Nachokoolaid's Full 2006 Xbox 360 PREVIEW

All things controller driven will be talked about here.

Nachokoolaid's Full 2006 Xbox 360 PREVIEW

Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:38 am

http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=24461648

Or if you're too lazy too click, I'll post the text:

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San Francisco --- March 21, 2006




Some of you may remember my lengthy 15 page Xbox 360 preview from the New York event posted in the Gamespot forums in October ’05 before the 360 launched. (found here: http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=23856490 )

Well, Microsoft was kind enough to ask me back to another event to give you guys, the Gamespot community a little heads-up on what’s going on in the world of the Xbox 360, and what’s coming in the near future. What follows is a short run-down of the event and a preview of the games that I played. Remember, it’s been a day since the event, so I’m trying to recall details, but my memory isn’t perfect. If you want to ask a question, feel free. It may jog my memory.


Firstly, there were a few games there that I didn’t play, because they had already launched, and I was currently playing them at home and I wanted to get my hands on stuff I hadn’t played yet. These games included Ghost Recon: AW, Burnout: Revenge, and ES4: Oblivion. There was also some Hold ‘Em Poker there that I didn’t play (which is a little odd, since I’m a big fan of the real thing). Also, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat was there. I watched it being played and it visually looked GREAT. But some said that it felt sort of like a port, so I spent my time on other games.




Oh, and when I get my film developed, I’ll post some pics from the event. But that might be a while since I still have about half a roll in the camera still (I know, what haven’t I gone digital yet!?!). It was cool meeting some of the Gamespot guys and some devs and TV personalities like Victor Lucas and others. Many, many thanks need to go out to Arne, the devs, and all the folks at Microsoft that made this special. And I must add that I saw my first cross dresser. Read on!



TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND




The first game I saw when I walked through the door was the new Tomb Raider game. I got a chance to talk to the dev, and he was a nice enough fellow. He said this game started as a current gen game for the PS2, and Xbox, but when the 360 came about, they really wanted to focus on that—and you can tell. The 360 version looks great. While it’s not exactly photo real, I’d make the argument that the art style isn’t going for a photo real effect. Although this is the best looking Croft character model (by far), she still looks like a cartoonish type person instead of a real lady—much the same way Joanna Dark looks cartoonish compared to characters in a game like Condemned. The great lighting helps the graphics really shine.




The controls must be mentioned. I got an original Prince of Persia vibe from this game, and that’s a great thing. Lara can now pull off some pretty neat moves—jumping from cliff edge to edge, or across ropes. She also has a cool little grappling hook thing that is like a zip line type deal. It can get you to certain places too. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this series of games (and I blame that on the control) I could immediately tell that Lara no longer felt like she was carrying around a caboose and taking four extra steps after you had stopped her movement. The devs said they spent a lot of time and resources in pre-production finding out what gamers liked and wanted from Tomb Raider, and that seems to be money well spent. While I would argue that the control didn’t seem quite as tight as POP, it’s good enough for government work.

There’s also some basic puzzles, but nothing that seems like it would halt your progress for too long. Also, there’s some sort of com-link that Lara has in her ear, but due to the sound in the event, I couldn’t hear the sounds of the games, really. The dev said that it gives you hints if you get stuck, but I imagine it does a bit more too. If I have one nit pick, I think the aiming of weapons could be tweaked. Don’t get me wrong, the system works well. Pulling the RT will fire a weapon in the direction you face, and holding the LT will lock onto a target as you fire. This works, but I felt that while aiming, the control of the reticule or camera was a little stiff. That’s a small nit pick, but I enjoyed this game overall. The dev said to expect this on April 11 if all goes swimmingly.
Last edited by Nachokoolaid on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:39 am

N3 (Ninety-Nine Nights):







This game is coming in April to Japan. I think this will be a big hit there, and while it may not be a system seller, it should get some folks interested in the 360. It certainly seems like a solid title. I was lucky enough to spend some time speaking with Mitsaguchi (spelling?) the lead dev of this title. He was a great guy, and after a little prying he said that hopefully we’ll see this game by December/holiday of this year.




The control scheme was easy to grasp with a strong attack, light attack, and like a turbo/combo button and a jump button. Since the game was in Japanese (and I lack that much education) I couldn’t follow the story at all, so the experience was pretty much limited to running to new areas and wiping out hordes of baddies (think of the Badlands in Kameo, only with a much MUCH more visceral feel, and a less random fight style). In this demo, you play as some hot chick with some cool winged armor (with the appropriate gap in the armor to meet the necessary quota for video game cleavage when possible). She has a sword as big as she is.




Like I said, without story, it’s pretty much hack and slash at its best. I’m not a big hack/slash fan, but there seemed to be some sense that you could link combos together and such, so it was pretty addictive. It was cool once you got “in the zone.â€
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:39 am

LOTR: BATTLE FOR MIDDLE EARTH 2




Last but certainly not least, the game I feared most… an RTS on a console. This game released for the PC a while back, but the dev told me something I didn’t realize: it isn’t simply a straight port of the PC version. A complete separate team was developing this alongside the PC version. And wow, did this game look amazing. The dev said that the 360 is something special, and that this game on the 360 is equivalent to a top of the line PC with all the sliders maxed out. I thought that was neat.




The biggest fear I had about this game was the control. I knew there was no way that anyone could translate the control that a keyboard offered an RTS game. I was WRONG. Mark my words: this control scheme will do for console RTSs (yes, more will follow) what the Halo controls did for the 1st person shooter. Read that again. The control was that good. EA figured out a way to make things so simple. There are ways to easily select all the men on screen, or your entire army, or one group. It really was quite intuitive. For example, holding the LT while the cursor is over a group of soldiers and pressing A twice will select your whole army. Or say you move the cursor away from your men and the action to go build something, one button press (X, I think) will take the camera immediately back to them. Or while building trolls, for example, I had the building selected, and I went off to fight, and instead of having to go back to the camp to select the building again and make some more, I could just press the confirm button again from the battle, and it would make some more on my command, and I could even send them straight to the fight without moving. I was afraid that this wouldn’t work on a console because the dev was holding the controller all night, so I addressed this with him. He was like, “Ok, take it,â€
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:12 am

Not too interested in Saints Row... Dead Rising, however, sure!

There was a Japanese GTA-esque game that looked good... can't remember what it was called. Shame there wasn't any Darkness or Alan Wake for you to get your mitts on!
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:35 am

AtomicHyperbole wrote:Not too interested in Saints Row... Dead Rising, however, sure!

There was a Japanese GTA-esque game that looked good... can't remember what it was called. Shame there wasn't any Darkness or Alan Wake for you to get your mitts on!


Frame City Killer is what you're thinking of. I think it got delayed a bit, but I think it will probably be around holiday time, at least.

Darkness would have been cool, but the three games I was really hoping to see were all absent (Gears of War, Alan Wake, and Rockstar's Table Tennis).
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:37 am

Ah well, can't have it all. Thanks for taking the time to post this here though, very thoughtful.
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Postby Tubbs Tattsyrup on Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:29 am

Dead Rising sounds fucking killer. It sounds like it's really really what we need - a good, Romero-zombie style zombie game. I mean, there's tons of games with zombies but none of them follow the zombie rules, so none of them really feel real. What I want is, like, Postal 2, with zombies, but with a more interactive environment - and that seems to be what this is. If I could afford a 360 I'd get it, mofos.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:31 am

The laetst screens showcase some killer Silent Hill-esque character design on DR.

http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/748/748396/imgs _1.html
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