So, we (I) expect a full report. When do you plan on getting the HD pack? I'd love to know what Halo looks like with this connection.
------------------ :My teacher tells me beauty is on the inside.
:That's just something ugly people say.
. Damn cool, Camp. Take your time. I want a full report on everything, down to the bloody packaging. I know, I'm not getting one for a while, but I AM getting one, so tell everything!
" ... Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much ..."
If you have the ability to, maybe you could take some pictures and post them here also. If not, I hope you can provide the rest of us waiting for the 15th some indepth reviews.
ICQ# - 119869807
How about some random observations?
We've all seen the huge box by now. Today was the first time I held anything more than an empty Xbox package.
This thing weighs as much as a low-end receiver.
I still don't know why the box has both English and French on it. Why French?
The Xbox itself is covered in a protective plastic you have to peel off...sort of like the stuff they use to protect screens on PDA's (and I think the GBA comes with one).
Lots of styrofoam.
What you get:
The standard A/V connector is gold plated. Nice touch. Unfortunately, I'm stuck using these composite cables for now. The HD pack hasn't arrived yet.
The controller cable is braided black and green wires. I had seen pre-production pictures of this cable but thought it was only for the prototype. Glad they did something more creative than plain black wires.
One other interesting thing about the controller cable: The "plug" portion of the cable can be disconnected from the rest of the cable. I couldn't figure what this was for so I consulted the manual. Aparently this is the "inline release" that breaks away when tugged on so the console doesn't smash on the floor.
The Xbox unit:
As stated in previous posts it feels very solid and sturdy. In case you're wondering nothing happens when you shake it. (?)
I have said many times how I liked the Xbox controller. It is large but fits my hands very nicely. I have, however, found one problem already: After 3 hours of playing the index and middle fingers of my left hand are a bit sore. These fingers naturally find their way underneath the controller, actually supporting it in your hand. I just found that the shape of the underside of the controller forces these fingers into an unnatural position that will take some time to get used to. I kept finding myself adjusting my grip in the middle of a firefight. It's fine playing for 15 minutes on a kiosk but extended play times are gonna suck.
Really though, I did skim through it. It's very brief...not at all like the PS2 manual.
Xbox has a virtual light show thingie!!! It's a pretty good one too. No console since 3DO has done this quite right (well, JagCD had a great one but who has a JagCD?). I couldn't find any options to change to a new visualization so I think there is only one option.
I did rip one song from CD. I don't think I'll be doing this very often as it took about 90 seconds to rip a single 3 minute song. It sounded fine.
Navigation (without a game in drive):
The green on black menu screens look nice. Even better is the animation and sound when you make a selection. It's all very "in your face" quick animation. Every so often there is a muffled sound of voices. It kind of reminds me of the probe droids in Empire Strikes Back. I'll pay more attention next time to see if it's really voices or just sounds.
The memory management screen is pretty basic. They measure the hard drive in "blocks". I had 50,000 blocks available. That's how many PS2 memory cards??
The clock was defaulted to 11/15/2001. I was almost afraid the thing would explode or something if I typed in 11/08/01. Luckily all was well.
Audio options are simply: Mono, Stereo, & Dolby Surround. Nothing mentioned about DD.
Video options are: Letterbox, Widescree, & Normal.
The manual has no information about any of these settings.
Once cool feature is "auto off". When on, the Xbox will automatically shut down after 6 hours of inactivity.
The fan is virtually silet from ~6 feet away. Put your hand hear the blow hole (rear of unit) and you'll feel some very warm air.
The Light on the front is nicely done...it looks more like a stereo component than a game system.
Load times: slightly better than PS2...but the in-game loads are very fast.
The settings within Halo give absolutely no indication this game has any video output options. 480i is all you get. The menus aren't very deep so I'm pretty confident I didn't miss anything. The game manual also fails to even touch on this topic.
Even without a HD option this game looks amazing. It blows away anything I've seen on my TV. Textures are amazing, special effects are incredible...I thought I was playing on my PC.
The introduction to your character is great. Reminisant of Half Life in the way you become acquanted with your suit and controls. The game calibrates the thumbpad as part of the game. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll stop there.
Enemies are smart! You throw a grenade (the coolest weapons so far) and they know to get out of the way. They'll sneak up on you too. I had a small group pinned down and one of the little buggers figured out he could take a different corridor and flank me!!
You've got to be careful when driving the jeep. It flips pretty easily (like when you drive it off a 40' cliff). Luckily the "x" button automatically rights the jeep. The gunner (machine gun in back of the jeep) targets enemies on his own. If you run an alien down before he gets a shot off he'll say "save some for me!", or, "that one was mine!".
The missions are all pretty typical so far. They flow pretty well but often suffer from that "what am I supposed to do now" problem. Luckily you usually don't have to wonder that very long as a little exploration yeilds a quick answer.
So, is it the best game ever? Not yet. I don't see anything too groundbreaking either. I mean, it's all been done before -Halo brings a high-level of polish to every element of Half Life style gameplay. Graphics, sound, action, control, interactivity are all very well incorporated. That said, I'm only 6 or 7 missions into the game (3 hours) so a lot can still happen (I hope).
Well, I leave it at that for now. I hope I hit on most of what you're looking for. If not, let me know. [Edited last by Camp on November 08, 2001 at 06:46 PM]
How is the framerate on Halo Camp? I have read about some of the framerate issues they were having with the game and was wondering if they were able to get things running smoothly?
Looks like I'm gonna have to get an X-box after all
(My poor wallet!) [Edited last by Romier S on November 08, 2001 at 07:19 PM]
Frame rates on Halo are not an issue. Everything is very smooth.
I would take pictures but I seem to have misplaced the battery for my digital camera. Let me assure you, the innards of the packaging isn't all that exciting.
But honestly, if it's to much trouble don't feel like anyone is forcing you.
That's kinda strange that there is no option to set it to 480p. Maybe you need to have the HD pack/component cables inserted, and once they are it will "unlock" the 480p option. Just a guess though.
ICQ# - 119869807
Congrats on your Xbox Camp! I can host your pictures if you want [email protected]
Sounds like its one slick piece of hardware if it can tell what type of A/V device you have hooked to it and adjust the option menus so that there are no confusing options you wouldn't be able to use. Something that I hadn't noticed before...
Thanks for the review bud
Nope. No demo disc. I think the Gamecube comes with one though. I hope to have that soon too.
Just finished a very pretty level in Halo. At the begining of the level you're sitting in the rear of a flying troop transport. You can see out the tail of the craft as you fly over a beach, the waves are crashing, there's a huge cliff and tree area where the aliens (Covenant) are getting ready for your landing.
I'm staring at these gorgeous visuals when suddenly the troop transport lands and I'm forced into combat. Not a time to be gawking. Very cool. [Edited last by Camp on November 08, 2001 at 10:32 PM]
Probably not. I'm not much of a football fan. In fact, I'm probably not going to get another game for a while. Not many of the launch games really intrigue me. Maybe after I read a few reviews I'll feel differently.
BTW, I found the battery for by digital camera. It's charging. I'll have pics by morning. Anything in particular you want photographed? (I still think this is a bit odd)