Tag Archives: Microsoft

I Picked The Wrong Next-Gen Console.

I picked up a PS4 a few months ago when Destiny finally launched as a full game. I was excited about Destiny after playing the beta with friends on my Xbox 360.

A white PS4 with Destiny and The Last of Us: Remastered from Dick Smith (where I work) for cheap? It was too good to be true. I’m starting to regret my decision, now.

My first console was a PlayStation. Many hours were wasted on 40 Winks, Crash Bandicoot, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos and Spyro. I moved on to the PlayStation 2 and the brilliant library that came with that console.

My love affair with the Xbox started with a second-hand Xbox when I was 13 or so. I can’t remember why my Mum bought it for me, but I got Halo 2 and a few other games with it in a deal EB Games had going at the time.

It was instant, life-long love and I’ve never really looked back. My first Xbox 360 was so well “loved”, that the disc drive failed. A common fault, but for a relatively old Xbox 360, surviving the 7 years that it did was a great feat. My second Xbox is slowly gathering dust until I can be bothered to connect it to my bedroom TV. Its place in the lounge room was replaced by the PS4.

The Destiny hype suckered me into buying the PS4. My friends suckered me into buying the PS4. The price I got from work suckered me into buying the PS4.

It sits quietly on the shelf above the TV, making friends with the Blu-Ray player I bought my parents a few years ago. My PS4 is unloved. I think my PS4 was a brilliant investment, don’t get me wrong. It’s something that I think will get plenty of use in the future, but looking back on my choice, I would have waited and picked the Xbox One.

I own the Titanfall Xbox One controller, I’m considering picking up the Halo: Master Chief edition without owning the console because my dedication to the Halo series runs so deep that I’m pretty sure my blood is khaki. I want an Xbox One, but spent my money on a PS4.

Giving up the PS4 isn’t an option with plenty of quality games coming out on it in the future, but in the present, all I want is an Xbox One, Halo, Sunset Overdrive and a weekend off so I can play video games until my hands form Xbox One-shaped claw hands.

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State of Decay: Sink Your Teeth In

sodState of Decay is one of those games I’d heard great things about but already felt burnt out on. The zombie genre is a favourite with developers and the market is flooded with hoards (puns!) of them. But when my lovely friend gifted me the base game and the DLC, I decided to have a go at it.

At the time of writing, I’d played almost 10 hours straight without realising it. Thank GOD for days off, right?

State of Decay is a third-person zombie shooter with elements of stealth, resource management and base building thrown in. These gameplay elements help add extra depth to the immersion for the player. You need to make sure that all your characters are at full health, that there’s ammo available and you have an escape plan to get out of any sticky situations. My problem with a lot of zombie/survival games is that it’s run and gun; there’s no strategy. But State of Decay almost encourages you to have a strategy.

As you gather up more survivors to play as, they have mood swings and rely on other members of your group to help them through. The characters have enough personality to give you someone to pick as a favourite, but are plain enough so that you can put yourself in their shoes. Although, the way I’m playing, it’s a bit like an episode of Game of Thrones; I get attached to one particular character and then BAM! Eaten by a zombie. It’s a little tragic.

Gameplay and mission can lull from time to time, making things feel a little boring and repetitive. There’s a lot of potential for a variety of missions, but it’s mostly: go here, clear out this, come back.  I’ve currently found myself going around trying to find resources, waiting for missions to spawn because I’ve completed all the available missions. The missions I have completed have a good learning curve. You can do them on your own comfortably, or take along a fellow survivor to watch your back. Although, the AI can be a little… backwards when it comes to watching out for zombies; either super helpful or a major hindrance. The more you use a particular character, the better their stats get and the more helpful they can be.

My major problem with the game are a few rather annoying bugs I’ve come across when it comes to starting or closing the game. I found the game would crash when the music was muted, and I’m not sure what’s causing my game to bug out and crash when I’m trying to close the game from the main menu. The developer forums are helpful for finding work-around solutions for these bugs, but patching them hasn’t worked as of yet. From some Googling, my problems seem to be fairly common, so I’m hoping the developers are working to patch these out.

The music and graphics aren’t astounding, but it’s not a major drawback. In a world where everyone focuses on lifelike graphics and Oscar-worthy music, it’s kind of refreshing to have something that’s “not up to scratch”. The animation is a little buggy when zombies look like they’re outside, but are actually just clipping through a wall. I’ve wasted many a bullet hitting a wall where I thought I was aiming perfectly at a zombie’s face.

For a fairly generic zombie survival game, I’m sinking a disgusting amount of time into it. It’s got its claws right in and doesn’t really want to let go. The Lifeline and Breakdown DLC have great reviews online and the friend who gifted these to me raved about them when he bought them originally on Xbox Live. If you’re looking for a time sink, some good old fashion violence and nothing too complicated, State of Decay is perfect.

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“Your Feedback Matters” – Microsoft Listen To Criticism and Change Everything.

Hardware developers have no respect for sleeping schedules I tell ya….

Today, Microsoft announced that it would remove the dreaded DRM and used-game policies that everyone has been so anxious about. Previously, your Xbox One would need to check in to the Xbox servers once every 24-hours to verify files. Microsoft tried to calm the waters by saying that the files that would be transferred were so small you could tether your phone to your Xbox for this check-in. Alas, the masses had spoken and they didn’t want to be anywhere near this DRM.

The used game policy was just as confusing and frustrating for consumers (even I’m still trying to get my head around the ex-policy). And that’s partly Microsoft’s fault, they weren’t very clear in explaining how trading and lending games. But they’re now changing the policy so that used games are handled the same way they’re handled on your Xbox 360; whether that’s a good or bad thing.

What’s new? The Xbox One is now region free which is something I’ve wanted for years. For too long have we been punished in Australia for our location and thus, we get games about a month behind the world (which the exception of one or two games to keep the unruly masses at bay) so now, you don’t have to wait. I’m a sucker for pre-order shinies so I might still have to wait, but at least I’ve got the choice to get a game in advance.

There’s an article on Gizmodo that outlines the ways that this change could really suck for the customer. It’s a really good read. I’d suggest going in with an open mind and seeing how it changes your mind on things.

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Sony Vs Microsoft. Who Won? #E3 #SonyE3 #XboxE3

Sony just destroyed Microsoft at E3, although Sony has a pretty average selection of games on launch. Both prices have been confirmed and are as follows:

PS4:
Console: $549
Controller: $99
Games: $118

Xbox One:
Console: $599
Controller: $99
Games: $118

Microsoft did announce a redesigned Xbox 360 which is smaller and quieter than the current models, that your Xbox Gold sub will go across to Xbox One and that you’ll be able to download two free games per month. Also has a partnership with Twitch.TV so you can broadcast your games live.

Sony announced that there won’t be any restrictions on used games, no online authentication and that online multiplayer will now require PlayStation Plus. PS4 is region free. They announced the console would be priced at $399 in the US. Anyone notice the $150 mark up in Australian Price? That’s right, Australian Tax strikes again.

 

Update: EB Games confirms that the $118 price tag on PS4 and Xbox One games is only a placeholder.

[tweet https://twitter.com/EBGamesAus/status/344337172855402496]

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Send Rade to E3!

Hey guys!

If you follow the Facebook page, you’ll have noticed I’ve been somewhat excited about a competition I’ve entered to go to E3! So there’s two parts to it.

I had to write a 500 word review on an Xbox Live Arcade game from a small pool of games. As there were only 4 games (Trails: Evolution, Bloodforge, Fable: Heroes or Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition), I went through and read a little about each game.

Trails: Evolution didn’t appeal to me at all since it’s a racing game and I’m not that into them. Fable: Heroes looked okay but I don’t like the Fable games much. Minecraft: Xbox 360 edition was what I choose to review until I saw that it wasn’t available for some reason. WTF?

So I went with Bloodforge, a pretty typical hack-and-slash game that’s visually appealing. I only played about an hour of the game before writing my review since I felt I had learnt everything I need to know about the style, controls, storyline and characters. I knocked that out pretty quickly and sent it off to Seth! Seth had a small accident and through no fault of his own couldn’t return an edited version of my review so I did the best I could and edited it myself.

The second part was the harder part. I had to record a 2 minute video of why I should go to E3. I’d recorded that video a dozen times or more before I settled on my submitted work.

The Top 5 are meant to be revealed around May 17th-18th and they it goes to a vote. If I make it till then, I’ll be asking everyone to help me get there. Voting, sharing it with your friends, spamming everyone you know. Bribery won’t be looked down on as long as you vote.

Thanks for all your support!

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Borderlands Vs Borderlands

I bought Borderlands on Xbox last month after having it on my PC for a year. I’m pretty much in love with this game and I decided that this would be a good time to do a comparison for my two main gaming preferences: Xbox and PC.
Now, before my friends start bitching at me about how PC is better, I’ll tell you to shut up now. I’m the writer, not you, so lemme do my job, okay? Thank you.
Since this is my first time playing Borderlands on my Xbox, the controls are a little difficult to get used too but that passes pretty quickly and there are a variety of mapping options available for you. I’m using default as it seems to make the most sense. The downside is that it does take more skill to use an Xbox controller to shoot after I’ve been using a keyboard and mouse for so long.
I’ve noticed an immediate improvement in the graphics, strangely enough. On my PC, the colours seem dull and boring and on the Xbox, they’re just brighter and nicer to look at.
What I’m disappointed about is that I’m not enjoying it as much as I do on PC. I’ve got a few ideas about why this could be true:

 

  1. I’m a higher level on PC than on Xbox. My level 49 Siren is a lot of fun to play where as my level 15 Siren on Xbox feels tired. Since it’s on the first playthrough, I’ve done it all before and it’s just got no real replay value on playthrough one.
  2. I don’t have to have Gold status to play with my friends. One of the great things about having it on Steam, I don’t have to pay a subscription. I don’t have the money for another Gold sub.

I think I might need to spend a few hours getting reacquainted with the old girl and find our groove again. We used to have such a beautiful friendship but now we’re not even Facebook Friends ™.

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My Friend Steals my Xbox, Suddenly Converts (Blogspot Post)

Xbox logo

Image via Wikipedia

“Addie, you love me right?”
“May be, why?”
“Can I borrow the Sexbawks for a little while?”
“Why?”
“’cause…”

This is a conversation with my friend, who I’ll call Jerkface to protect his identity. He is on school holidays and has decided this week would be the week that he’d steal my beloved Xbox and play Assassin’s Creed 2.

What’s interesting about this is he’s a PC gamer, and by rights would be my enemy if the platform wars ever decided to break free of the internet. Also, I know he’s got money to buy the game. You know, he probably would if Ubisoft didn’t have that silly “Permanent connection to internet” DRM that’s been rubbing people the wrong way.

Anyway, I think I’m starting to slowly turn him towards way of thinking about console! He even thought about buying an Elite. Not that he’ll ever admit it. If he keeps following my lead, he’ll be swooning like a woman when Nathan Fillon is on Castle.

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