Posts Tagged ‘xbox 360’

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Game Impressions: Alan Wake

July 27, 2010

Introduction

It’s no surprise that I would gravitate towards a game whose first spoken words are “Stephen King.”  But that doesn’t mean I will automatically like it.  Alan Wake is a psychological thriller action adventure game developed by Remedy Entertainment (aka the folks behind the Max Payne series) and published by Microsoft Game Studios.  It follows the story of thriller novelist Alan Wake, whose vacation trip to Bright Falls in the Pacific Northwest is cut short by the disappearance of his wife and the strange, supernatural events surrounding it.  So was the story a sleeper, or did I have no trouble staying A. Wake?

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Game Impressions: Final Fantasy XIII

April 19, 2010

Introduction

Of the recent main series of Final Fantasy games, I really enjoyed Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XII.  I didn’t play FF XI very long, mainly because after a certain point you were pretty much required to group with people to advance, which really didn’t suit my playstyle or available time.  Final Fantasy XII took me two years to complete, though I mainly played it in two large blocks, with years in-between.  I loved the style and most of the gameplay mechanics.

I tried to avoid a lot of news or info on Final Fantasy XIII before playing it, but it looked to be similar to both of those titles, making it a must-get game on release day.  But games like FF XIII require quite a large time investment.  You could probably play Halo 1-3 and ODST in the same time it’d take you to finish FF XIII.  So was it worth the time and effort, or will it be my Final Fantasy?  (I had to go there.  It’s over now.)

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Game Impressions: The Beatles: Rock Band

September 14, 2009

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Introduction

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been strumming like a dog.  I didn’t intend to pick up The Beatles: Rock Band.  At least, not right away.  I played the original Rock Band a little, but never got really into it.  Rock Band 2, on the other hand, I played and played.  While medium difficulty is about as good as I get, I did play through all of the “campaign” mode to get the “Rock Immortal Inductee” achievement, got the “One Million Fans” achievement, and played enough to have $100,000 to spend in the Rock Shop for the “Clothes to the Edge” achievement.  But I haven’t picked up the old plastic guitar in 9-10 months.  And while I like quite a few tunes by The Beatles, I’m not a fan per se.  I don’t own any of their music.  But last Friday I picked it up on whim anyway, and Yesterday I went on a Day Tripper through story mode.  Was it a Magical Mystery Tour, or will I just Let It Be?

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Zark’s Most Anticipated Xbox Games of 2009

January 21, 2009

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Well, there haven’t been many exclusives announced for the Xbox 360 for 2009 yet.  In fact, Aaron Greenburg, director of product management at Microsoft, addressed that very fact in a recent interview, saying that there were plenty that were as yet unannounced.  So I have to say, the list looks pretty slim.  But there are quite a few games on my upcoming multiplatform list that I will undoubtedly play on the Xbox over the PS3 or PC, because I prefer the controller and achievement system of the 360.   Having said that, here’s the list of my most anticipated Xbox 360 games of 2009.

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Free Stuff

December 11, 2008

freeHey, who doesn’t like free stuff, right?  There has been a lot of talk in gaming circles the last few years about microtransactions, which are typically small monetary transactions for digital content.  These could be actual games, like WiiWare or Xbox Live Arcade.  Or they could be add-on content for games, like map packs, skins, songs, new weapons, new levels, and the like.  Or they could be new themes, or gamerpics, or avatar clothes… usually anything to get the consumer to fork out more money.

Not that I’m taking some moral high road here… I’ve bought my fair share.  Probably more than I’d like to admit.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things you can get for free with the right timing and a little patience.  Here are a few I’ve heard of in just the last few days:

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This Week in Game Media Stupidity

August 7, 2008

I should really make this a weekly column.  Material is so easy to come by.

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Final Thoughts on the Big 3 Press Conferences at 2008 E3

July 17, 2008

If I had to say who had the “won” the press event war, I’d probably put them in this order:

1.  Microsoft

2.  Nintendo

3.  Sony

I think Microsoft brought a lot to the table.  The Netflix announcement could even spur 360 console sales for people who want one just to use as a Netflix download box.  And some games like Gears 2 looked great.

Sony was a disappointment.  They keep saying “wait for us, it will be worth it” but they still seem stalled.  There was a lot of talk about Resistance, like it was Halo or Mario, but let’s remember that the original was not the stellar title.  It’s metacritic score is an 86%, which to me means its good but not system-defining.  There are 12 titles with higher metacritic scores right now.  Resistance 2 looked great (although why that guy running up the building couldn’t shoot through the broken window walls at the monster is beyond me), but since the beginning of the year, they barely sold more PS3’s than PS2’s.  I didn’t see anything that would break that trend.

In the last few days I’ve read a lot of grumbing on the internet about the Wii and how they continue to bring nothing to the table for “hardcore gamers.”  If “hardcore gamers” continue to insist that there is nothing for them on the Wii, then they are missing out on a lot of good gaming.

While I think Microsoft had more interesting announcements, the thing that struck me about Nintendo is that there was something in there that every person in my family would like.  I loved the original Animal Crossing, and so AC: City Folk is exciting to me.  I thought Call of Duty: World at War looked interesting too, as did Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  My wife, a complete non-gamer, said “they are going to have a recipe game thing for the DS?  Neat.”  And my kids (6 and 4), who are not coordinated enough yet to play a Rock Band or Guitar Hero game, but are dying to play every time they watch me, will just go apesh*t over Wii Music.  Neither Sony or Microsoft announced anything that would be of interest to the rest of my family.

In my mind, it’s that business philosophy that puts Nintendo in the catbird seat.  They will continue to do very well, while Sony and Nintendo continue to draw from the exact same, smaller market pool.  By that standard, history may show that it was Nintendo that came out #1.

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