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Hands on Xbox 360 Impressions

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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Chris Bardon

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Posted November 02 2005 - 02:21 PM

So I was down at Microsoft last week for an event, and at one of the receptions there happened to be a bunch of Xbox 360s set up, so I managed to get some hands on time with the hardware and a couple of different games. I was definitely impressed with the 42" Hi-Def LCD screen & DD system that they were running on in the one lounge, but that's a little beside the point of the games themselves.

I have to say though that nothing really felt quite "next gen" about the whole thing. For every other generation, NES to Xbox, I remember being wowed by something, from the scope of Super Mario Bros on the NES, to realizing that nothing was moving in Munch's oddysee because the cutscene was over and it still looked that damn good. This time though, I don't know-there just seemed to be something missing. Perhaps it was just the abbreviated demos, but nothing really seemed to be a quantum leap forward-either in design or presentation.

As for the games themselves, Kameo definitely seems to have potential, but it seemed like a pretty basic platform game with some transformation skills. I think the game as a whole will play out well, but, like Munch, it doesn't lend itself to a demo. Call of Duty 2 was a pretty generic FPS, and while it looked nice, didn't seem in the 10 minutes or so that I played it to do much that was new. King Kong also looked good, and seemed to have more to it than I thought. Spent most of the time with that one just trying to figure out what you could do to get away from a dinosaur (then I found the pile of spears).

The controllers aren't bad, but being a fan of the big Xbox controller, I'm a little biased. Found out that I'm not alone though-most of the MS people there perferred them as well (internally, they're referred to as "The Duke").

The most impressive new feature was the level of live integration that they seem to have, and the way that the gamer profile and score system will work. The fact that everything you do increases your overall ranking is definitely a plus. Still, nothing that I saw changed my mind about waiting for the inevitable price drop next year (as in, I have to have it NOW). I definitely want to come back to some of these games, but I can wait (I still haven't finished with this generation's games). Strangely, Perfect Dark was conspicuously absent from the demo discs...
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#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Eric Samonte

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Posted November 03 2005 - 12:06 PM

Well I was a Best Buy and had my "hands on" experience with an Xbox 360. Not to sound like a fanboy but I was quite impressed with the playable demo of COD2. I was so taken in by the graphics that I was getting shot most of the time and not paying attention to the enemies around. It was like playing inside a movie.
Yes, I am getting one this Thanksgiving, the $399 bundle along with COD2. This will be my birthday gift for myself since I didn't get one last Oct....'nuff said.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Scott_lb

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Posted November 03 2005 - 12:35 PM

Count me in the "sort of impressed" category. I thought the environments of Call of Duty 2 and King Kong looked great, however, I thought that the character models didn't look much different from current Xbox standards. I realize that launch software is not indicative of any system's true capabilities. I guess I was just expecting more (not that it looked bad!). Nonetheless, I'll be getting one at launch (provided I can get my mitts on one in the first place), along with Project Gotham Racing 3, Perfect Dark Zero, and either Call of Duty 2 or Quake 4.
"My name is El Nino which in spanish means.... The Nino!" - Chris Farley

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Mark Shannon

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Posted November 03 2005 - 03:13 PM

Chris, were you at the MS building on Mississauga Road? If so, it's a pity I didn't know about that event. I would have loved to have seen it.

I still can't wait for the system to release though.

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Chris Bardon

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Posted November 04 2005 - 03:00 AM

Nope, this was actually something in Redmond that was completely unrelated to Xbox. They just happen to have some demo lounges in the building with the company store.
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