Review by SomeBrandonKid
"It is the end of 2006 and Microsoft is no longer a "me-too" console"
I remember back in the day when Sony and Nintendo competed for the best gaming experience ever. I had always loved Nintendo up to their gamecube, when I realized that the Playstation 2 was king, pure and simple. It had everything that made it a great console. You could play music, watch movies, and it had above all, a great gaming library. Then another console came in. They named it the X-Box and it was a master of power. It could produce insane graphics and excellent resolutions. It was better than Sony, until it came to the game library. Against two gaming giants, Microsoft failed miserably and the only shining hope that they had was a game called Halo. It is now late 2006 and we are about to enter 2007 seven. Microsoft has entered round two of this epic battle and I have only one thing to say about the evolution of the XBox: It will blow you away.
The first thing you will notice about the 360 is it is now sexy, sleek, and attractive. Sure, it doesn't have that shiny coat of the PS3, but hey, you can't see the ugly smudges that will cover it it 10 minutes anyways. The 360 is lighter than the Xbox and is not white instead of black. Definately a good move, as white makes me think of gracefulness, something Microsoft has mastered. Also, the console sports an inhale shape, basically saying, I'm soft on the outside but yet holding enough power to knock you into space. It has a hidden USB Port in the front which allows you to plu in two wired controllers or any other USB - Peripherals you set your mind to (camera, keyboard, I-Pod, etc...) On the back it also allows for eithr an ethernet or USB-connection to the internet which is very flexibal and handy. It has two memory card slots in the front which you can obviously transfer data with and f course, the now famous Circle of Light. All in all, the 360 is definately way more attractive than the X-Box and on its own, is pretty enough to attract anybody.
If there's one thing that nobody can take from Microsoft, it's their mastery over the arts of media. They have everything that makes everything easy. Microsoft used this approach and brough the ease of using and sharing media to the 360, which makes viewing multimedia on the 360 easy, which is a very good thing. It's impressive to watch movies one second and then view a slide show another. A favorite thing of mine is to plug in my I-Pod and play tunes while playing Burnout. The video presention is top-knotch and is an introduction to the up-and coming HD format. On top of that, they have excellent sound quality and instant access to the net(if you have the net of course) You can download demos, watch videos, etc... all from the same console. It's a very awesome experience and can stand on it's own for being the worlds best multimedia server.
If there's one edge that the original Xbox had was that it in-fact had a very excellent online experience. You could chat with gamers from all around the world and its setup was fairly easy, meaning you can get in, play, and get out. It didn't have the frustrations that the other two competitors had. Upgrade that by 100 and you have XBox Live for the 360. It is something that is so underrated by by far the best idea for any console....period. There's something cool about playing a game and then seeing "So and so wants to chat" You hit your circle of light and select accept and you and your buddy are chatting while playing two different games. It is a very visceral experience. On top of that, provided you have a decent broadband connection, Live is very fast paced and gets the job done quickly. Above all, Live Marketplace, and Live Arcade are great additions to an already rock solid library. All in all, Live is the best and easiest online experience for any game.
Games and Strategies(10/10)
One lesson Microsoft learned from the original XBox was that you must have a large, varied library to be successful. If you think XBox, one thing comes to mind, that's right. Shooter. Not so with the 360. They learned a lesson and definately expanded in the right direction with new genres and by golly are they good. Microsoft or course has their awesome shooters(Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, etc..), but they also have great games in other Genres as well. If you want a good strategy game, why not try Viva Pinata or Battle for Middle Earth Two, or if you're into RPG's you could pick up the much loved Oblivion. No matter what type of gamer you are, there's something there. Right now, the library is limited by there's a good reason there's a ten. It's time to talk strategy. Microsoft is playing all the right cards this time around, and that once razor sharp edge that Sony had over the marktet is dulling. Capcom is showing favor to the 360 and and expect to see some love from Namco and make sure you look forward to Blue Dragon and Lost Oddysee. How about Resident Evil 5 or GTA 4? These are all titles you should see on Sony but due to Microsoft's excellent strategies, these are all titles you can look forward to seeing on your 360. As far as peripheals go, the eye toy is matched by the Live Vision camera, Guitar Hero is also coming to the 360, which as I know is very popular for the PS2, and of course, there's DDR, the ultimate party game.
Overal, the 360 looked back on it's past, realized their mistakes, picked itself up and hurled forward into a great white light of amazement. No longer can Microsoft be that "me-too" product. The 360 is a must-have console and above all, is now officially the king of consoles. All the exclusives that made Sony King no longer hold it high as they are moving to Microsoft. After a few rough years, Microsoft did everything right and when 2007 rolls around gamers everywhere rejoice, becasue there's a console worth buying and we call it the XBox 360.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/02/07
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