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    Entries in microsoft (16)


    NYCC10: Look Ma, No Controller! Our Kinect Adventures

    Standing off to the side, we watched a couple play Kinect Adventures' River Rush while the possibly coked out Microsoft PR guy barked out commands and directed traffic with an unstable energy. He was a cool dude. 

    After almost being bored to death watching the team in front of us jump in place for the duration of the River Rush gameplay, without the very important peripheral mind you, it was our turn. I asked Honkey (this was the emcee's name, no lie) to let us get a crack at something a little more exciting. Unfortunately, Microsoft was limited to what they could let us play due to sponsoring (go figure) so we were stuck with Kinect Adventures, Kinect's very own Wii Sports. Like Wii Sports, there is nothing special to be seen, but it gives you the gist of how the system works.

    Team OBG had it's go at Rally Ball, a type of brick-breaker and soccer mash-up, that was a decidedly more exciting mini-game than River Rush. After a crash course in the controls, wait, what controls? Keeping 6-8 feet in front of the screen, leave the space of about one person between each other, and getting more points for using your head (such is life), we were ready to Rally Ball! 

    My reflexes were as responsive as a cat's, my movements as calculated as a ninja's, my strikes as precise as a surgeon's. If only the Kinect were able to detect them that way. Unfortunately, every move we made was a split second or more delayed on the screen. So while I was reacting to the ball at just the right time, my avatar was swinging and missing, badly. That ain't good.

    Once we took the lag into account, we got ourselves into a groove, albeit it a silly looking one. We were using our arms, legs, and yes, even our heads for extra points. I'll admit it was fun, but that's it. Kinect Adventures, like Wii Sports before it, is the girl (or guy) you hook up with for a night of anonymous fun. No long term potential at all, sorry. And that kind of sums up how I feel about Kinect in general. Milo looked awesome, until they dragged the poor kid into a back alley and offed him. Though even if Milo persisted, how long would you see yourself playing it? Me, not long at all. You gotta impress us, Kinect. Make believers of us, don't expect us to drink the Kool Aid

    Here's a protip, start off by making a zombie Milo game. I'm with that. 


    A Look at the Fall 2010 Xbox LIVE Update

    The new Xbox LIVE update will go out to day for the masses who applied to partake in the beta. For those of you who didn't, in your face suckas!

    Not all is lost for you however, as you can see some of the differences in this video of terrible, terrible quality I've thrown together. So if the tragic quality doesn't make your eyes bleed, I hope this flick will be of some interest to you. Here's a quick overview of the update's features:

    • Complete dashboard redesign
    • Tweaked avatar design
    • ESPN3 live streaming and on demand sports (where available)
    • Updated audio codec for improved voice communication
    • Kinect support for gaming and motion/voice control ala Minority Report
    • Netflix search function (finally!)
    • Zune looks pretty

    Of course all these changes are not without some drawbacks. Upgrading to the beta means you can't communicate in party chat with anyone who is still on the old dashboard. Game chat should be no problem though. Codec compatibility issues? Also, most of your avatar marketplace items and game rewards won't appear on your likeness, probably until the the update is out of beta and available to the general public. So until late October, prepare to have a little less personality. Hope you weren't trying to impress anyone of the opposite sex, good lookin'.

    Overall this is a step in the right direction for Xbox LIVE. The tweak to the voice comm is a huge help, and ESPN3 is going to be pretty popular I'm sure. What do you think of the changes, do we have a winner, or did Microsoft DmC this one?

    Side note, does anyone want to contribute to the OBG video capture fund? Anybody? Ho-kay.


    Fable III Just Got a Little Awkward

    Fable is a great series, that for some reason flies under a lot of gamer's radars. The idealistic creator, Peter Molyneux has a penchant for grandiose declarations regarding his brainchild. One of the things developers Lionhead Studios tried shoehorning into Fable II was online co-op. That didn't work so well. Molyneux is on record recently saying the Fable II's co-op was flawed, rushed, and a badly implemented throw in to what was a very solid game.

    Enter Fable III, which looks to fix the issues that plagued gamers in the first two series entries, including the botched attempt at co-op. The awesome Fable experience, coupled with a proper online multiplayer will only enhance gameplay and replay value, of course. But, it'll add a whole lot of weird. (minor spoilers within) has outed Fable III's list of achievements, which get a bit on the odd side. Case in point:

    • He’s a Woman. She’s a Man Wear a full set of clothing intended for the opposite sex
    • Long Distance Relationship Get married to another Xbox LIVE player
    • Cross-Dimensional Conception Have a child with another Xbox LIVE player

    So, not only can I, but I am rewarded for cross-dressing, marrying, and having children with other human players, who are most likely fat, smelly, pock-marked geeks, just like me? Awesome, sign me up! 

    The Fable series has never been without it's quirks, good or bad, so just add these to the list. I'll excitedly pop a copy of Fable III into the ol' box and play for hours. But let's just say I won't be going for the 1000 Gamerscore. 

    Fable III releases on October 26th.


    Review: Halo Reach

    As their time with Microsoft neared it's end, Bungie had one last chance to create something great for the Xbox 360 and it's army of devout Halo fans. Off the heels of the entertaining yet disappointing Halo: ODST, Halo Reach attempted to capture the glory and mystique of the first three Halo games, and build upon the marginal story with a prequel, in attempt to make the story's first chapter the best of the bunch. It's awesome trailer was able to Deliver Hope, but does Halo Reach deliver results?

    Click to read more ...


    Deliver Hope, Deliver Bombs, Deliver Great Live Action

    Whether you're a hardcore who owns every Halo title ever released and was one of the last guys forced off Halo 2's servers, or you swore to never touch the series again after being engulfed by the vibrant pink death of needles, both sides of the spectrum have to agree on at least one thing: Halo be marketing

    Halo ODST's live action trailer was perhaps the best of the bunch, feeling more like a trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster than a mediocre game. The next entry in the series, Halo Reach, has followed it's predecessor with a bunch of live action spots ranging from "damn, dope" to "bland, nope." 

    Deliver Hope, Reach's latest and possibly last big ramp up to the release, delivers indeed. It's a great mix of flawless graphic effects, immersing action, and a tale being told to hook us into buying the game. And buy we will.

    Halo Reach drops on September 14th. 


    Unboxing the New Xbox 360 Slim

    A few days late, but I finally got my grubby, finger-printing (more on that later) paws on the new Xbox 360 Slim. Nice! I really like the new redesign. It looks much smaller, and it is, next to the fat Xbox, you can really tell the difference. Weight wise, the SlimBox isn't much lighter, but it is noticeable.


    • Runs quietly
    • Tiny, portable hard drive
    • Touch responsive power and eject button feels sophisticated
    • Slightly smaller S-controller with all black finish and mirrored home button
    • Built in wifi
    • More vents means extra cooling


    • Hotter to the touch than the FatBox, even with all the vents
    • Gloss finish is a fingerprint whore
    • Slighly smaller power supply brick is still a brick

    All in all, it's a nice piece. And coupled with GameStop's ridiculous trade-in promotion, this is a great time to upgrade. 

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