Shawn Wildermuth

Stories

Tagged with Games


Xbox One - First Impressions

downloadMy pre-order of the Xbox One arrived on Monday and I’ve had a little time to play with it. I mostly got the device for Forza which I love. So after a couple of days with it, here are my first impressions.

Let’s start with the Operating System. It’s gorgeous and fluid. The switching between apps is really impressive. While it’s missing some features from it’s 360 counterpart, I find it really satisfying.

Then there are the games. At launch like any platform the number of games is limited but so is my budget. Of course I started with Forza and I like it a lot. It’s missing some stuff I liked in previous versions but the game looks amazing. You can tell it’s next gen. While playing Forza, I wanted to start with the Game DVR feature. Xbox had to push out the Twitch support which would have been great, but you can record clips (up to five minutes) of your games and download them to the SkyDrive for sharing. This is an amazing feature. The Upload Studio app (free) let’s you do some simple edits and recording voice overs and even from the Kinect camera to go with the game videos. Here is a quick edit of five instances of my bad driving for example (in 720p):

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Adam Kinney has a new SIlverlight-based XBox Gamercard

Url: http://adamkinney.com/blog/322/default.aspx

Adam Kinney has created a new Silverlight 2 Application to show off your XBox Gamercard on your site.  I like his design and it is not static so it shows what you're doing at any specific time.  What do you think of mine:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Do you like?

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10,000 XBox Live Gamer Points...Nice

I finally hit 10,000 XBox Live Gamer Points. How's that for a testiment to wasted time?  Burnout Paradise finally put me over the top, though I thought it would be Assassin's Creed or the Mass Effect DLC. 

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Halo 3 - The Screenshots

Url: http://www.bungie.net/stats/Halo3/Screenshots.a...

I've been playing Halo 3 a lot this weekend and I have to say I love the "Theatre" feature.  It allows you to watch a video of your last few gaming sessions (campaign and online) and take screenshots as well as make movies.  The screenshot feature allows you to take pictures from anywhere in the level, not just from your perspective.  This means you can float the camera anywehere in the world while pausing the game at a specific, often spectacular moment. I've spent almost as much time finding cool shots as I have playing the campaign.  The screenshots are uploaded to Bungie.net automatically so you can share them with friends!

What Bungie doess though is when you take the picture (either with the HUD or not), is it renders it with all the visual tricks on (FSAA et al.) so it looks exceptional as an image.  Here's an example from an actual shot of me using a sniper rifle to do a kill close in (I know, not the best weapon for the job):

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Wierd XBox Story...

So as you may know, my XBox died again...but it ended up fine in a wierd way:

When the DVD drive died on Thursday evening, I contacted support and they said they'd send out an empty box to send back right away.  Friday FedEx attempted to deliver a package from the repair center but I wasn't home.  When I got the door notice from FedEx, I looked it up online to see if I could pick it up.  Oddly, the package had been shipped on Wednesday, two days before my unit failed.  Is Microsoft psycic?  Did they send some magic code down through XBox Live to disable my console?  What is going on?

Well, what happened is that when my last XBox was repaired, they actually cross-shipped a refurbished console.  Something seems to gone haywire and my original console was repaired finally and mailed back to me on Wednesday.  The FedEx package wasn't an empty box but my old console...coming home like a dog in a bad Disney flick. The repair center was supposed to keep my console since they cross-shipped me a refurb.  In either case, I am back into BioShock and all is well. 

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Another Dead 360...

This is geting pretty old.  Two rings of death, a bad video card and now a blown DVD drive.  Next time the whole console is going to just melt...

The really bad news is it scratched my copy of BioShock...

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Finally...XNA that works with all versions of Visual Studio

Url: http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/archive/2007/08/13/an...

As some of you know, the original version of XNA studio only worked with the express versions of Visual Studio. I already usually have a beta version and a release, having more versions was making me crazy.  I am so glad to announce that they have released XNA v2.0 (so I can scratch that XBox 360 dev itch) which supports all versions of Visual Studio. 

Now I only have to find time to look at it ;)

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Bad Developer...XBox 360

It seems that thos endless days of GOW, Forza 2 and Missle Command took its toll on my 360.  After struggling to get through this past week, I finally got through today and my 360 going back to the shop...

I am trying to figure out why I  am being punished with a four-to-six week roundtrip time for fixing my 360. Its a harsh puninshment, but they did throw in a free game (Viva Pinata).  The funny thing is they made a point of telling me that the free game would ship this week via ground so I would get it quickly...without a machine to play it on.

Oh well, now I don't have any excuses for being late to my editors...

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RIP Gamefly (UPDATED)

Url: http://www.gamefly.com

I've been a fan of GameFly for years now. I love the Netflix model for games, but I have finally given up on them.  I have had a long-term conversation with their customer service people about the lack of copies of games. 

This started about four months back when I noticed of the ten games in my queue, that *all* were marked as "Short Wait" which means...not in stock. Because they couldn't fulfill my game subscription (I was getting 4 games at a time), I changed my subscription to one game at a time, all the while trying to get a straight answer out of their customer service department.  Today I finally gave up and cancelled my account. I've been with them for almost years now (can't remember, but at least 4) and this was never an issue with XBox games.  Probably growing pains, but I am fed up.

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Rumor: Microsoft to Retroactively Extend Warranties to 1 Year

Url: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/news/2006/1...

With my experience with my XBox 360/GoW issues, I am not surprised if this turns out to be true.  The rumor is that starting tomorrow, all 360's will have their warantees extended to one year.  Check it out here.

UPDATE: Its official now.  As seen on http://www.xbox.com!

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This game looks better than GOW

Url: http://www.gametrailers.com/player.php?id=13658...

Check out this real-time in-game footage of Assassin's Creed.  This has to be the best looking 360 game out yet (even better than GOW I think). Glad Sony screwed the pooch on the PS3 to allow this to become multi-platform. 

 

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My first 60th Level WoW Character

Url: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com

Everyone else on the planet who has played World of Warcraft for more than a month or two probably has several 60th level characters.  I am a tinkerer...I start characters and delete them with lots of abandon.  In fact, I kept moving servers because I like new servers.  I finally hunkered down and went back to my original server and finished my 60th Level Hunter (some 14 months after I started playing).  Better late than never? 

I am looking forward to some end-game instances with my guild as I have solo'd all 60 levels (I don't play well with others and Hunters aren't the most requested class in groups). 

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My 360's Back and its GOW again!

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Gears of War and XBox 360 Ring of Death

Its happened.  I read over on Chris Sells' blog about his XBox 360 + GOW issue and hoped it wouldn't happen to me. Well it did. 

I played through the first section and a half of GOW without incident, but then suddenly it would just lockup unexpectedly. Not a good sign, but I've had some lockups but not many on the console. But now the box is completely dead. 3 Red-lights and lots of sadness.  I called support and MS is going to fix it even though I am not sure that it is really under warranty.  I am not a conspiracy theorist, but my guess would be that there is a real issue that perhaps doesn't occur until the box is pressed really hard (like GOW does).

I am curious to find out if any of my readers have had an issue after their GOW playtime.  Any dead machines? 

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Chainsaws on Rifle

Url: http://gearsofwar.com/Emergenceday/

I was looking through the manual for Gears of War and saw this magnificant weapon.  Do you think we could have found Bin Laden by now if we'd put a chainsaw on an M16?  I do...

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Microsoft Announced Movies and TV for XBox Live!

Url: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/marketplace/movi...

Microsoft announced today that starting 11/14/2006 they will be providing the ability to rent movies and buy TV shows from the XBox Live Marketplace.  Their lineup contains 200 hours of HD and 800 hours of near-HD quality programming.  This is a *big* deal in my mind (especially since it launches when the PS3 comes out). Check out the announcement including the initial title lineup here:

I especially like the Comedy Central and Cartoon Network inclusion, though The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are suspiciously absent. What do you think?

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5,000 Achievement Points Baby!

Url: http://xbox.com

I finally hit 5,000 Achievement Points on my XBox Live account. It was finally the Doom Arcade game that put me over the top.  Boy its still addictive after all these years.  Wahoo!

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Gaming Inspirational Posters

Url: http://retroblast.com/gallery

Here are some that I like.  Follow the links to vote on your favorites:

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On the Road with my XBox 360

Url: http://xbox.com

I spent most of last week on the road in Alabama, and came home to a very short weekend before I left today for a week in Missouri.  Saturday my copy of Dead Rising for the XBox 360 arrived and I am hooked.  So I did something I haven't done before, I took my XBox 360 with me.  After getting a S-Video cable and fiddling with the Hotel TV for a while, I finally got it to work!

I'll get a chance to see how the 360 works without HD.  I'll have a review by the end of the week.

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XNA Baby...

Url: http://msdn.com/directx/xna/gse

I doubt I'll ever get anything running, but I am going to play with it to see if I can get a quick game running...

Download it now!

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Oblivion is no more!

Url: http://profile.mygamercard.net/The+ADO+Guy

After way too much time with Elder Scrolls: Oblivion for the XBox 360, I finally finished all the 50 achievements.  1,000 achievement points baby!  I can't even imagine how much time I took, but I finished all the quest trees (but not every quest, only the quest trees).

This is one of the best console games I've ever played. Very engrossing, but I am ready to send it back to GameFly after five months.

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My XBox 360 Has Its Own Blog!

Url: http://www.360voice.com/blog.asp?tag=The%20ADO%...

I ran into a new site that will give your XBox 360 it's own blog based on your gamer tag! My XBox 360 now has its own blog:

http://www.360voice.com/blog.asp?tag=The%20ADO%20Guy

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Interesting Gameplay Ideas from Valve (Makers of Halflife 2)

Url: http://www.joystiq.com/2006/07/18/first-trailer...

In this new trailer from Valve, they hint at a new weapon in Halflife 2:Episode 2 called Portal.  You have to see it to believe it!

 

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First Person Shooter in 96KB (yeah, KB)

Url: http://produkkt.abraxas-medien.de/kkrieger

Maybe I am late to this party, but I just played a bit of an impressive first person shooter that was written to fit into 96 kilobytes.  No frills like changing keymapping or anything, but the graphics are incredibly impressive for 96 KB.  Its worth a look here.

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What do "Barbie Horse Adventure" and "Grand Theft Auto" have in common?

Url: http://www.gamespot.com/news/6153617.html

In this interesting interview of Albert Penello (of Microsoft), he is asked questions about backwards compatibility on the XBox 360, specially why some games are on the compatibilty list and others are not. In one very interesting comment, he mentions that it is not just the most popular games that are included, but games that use similar technology as popular games are included as they are low hanging fruit:

"The reason you're seeing certain games become available that aren't necessarily the most popular titles is because they share common features with other games we're working on. When we solve emulation issues for a game, it can unlock similar issues for other games. To give one popular example, Barbie Horse Adventures runs on the Xbox 360 because it uses technology similar to that of the Grand Theft Auto series. When we see a game start to work "for free," we release it. It's not our place to withhold titles that work simply because they weren't best-sellers."

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