I‘ve tried out all of my Xbox games now (except Forza Motorsport, because I don’t do racing games), just to get a taste of what each one offers. Here’s my opinion on each. Keep in mind that I haven’t completed any of them, and I‘m not a gamer. So my evaluations are based on different values than that of what a hard-core gamer or fan of a particular title might look at.
- Assassin’s Creed
- I really enjoy the freedom of movement in this one. Fighting is also pretty exciting. Being able to automatically scrabble up walls and along ledges without a lot of conscious control pushing makes the gameplay more enjoyable. The tutorials provided throughout the beginning are helpful, especially to a gaming newbie like myself. However, the constant cutscenes detract, and the entire frame story is worthless. I would rather that it was actually set in the past, instead of being set in the future with a simulated past.
- Halo 3
- I‘ve never played any of the other games in the Halo series. The story looks easy enough to follow. I prefer FPS to third-person games like Assassin’s Creed or Tomb Raider, but I‘m going to need a lot of practice before I get used to the controller. Having separate axes for movement and view make it harder for me to look around, since they were one and the same in all the PC games I’ve played. Trying to endure some combat (and dying frequently) has reminded me why I‘m not a gamer. I tend to just run in a straight line toward the enemy I’m trying to destroy while holding down my fire button and hoping that I kill them before they kill me. Stupid, I know. But I just have no stealth or strategy.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance
- Just tried this one out. I haven’t actually played very far. However, it is somewhat confusing. I couldn’t find any tutorial or practice mission to get used to the controls; it sort of threw me into the fray and expected me to be able to play. Um … no. Not very idiot-friendly, unfortunately. And I‘m more of a DC person anyway. :P
- Tomb Raider: Anniversary
- I remember playing the original Tomb Raider on my brother’s PlayStation 1. It was fun, even though I was rubbish at it. This Tomb Raider is even better. The graphics and movement detail is much more realistic, which really makes the game. Figuring out the next step in each level is a bit harder (but that’s what strategy guides are for ). I also dislike the checkpoint-based type of saved game. I’m a save-anywhere type of person, because I tend to die a lot. And it just gets annoying redoing a bunch of complicated acrobatic moves every time because I can’t save a bit further in the process.
- Viva Pinata: Party Animals
- Amazing game. Outrageous French accents, crazy fun activities—I can’t wait until I can try this with a friend. It reminds me of Mario Party. The commentary provided by the pinata hosts is somewhat annoying, but the races and challenge events themselves are fun. This is a good distraction and a nice break from all the shooter games I have.
Oh, and my Xbox has to stop giving me options. Options make me paranoid. I spent an hour yesterday fiddling and switching back and forth between display resolutions to see which one made DVD playback less smooshed. My regular DVD player just played the video, but can Xbox do that? Nooo. It has to give me choices and options and things to configure, which is fine for some people, but for me they just invite paranoia. Oh well … I think it’s fine now.
Back to not doing any work… .