Xbox360 GET

So I finally got an Xbox360, Krystian tease me enough after all. Thanks dude ;) My first thoughts:

I got the console from a German electronic chain although Amazon had it cheaper, because I wanted to make sure the console would be a Jasper. To do so I needed to see the voltage rating the production date.

It’s understandable that Microsoft wants to get rid of all the older hardware, but this additional uncertainty for the prospective, informed buyer just sucks. I guess this is where you could say ignorance IS bliss… but I prefer not to be screwed over.

The Xbox Version Previously Known As Premium (XVPKAP) is now simply Xbox360 without any suffix, according to the table on the packaging. A component video cable is included which is a nice move, BUT still questionable. You see, in Europe, traditional CRT-TVs are almost universally RGB-capable via the annoying SCART-connector. On the other hand, HDTVs generally have HDMI. Maybe some rear projection TVs or projectors tend to use component video (a.k.a. YUV), but they are the minority. So the sensible thing would be either a SCART RGB cable or an HDMI one for Europe.

I didn’t buy any games there because they are ridiculous overpriced, 10-20 Euros above the Amazon price (e.g. Street Fighter IV or Resident Evil 5). So ordered Street Fighter IV (which pushed me over the fence, I guess, but it’s not the sole system seller) there and am now waiting. I know already the SF4 collector’s edition is barely worthy of its name, but it’s actually cheaper than the normal version and at least I can unlock some of the “additional” costumes. (“The biggest beef that I have with the “DLC” is that it isn’t Downloadable Content at all. When you download the file (I got one with my Collector’s Edition for 360), it is a 104kb file that unlocks the costumes for use straight from the disc [via].)

Console in general
The online experience has been smooth so far. I’m using my MSN messenger account. Gamer tag is Chennor. Adding contact is so much more straight forward than on the Wii, while the avatars are weaker then the Miis, if rendered more fashion-ish. But that’s well known.

I’m not missing the lack of high-def as much as I thought. Maybe that’s because of the lacking money. Sligtly annoying is the fact that the NXE dashboard is very left-aligned, where my CRT has loss of sharpness. I don’t want the dashboard to start with the “In Spotlight” category. Anyway to change that?

Arcade demo impressions
I don’t have any full game right now but it’s not so bad… otherwise I might not be able to do anything else over the weekend. I also see it as an opportunity to do some catch-up and play a few demos. Full-price titles’ demos are in another post for brevity’s sake

Braid. The demo is not showing the time bending aspects enough. If I didn’t know the buzz, I might have written it off as “high-quality indie but that’s it“.

Feeding Frenzy. A really simple XBLA game trial, girlfriend was immediately hooked, purchase likely. Note to self: Integrate easy fun and quick/constant rewards for my game.

Peggle. Krystian hinted on this one, girlfriend also likes it. I’m not impressed… yet?

Street Fighter 2 HD remix. Why the hell is it only local multiplayer playable? Without a second pad, one cannot even take a look at it. Great. Apart from that, I think SF2HD to be unnecessary anyway. I wrote it somewhere already: SF4 is enough hommage and even continuation of the SF2 line. SF3 Third Strike is the one that would have really shined in HD glory (fluid AND hi-res, *drool*). Without touching the time-tested gameplay, of course.

One more remark: my region 1 Ninja Gaiden Black doesn’t work on the PAL Xbox360. I supposed that was to be expected but I actually forgot that my old Xbox was imported. Really wanted to play NGB with the improved pad. Sure there’s the proper sequel but I don’t feel like spending more money, too bad Ninja Gaiden 2 doesn’t have a demo.

Yu-Chung Chen

Yu-Chung Chen is a designer working primarily on video games. He studied at Köln International School of Design and has contributed to a number of published games. Currently he works as a freelance UI designer at Keen Games.

5 responses to “Xbox360 GET”

  1. Krystian Majewski

    The choice of included cables is really strange.

    You can change the starting category somewhere in the menu or in the profile settings. Just click yourself trough.

    The Ninja Gaiden thing is most unfortunate. I still don’t understand why they are restricting the use of imported games. That particula game isn’t even available in stores anymore.

    The Street Fighter HD Remix thing annoyed the HELL out of me. That’s just an example of not thinking things trough properly.

    Hm, I guess I have to check out Feeding Frenzy now.

  2. Simon Ferrari

    Chen Yu-Chung,

    Looking forward to potentially playing together with you and Krystian on the 360. I checked out your portfolio awhile ago, and was really impressed with what you did with so few polygons on that DS title. Anyhow, glad you can now join Krystian and I in our rants about 360 games.

    On Peggle, I don’t get it either – but at GDC Jesper Juul used it and Bejeweled 2 to explore his theories on how to make the best casual games, so there’s got to be something to it (if you’ve worked with PopCap, maybe?). The slides are available on his website, it’s a somewhat intriguing look at “failure design” – I just don’t care enough about casual games, though.

    Feeding Frenzy I will have to check out, if only because I got a free copy of it for buying a used copy of Sega Superstar Tennis for 9 bucks (it also came with Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket, Pac-Man CE, and UNO – no brainer for 10 bucks).

    As far as Ninja Gaiden 2 goes, I played the first one for months when I was a freshman in college. People would wake me up in the middle of the night to come beat a boss for them. The second one I stopped playing because my 360 red-ringed, and I haven’t gotten back into it. It’s harder than the first, and the level design isn’t as impressive… but it’s still better than Devil May Cry 4, Viking, and Conan.

  3. Yu-Chung Chen

    Thanks Simon,

    Looking forward to some quality time online as well. So far the only notable online playing experience for me was Mario Kart Wii, so I’m really glad to have an Xbox360 finally.

    re: NG. hehe, yeah will play NG2 some time later, I liked the first one very much.

    DMC I played the first, liked it, was for the time pretty kick-ass, but sequel was sucky and after NG1, competing titles just seemed inferior. Almost bought DMC3 at one point but comments on tedious boss fights stopped me after all.

    Talking about DMC4, the first thing comes to mind is the Gloria intro “porn” sequence. I do like dark-skinned hotties but something about skin looking like porcellain (Ninja Gaiden is guilty of this as well, if not more) just bothers me.

  4. Yu-Chung Chen

    Oh re: Feeding Frenzy… not to talk it up, personally I find it cheap but it’s amazing to see how “little” it takes to get someone hooked. But not to talk it down either, if it works, it works…

    So I’ll go buy it now so the girlfriend is happy ;)

  5. Krystian Majewski

    No reason to apologize for Feeding Frenzy. It’s a solid game. It’s straight-forward but it sure does work!


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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