Xbox 360 / Perfect Dark Zero impressions

For the past couple of weeks, there has been a steady stream of xbox 360 things in my living room.. First there was a controller, then a memory card, then Perfect Dark Zero, and then tuesday night, there was an Xbox 360.

I watched my roommate play PDZ a little bit, but i wasn't really all that impressed.. the graphics looked hokey, and the character movements were pretty primitive.

After my rough day of studying, testing and finishing up projects, and between playing Chaos Field i decided to check it out since it was just sitting there.
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The Xbox 360 is differently designed than all other systems i've played before.. including PC games. When you start up the Xbox 360 and it loads a game, the 360 requires a login. the 360, not the game. You can have multiple profiles on one 360, and each profile needn't have Xbox live. But you must be logged in to play games.

The game uses this profile for saving progress, records and other data, besides the most import use of having an Xbox Live persona. Each account has it's own settings and data for every game played with that profile.

So unlike PC games, ps2 or gamecube where each person would have a seperate save file for their data, all data is organized by profile, so if you want your stuff, you only need log in the 360 under your name and the system tells the game which file to load for you.

very impressive. data management is a snap.

The wireless controllers have a more user-friendly design than the wavebird controllers. Once you start up the machine, you hit the Xbox button on the controller. It'll assign itself to the xbox, and then light up part of the Xbox button showing which player number it is. This is also represented on the front of the 360 showing how many controllers the system recognizes.

I'm not quite sure what'll happen when you have 2 Xbox 360 consoles next to each other and attempt to register controllers.. I wonder how they solve this problem.

Aside from that, it REALLY REALLY REALLY annoys me that the Xbox 360 isn't backwards compatible with every Xbox game. I can play Fable, but i can't play Metal Slug 3 or Fatal Frame 2 or Panzer Dragoon Orta or Crazy Taxi 3. worthless... that was my saving grace for buying some of these games. i could play them now on other's xboxes, and later i can play them on my xbox 360. so much for that one.
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anyways, my roommate is a huge console fps fan, so naturally he picked up the Xbox 360's flagship title: Perfect Dark Zero.

PDZ is pretty dissapointing in my opinion. This opinion is pretty justified when my roommate came home last night with a copy of Quake 4 to play instead of this game.

Perfect Dark Zero is exactly the same game it was 5 years ago with alot of graphical upgrades. The AI will not use any clever tactics to try and take you down. An enemy will not think twice of walking into a room that has your gun fixed on the door. Every single time, i can pop outside and fire a clip. Then duck back into the room, and wait for their slow ass to run in the room, stand in front of me and wait a second for me to shoot them dead.

Not to mention that the character animation is so stoic, it looks like they used the same animation from the Nintendo 64 game. It feels exactly the same in appearance. how lazy can you be....

so far i've made it up through Mission number 5 at this point, and the story is absolutely cliche and horrible. Joanna is presented as Lara Croft clone with her veteran pal, Joe, presented as a Bruce Willis clone. Halo 1 and 2 are FAR more interesting than this game, even they are pretty cliche as well.

Playing this game is pretty annoying, but it's rather addicting at the same time..

The graphics haven't blown me away at all... there have been some things i've stopped to look it and thought, "that's looks pretty neat.." But then i turn away and get back to the mission. Most of the graphics are have pretty standard for Playstation 2, but the powerful lighting effects of the Xbox 360 pull everything together to give it a clean crisp shiny look.

On occasion though, the lighting effects look really hokey. Especially when you're infiltrating this chinese palace covered in snow. The snow gives off a blue hue in the moonlight night, but the orange from the fire defuses the reality and makes the enviroment look CG.
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anyways... Perfect Dark Zero thus far has been pretty unimpressive, but it's still kinda fun.. from the purchase of Quake 4, it obviously won't hold over my roommate until Halo 3 comes out next year sometime.

I'd like to see some great games on the machine though. Fable 2 should be amazing. I really hope they bring Tetris the grand master stateside. I also look forward to Ninety-Nine Knights, Blue Dragoon, and a few other games.. maybe even Final Fantasy XI and Rumble Roses XX.

The Xbox 360 is pretty well designed, but it feels more like an Xbox 1.5 than a whole new system. The Xbox 360 graphics don't look ALL that better than the Xboxes.. for the time being, anyways..




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