Xbox 360 Impressions

Microsoft Xbox 360Say what? Yes, I’m not jesting; I went out, bought an Xbox 360 and have been losing track of the hours I’ve spent on it. Here’s a take on the Xbox 360 from a confessed Nintendo fanboy. (If you’re too disgusted to read on, I was impressed.)

It’s sleek design is marred only by a few slight flaws. Take for instance the great look of the console and controller, and match it up with the hideous logo. That green X looks out of place no matter where it is. The game box design leaves a lot to be desired as well. Who do neon green boxes appeal to again? I’m almost embarrassed to display them on my media shelf. The controller is almost perfect, but I do have complaints. Besides the giant X logo button, the digital pad sucks. It’s a good thing you rarely use it, but as long as the digital pad has been around, how could Microsoft screw that up? Don’t get me wrong though, overall I think the console and controller are a nice package.

Of course, we all know that the real worth of a system is how much fun it provides. I’ve had a lot of fun with the Xbox 360. I can’t stop playing it. From downloading demos to playing Dead Rising, I’ve had a great time with my affair. Unfortunately, I had to temporarily move my router into my living room; I can’t afford the $99 wireless adapter yet. And as much fun as Dead Rising is, I wish I could afford one or two more games. $60 a game really takes a bite out of your gaming budget.

The Xbox 360 has some spectacular shining moments, but like the jerk of an older brother, it always manages to mar their memory with outright obnoxiousness. Take Dead Rising as an example. Its crazy zombie fun gets jarred by eye-strainingly tiny story text. How did this get past QA? Worse still, Capcom is refusing to patch the game. Apparently, they claim the bug only affects those who actually want to read in-game story text. The game also comes with an insane difficulty and vicious save cycle. Luckily, killing zombies in a mall is that fun.

Sifting through downloadable demos also gave me a look into the variable quality plaguing the system. Some demos like Ghost Recon, Dead or Alive 4, and Call of Duty 2 showed off the cream of the crop with excellent polish. Special mention needs to be made for Fight Night; it looks and feels like a live match on HBO. Yet other demos like Blazing Angels makes you wonder if it’s not a cruel joke. Then, there was Far Cry Instincts Predator‘s online demo. It looked like Picasso’s rendition of an FPS and felt like the stop motion animation I made when I was 12.

My final conclusion? The system really is great. Too bad, Uncle MS lets its rich child show its ugly side. If you love playing video games and have a big budget for your hobby, get the Xbox 360… Otherwise, did I mention that the Wii has Wi-Fi built in?