X-boxed up

Thanks to the kind encouragement of my lovely wife I bought myself an X-box console for my birthday. To those of you that are among the initiated this may be old new but you can read along anyway and feel the winds of nostalgia that you felt when you opened your X-box that first day and played your first x-box game.

What I love so far:

  1. Hard drive. From someone who’s used to the PS2 this is a dream come true. Game saves are unlimited, I save willy nilly because I don’t have to worry about how many blocks are left on memory card one because the game I’m playing won’t use card 2 and I’m too lazy to go across the room to get another card and too cheap to own more than 2.

  2. It feels manly when you open the box. The playstation feels like a cheap piece of plastic compared to the manly feeling I get hefting the x-box. I love the loud sound coming off it when I turn it on too, like a computer, not like a cheap plastic DVD player.

  3. Controller, I love the trigger buttons, the kick ass over the PS2 shoulder buttons. It feels like it was designed a little more for gaming than the PS2 was. Also I love the left analog stick being where it is because it’s used for almost every game. I wish I could buy an X-box controller for my PS2.

  4. Graphics. Wow I didn’t know they were so much better. They look awesome. I played Jade empire and it makes me want to move to ancient fantasy china.

What I’m not digging:

  1. Game selection. This is what kept me from buying the X-box for so long and it’s plaguing me a bit now. I own a couple hundred games for PS2 and a couple hundred more for PC so the x-box exclusives I own so far are Fable (on PC I know but I hadn’t bought it yet), Halo (same story), Halo 2, and Jade empire. I bought Morrowind and Kotor which are duplicates from the PC but I have a feeling I’ll enjoy playing them more on the box so I spent the few bucks to have them. I also bought a baseball game and yourself fitness and now when I look over the game selection I’m out of games that I don’t already own but am interested in.

  2. Black and white buttons on the controller. I think to large thumb buttons would have been much better. I get them mixed up with the a button all the time and press the wrong button in the middle of combat or in the middle of a baseball throw. They should have been marked better by feel, how do I know the difference between black and white when I’m looking at my screen? They should have been designed better I think.

  3. The console is doomed to die. Because of the awesome hard drive I’m gonna buy all future sports titles for the X-box. However because of the doomed to someday crash hard drive I’m just making myself purchase an x-box 360 someday. When the Playstation 2 or PC dies I expect I can find an equilivant substitute for cheaper in the future. In 20 years you probably will be able to buy cheap ps2s and PCs that will play my games for $30 on e-bay just like you can now for commodore computers or IBM 486 computers if you want but the X-box will be a thing of the past. Unless Microsoft lets a third party company make hard drives for the 360 AND they make it so ALL original X-box games are backwards compatible then you won’t be playing some of the games. When I finally retire and have the time to play my backlog the X-box will be a broken relic.

So help me enlightened ones, tell me what other games I should get that I may have missed out on? So far I have Fable, Morrowind, Jade Empire, Yourself Fitness, Deus Ex 2, MVP 2005, KOTOR, and Halo. I intend to get KOTOR 2, Halo 2, and fight night round 2, tiger woods either 2005 or 06 if the new game warrants the price increase.

I already own pretty much every role playing game for the PS2 and pretty much every sports title for PS2 and pretty much every game that gets talked about here for PC. Thanks in advance for the help!

Panzer Dragoon Orta
Rallisport 2
Phantom Dust
Crimson Skies
Burnout Revenge
Oddworld Stranger
Dai Senryaku VII

Otogi 2
Amped 2
Project Gotham Racing 2
Ninja Gaiden Black

For starters. Also, do a search for the one or two recent threads on “which Xbox games should I buy.”

You probably already have a lot of the 3rd party stuff for PS2, but that’s what I use my Xbox for. MS just doesn’t have a lot of compelling exclusive titles, but it plays multi-platform games really well and has a nice controller. If you can get yourself a Logitech wireless controller, so much the better.

First party/exclusive stuff I really enjoyed:

Voodoo Vince
Kung Fu Chaos
Jet Set Radio Future
Chronicles of Riddick
Metal Slug 3


Blinx was OK for for a while. Avoid the sequel.


Psychonauts really should count, since I finished it before the PS2 version came out. And someday I’ll get around to playing Crimson Skies, Jade Empire, Stranger’s Wrath, and Republic Commando. But it sure does play those multi-platform games nicely.

I dug the Mechassault games. Also Mercenaries if you didn’t get it for the PS2.

Ninja Gaiden. I can not stress how much you need Ninja Gaiden. I’m no beat’em’up fan but this game is just incredible. I think the “black” edition is out in the US now? That’s the one you want. I’m in Europe so don’t shoot me if it’s not out yet.

Otherwise, i think dmiller pretty much nailed it.

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System. I’m maybe 85% of the way through it and it is really long and really good. The combat dynamic, weapons and enemy personality (farting bickering robots) are all Halo-level excellent. The story and voice acting is sort of lame but, really, WGAF?

It’s pretty hard even on normal, about the same as the original Halo on ‘hard’. You should be able to pick it up cheap from somewhere. If you liked Halo, you won’t be disappointed.

After modding, the XBox is really the ultimate gaming rig; with emulation, it can play arcade, atari 2600, and everything up to N64 games (of course, I already own all of these games :) ). On top of that, it functions as a pretty kick arse media center.

And as far as I’m concerned, modding is essentially the only good way to replace the hard drive should it go bad (and it will). I’ve replaced my two xboxes with 300GB drives and have loaded all of my xbox games, music, and movies. The rest of my movies, music, and photos, I stream from a “media server” PC.

Hmmm… does it have the ability to accept generic USB 2.0 devices after modding? (Will it run Windows as well?) The thought of picking up a $100 refurb XBox, a $100 HD, and a $150 HDTV USB 2.0 tuner and making that become an HD DVR + games is appealing.

If you dig horror games, get both Fatal Frames! The XBox versions are “director’s cuts” that feature additional content.

And if you haven’t yet played Mercenaries, Psi-Ops or The Suffering, you might as well on your shiny new XBox, since they’re really good.

Not really. There is no way to have the XBox function as a DVR yet. There were rumors awhile back that the XBox Media Center crew were toying with DVR functionality, but they were not able to get anything to work.


Not really. There is no way to have the XBox function as a DVR yet. There were rumors awhile back that the XBox Media Center crew were toying with DVR functionality, but they were not able to get anything to work.[/quote]

If it runs standard linux, why not? Can you not access the USB ports or something from Linux?

Seconding the Ninja Gaiden Black and Mech Assault love.

I’d like to check out the Ninja Gaiden but I’m scared of the high difficulty level I’ve heard about. Maybe I’ll try renting before buying this one.

The black and white buttons on the controller do suck, I hate when games use them. On the 360 controller you keep the triggers (yay) and the black and white buttons get moved into shoulder buttons above the trigger, ala the ps2. Best of both worlds imo, I too really like the xbox controller, both the standard S version and the logitech wireless pads.

I was going to list some games you might like, but really, most of them you probably already played on the PS2, which is unfortunate, since the xbox is a much better console. Course with HDloader, minus the graphics, much of my complaints about the PS2 are alleviated.

Ninja Gaiden Black
Crimson Skies
Phantom Dust

I just got this, and it’s really not all that bad. You just need to treat it as a light fighting game rather than a platformer, and make good use of defense.

Unless you totally hate fighting games you’ll be fine, although it might take a bit to click. Just spend some time practicing the moves at the start, realize you can instantly charge ultimate attacks after a jump, and don’t button mash.

Ninja Gaiden is every bit as hard as people suggest, but that’s a good thing IMO. It really does remind me of the controller-tossing days of NES difficulty, which I kind of miss. Beating this sonofabitch was a totally satisfactory experience.

I mean, games have really gotten easy. Maybe the oldschool games had a built-in difficulty factor due to the limited player control and gameplay compared to today’s titles, but NG truly is a throwback to a time when finally getting to the “Congratulation! This story is happy-end!” screen was a notable accomplishment.

Too much hand-holding over the years has softened us, I’m afraid. NG doesn’t hold your hand, it side-sutos you in the nuts

Ninja Gaiden doesn’t hold your hand, but it also doesn’t cheat you. You have to learn the skills the game requires in order to survive and if you don’t (or won’t), then you’ll pay dearly in virtual blood.

It’s a great game. Probably one of the best of the entire generation.


I used to spend a bunch of time in arcades playing fighting games, so perhaps Regardless, I agree it’s definitely harder than most contemporary games, and so far is easily one of the best games I’ve played.