Evil Avatar  




Go Back   Evil Avatar > Daily Gaming News > In-House Content

» Sponsored Links


» Recent Threads
PS4 is Top-Selling...
Last post by PSPfreak
Today 06:38 AM
108 Replies, 4,417 Views
Demon Gaze - Launch...
Last post by bigdaddybwb3
Today 06:22 AM
4 Replies, 575 Views
Warface - Xbox 360...
Last post by BeardedSonOfNel
Today 05:47 AM
13 Replies, 744 Views
Star Citizen - Arena...
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 03:38 AM
29 Replies, 1,672 Views
Amazing Spider-Man 2...
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 02:03 AM
28 Replies, 2,363 Views
PlayStation 4 Passes 7...
Last post by Rommel
Yesterday 11:51 PM
48 Replies, 2,597 Views
Pure Evil - Winning the...
Last post by Evil Avatar
Yesterday 09:17 PM
6 Replies, 891 Views
Batman Arkham Origins -...
Last post by divinechaos
Yesterday 08:13 PM
7 Replies, 582 Views
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-21-2005, 06:12 AM   #1
bapenguin
Beware of my Power Bands
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3
[360] - XBox 360 Impressions and Review

XBox 360 Review and Impressions
by: Nicholas "bapenguin" Puleo, Editor-in-Chief

4 years and one week later after the Xbox launch, the Xbox 360 console is launching to North America. There's no need to bore you with tech specs, you've heard about all the bells and whistles that system contains, there's huge potential here. But how does the launch lineup fare? Is the system really going to bring anything new to the table? Are the graphics really better? After playing with the system for the last 4 days I can confidently say, “I've seen the next generation of gaming, and it is online, and it rocks hardcore.”

The Hardware:
The console itself is a complete 180 from the previous generation. It's sleek and all white instead of big and black. It can stand horizontally or vertically. There are no visible ports on the front of the console. The powerbrick for this badboy is HUGE. The power requirements for a 3 core system are just astronomical, and after the power cable fiasco of last generation I think Microsoft wanted to be sure nothing would happen. All the cables and connectors on the system are very thick and of good quality.

The new wireless controller is damn near perfect. Even with the battery in it, it is lighter than an S controller. Gone are the white and black buttons, replaced now with shoulder “bumper” buttons. Once you link your controller with your system you never need to do that again as the next time you turn on the console (either via the controller or the console power button) it'll automagically assign you a player position. The new rumble system in the controller is amazing as well. All the vibrations seem to have more detail, and there's a wider range of vibrations that you can feel.

The Software:
The centerpiece of Microsoft's next console is no doubt it's Dashboard interface coupled with Xbox Live. The dashboard is broken down into 4 blades: Xbox Live, Games, Media, and System. The Live blade gives you access to your friend list, messages and the live Market place. On the Games Blade you'll find quick links to games you've downloaded, Xbox Live Arcade, as well as the ability to launch a title located in the DVD drive. On the Media blade you'll find links to music, pictures, video and Media Center. As long as you have Windows XP you can link up your PC to the 360 and stream things like music and pictures. If you have Media Center you can also stream video. The system blade contains things like settings and security options like Parental controls.

Xbox Live:


The new version of Xbox Live is completely badass. There's so much to do here now, and there's so many improvements. Lets look at one MS did to the voice communication. You are now capable of hosting 4 private channels of voice chat. Each one of these channels is independent and global. Once you connect to a private voice channel, you can continue talking to this person like you are on the phone. I did everything from start a game, load a game, downloaded themes, and play music all while talking in a voice channel. You also get a 5th channel which is related to the game you are currently playing online. It's very easy to switch in and out of these channels and this really opens up some nice communication possibilities.

The centerpiece of the Xbox 360 is the gamer, and the new Gamercard functionality shows this. Your gamercard keeps track of your progress in everything you do, it provides a place for players to leave feedback about you. You can even see what players are saying about you, and why they did or didn't like playing with you. Every game on Xbox contains 1000 gamer points that can be earned by achieving certain goals in games. THIS IS INCREDIBLY ADDICTING! I constantly found myself brining up the dashboard overlay in games and looking at the possible achievements for the game, and then proceeding to try to unlock them. It's amazing what kind of replay ability this little feature adds. What's great then is you can compare gamer cards with anyone on Xbox live, you can see what achievements they have compared to you, what their score is, etc.

Live Marketplace:


Live Marketplace is Microsoft's Money maker for their system, and I think it's going to work. All transactions on Live Marketplace are done using Microsoft Points. 80 points equals one dollar. It's incredibly easy to buy these points and incredibly easy to spend these points. You can buy anything from themes to gamer pictures to unlock ables for games. Not everything costs money though, there are tons of free trailers to download both in standard and hi-def as well as demos of some big Xbox titles like Need for Speed and Kameo.




I bought and downloaded the Penny-Arcade theme from Marketplace. It costs around $1.75 or 150 points. The whole process is quick and painless, and for beginners they even give you help right after you download your object on how to use it.






Xbox Live Arcade:
Oh billy do I love Xbox Live arcade. Geometry Wars Evolved needs a support group. The game is downright beautiful and a blast to play. Pictures do this game no justice. All Xbox Live arcade titles have trial versions. There are a few coin-op classics up right now, namely Joust and Gauntlet. Both have been redone with hi-res textures and look great on an HD display. Every game supports online scoreboards and leaderboards. Each one of these can be sorted by your friends or globally. This way you can see how you compare to everyone on your friends list as well as how you compare to everyone on Live. Most of the games support multiplayer matchmaking. Joust supports co-op and versus over Live. Very cool for $5. I'm very happy Microsoft decided to stick with the 5 to 10 dollar price point...it really seems “just right” for these kind of titles.



The Verdict:
Even though this system comes in 2 varieties, one with a hard drive and one without, we should all just pretend the Core system doesn't exist. The meat and potatoes of this system is in it's online and media functionality, both of which you need a hard drive to get the full benefit of.

Should you drop 400 bucks on this system? While I didn't get to talk about the games yet, if you play consoles on line the answer is a most definite yes. If on line gaming doesn't interest you, you may want to hold of a bit as the titles that are available don't offer much new.

The Good: + Amazing interface and on line functionality.
+ Looks great on an HD display.
+ Xbox Live Arcade
+ Versatile

The Bad: - Expensive
- Off line stuff doesn't bring anything new to the table

The Ugly: - SHORTAGE

Score:
4 out of 5 EvilEyes
bapenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 06:21 AM   #2
Nite_Moogle
Evil Dead
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 507
Gamercard: Bringing back the high score e-peen waving. Gotta love it.

How did the machine hold up to the extended gaming? Did it get hot or anything? Did it take much/any adjustment to get used to the new shoulder buttons? Did you try out an older xbox game to see how it upscaled?
__________________
Gamertag: Nitemoogle
www.noobschoolbus.com
Nite_Moogle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 06:30 AM   #3
Vandenh
Evil Dead
 
Vandenh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,948
Blog Entries: 1
>Oh billy do I love Xbox Live arcade

Hehe.. I hear you brother! I am actually considering picking up no games and just playing some arcade titles for a couple of weeks (while my games get bought as XMas gifts
__________________
GamerTag: BubblegumYeti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lard View Post
My suggestion, as a fellow PS3 owner, is that you should've gotten a 360.
Vandenh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 06:38 AM   #4
DigitalFirefly
Evil Dead
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Posts: 503
nice review.
__________________
Listen to ThreePlayerGame and SHFTS podcast
Steam
: DigitalFirefly | XBL: Digital Firefly | PSN: DigitalFirefly
DigitalFirefly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 06:47 AM   #5
bapenguin
Beware of my Power Bands
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nite_Moogle
Gamercard: Bringing back the high score e-peen waving. Gotta love it.

How did the machine hold up to the extended gaming? Did it get hot or anything? Did it take much/any adjustment to get used to the new shoulder buttons? Did you try out an older xbox game to see how it upscaled?
The shoulder buttons do take some getting used to, I was playing some Halo 2 (yes it looks damn good) and I kept having to think about how to switch my grenades.
bapenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 06:53 AM   #6
RandomViolence
Wanker
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bah-stahn, MA
Posts: 660
Nice review, bap. I need to borrow that 360 thingy for a little while, though... because... we need someone else... to review it.. on an SD tv... yeah.

Gimme!
__________________
"Here. Put this on, stand in front of the webcam, and sing 'Do you really want to hurt me?'.
Culture Club that shit up. Papa needs more green."
- Mightbe
RandomViolence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 07:29 AM   #7
EternalGamer
Hexigonal Librarian #3785
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,977
Any game impressions? It would be nice to see something on Perfect Dark before I have to go stand in a line in the freezing cold somewhere.

Dan
EternalGamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 07:48 AM   #8
KarmaGhost
Evil Dead
 
KarmaGhost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 796
I loves me some Penny-Arcade, but that theme looks too busy.
__________________
| Systems |
360, Wii, DS, PC
| GamerTag |
Karmaghost
KarmaGhost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 07:52 AM   #9
Syrinx
Reaper
 
Syrinx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmaGhost
I loves me some Penny-Arcade, but that theme looks too busy.
Yeah, the transparency is a bad thing.
Syrinx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 08:00 AM   #10
Everlost_MI
Sleep Deprived
 
Everlost_MI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,816
Great review. I can't wait to get my hands on one.
__________________
"I use to be a highly respected watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily." Giles while playing D&D on Buffy.
Gamertag: EverlostMI
Everlost_MI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:02 AM   #11
Roc Ingersol
Evil Dead
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,637
Spent any time feeling out the support for streaming/copying content from network storage? (Songs/Vids/Pics)

Namely: what does it do, out of the box, without XP MCE?
Roc Ingersol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:19 AM   #12
Heretic Machine
Peon
 
Heretic Machine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3
I have the Penny-Arcade theme as well, and it's really nice... But I'm thinking that Microsoft isn't letting people change the font colors, so it's kind of difficult to read.

Quote:
Spent any time feeling out the support for streaming/copying content from network storage? (Songs/Vids/Pics)
You hook the 360 up to your network, download the Extender on your PC, turn it on. Now you can stream music and pictures to the hard-drive. You can't stream video, and you can't save streaming music onto the hard-drive.

Streaming works great as well, lots of people (including myself) are getting addicted to it. There is nothing like playing PDZ online with Johnny Cash playing in the background.
__________________
City of Heroes: Virtue
WoW: Cenarion Circle
Gamertag: Heretic Machine
Currently Playing: Castle Crashers, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Beyond Good & Evil
Heretic Machine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:26 AM   #13
Bauerknight
Squire
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 16
I was wondering, does the 360 play DVD movies out the box?
Bauerknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:27 AM   #14
Roc Ingersol
Evil Dead
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,637
whoa now... can't stream video? sux.
This one of the things you have to pony up for MCE to get?

And what's the format support like for music and pics? mp3/wma jpg/png/bmp/gif ?
Roc Ingersol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:31 AM   #15
bapenguin
Beware of my Power Bands
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3
It does play DVds out of the box...progressive as well. The quality is pretty good too. It pretty much seems to support any picture format. I think they changed the way it works, anything the host PC supports...the extender (360 in this case) supports.
bapenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:39 AM   #16
Roc Ingersol
Evil Dead
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,637
thanks fellas

That's the problem with mainly being excited about the Arcade/Marketplace and Media functionality: most reviews skip it. And that's a damn shame.
Roc Ingersol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 10:45 AM   #17
hideouslywrinkled
Reaper
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 164
Nice write up...

Oh and bapenguin, you just got linked in Tycho's post today at PA.

Edit: Err... I guess it was your other post (which is also good). The games run down.

Last edited by hideouslywrinkled; 11-21-2005 at 10:47 AM.. Reason: personal stupidity
hideouslywrinkled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 11:00 AM   #18
BleedTheFreak
Evil Dead
 
BleedTheFreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Iowa
Posts: 585
Quick question.

Can I plug my Senns (headphones) into this 360 or do I have to use the accessory headphone for sound? I'm plugging my 360 in with my PC, using a VGA cable and KVM switch to toggle PC/360, but I want to keep the 5.1 sound system on the PC and just use my headphones for the 360, to avoid having to crawl under the desk everytime I swap, but don't really want to use the MS headset, when I have an 80$ pair on hand.

Any info would be appreciated!
BleedTheFreak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 11:02 AM   #19
agentgray
Vroom Vroom
 
agentgray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,194
Good review bap. Makes me want one. Are you working for Microsoft?

I'll still wait for the first price drop in the future. It's just that lack of games. I cannot justify $400+$5+$10+$2+$2+$5 right now to play games when all the numerous, unopened current gen titles are still on my shelf. Have fun early adopters. I'll see you in a few years.
__________________
buttonmashing | Playing in Paradise.
agentgray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 12:00 PM   #20
bapenguin
Beware of my Power Bands
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedTheFreak
Quick question.

Can I plug my Senns (headphones) into this 360 or do I have to use the accessory headphone for sound? I'm plugging my 360 in with my PC, using a VGA cable and KVM switch to toggle PC/360, but I want to keep the 5.1 sound system on the PC and just use my headphones for the 360, to avoid having to crawl under the desk everytime I swap, but don't really want to use the MS headset, when I have an 80$ pair on hand.

Any info would be appreciated!
You are going to need some sort of adapter. The headphones that come with it are for voice chat only.
bapenguin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:02 AM.