly what it’s intended to do. In fact, it excels at tutoring you on the games basics. Most games give you a quick rundown, and then throw you into some crazy situation and expect you to be an expert and the control system. Not so with Mafia II! In fact, you have plenty of time even after the tutorial to get into the swing of things, and by the time you find yourself in the thick of things, you will be more than capable of handling the situation.

The thing I found most impressive, even more impressive than the tutorial was the graphics! The graphics were astounding! Combine those graphics with the level of detail in the game? What do you have? If you answered a masterpiece, I will accept that! However, what I was going for was a Lifelike experience. The city you play in is like a living, breathing city! The songs match the time period, and realistic physics add to the realism!

On top of all that, the game has plenty of boobage! You can collect vintage girlie magazines hidden throughout the game, and when you find one, you can take a look at the centerfold. Remember, this game is Mature! Obviously it shouldn’t be played by the young uns. It obviously wasn’t intended to be played by them, so you shouldn’t be getting it for your kid.

I won’t lie to you, while I found this game thrilling, gorgeous and an exceptional game, it wasn’t perfect. In fact, it was heavily flawed! You have heard the Pro’s, Now hear the Cons.

One of the things I like about games, especially Xbox 360 games, is the online playability. Games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption both provide fun online gaming distractions. So, I assumed that Mafia II would provide a similar online gaming experience. I however was disappointed. Was the online experience equal to the other previously mentioned games? No! Not only was it not equal, it was in fact non-existent! This bothered me, since in this day and age of gaming, online playability is pretty much a given! All game releases pretty much have some for of online playability, even if it’s poorly done.

So, there was that! The Con’s do continue as well.

The game is short. I mean really short! Insanely short. I finished the game in 2 days, and I wasn’t even playing it non-stop. I firmly believe that If I put my usual gaming time into this game, I would have finished it in one day. I am sorry, but that is just not acceptable! Maybe back in the day of the PS2 and the original Xbox, but now a days? That isn’t going to fly! As gamers we expect longer, enjoyable games. We realise games were shorter in the past. However, games have grown longer this generation, and it’s become expected! So, when a game like Mafia II provides a game this short, it’s a disappointment!

Lastly, the game has been advertising upcoming DLC even before the game was released. Hell, on the PS3, the game had DLC out and available on the day of release. This pisses me off! Why? Because, the game was insanely short, I feel that in terms of game content, I was ripped off! The lack of content wasn’t due to the fact that they simply had run out of ideas and story to take the game. It seems to me, that they were making the DLC while they were making the game. If that’s the case, then they clearly had a direction they could have taken the game. Instead, they decide to make the game tiny, and sell fans of the game more content. Milk their fans out of as much money as possible to fill their pockets.

So what’s the bottom line on Mafia II? Rent it. Sure, the games great! It’s a blast to play, but with their being no online play, the replayability pretty much doesn’t exist. To top it off, it’s so short you will probably finish it in your rental period. So, rent it, and if you did like it as much as I did, wait a few months and buy it used, or wait for it to hit the bargain bin.

Xbox Kinect

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Gaming, xbox360
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Microsoft unveiled their newly renamed Kinect system at this years E3, and I admit that I don’t  know a whole lot about it,but I have done some digging around the internet to get some information, and from what I can tell, it’s not all that impressive!

What the whole thing seems like to me, is basically a glorified Wii control system! Granted, unlike the Wii the kinect doesn’t use any form of hand held controller, but still! A glorified Wii! That’s what annoys me!

Here’s the thing! If I wanted a Wii, I would have bought a wii. It’s that simple. See, I am a busy person, and I don’t have a whole lot of free time to spend gaming. In fact, the only time I game is the few hours I have were I can stop, rest and relax and enjoy a good gaming experience. Now, considering I play these games when I am wanting to relax, I think it might defeat the purpose if I am having to be jumping around and swinging my arms like a mad man. That does NOT sound relaxing!

Now, I am hoping most games don’t use this as a feature, and the ones that do, I hope will have it as optional, because as I said before; If I wanted a Wii, I would have bought a Wii. So, depending on how many games start using this Kinect feature, I may end up finding myself switching over to the PS3 as the console of choice. We shall see.

Alan Wake review

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Gaming, xbox360

As I mentioned a few entries ago, I have been playing the xbox 360 game; “Alan Wake”. Well, the other day I completed the game, and am now ready to give a full-blown review. So, hold onto your hats, cause away I go!

As I mentioned in my first impression entry, the game was fair but slightly ruined by poor controls. However, I do want to clarify now that, while the controls did take a bit of getting used to, once you were used to them, they were quite easy and comfortable, and to be honest, I can’t imagine playing the game any other way. So, the controls were great, graphics and sound was superb, the acting was wonderful and the story was enjoyable. Overall I would have to say Alan Wake was a pleasurable experience.

Although, pleasurable as it might be, it was far from perfect! I’ve given you the pluses, now it’s time for the negatives.

To begin with, the game felt like a long playable commercial for energizer and Verizon. I think I saw “Energizer” more times than I saw and heard the name “Alan Wake”. Perhaps they should have just called the game “And going…and going…”? I am seriously surprised that at some point the energizer bunny didn’t come beating his drum across the screen.

Next, the game is way too short! The game is divided into 6 “Episodes” which is basically 6 levels. each episode can be finished anywhere between 1 to 2 hours, depending on how hard-core you are playing and how throughly you are investigating the locals. However, what this means is, you could in theory beat the game in about 7 or 8 hours. Now, normally that’s not a huge thing, since most games feature an Online play mode, however Alan Wake doesn’t offer any online play. Your gaming experience is just those 6 episodes. Although more “Episodes” will be arriving soon in the form of downloadable content(More on this later)

Another thing I dislike about the game, is that many of the “Action” segments take place in the woods. Now during the first 2 “Episodes”, that was kind of cool! The woods are a scary, and creepy and offer plenty of places for monsters to hide. After awhile though? Come on! It gets old! There’s only so much running around trees a person can do before they start to lose interest! Once they get bored of the same repeating settings, then they are going to start getting bored of the game!

The next negative? Well, that would be the ending! Now, I am not going to include any spoilers for anyone, but what I am going to say is that the ending is lame. It’s one of the worst game endings ever. It doesn’t even seem like an ending at all really! There’s so much just left hanging and in the air, and what little excuse of an ending there is just leaves you scratching your head dumbfounded.

Now, granted! Maybe the ending wasn’t really an ending, but instead left open to leave room for the downloadable content. Maybe the “Huh?! Factor” will be resolved with the coming episodes. Possibly. However, I feel that it’s kind of a rip off. Like they sent out an unfinished product, expecting you to pay the amount that one would pay for a full length game, and instead they receive an unfinished game, and a code to get the next episode free, however the second DLC you are of course expected to buy. In essence, you have to pay AGAIN to finish the storyline that SHOULD have been finished in the final product! It’s ridiculous! It’s like they are trying to milk you out of more money than their game title is actually worth.

Yes, I know other companies have DLC as well, and to be honest, some of them I think are ridiculous, for instance the modern warfare DLC map package.However, some companies like Rockstar actually provide QUALITY DLC items! For instance Grand Theft Auto IV actually finished! It had an ending, then they released 2 other DLC packs that contained whole new storylines, that were connected to the first, but could be played separately and enjoyed and felt that you had a quality gaming experience with an actual ending.

Would I recommend the game? I would recommend renting it. Like I said, it’s a pleasurable game, but it’s also a quick game! You probably will finish it during a rental period and most likely won’t have a need to replay it since there’s no real online play to extend the replay value.

There’s a game for the xbox 360 called battlefield 1943. It’s an online war shooter, and is available in the Xbox marketplace in their arcade section. Now, to begin with I want to say this game is a bit expensive compard to other arcade titles. However the graphics are great, the fun factor is superb and it’s exciting! Great way to kill a few mins or a few hours! Taking all that into consideration, it would be totally worth the cost.

Don’t go spending your MS Points yet though, because there’s a downside, and it’s a big one! It’s the lag! It’s insane! In fact, the lag makes the game nearly unplayable. When the game first came out, the lag was fine! So, naturally I bought it. The lag was fine for a few weeks too, I enjoyed the game, was happy with my purchase. Then the lag hit! It started about 4 months ago, and it’s a common problem, look it up online.

The lag is so bad in fact, that it makes the game almost useless! It’s practically unplayable and the purchase of the game was a waste of money. Honestly, I feel Microsoft should remove it from the marketplace until whoever is hosting the servers gets their act together and gets the lag taken care of.

Bottom line, stay FAR away from this game. Its a great game, ruined by poor servers.

Since I recently finished playing Red Dead Redemption, I decided to pop in Alan Wake and give it a play through. I am nowhere near finished with it, so this is just my first impressions of the game.

At first glance the game is gorgeous, with graphics are gorgeous and the acting isn’t half bad! The basic idea of the game is that you play Alan Wake, a writer who happens to be on vacation. During this vacation his wife is kidnapped and to top it off, monsters are popping up, that seems to be based on a manuscript that he doesn’t even remember writing!

The game is basically a survival horror game and is heavily inspired by television shows. You know, those serial shows that are all over the place right now, especially on the CW on ABC? So, yea! It’s like you are playing one of those. The game is even split up into episodes, complete with the “Previously on Alan Wake” at the beginning of each episode.

The graphics are superb, the acting is good, the idea is top notch! Hell, I even like the game being split into episodes! So, perfect game right? Wrong! As great as all these aspects are the game is just poorly executed! The controls are bad, the game can be almost frustrating enough to make you want to yank your hair out by the roots.

I really want to like this game! From what I have played so far, other that poor execution and bad controls the game is delight to play. I have even found myself screaming like a little sissy girl on a few occasions.

Perhaps everything will work it’s self out in the end, As I said I am not very far into the game. Only episode 3 as a matter of fact, and while I am unsure of how many episodes exist in the game, I am fairly certain it’s more than 3!

There’s currently two big name titles out on your Xbox 360 console fighting for your gaming dollar. Those two games of course are Red Dead Redemption and Alan Wake. If you are into gaming, I’m sure you have heard of them. The choice, the choice, the choices. Which one to get? Is it right for you?

The first thing to realise is that these are two VASTLY different games. I don’t mean because of the era that the games take place, but also their genre! This means you will need to actually do a little searching and looking into the game titles and make an educated decision.

As for me, well I am horrible at choices, and ended up doing something I shouldn’t have done, because I told myself not to do that ever again. What I did, was order BOTH game titles. Neither has arrived, but are both in transit. This means, within a few days I will be stuck with my next choice, which to play first!

Stay tuned to my blog for my first impressions on the games, and later on more detailed reviews.

Brighter Days

Posted: April 30, 2010 in Gaming, xbox360
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A few days ago, I mentioned how my Xbox 360 took a dump on me, and then mentioned how this left me with a few options. Get a different console, or plunk down the cash for yet another 360 machine. I pondered and pondered, and tried to weigh the options to the best of my ability, then a thought crossed my mind! Why not put up a poll on my blog, and let my readers decide?!

I came very close to actually posting this poll by the way. I had it all written out, with 4 options. “Get a PS3!” “Stick with the devil you know. Go 360!” “Vote for the power of Wii!” and last but not least “None! Get a new hobby, like reading!”. I almost clicked the post button, then my head started doing that weird thing it does sometimes. You know, thinking.

So I thought, maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to post the poll! Why’s that you ask? Well, the answer is simple. You might vote for the ps3 or the Wii! It hit me right then and there, how bad that would be, since in my opinion the Wii and the PS3 suck!

Let me re-phrase that before you fanboys start jumping down my throat. Those consoles suck for ME. I mean they are great systems! Just not for me, if that makes sense. The Wii is a great family machine, with unique and novel controls. The PS3 is a powerhouse. A sheer monster in the realm of gaming consoles. It’s like one of the best Blu-ray players on the market, it’s powerful and the last time I looked its online service was free, though im not sure if it’s STILL free.

However for me, the way to go was clearly the 360 again. Why is that? Well, because I own almost every 360 game out. It would be insane to just stuff em in a box, and rebuild my game collection from scratch on another console. Thought the PS3 was really tempting, and if it had more exclusive titles that were interesting to me, I probably would have went with it. However, as great as Resistance, Infamous and Uncharted 2 is, they just aren’t appealing to me!

So, I stuck with the devil I know. The xbox 360. It’s a good system, despite what hardcore ps3 fans claim. It’s such a good system, that when presented with the chance to go with a ps3, wii or 360…I made the same choice I made the first time I bought one, and the same choice I would most likely make again if it ever came down to it.