As you can tell by my previous post, I wasn’t that keen on Sony’s next generation console, the PlayStation 3. The high cost and the lack of some serious games at this moment of time made me switch sides to Microsoft.
When the Xbox 360 was first release back in 2005, I wasn’t that interested as I enjoyed the wide range of games available on my PlayStation 2. But over time, I began to appreciate the quality of the games on offer and was impressed by what it can do (such as online play and downloadable features).
By purchasing the Xbox 360 (the Premium version with wireless controllers and 20-gigabyte Hard Drive), I finally understand what the fuss was all about with this video game system.
It is a fantastic console and to play games in near high definition (1080i) is amazing. I am aware that there will be a new version of the Xbox 360 (named Elite, which has a bigger capacity Hard Drive and HDMI port) will be coming soon. But after reading some articles online, the Elite machine doesn’t offer True High Definition as the HDMI only supports 1.2 (unlike the PlayStation 3 with 1.3). In addition, the new colour scheme – black – means it costs more…
Nevertheless, I am happy with what I have right now. I have yet to connect myself to the Xbox Live Marketplace, as I will need to purchase that so-called ‘Gold’ membership (it cost £40 every twelve months). Plus, I will need to purchase a special wireless adapter for online play (due to the router being in the lounge and the Xbox 360 upstairs).
As for what kind of games I am playing, I have a choice of six quality titles to enjoy.
The most addictive game right now is Gears Of War. It looks absolutely gorgeous and the game play is so absorbing. Damn addictive and initially I was rubbish, as I kept on dying… But after playing a few hours, I became use to the style of playing this great action game by considering how valuable hiding is!
Virtua Tennis 3 is another fine game. I used to play this to death on my Sega Dreamcast and with this latest version the simple game playing experience is still there. The visuals certain look impressive – very close to being photo realistic.
Speaking of photo realistic, Project Gotham Racing 3 features 80 of the most exotic sports cars. The ability to race around the streets of New York, Tokyo and central London is a unique experience and with the great graphics, you can spot the familiar landmarks as you race past them at over 180mph!
Test Drive Unlimited is another racing game that I like to play and even though I remember playing Test Drive II on my faithful Amiga 1200 back in the early 90s(!) to race a wide variety of cars on an island with over 1000 miles to drive on is simply unbelievable.
But for pure sensation, the opportunity to use everyday objects to kill a shopping mall filled with zombies is a strange but satisfying experience. Dead Rising reminds me of Powerstone (using items lying next to you as weapons) crosses between the horror of Resident Evil.
And last in my gaming collection is Crackdown, which is a clone of True Crime: Streets of LA. I don’t understand what I have to do as the gaming environment is pretty huge and they’re so many people to shoot or run over!
Currently, I am playing all these great games on a small CRT television set. Luckily, it supports 60 MHz. But I am planning to get a nice Samsung HDTV soon. This will make a big difference when playing in high definition.