Xbox 360 Demos

On Friday, I spent a fair amount of time downloading a bunch of demos for the 360 that seemed pretty interesting.

Project Silpheed

This is Squaresoft's first 360 game, so I had to give it a go. Project Silpheed, not to be confused with the real Silpheed game series, and a 3D chase-view shmup set in space, kinda like Descent or Colony Wars. You basically fly around and blow shit up.. just like any shmup. The controls are so goddamn intricate, spending half an hour going through the tutorial is almost required. In fact Penny Arcade did a comic on it.

On top of that, the game really isn't all that fun. It's more of a chore to fly around and pick off all the enemy planes.. only to get killed in 3 direct hits by one lucky fellow. Pass

Tenchu Z

Tenchu is probably one of my favorite games of all time. In its core, it wasn't a particularly good game. The gameplay on its own is nearly passable and was largely over shadowed by Metal Gear Solid at the time. The AI of the enemies was dumb.. You could stand next to them and they detect you. BUT the music was simply beautiful. It has one of the must in-depth, powerful, and simply stunning soundtracks of any Playstation title.

There have been many sequels to Tenchu, but none have captured the essence of the original. All have been shitty buggy clones with crappy music. Why can't they just get the original composer's back and bring the franchise back to its glory days...?

Anyways, I saw the demo on Xbox Live and gave it a go. Tenchu is a stealthy ninja game, where you kill your enemies without being detected. You can grappled on top of buildings, jump down behind your enemy, and cut him open without him seeing you.

Tenchu Z actually surprised me a bit. I felt like a was brought into the past and playing Tenchu for the first time again. Everything seemed largely the same. Scaling rooftops, dumbass easy-to-kill AI.. But it is missing two big things for me to fall completely in love: The music and the wicked. The music in the demo is soft, subtle and boring, which means you never pay attention to it, which means it doesn't engross you into the environment. Music will pull and guide you into any world the game or movie present. I would put sound on par with anything sight can do.. So to completely fail at any auditory is a huge blow to the over all experience of the game.

The other thing the demo fails at is the overall wicked-ness of the original Tenchu. Like with the skeleton baby cult, and lust for crazy fat people. This is just a demo, so there's no way they'd get into any of the this stuff just yet.. Hopefully they will.. I'd be disappointed if there wasn't.

So... if you've got a 360 and loved Tenchu back in the day, why not check it out. It's certainly not as good as the original, but it's not too bad. The demo said that the full game has 50+ missions in it, and plenty of customizable outfits, faces, and weapons. It's been 9 years since the original came out.. relive the magic in its beaten up, broken down form.

I'll probably pick it up, if I could find it for $40. $60 is way too much for this game..

Edit: Crap.. Tenchu Z just came out this week.. finding it for less than $60 will be difficult.. maybe i'll rent it.

DiRT

DiRT is a rally racing game which stole NiGHTS' and SiCKO's capitalization styles. The demo has a very arcade style of selecting cars and tracks. Unlike the convoluted, over customization of Gran Turismo and Forza motorsports, You pick your car, pick your track, and away you go. This is probably a little different in the actual game.

The graphics are simply beautiful. Highly detailed cars, environments, etc.. What's really amazing in the damage you inflict on your car. The slightest scratch or bump will change the appearance of your car and when you slam into a side-rail..? Blam! The front of the car is scrunched accordion style, while the hood is slightly torn up. The side-rail has a huge dent in it next at the point of impact.

The damage is quite realistic, and sounds are so blunt and powerful.. It's hard to not have fun beating the shit out of your car. Bushes, actually have mass too, and can scrape out your nice fine finish. I've never seen a game take damage to the environment as seriously as taking damage to the car.

The thing I love about this game the most though, is the menu navigation. I should really get some sort of screenshoting software to explain it. It's a 2D menu in a 3D space.. kinda like the Wipeout Fusion menu, except when you select something, you fly around space to the next menu. Each menu has a reflective text, so it shimmers in the light when you move across it.

Anyways, DiRT is a lot of fun despite being developed by codemasters, who special in making sub-par games. It comes out this week for the 360, and in a couple of months for the PS3. Definitely a rent title, but I would probably pick it up for $40 on the PS3 if there wasn't anything else going on at that time.

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Huzzah.. fun times all around. Definitely download these demos to see for yourself.. Especially the DiRT demo.




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