Posts Tagged ‘Talk Xbox’


Mass Effect Pinnacle Station Review

September 9, 2009

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Due to my Mass Effect fandom, I bought the recently (and very, very quietly) released Pinnacle Station DLC without even thinking about it. Big mistake. So, I reviewed the content for Talk Xbox (my first review in months) and, in traditional fashion, here’s the first paragraph of said review.

“Long before Mass Effect was released, Bioware teased with the notion of extending the life of the game long after the final credits rolled by way of post release DLC. Unfortunately, these ideas didn’t seem to pan out as lavishly as expected and, nearly two years after the release of Mass Effect, Pinnacle Station is only the second downladable content pack. Even worse, this content isn’t all that great – in fact, it’s downright mediocre at best.”

Justin McBride – Talk Xbox

Full Review


New Article Spamvertisement

November 18, 2008

Yep, it’s that time of the week where I spam–er…advertise my recently published articles. So, without any further delay, let’s get down to business.

Far Cry 2 Review

The following is an excerpt of my review of Far Cry 2

“Instead of developing the direct sequel to the landmark 2004 shooter Far Cry, Crytek moved on to bigger and better things with their recent PC-exclusive Crysis. To fill the void left in Crytek’s wake, Ubisoft took the reins of the Far Cry franchise and the challenge of developing the true sequel. As is common when a new developer takes over an existing franchise, skeptical gamers have wondered how it well it could fare. With an entirely new setting and more down to earth direction, Far Cry 2 has taken the series to new places, while still retaining much of what made the original so great.”

Justin McBride – Talk Xbox

Full Review

The Problem with Xbox Live DLC

Wow, I really seem to be bashing the hell out of the Xbox 360 with my recent editorials. This is an issue I’ve had problems with for a very long while. Microtransactions have become one of my most hated new trends in gaming today and not for the reasons everyone may think.

Check out the full article here or the N4G listing here.

Thanks everyone for checking out my latest Articles and let me know what you think!


Mega Man 9 Review Up

October 16, 2008

What you’ll see below is a short excerpt of my review of Mega Man 9, one of the best next generation revivals of a classic series seen to date.

“Nostalgia is a funny thing. In this day and age, numerous games receive bonus points because of that very phenomenon. The mere feeling of nostalgia is enough for many gamers to justify a purchase promising classic gameplay of games past. Enter Mega Man 9, a next generation revival of a classic series that gained both a legion of loyal fans and notoriety on the NES for its incredibly tough but entertaining gameplay. With this new title, composed of an entirely new set of levels, bosses and modes, the side scrolling shooter/2D platformer gameplay has remained largely the same.”

Justin McBride – Talk Xbox

Full Review


Biting the Bullet – The Tale of my Second Broken Xbox 360

October 6, 2008

As I posted on my blog on my GameSpot profile, my Xbox 360 has once again taken a one way trip to the afterlife. I knew the end was near once I saw a mosaic of green dots covering the screen during games, as seen in the quick video I captured below.

Here’s a small portion of what I had to say on my GameSpot blog.

As you can see, my Xbox 360 has decided to die once again. Great. This time, a fried graphics card seems to be the culprit and when I tried to turn the system on yesterday, I got an error message, message E 74 to be exact, inviting me to contact Xbox Customer Support.

I called Customer Support only to find out that Microsoft seems intent on screwing me over. Since this is not a “three red lights” issue (only one was blinking on my system) it’s not covered by the three year warranty. To make matters worse, my Xbox 360 is just outside of the one year warranty extension I received from them when my 360 broke down before (I swear they’re planning it like this) so it’s going to cost me $100 to get it fixed. Well, that’s just peachy.

The rest of this post can be viewed here.

Earlier today, after mulling it over for hours, I went up to GameStop and traded in my Xbox 360 for $110 in store credit which I used to buy a new Arcade system, much like the one you see above. This was a very tough decision to make but I’m happy with the choice I’ve made. Somehow forcing the three red lights of death would have allowed me to get my Xbox 360 repaired for free but there were four main reasons why I decided not to do this.

First, as I mentioned before, there’s the risk of Microsoft sending me another defective system. I’ve heard of numerous cases of this happening and I didn’t want to take that risk.

Second, I wanted a system with one of the newer, Jasper motherboards, which runs much cooler than previous models due to the 65nm CPU and GPU. Although Jasper shipments haven’t yet been confirmed, there are many sites that are reporting that Jasper systems have indeed shipped so I’m confident that I have one.

In addition, I was an early adopter and, as you possibly already know, the HDMI port was added retroactively to all Xbox 360 models a little over a year ago so this was something that I wanted, considering my upcoming HDTV purchase.

Third, well, I’m impatient. Time is money and I’ve already committed to doing a few reviews for Talk Xbox which require me to having a working Xbox 360. I tried playing a bit of Mega Man 9 earlier today, but when I turned off the system to go have lunch and came back, the system was once again outputting those telltale dots that blanketed the screen in a sickening green hue (sickening, despite the fact that green is my favorite color). My editors are expecting a fast turnaround and I aim not to disappoint.

Fourth, I don’t want to have to go through this decision process again so, I decided to also buy a one year Product Replacement Plan through GameStop for $20. Given my work experience, I know that when a customer brings back a system with a PRP, there are no questions asked. I plan to use this to my advantage to switch out my system for a new one a year from now, regardless of whether or not it has a problem. Hopefully, Microsoft will have found out what causes Xbox 360’s to break down and fixed the problem once and for all.

So, considering all of these things and that the Arcade system has everything I need, this was a no-brainer. Sure, it does leave a $100 dent in my wallet but I’ll eventually get over it. I purchased Duke Nukem 3D earlier and I’ve been playing that for a few hours since I got home. Being able to relive one of the classics I loved playing on my dad’s computer all those years ago was almost worth the $100 in itself. Almost.

Well, here’s hoping I don’t have any problems out of Xbox 360 #3…at least until October 5, 2009 that is.


Newly Published Articles

October 2, 2008

Pure Review

The following is but a short excerpt of my review of Pure, quite possibly one of the best ATV racing titles ever made.

“The extreme sports genre has always been one that empowers us to live our fantasies.  Pure is yet another in a long line of ATV racing titles that allows for just that. The talented team at Disney Interactive’s Black Rock Studio definitely had their work cut out for them when it came to making Pure stand out from the current crowd. That being said, it’s clear they’ve done a great job in that regard and have produced what is probably the best ATV racing game this generation.”

Justin McBride – Talk Xbox

Full Review

Nintendo Announces the DSi

“Nintendo announces a second redesign to its ever popular DS platform which features many enhancements and added features over the current DS Lite platform.”

Full Article

I’ve also got an editorial coming up that should be published on Talk Xbox tomorrow. When it’s published, I’ll post an update here. In addition, I have some editorial content planned for this site alone and you should see that as soon as I finish it, so of course, stay tuned. If you like what you saw above, spread the word! Digg it, tell your friends and, of course, let me know! I’m always happy to hear from folks who enjoy my work.


GRID Review

June 20, 2008

The following is a small excerpt of my review of GRID, Codemasters’ second forray into the racing genre for the Xbox 360.

“Following up their previous admirable efforts with their successor to the popular Colin McRae series of rally racing games, DIRT, Codemasters once again dives into the racing genre with another pseudo-successor; this time to the TOCA Race Driver series with GRID. In a move that may be shocking to fans of that series, GRID is not a strict simulation in any sense of the word. It manages to blend arcade style drifting with near simulation handling with good results while still retaining the varied race types and career focus of the TOCA series.”

Justin McBride – Talk Xbox

Full Review


Dark Sector Review

April 6, 2008

The following is a brief excerpt of my review of Dark Sector for the Xbox 360, one of the first titles announced for “next generation consoles” in 2004.

“In 2004, one of the first games in development for next generation consoles was announced. This title was Dark Sector, originally slated to be a science fiction game, possibly based in space, in which the hero donned a powered suit of armor, affording him special abilities. In the nearly four years since then, Dark Sector has undergone a number of changes in both setting and design. The end result is what we have before us today. Okay, history lesson over. I hope you’ve learned something.”

Justin McBride – Talk Xbox

Full Review