Archive for category Xbox 360 software
Dead Rising for the Xbox 360, like any other game for the Xbox 360, can be played in SD or in HD. The user hooks up their display to the Xbox 360 and the Xbox 360 will put out 480 lines or 720 lines of resolution, depending on your needs.
But what happens when you have your Xbox 360 hooked up to an SDTV, and you can’t read any of the in-game text? You can’t read any of the instructions, nor any of the conversations. Does this make for a satisfying experience?
Part of me thinks that man, people should just go out and buy an HDTV already. But then I come to my senses and realize that not everyone is ready to do that just yet. Besides, if a game is supposed to work in SD, then the game developer (Capcom in this case) should, oh I dunno, actually test the game in SD?
What my point here? Oh yeah. I’m glad that this happened now. Yup, you heard me. Glad. Why? Well, because this was bound to happen sooner or later. The industry will learn its lesson, correct the problem, and move on. Then we won’t hear about it anymore. Now that it’s happened with an XBox 360 title, I’m hoping never to see this problem recur on a PS3 title. That’s why I’m glad!
As someone who thinks that PGR2 on the Xbox is actually a better game than PGR3 on the 360, Moore’s latest comments aren’t too comforting. What did he say? “Nobody is concerned anymore about backwards compatibility. We under promised and over delivered on that,” according to IGN. But that’s not all. He goes on to say “I like to think we’ve upheld our end of the bargain in making at least two or maybe three hundred games backwards compatible.” There are still updates on the way, but this statement speaks volumes. Maybe I won’t ever be able to play PGR2 on the 360.
This is in stark contrast to Sony, which likes to keep its previous-gen console alive and well. They only recently stopped selling the original PSone, for example, and plan to continue supporting the PS2 far into the future as well. The original Xbox? It’s going out of production soon. (Or has it already?) Again, another indicator of Microsoft’s priorities. And they’re not to support old customers. They want you to upgrade. (Hmmm. This is strangely like their OS and productivity app businesses.) I’ll be the first to defend a corporation’s right to make money. But can’t they do that by continuing to support existing gamers?
Where was I going? Oh yeah – BC.
Personally, I don’t have a huge collection of PS2 games. But I do want most of them to work on the PS3. A friend of mine has already expressed an interest in my PS2 when I get my PS3. And frankly, I don’t want a PS2 lying around if I can at all run my PS2 games on the PS3. I don’t want the clutter. I plan to get rid of my PS2 ASAP once I have my PS3, and I plan to play all my PS2 games on my PS3. Well, I don’t plan to play my PS2 F1 game on the PS3, because there’ll be a cool new PS3 replacement. But I want to be able to play other games like Champions of Norrath, Frequency, and Guitar Hero.
So what else can I say? To me BC is a very important priority. We know from the PS2 that Sony makes a valiant effort in the BC area. Sure, not all the PS1 games worked on the PS2, but the vast majority of them certainly did. And I expect the same thing next time around on the PS3. Too bad Xbox owners can’t expect the same thing of Microsoft.
As a gamer, I view the next generation of game platforms as a chance for developers to strut their stuff. Show us some great new graphics. Show us some great new gameplay not possible before. But I also expect developers to have learned some from previous mistakes and make the whole usability thing work better as well. And I also want the developers to give us more options, not fewer.
First off, GRAW. Now, I have to say that this is one great game, and my quibbles are few. But I have to wonder how many people actually play-tested this thing in multiplayer offline mode. As I’ve complained before, setting the options before gameplay begins is a pain. The use of the ‘B’ button is inconsistent and frustrating. But that’s not the worst of it. Why can’t the players change their names? We haven’t found any way to do this. So the people that are playing the game are Todd, Player 2, Player 3, and Player 4. Which is really annoying. I’d like to know if I killed Viper (unlikely, if you know Viper), or if Scae potshotted me. None of this Player 3 killed you nonsense (or whatever the wording is). And if you can change the names, and we haven’t found it yet, that’s just as bad! The UI should be easy to understand and manipulate! This mars what is otherwise quite a great game. (Pssst! Anyone know how to change the names? Is it possible?)
Second, I’ll look at the larger offender, PGR3. What are some important things in a racing game? Great graphics. Yup, sure. PGR3 has that alright – it looks great. Great gameplay mechanics. Yup, it sure is fun racing around those tracks, but frankly the experience isn’t much (any?) better than PGR2 was. What about a large variety of cars to race? Well, here they fall down. They’ve got a bunch of fast cars, sure. But where’s the Mini? The Beetle? A BMW? I wanted to drive that Audi again – crap, it’s not there. The decision to go with the over-170MPH club was an extremely bad one, IMHO. As well, they way they organized the cars in PGR3 was confusing as heck. In PGR3 you chose “Compact Sports” or “American Muscle” or somesuch. It was easy to know what kind of cars you’d get in each class. No longer. Now each class of cars is virtually indisinguishable from any other. How are you supposed to remember what class your favourite cars are in? A real disappointment.
But it gets worse. What about the fact that they only give you five cities with a few tracks each to play? PGR2 had a much wider selection of locales for your racing pleasure. It feels like they ripped out all the best tracks.
What else? Oh yeah – getting into multiplayer mode is more complicated. You don’t just select multiplayer. No! That would be too easy. You also have to go into the blade and add players there. What the heck? It’s messed us up a couple times already. But that’s not the worst of it. No no no no. Two-player? Two-player? What happened to our beloved four-player mode???? GGGGaaaaaargh!
Frankly, when you put all these problems together, you come up with one conclusion: PGR2 is better than PGR3. I eagerly await the day PGR2 is added to the Xbox 360′s compatibility list, because then we’ll play a real racer at Todd’s place. Sure, it won’t be as pretty, but it’ll be a lot more fun.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a knock against the Xbox 360. It’s a great platform, and we’ve seen some good stuff on it. It’s the developers that still have something to learn. When they charge us that next-gen premium for a game, I want to get a premium product.
I know two games is a small sampling, but so far these problems have been quite annoying, especially the deficiencies in PGR3. Let’s hope that as developers get used to the Xbox 360 that they polish their games more and try to at least match the previous generation games in functionality, playability, and enjoyability. After that, ratchet it up a notch or two. This is next-gen, after all.
Now this is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking forward to on my PS3, and it better have it! (Actually, all indications are that it will.) Paramount pictures is going to be offering HD versions of movie trailers for Xbox 360 users to download and view on their HD televisions.
Launching April 12, the Xbox Movie Showcase will feature free, high-definition, downloadable content from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III, starring Tom Cruise and directed by J.J. Abrams (the creator of LOST and ALIAS), hitting theaters May 5, and NACHO LIBRE, a comedy starring Jack Black and directed by Jared Hess, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) in theaters June 16.
Sure, it’s only two movies. But it’s a start. Right now I like to go to Apple’s QuickTime site to check out movie trailers in HD. But that’s on my puny little 19″ CRT monitor. I’d much prefer to see movie trailers in glorious HD and 5.1 surround sound on my HT!
So we finally got to see Todd’s Xbox 360 in action on an HDTV last night. I always thought it would be my HDTV we’d see it on first, but logistics gave it over to my friend Mike’s place with his Toshiba CRT rear-projection HDTV.
One word: very nice!
Ah, well, make that two words. It was more than just nice. Previously we had played the Xbox 360 on Todd’s 32″ (I think) SD (standard definition) television, and it was good. The improvement over the Xbox was obvious, and the graphics were nice. But seeing the games in full HD on a 55″ (or so) HDTV screen was just another experience altogether. All of us were quite wowed by the experience. There were so many details to see, the environments were so immersive, it was great. So thanks to Todd and Mike for putting this together!
Why can’t game developers think through their UI’s better?
I already complained about GRAW, but last night noticed something else. The little red flash on your screen? Guess what? It tells you that there’s gunfire in that direction. Not that you’re getting hit from that direction. Most games that I’ve seen that use a splash of red like that use it to mean that you’ve been hit. GRAW does it differently, and it’s confusing.
And what’s with the menus in PGR3? It took Todd more than a minute to figure out how to set up a multiplayer game. Quite confusing. Then I had a chance to play and wanted to change tracks and cars, and man what a pain in the arse that was. The UI for PGR2 was SO much better. Why don’t they leave a good thing alone? And we still miss 4 player mode.
Anyway, Burnout has become our favourite racer now. It’s a blast to play and the UI is actually usable. But would it kill them to have a little description next to each menu item as it’s chosen? It would be nice to know what each of the events really do, because the name itself is in no way descriptive enough.