Review by Sour

"Popularized the console online gaming industry"

Let's face it, nobody saw this one coming. A company that developed software for PCs making their own video game console? It sounded ridiculous at the time to some, and to others it sounded like the greatest idea of all time. However, either way, it managed to take the world by storm, enough so that the company is able to stay in league with the likes of Nintendo and Sony today. There are plenty of good dames for it as well, a lot of them surprisingly difficult. Microsoft really hit the nail on the head with this one.

Game Library: 10/10: The X-box has a ton of great games available for it, most notably Halo 1 and 2, which brought first-person shooting to a whole new generation of gamers, the latter of which was at the very least partially responsible for the rise of online console gaming. Sadly, the Halo 2 servers were eventually taken down a couple of years after the release of the X-box 360, but you can still play on a LAN network. The popular RPG Fable was also released on this console, which received a sequel with another sequel about to be released pretty soon. The third Doom game also got released for this platform, perhaps one of the most notable first-person shooters of all time as far as series recognition goes and the game is great, and difficult to boot. The first two Fatal Frame games are also available on this console, which are absolutely amazing games if you're into Japanese horror and horror-survival. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind also saw a release for this console and won a Game of the Year award. Several Sonic games were released for the X-box as well, such as Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog. The Mega Man Anniversary Collection was also released for the X-box, and sadly was the only Mega Man game to come to the console. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and Mortal Kombat: Deception also made their way to this console, as did Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, arguably some of the greatest fighting games of all time. The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, as well as a ton of Star Wars games in general were ported to the X-box as well. So there are plenty of games to pick from.

Overall Difficulty: 7/10: Honestly a lot of the games are fairly challenging without being over-the-top. The Fatal Frame series is a great example of this, as there is plenty of puzzle-solving to do, but with some ingenuity and an open mind, you'll make it. The Halo games fall right in the middle as far as challenge goes, about on par with the Nintendo 64's Goldeneye. Online with Halo 2 however, is a different story, because you're actually playing against other people, and the same can be said for split-screen on both games as well. The Sonic games are actually fairly easy. With the Mega Man anniversary collection, that's a direct port of the first eight games in the classic series so you know those are going to be pretty tough unless you're an expert in the series. Doom 3 ranks on the high end of the difficulty scale as it is. Play that game in nightmare mode and you've got something much worse; a nightmare. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and Mortal Kombat: Deception are about the same as the series has been for a while in terms of difficulty. So challenging, but again, not over the top. The same applies to Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.

Controls: 10/10: The controllers are a bit large but are also designed to rest comfortably in your hands. The controller has two joysticks: one on the far left side next to the directional pad, and one in the middle but slightly off to the right. These can be pushed in to act as triggers as well. The four-button arrangement on the right side is almost the exact same formation on the Super Nintendo from back in the day, except the letters are reversed. The controllers also have an L and R button, as well as the black and white buttons. The being said, the controller has the same amount of buttons as a PS2 controller. If you're not a fan of the size or layout of the controller, you can buy third-party controllers, some of which may fit your hands better. On the left side under the directional pad, you have the Start button which starts your game up from the main menu and can pause the game during play, and a button right next to it called "Back", which is pretty much the equivalent of others controllers Select Button. It might take a little getting used to if you haven't played one yet, but you'll probably adapt pretty quickly.

Graphics: 10/10: The graphics for this console rivaled those of the rival Sony Playstation 2 and both of them are graphically superior to Nintendo's GameCube. If graphics are your thing, then you definitely won't be disappointed with the presentation here. It also seems to play DVDs a bit smoother than the PS2, despite being rather loud compared to the PS2. Of course like the PS2, the graphics really don't compare much to the current generation, but it looks great for the era it came out in because of how powerful the X-box is, which is why it's so huge. In fact it's a near-mini PC, the way it was designed.

Sound: 10/10: The sound capabilities are great, again rivaling the PS2. There's really nothing wrong here and the quality will depend on whether your sound is hooked up to a standard TV or to a stereo system. The music in all games is great, and the Halo series is well-known for it's soundtrack. Most if not all of the games have voice acting as well. Most of the games now have orchestrated scores. All in all it sounds great, particularly so if it's hooked up to a stereo system.

Overall: 9/10: The X-box brought in a whole new generation to first-person shooting and has some of the greatest RPGs for it's time (Fable, Marrowind). The graphics are fantastic, as is the sound quality. You'll find most games to be a challenge but not over-the-top. Mind you, the 360 is backwards compatible but if you don't feel like paying the price for a 360, get a refurbished X-box. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/15/10

Game Release: Xbox Hardware (US, 11/15/01)

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