The XBOX 360 8 months later...

Posted by Jason Triplett Thursday, July 06, 2006

Today we look at the first 8 months of the XB360's life, and take a look into the near future for the system. I hope you all enjoy this special edition article!

The Hardware

The system got off to a rocky start. A lack of systems on the shelves matched with the boisterous over-reserving by many retailers left a lot of people burned right at Christmas time. Then came the reports of overheating systems. Then the urban legends began about houses burning down, 360's exploding, and all kinds of other rediculous shit. The truth is that the launch had about 1-2% defective units. This is quite normal, and rather low in comparison to the PS1 & 2 which both had around 15% of their launch systems come back defective. At any rate, the system is fine now, and accessories like the Nyko Intercooler get rid of the overheating worries. The system does have a lot of useless accessories though...

The Games

Some people's biggest complaint about the 360 is the lack of titles. I shouldn't have to remind everyone that the first year of a system's life is ALWAYS the slowest. that being said, there does seem to be a lack of QUALITY games available for the system, but perhaps we can help you find one to hold you over until the Fall. Rather than go through every single game and all their ups and downs, I will just gve you my top and bottom 5.

TOP 5

5.) Call of Duty 2
I was torn about this one... I love this game, and it is obviously better on the PC. However, the 360 port is really nice, probably the finest PC to Console port out there. On top of that, the online community in the game is still alive and kicking, and with 3 downloadable map packs and more on the way, you can bet it will stay that way.

4.) Dead Or Alive 4
Some of you may not agree with me on this one, especially since I placed it above COD2. However, the quality of this game is what next-gen is all about. Plenty of unlockables, both easy and tough achievements, and awesome (but a tad laggy) internet play make this a winner in my eyes. If the eye-popping visuals don't make you squeal, perhaps playing as a Spartan from HALO will... This is one hell of a fighting game!

3.) G.R.A.W.
Well it's no surprise that this ended up in the top 5. Personally, I find this game a bit hard, but the quality of visuals and gameplay promise more than just a few hours of gameplay. Add to that a downloadable expansion pack on the marketplace, a dedicated XBL community, and the promise of even more updates and you have a winner.

2.) Kameo
An amazing game all around. Rare has been on my bad side lately, but this redeemed them to me. I played this game for the Cube at E3 a few years back and loved it. It used the traditional Zelda controls, and it looked nice. Years later the game emerges a polished platforming gem, even better than the original Cube version! This is yet another game with some awesome DLC...a co-op mode through XBL and numerous costumes are amoung the extras you get here. Highly recommended.

1.) Oblivion
I don't think there are many people that disagree with me here. This game set the bar for future games across all consoles. A work of graphical and technical genious, Oblivion offers you infinate possibilites of how you play. Don't get me wrong, Oblivion has it's problems just like any game, but they are easily looked over. You can sit down and play this game for an hour and end up in a 8 hour session. Incredibly immersive, intuitive, and challenging, Oblivion is hands down THE best 360 game out there.

HONORABLE MENTION

1.) Rockstar Presents Table Tennis
Yeah, it's table tennis, but it's damn addicting! You must try this game! This is rumored to be the graphical engine tha tthe next GTA will use. If so, we are all in for a treat!

2.) Fight Night Round 3
One of the most visually stunning games I have ever seen, and hella fun to boot! PS3 doesn't get this until November, same game, same graphics, no extra features. Go ahead, rub it in the Sony fanboy's faces!

3.) Condemned
This game was the true underdog of the 360 launch. It got passed up by so many people mainly because they didn't know what the hell it was. Part survival horror, part FPS, part CSI, this game was one hell of an awesome play-through. The only thing this game was lacking was online deathmatches, but I can forgive them. This game is for the 360 what Chronicles of Riddick was for the XBOX. It's a reinvention of the way FPS are played, and if you haven't checked this one out yet, you need to. However, the gore and scares can be a bit intense for some people...you have been warned.

BOTTOM 5

5.) Perfect Dark Zero
This was a hard game to place in the bottom 5. I like it, but unfortunately I am a minority. The game is well crafted, sporting gorgeous graphics and a great story line, however most people hated the shooting. I call this "Halo-itis". Most of the people that hated this game forgot the series that got it started. they have all become Halo addicted pussies that can't handle a tough game where you can't always one-hit-kill. Yeah, I fucking said it...so what? Deep inside you all know it's true. The original PD as well as Golden-Eye had the same exact type of armor system. But alas, those games are both old and outdated now. People want fast, furious, BOOM HEADSHOT, pwn da nubz...this game didn't have it. What it did have was fun and challenging, but when you beat the game, the fun is over. The XBL play was sub-par, probably the game's biggest shortcoming in my eyes, even after the new maps. This game gets on the bottom 5 merely because everyone hates it. If you admit you even own it, you are indeed a man confident in yourself.

4.) Blazing Angels
This game is beautiful, however graphics can't always save a game. The horrible controls top off over a dozen other horrible things about this game. If you can get past the crappy controls (most people can't), you MIGHT find a decent game under there somewhere.

3.) Tony Hawk American Wasteland
Don't get me wrong, I like this game ok and everything, but it is nowhere near next-gen quality. I can't justify paying $60 for a shitty half-assed port of a previous generation game. There is no reason a 360 game like this should have muddy, blurry textures. I would consider this game for $20, but that's even pushing it. Also, on a personal note, I hate the direction Tony has gone with his games. Tony Hawk USED TO be all about promoting skateboarding as a respectable professional sport. However, this is the third game that incorporates "Jackass" style destruction and assinine stunts that have NO place in the real skateboarding world. I don't want to say that tony sold out, but it seems like he fucking did it...promoting what he used to speak against. The only light at the end of this tunnel is that Tony Hawk 8 is supposed to be a return to the TRUE sport of skateboarding minus the retarded "Jackass" stunts. No retarded kid in a wheelchair in my skateboarding game please! kthx...

2.) King Kong
Great movie, shitty game. Ok the game wasn't that horrible, but for cripes sake you could beat it in one sitting! How many people paid $60 for this shit, beat it the same night, and were pissed at themselves? Another case of "good graphics don't make a game", and another case of "maybe for $20". In my opinion, they should have just made the entire game out of the 3rd person Kong levels and beefed it up...but oh well.

1.) EA Sports Launch Line-Up
The EA Sports offerings up until FIFA were just abysmal. It seems that EA really skimped on the sports titles, with Madden, Tiger Woods and others all changed or altered for the worse. Tiger Woods 360 only had a few of the courses available for the other consoles. I thought the 360 was supposed to be more powerful...why couldn't they fit it all in? Despite their shitty line-up at launch, EA redeemed themselves with Fight Night Round 3.

DISHONORABLE MENTION

1.) Batllefield 2
A decent game ruined by both the shitty XBL interface and the even shittier community. Who the fuck wants to play the same level over and over and over and over and over again? Did I forget to mention that it's also the level that was released in the demo? Come on people! EA game us a method to vote at the end of a match, and everyone always votes for the demo level. Why not just make it random like Halo 2? At least it would add some variety. Another problem with this game is that it is merely a port of the console version, when the system could have handled the PC version just fine. Also the shadows were all fucked up...checkerboard and glitchy. No downloadable content...

2.) XBL Arcade
How does MS react to our dissaproval of the lack of games? By getting us to pay for shitty arcade games with shitty achievements. To top it all off, these games are mostly too expensive considering a lot of them started off as free internet games on PC. On the bright side, they are adding Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat 1-3, but will they cost us an arm and a leg? Who knows...

3.) Backwards Compatibility
Why the fuck is barbie Horse Adventure backwards compatible, but most of the XBOX's first party titles aren't? Why no Morrowind? Why no DOA series? now Peter Moore says they probably won't keep their promise of 100% backwards compatibility? WTF!!!

XBOX LIVE

The best feature of the system is the XBL network. The most secure gaming experience on a console to date, XBL offers gameplay of all varieties for almost all of the current and coming 360 games. On top of that you can download updates for games, some free, others not. You can download movie trailers, music videos, and even game demos. One of the greatest things I have seen MS do is to offer the average gamer 3 exclusive demos straight from the E3 floor that you could download in your home. I think we can all agree that the Lost Planet demo kicked ass! not to mention the world premiere of the Halo 3 trailer on the marketplace! This is hands down the 360's best feature. If you aren't on XBL, you aren't experiencing the 360. Nuff said.

THE FUTURE

This Fall is gonna be hot for the 360. The following is a list of games due out before Christmas:

Prey
LOTR: BFME2
NCAA 07
Madden 07
Dead Rising
Forza 2
Viva Pinata
Gears of War
Saint's Row
WWE Smackdown VS. Raw 07
Tony Hawk 8
Stranglehold
Need For Speed Carbon
Chromehounds
Fable 2
Enchanted Arms
N3
Too Human
Crackdown

That is not even a complete listing. There are even more than that. On the gaming front, this is shaping up to be one hell of a Christmas! How will it all turn out for the 360 with 2 new systems on the horizon? We will just have to wait and see! In the meantime, enjoy your stay at Rated-M.com, and feel free to express your thoughts on this article in the comments section below!

13 comments
  1. Anonymous Said,

    I don't know where you get that only 1-2% were defective? I knew two people that went through 4 systems because they were defective. Hence why I've put off buying one myself.

    Posted on 10:08 AM

     
  2. DMThomas Said,

    So you consider the hardware fine with people's experiences like this floating around and the mention of a thread of 4500 replies?

    Myself and two friends got the console on launch day and both of my friends have now experienced the "3 red lights of death". One was within warranty, the other just happened and he's gotta see how much it will cost to fix.

    I'm afraid of my 360 randomally displaying the 3 lights someday, because that's exactly what happened to my friends.

    Posted on 10:09 AM

     
  3. egon0119 Said,

    I've had my 360 for five months now with no problem. Two of my friends got theirs on launch day and haven't had any issues.

    I guess it just depends on how lucky (or unlucky) you are.

    Posted on 10:35 AM

     
  4. The backwards compatability (or lack thereof) is killing me. I have a library of Xbox games I still like to play and now I can only play about 1/3 or 1/4 of them since I gave my original Xbox to my girlfriend. It's pretty shitty that they're not doing more to get the Xbox back catalog playable on the 360.

    Oh, and I own Perfect Dark and like it. So there!

    Posted on 10:43 AM

     
  5. boober Said,

    cite your sources. Anyone out of high school knows this.

    Posted on 10:50 AM

     
  6. BlackSheep Said,

    Your a silly C.U.N.T.(Can't Underestimate No Talent).

    Posted on 11:07 AM

     
  7. BlueLorenzo Said,

    Interesting post. Stupid comments. What no PGR3 in the top 5????

    Posted on 11:56 AM

     
  8. Ciccarone Said,

    HEY!!! I hate Oblivion and I love Battlefield!

    Posted on 1:38 PM

     
  9. Ciccarone Said,

    Oblivion is the worst game that I have ever played. I don't like to follow long directions and be constrained to complete a mission that is long and just plain sucks! How can you can this is the best game out there? I could go out in the woods behind my apartment and do the same crap this game does. I am so angry that anyone would play this game, it makes me sick. Also, Battlefield IS AWESOME! You know why? Because you just play it, no bulls$%t involved. ARgh...

    Posted on 1:41 PM

     
  10. outlanderBZ Said,

    there is random maps in battlefield. just choose custom and choose a room with random maps instead of vote. it cycles. the mic system is messed up though but must people just dont know it works like Halo. hold x to talk to entire team and it is open mic for people in your area including enemies.

    Posted on 10:06 PM

     
  11. JaFO Said,

    COD 2 at 5 of 'best' launch-games for the 360 ?

    How can a game with such mindnumbingly dumb artificial stupidity and boring railroading even be considered a 'good' game ?

    I guess the fact that even Halo is considered a 'good' fps means even stuff like COD appears to be 'awesome' by comparison.

    So far the games have been far from 'next gen' and the future doesn't hold anything that's worth 'next gen'. All we're getting is the same old games with slightly better graphics.

    Posted on 12:01 PM

     
  12. Hussain Said,

    To all those people STILL complaining about barbie horse adventures, it's software backward compatibility, emulation, not hardware. If you guys remember at E3 before launch they said that only a few games would be supported, and just by chance other games worked on the emulation coding for those few games, like barbie horse adventures. The games you mention are the games that will require their own emulation coding to work, and at the same time you'll have a bunch of other games work with that coding, just like barbie horse adventure did. To simulate hardware from another machine with completly different architecture and that is extremely hard to emulate. It's also much simpler to have a xbox to play your xbox games on, I have not touched a original xbox game since I bought my 360, so I don't really care about backward compatibility

    I agree with you on Perfect Dark Zero, it wasn't halo and people didn't like that

    Posted on 2:43 PM

     
  13. Erik Mann Said,

    great topic, keep up the great posts, MMA

    Posted on 2:39 PM

     

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