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Posts Tagged ‘XBox 360’

I’ve recently joined the ranks of the Xbox 360 owners, and I’ve discovered that my console actually has a voice of its own. Yes, it blogs about what and how I’ve been playing. Go check out what my Xbox 360 has been saying about me: Feeyaad’s Xbox 360 Blog. According to the console:

…and Feeyaad won’t admit this, but I had to force him to stop.

It had to force me to…wha..?? Hmmm…Sounds like a certain someone else I know ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can sign your Xbox 360 to blog about you by signing up your gamertag at 360Voice.gamerdna.com. Put your console’s blog URL in the comments. I’d be keen to read what yours has to say about YOU.

[Link: 360Voice.gamerdna.com]

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Condemned 2: Bloodshot happens eleven months after the original story “Condemned: Criminal Origins”. The game features a dark, grungy drunk by the name of Ethan Thomas.

The plot is that Ethan has been recruited back into his old SCU to investigate a call for help from his old mentor Malcolm Vanhorn, and discovers why the wide violence and mass hysteria is tormenting the city.

Now, I never played the first game but it felt like a Resident Evil style game, which equals suspense and zombies and this was all I could see. I thought what the hell, let’s try it.

Story: Bit confusing without knowing the history.

Controls: Only really annoying feature or lack thereof was the crosshair. What kind of first person shoot ’em up has no crosshair? You do get it for guns but not when throwing the vast array of objects that you can pick up. So targeting is a bit unnecessarily frustrating.

<spoiler section ======== Plus there is a “special” power that requires the use of both left and right triggers continuously and to also aim using the analog stick… I mean, come on!!! ======== spoiler over>

Weapons: Quite a fun range of items to use in your quest for mangling, so enjoyed those.

Baddies: A bit easy to kill, so veteran game players max the difficulty level before playing if you want the game to last a bit longer than two days.

Hidden gems: There was a portion of the game that required you to deduct causes of murders using a nice range of gadgets; based on your accuracy you got rewards. Glad all my CSI watching has finally paid off ๐Ÿ™‚ I did enjoy this portion, but there wasn’t enough for me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Graphics: Excellent!

XBOX points: Very poor point giving; in an attempt to get you to play the game again all the online points are locked in other modes that you cannot get until you play the game once, and some of the points require you to play the game several times ๐Ÿ˜

Online play: Yet to try this.

Blood & guts level: ย There’s a reason it’s rated 18 ๐Ÿ˜

Overall: A fun and nice game that I would give a 6/10 but not a replayable.

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The Original AdventuresOkay, so I admit I was a bit skeptical about trying out this game. I mean, Lego? Isn’t that just for kids? But my husband’s a big Indy fan, and he wanted a change of pace in games (from first-person shoot ’ems), so we bought it. And couldn’t stop playing it ’til 11 last night!

Like Crash Bandicoot, this platformer allows a second player to join the game at any time, and with no split screen! Of course, this does limit mobility a little, but it wasn’t a problem most times.

This game has got it right in so many ways. First off, you play the game through in Story Mode. That means that you play using the original characters for each section of the movie. Each section always has two characters – Indy and another.

Once you’ve completed a section, though, you unlock Free Play mode, which means you can play through it again, using any of the characters you’ve unlocked, each of which have some special ability or piece of equipment. Marion, for example, can jump to places Indy can’t reach. Then there are other characters who come with a spanner, for repairs, or a shovel, to dig up treasure.

Free Play mode gives the game great replay potential. You can play in this mode either immediately after you’ve completed Story Mode, or you can do it once you’ve completed the entire game in Story mode. Personally, I think the latter would be the more fun way to do it.

The only thing I can fault the game on is that sometimes some bits of the graphics go a bit wonky. Gameplay itself was unaffected by this, though. And for โ‚ฌ50 (or R250 – R300, platform depending), I think it’s worth the price ๐Ÿ™‚

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So the over-arching point of the the previous article is that many times in history there have been companies who often try to set the ‘standard’. Nintendo tried to make the NES (Famicom in Japan) the standard gaming console, and prior to that, there was the battle between BETA Max and VHS. For those who don’t know, Beta Max lost out because they initially produced tapes that could only contain one hour of film. Most movies were longer than that. They changed over later, making their tapes 90 minutes long, but it was too late. Soon, most of the larger film studios changed over to VHS. Beta Max had died.

So more recently, the Blu Ray and HD-DVD debate: well it seems that Blu Ray has emerged the winner. But the business aspects of the case are much simpler. Heres a number of things you should consider:

  • availability of movies will drive the demand for the player
  • studios have to therefore commit to format or create movies in dual-format, which drives up costs
  • retailers have to stock both HD-DVD and Blu Ray, which means that have to divide their shelf space into two, with duplicate titles
  • they have to divide the space for disc players into two, or three if you included the legacy DVD format

Now, the facts:

Toshiba (HD-DVD) and Sony faced off early in the High Def market. Sony targeted distribution and sales much more aggressively . By the middle of 2007, HD-DVD players were outselling Blu Ray players 2 to 1. However, Blu Ray discs were outselling HD-DVDs 2 to 1. Film companies make their profit from the discs, and want to distribute their title to the company that produces more discs. More importantly, producing discs in both formats is expensive. So companies started moving: Warner moved over to Blu Ray by the end of 2007, followed by Netflix and Bestbuy. By January 2008 the only distribution companies still affiliated with HD-DVD were Universal and Paramount. By the end of February Paramount had titles on both formats, and Universal had signed an exclusive Blu Ray format contract. The final blow came when WalMart moved over. Walmart is the largest retailer in the world and when they drop you, you’re finished. It is interesting to note that PlayStation 3 comes with a Blu Ray player built in, but the XBOX 360 users have to buy an additional player to support HD-DVD. This in no small part fueled the demand for discs.

Blu Ray won. My conclusion is that they won because the Blu Ray consortium pushed distribution really hard. When the production companies saw they would make more money off Blu Ray discs, they switched over. When retailers saw that Blu Ray had more titles because more distribution companies are moving over, they stopped selling HD-DVD players and titles. Again, Genius!

If you are interested in more business-type opinions, try the Freakonomics Blog at the New York Times site.

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