Posts Tagged ‘Xbox 360’

h1

Why Sony Fanboys Are the Worst of the Bunch

March 13, 2010

Before I get into this editorial/rant, let me set the record straight. I absolutely, positively do not hate Sony itself or the PlayStation brand. I do not blame Sony for the actions of the people who have chosen to stand behind them. I have nothing against the PlayStation brand and I honestly believe that Sony is doing great things with their stable of consoles and handhelds.

Their fanboys on the other hand? They are among the most illogical, irrational, arrogant and all around idiotic group of people I have ever come across. In the past five years of going to various forums and just being in tune with the internet in general as it relates to gaming, I’ve come across just about every type of fanboy you can think of. Microsoft fanboys, Nintendo fanboys, Apple fanboys, even Sega fanboys and none of them, without exception, can compare to Sony fanboys in terms of sheer annoyance.

Read the rest of this entry ?

Advertisements
h1

Mass Effect 2 Review

March 10, 2010

When does a game become more than just a game? When can a game invoke the same emotional response from a player that cinema can from viewers or a piece of music can from its listeners? In this humble reviewer’s opinion, it takes a great deal of effort to create a truly transcendent experience in a game that plays with your emotions and keeps you hooked from the moment you power the game on until you’ve reached its conclusion. Mass Effect 2 is one of those games. It combines some of the best third person shooting and RPG mechanics with a fantastically dark narrative, a remarkable cast of characters, sharp writing, well-directed cutscenes and an epic soundtrack to create an experience that is more than just a game. It’s an amazing cinematic event, and one that’s among the best of its kind.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

The Art of Forza Motorsport 3

December 21, 2009

Forza Motorsport 3, released on October 27, 2009, is one of the best racing games ever made due to its excellent array of single and multiplayer game modes, large and varied selection of cars, incredibly realistic racing physics and unparalleled accessibility (at least within the racing simulator genre). Another important aspect that Forza 3 also excels in is in its highly impressive visuals, running at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second. Because of these excellent visuals, the in game photo mode allows for some truly breathtaking images.

Now, I’m not exactly what you’d call an expert photographer but I’ve become positively enamored with the game’s photo mode after a few trips to the Forza Motorsport 3 forums and taking a look at the multimedia showcase forum, in which budding photographers and folks obsessed with the sheer beauty of four wheeled vehicles meet to share the images they’ve taken in Forza 3. Taking a look through some of the threads there, I was amazed at the levels of realism and artistry that people were able to achieve with Forza 3’s photo mode and decided to try my hand at producing some high quality images of my own.

So, I decided to revive my long dormant Flickr account and create a gallery of the best images I’ve come up with. Some of which I’ll share below.

Clicking on any of the images above will take you to the full size 1280 x 720 version of the image you click on, which is also a part of my Forza 3 gallery at Flickr. If you want to view the rest of the images I’ve uploaded, just check out this link.

So check out the images if you like and let me know what you think.

h1

Mass Effect Pinnacle Station Review

September 9, 2009

mass_banner 2

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

h1

Race Pro Impressions

February 27, 2009

race-pro-banner

Two days ago, I picked up Race Pro, a game I’ve been highly anticipating since its announcement in the form of an Xbox 360 version of the PC racing sim, GTR 2. This title hails from Simbin, a developer that has been heralded as one of the best in the business of creating racing simulators. This is their very first console racing title and the racing simulation community has been abuzz, wondering if they can replicate the notoriously hardcore PC racing simulation experience on a console with little compromise. After investing a few hours in the game, I can say with ease, they’ve done a damn fine job.

As I popped the game into my Xbox 360, I decided to jump into the game by playing it for the very first time with Microsoft’s official wireless racing wheel, which I’d purchased a little over a year ago for Forza Motorsport 2. It seemed fitting to play this title with the wheel in hand. If you own Microsoft’s official Racing Wheel, you owe it to yourself to use it for this game. Racing with the wheel, coupled with the interior view, feels incredibly natural. It can be tough going from racing with the controller to the racing wheel but undoubtedly, it truly is the best and most immersive way to play.

Onto the driving physics, there’s no doubt in my mind that Simbin has created one of the most realistic racing simulators ever, thanks in large part to the physics engine. Even driving something as seemingly mundane as a Mini Cooper (a highly modified version of a Mini Cooper no less) can be very exciting and trust me when I say the Radical SR3 is not to be taken lightly. I have yet to get behind the wheel of the Dodge Viper SRT-10 and Audi R8 (two of my favorite supercars) as of yet, two of the unmodified cars included in the package, but I did get behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger Super Bee, an exclusive download included in copies of the game sold at GameStop (don’t think of that as an ad…). Race Pro does an excellent job of simulating the high weight and power this car possesses, which makes it characteristically difficult to stop at the end of a long straightaway.

Race Pro is one of the rare racers on the market today that is able to blend accessibility with, at times, crushingly realistic physics. The instant you enter the career mode, it defaults to the professional difficulty setting, in which all assists are turned off. For the sake of accessibility, it’s nice that these settings can be changed to your liking. They can all be adjusted in varying degrees, from low, medium to high.

So far, the AI drivers generally make for fairly competent opponents but, on occasion, they exhibit some…questionable behavior. For instance, as the Autodriver lead me out to the track in my Chevy Lacetti, a sequence that you can’t override as far as I can tell, it nicked a barrier while exiting the pits and compromised my aerodynamics. I was essentially forced to restart the session due to my bent front bumper. Hopefully, this isn’t a common occurrence.

I’ve played a couple of online races so far and they all have been free of any perceptible lag, even with as many as ten vehicles on the track at once (the game supports 12 online). Despite the fairly limited options compared to other racing titles on the 360 such as Forza Motorsport 2 and PGR 4, it is nice to have the ability to take to the track in a practice session to play around with vehicle setups before beginning the big race.

Perhaps the only thing I don’t like about Race Pro so far is its incredibly basic presentation. The menus aren’t presented with any sort of visual pizzazz or flair and hardly go beyond the call of duty.  This can be somewhat off-putting, even for me, a person who appreciates what lies under the hood far more than visual aesthetics (which is why the Corvette Z06 has captured my heart more so than the far more visually appealing Ferrari F430).

Overall, after investing just a few scant hours into the game so far, I’ve very much enjoyed Race Pro. It has delivered exactly what I expected to, an involving and incredibly realistic racing simulator. Race Pro may be a little rough around the edges especially concerning the interface and overall presentation but it delivers where it counts. Stay tuned for the full review, which should be posted very soon.

h1

Saints Row 2 Review

November 20, 2008

saints-row-21

The story picks up five years after the events of the first Saints Row. The player character has been in a trauma induced coma (players who finished the first game should know why) for the past five years, in which time the titular 3rd Street Saints have fallen apart and three new gangs have risen to power in their place. It is here that you’re introduced to the incredibly deep character creation system, which allows you to choose your gender, (the character was unchangeably male in the original) voice tone (he was mostly mute too), fighting style, appearance, and even their positive and negative taunts. Once the player and a new accomplice have staged a daring escape from the prison island where they are held, it’s once again up to you to bring the Saints back to their former prominence as the unofficial rulers of Stilwater.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

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!