X360 launch game Whitta-cisms

Vederman brought over a bunch of X360 games for me to check out last night, nabbed on overnight loan from the Official Xbox mag. Didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with each and in some cases didn’t want to, but on the whole I was surprised by my impressions. And there they are:

CONDEMNED: Very well done. Much like FEAR it does an incredible job of generating atmosphere and is extremely polished, but much like FEAR it’s disappointing to see how cravenly Monolith stole from other things to generate that atmosphere. The entire opening tableau (and perhaps much of the game overall) is a blatant SE7EN rip-off. Still, it absolutely achieves its aim of making you feel very tense and unsettled on the couch while playing. I don’t think I could play it for long on my own, at least not at night.

PERFECT DARK ZERO: I was surprised by how much I liked this. It’s a beautiful production, polished to a mirror shine. I love the whole vibe of it. Seems to be an enjoyable mix of Halo and some elements of the MGS games, and that works well for me. I only played the first level (up to the escape on the rocket-ship) so I don’t know if it goes downhill after that, but what I did play made me want to play more. Does it indeed go downhill?

KING KONG: Another beautiful and very polished production, but I just don’t give a fuck about this because I don’t give a fuck about the movie. (I may not be the only one, as the movie’s opening-day box-office results suggest it is going to seriously underperform.) It’s all very well done and at times spectacular to look at, but there’s just something… I don’t know… borrowed about it all. It doesn’t feel original. I suspect it gets better once you play Kong, but I won’t be perservering to that point. Oh, and it is, indeed, WAY too dark.

AMPED 3: The surprise pick of the bunch. I loved SSX3 but was really disappointed by SSX On Tour because while 3 had style and character, On Tour had style but no character, it felt oddly soulless. I’ve always thought of Amped as kind of the bastard stepchild of SSX, but this one is awesome; it has both style and character coming out of its ass. Great music, beautiful visuals in HD, a really fun story mode and lots and lots and LOTS of neat little touches. It wasn’t even on my radar before, but this will be the next game that I get.

NFS: Most Wanted and Tiger Woods 06 coming up next…

It’s…alright. I think the unpolished complaints come from the title screen (espcially if you’re playing in HD), but the actual game play is pretty fun. I came in with low expectations and enjoyed the weapon selection and level design. The only real detractor for me was the somewhat cartoony character models, and the retarded story line.

I’ve nearly stopped playing PGR3 in favor of NFS so far. I was a huge fan of PGR2 and am not giving up on the 3rd one yet (I hope to join you all tonight), but to me, NFS is just pure unadulterated adrenaline.

I have no idea what is going on with the story, but the variety of race events and milestone tasks keeps the game somewhat fresh, and being chased by the cops (this is my first NFS game in a loooooong time) has been amazing.

Plus, I’m a sucker for the achievement points, and it looks like it is a little easier to obtain points in NFS than PGR :wink:

This is like the Bizzaro Xbox 360 games thread. “Perfect Dark, Need for Speed, and Amped 3 all rock!”

Well you did want a 180…

Do you seriously find Condemned creepy and scary? I played in my buddy’s basement on his massive television at two in the morning with all the lights out, and I didn’t jump once.

On the other hand, there was a part in Call of Duty 2 where a German MG was firing down a long street. I tossed two smoke greanades and hid. Once the smoke appeared, the MG stopped firing and I ran into the smoke; completely blinded. I actually walked past the MG and turned around just in time to see the German swinging the butt of his gun at me. Just then the street was filled with gunfire from Germans who I guess had came onto the street once I had walked near the MG. I nearly shit my pants twice.

Monolith knew you’d say that Gary, so they made the game really short to compensate.

So you did once?

:lol: :lol:

cue the chogglepants remark

Tsk, come on now. We all know that’s when SOMEONE ELSE shits in your pants, and then you put them on.

Please, let’s not distort QT3’s core values with misinformation.

The numerous game-stopping bugs I have hit would prevent me from calling it polished. Several times Ann has run off to open a door and simply left me there waiting forever. The Kong stuff is cool, but very basic, and overall you’re probably better off getting the new Prince of Persia and pretending the prince is hairier than usual.

The numerous game-stopping bugs I have hit would prevent me from calling it polished. Several times Ann has run off to open a door and simply left me there waiting forever. The Kong stuff is cool, but very basic, and overall you’re probably better off getting the new Prince of Persia and pretending the prince is hairier than usual.[/quote]
Is it compatible with X360? I’d heard not.

I suck at racing games, is NFSMW more ‘Burnoutey’ than Sim? If so I may have to check that out. PGR3 is beautiful but unforgiving for us saps who can’t figure out how to run the standard lines through curves.

Auto Assault Demo is on this months OXM disk, I’ll be checking that out tonight. Should be more up my alley.

I’m surprised to hear you say that. It’s only supposed to be too dark in standard def. In HDTV mode it’s supposed to be fine. It looked fine on my TV.

I’m sure you’ve checked, but you have the 360 set to 720p or 1080i in the options, AND you have the little switch flipped over to HD on the output cable, right?

It’s way “burnoutey.” You can just slam the gas and burn around turns at rediculous speeds, and crashing all over the place is pretty much encouraged. If you really want to win races you might want to let off the gas a little from time to time, and avoid hitting big objects, but it’s definitely way over on the “Ridge Racer and Burnout” side of the arcade-to-sim line.

Auto Assault Demo

You mean Full Auto, right? Auto Assault is the PC-based massively multiplayer game. I’m really looking forward to Full Auto. Check out www.segalabs.com! Brilliant!

I’m surprised to hear you say that. It’s only supposed to be too dark in standard def. In HDTV mode it’s supposed to be fine. It looked fine on my TV.

I’m sure you’ve checked, but you have the 360 set to 720p or 1080i in the options, AND you have the little switch flipped over to HD on the output cable, right?[/quote]
Yes, everything is set right. I personally found it too dark. I guess I could always up the brightness on my TV but it would have been nice if they had let me play with the gamma settings the way Condemned does.

You know, Whitta, you might want to get past that first breathless rush of ‘NEW GAME!!! W00t!!!’ before posting. :)

Condemned gets pretty tedious and all those crazed homeless junkies rushing me from the shadows never stopped being unintentionally funny. Now that you’re past the tutorial and on the verge of playing the first mission, Perfect Dark is about to slap you with a stealth mission with fail states. I can’t imagine your “polised to a mirror shine” comment is going to hold up much longer.

As for Amped 3, well, umm, yeah…

I loved SSX3 but was really disappointed by SSX On Tour because while 3 had style and character, On Tour had style but no character, it felt oddly soulless…[Amped 3] has both style and character coming out of its ass.

So, just out of curiousity, what’s the difference between ‘style’ and ‘character’?

Also, at Shoot Club last night, one of the guys playing the 360 came into the other room where I was playing a board game. “Hey, Garry Whitta wants to chat with you!” he announced. Sorry I missed you.

-Tom

Well to use a bad analogy, I could go out and get dressed up in the most stylish clothes, but it wouldn’t give me a more interesting personality.

SSX On Tour has a very, um, rad visual style but I really missed the DJ (yes, really) and the whole “SSX Radio” vibe from the previous game. It just made the whole mountain experience feel much more cohesive and “alive” than On Tour does, at least to me. It’s a personal taste thing.

(Maybe it’s just that all those Napoleon Dynamite-style cartoon scribbles didn’t appeal to me personally. I also thought the music in the new game was less enjoyable than that used in SSX3, but this may just be me getting old.)

I like the pseudo-story mode that Amped 3 has, with the different characters and the (I thought) really fun animated interludes. Interestingly, stylistically it’s closer to SSXOT than SSX3, but beyond the visual styling it has much more of a personality.

Anyway, yeah. My opinions posted were only first impressions based on about a half-hour with each game (as stated) and should be taken as such.

I guess I get your comments, but I don’t really get the nostalgia for SSX3 or Tricky. For me, On Tour hits a sweet spot in a way those other two came close to doing, but didn’t manage as well. (How’s that for a comment even vaguer than your style/character dichotomy?)

I even totally dig On Tour’s soundtrack. If it wasn’t “just another snowboarding game”, it would have made my Top Ten list.

So, to get back on topic, SSX: On Tour looks great on the 360! Oh, wait, no it doesn’t, because the 360’s putative backwards compatibility won’t let me play it in a 360. Not that I’d want to, since there’s no way to fucking transfer the progress I’ve made with my snowboarder and skiier.

But, uh, well, Kameo’s pretty cool. So there’s that.

-Tom

That reminds me, I need to check SSX 3, and Burnout 3. Oh, and NHL Hitz. If those don’t work I will be severely put out.