Wow Sony now THAT was funny.
Ok so if you haven’t heard the Xbox One was shown awhile ago at a large demonstration in Seattle and London. I was following the show and made an article which you can view here. With the rest of the world tuned in on their television sets Microsoft rolled out their plan for the new Xbox console which can be broken down to Television and Xbox equals Chocolate and Peanut Butter.
They spoke about the new Kinect which will come with the Xbox, the compatibility with the television, and the Halo show. However in their little presentation they neglected to mention some of the flaws (outside of the name) but our friendly neighborhood Sony was more than happy to tweet shady remarks about them until we could finally see them ourselves. However before we get into strictly Xbox problems, the need to address the state of the gamer nation is high so this I shall do.
Ok the trend of the industry moving away from the gamers has been long documented. We’ve seen it and especially with the advent of the Wii, we’ve lived it. I mean they really were able to capitalize on people who never would have played games before. That’s great, whoop-ti-doo great for you Nintendo really, but who do you think introduced these foreigners to the games in the first place. That’s right, the hardcore gamers. If you piss off these people NOBODY will buy your product because WE are the experts, not your fancy advertisement campaigns with your clever phrases and puns. Not your millions of dollars that you spent developing the product. No it is US the Gamer Nation that holds the fate of your company in our hands…and we…are a butterfingery bunch. Why the slightest aggravation could cause us to lose our grip!
Even deeper down the rabbit hole you’ll find Gamestop which uses the slogan “power to the player”. Yeah I remember when that actually used to be TRUE for them. I’d get a game maybe it was already scratched, maybe somehow it got scratched the same day I bought it, either way it was “Power to the player” and I got another disc. Now they try to swindle even more money out of you by requiring that you buy an insurance policy. That’s right they now want you to pay for something they used to do for FREE. The reason this messes with me is because it is one of the MAIN reasons I went to them because lord knows I wasn’t selling them any of my games. However this is just another facet of the move away from hardcore gamers. Microsoft sees this and is going right along with it so now that you have that back story, let’s get into the issues with the one they call….the one…for whatever reason.
First off it comes with the Kinect which sounds great BUT that’s probably going to drive the price up. Now if later on I discover this is not the case and the price is around the same price as the 360 was (plus inflation) then I shall retract this statement. However any way to make an extra buck seems to be Microsoft’s saying these days so I doubt I’ll be doing that. Also the reason that the Kinect comes with it is that it will be MANDATORY for ALL GAMES. Now that doesn’t mean that you will have to use it as a controller in every game. I’m sure they won’t have you leaping about the room to the next Final Fantasy game. However it will be used for everything from turning on the Xbox to in-game controls by reading your game controller. It can be a good or bad thing however I’d love to have a choice in the matter. Don’t get me wrong I totally went out and bought a Kinect and thoroughly enjoyed all three games I ever played on it. It’s a great concept and it’s nice to see that they have enough dedication to it to do something like this. Yet it just seems to be a bit of a stretch just like…
The Xbox1 Look
Ok so many people around the net noticed this so I’m glad I’m not the only one. Does it look like a 90s VCR to any of you? For those of you who don’t know what a VCR is…grow up and stop making me feel old. The Xbox1 looks big and clunky, a direct opposition to what they pushed with the curvy (kind of) 360. I loved the look of the 360 and to replace it with this mess just seems crude. It looks like a generic box, and not much fun. Usually in advertisement you DO judge a book by its cover and this one looks like some boring book about the growth cycles of worms.
So apparently you will HAVE to have the internet to use this system. Every 24 hours it must be connected to the internet which SUCKS. I mean seriously to play a game that I bought, with my money, from your company, I have to then pay another company 25 plus bucks a month to get access to play it??? What sense does that make? None and yes it’s been confirmed that even offline activities will require this. This leads me to believe that Microsoft has a very narrow view of economics. See if you buy something one time that means you saved up for it. Even if you couldn’t afford this Xbox every month, you can afford it maybe once a year or maybe once every two years, but now that you have to factor in the additional internet costs…it’s just not going to work for a lot of people. Especially for people outside of America who you do realize, are also an entirely large market. I know people take it for granted that internet access is there for everyone but that’s just the problem, when making a multi-million dollar investment, you can’t just assume.
No Used Games
As per their new philosophy of get every penny out of their pockets no matter how much it pisses them off, they’ve outlawed used games. Simply put you will have to pay for every game even if your friend brings over his copy of the game. Say little Johnny is all excited about Halo 5 and you plan on going through it on the co-op modes which by the way for YEARS they’ve been making so much more intricate because we’ve demanded it. Ok so he brings the game over you pop it in and because you are connected to the internet they immediately recognize that this is not a game that you have paid for and they shut your share happy butt right down.
Yep not so much fun for you and little Johnny is it? This is a shameless attempt on Microsoft’s part to stem the tide of people moving from brand new purchases to second-hand gaming. See games have always been on the expensive side but ever since they jacked the price up to $60 a game people have been throwing money at Ebay and Gamestop to get their games. Ever since that explosion happened the console creators that be have been scheming to get their paws on some of that sweet sweet cash. It wouldn’t be good enough to cut down the price about five dollars to see more people buy directly from them. They want to make it so that we the gamers have no choice but to crawl to them with our hands out begging.
No Backwards Compatibility
This one just doesn’t make any sense. I tried to make it make sense by saying “maybe they think everyone will just buy second-hand” but even that doesn’t fit because nintendo released Zelda on Gamecube and Wii and both did extremely well on both systems. This has been the case for many systems, Sony was still releasing titles on the ps2 for quite a while after the ps3 was released. Xbox one really through me for a loop. I’m supposing (if one will allow a supposition) that this was merely a side effect of the programming used to keep people from playing second-hand games. I mean we haven’t forgotten that red ring mess Microsoft so you are really going to have to prove yourself this time, and this mess isn’t helping your cause at all. I’m a die-hard gears of war, Halo fan but man this is ROUGH territory right here.
So Microsoft I love my Xbox 360, I loved my Xbox, and I really thank you for everything you’ve done with both. I mean I had about 90 games on the Xbox and 2 original Xbox consoles with 8 controllers. I sold all of it for the 360 and currently have about 50 games on that. I really do hope that I’ll find some reason to get this Xbox1 but as a gamer…I can’t see it. However I’m still going to keep my excitement and hope up for this console because I want it to be great.
Yet my official prediction for this system hinges on the oh so little knowledge of the competition. I really know nothing about the Wii U and plan on keeping it that way. The ps4 isn’t backwards compatible either but its a more powerful system but they still never fully utilized the ps3’s full potential. I’d say the fields are pretty even and after ps4 is rolled out we’ll really see. Right now I’d say Microsoft is going to take a loss, they’ve put the ball in Sony’s court, if they play along and do what Microsoft did then the gamers are screwed and we won’t have a choice. But if Sony gives in and keeps the used games as an option then Microsoft loses everything.
Thanks for reading! I hope you found it informative and entertaining as usual you guys are the best!
Brian Bell – Wiseguy Industries
System: Original Xbox
Price: Well when I bought it used it was $2
I remember when I first picked this game up for 2 dollars at a pawn shop in college. My friends and I came back from band practice (all music majors at the time) put it in the Xbox and sat back to see what a crappy game I’d purchased.
Immediately we were blown away by the composition of the music. I mean epic is basically the bare minimum for the term you’d have to use to describe it. It caught us so off guard we actually laughed.
This wasn’t what we expected.
Almost immediately we were thrown into a new world where the stars were no longer the limits and humans were being sent out as ambassadors to meet an entire species that thought of them as holy creatures. Soon after they meet them, the aliens that want to destroy them attack their ship. The main character Gideon uses previously unknown psychic powers to help stop the attack and then he is sucked through a wormhole. That’s where the game really starts.
I’m big on character driven stories. I think everyone subconsciously is, I mean you can’t really care about what’s going on in a story if you don’t care about the characters. In advent rising they really push the dynamics between the characters. Gideon is the younger brother of a hot shot war hero. His brother basically gets him a job just off of his charisma and Gideon is left wondering if he is completely worthless. There are many other characters that add to the drama and feel of this game. Overall this storyline just gets 5 stars from me, this is what I love to see from my video games. Take it seriously, develop those characters and subplots!
Gideon Wyeth (voiced by Will Friedle) — The main character of the game. He is a member of one of the last human outposts.
Ethan Wyeth — Gideon’s hotshot older brother. Because of his celebrity following the Independence Wars, he is assigned the role of pilot for the mission of first contact with the Aurelians. He used his connections to instate Gideon as his co-pilot.
Olivia Morgan (voiced by Vanessa Marshall) — Gideon’s fiancé, a scientist assigned to Luriam space station.
Marin Steel — A decorated pilot from the Independence Wars, she encounters Gideon as he attempts to escape Bahr Han on her ship. She is captured by the Seekers and unsuccessfully imprisoned on the island of Teran, having developed her own psychic powers.
Kelehm Farwaters (voiced by Dwight Schultz) — A ninth-tier Garhgon (an Aurelian religious caste), he has trained himself in the telekinetic arts. Kelehm belongs to “the old faith” which states that the discovery of humans is part of a prophecy and the Aurelians will gain greater psychic power through them.
Enorym Tenspur (voiced by Michael Bell) — Ally to Gideon and the most highly trained of the Aurelian elite fighters, Enorym serves as a commander of the elite Felidic warriors. Enorym leads an assault on a Seeker ship shortly after Gideon learns how to use his psychic powers.
Bud – A troublemaking Marine that starts a bar fight with Gideon and later challenges him and Ethan to a training match. After losing, Bud fires a blaster at Ethan. The player then has the choice of either using a stungun to disable Bud or picking up a blaster and killing him, which determines whether his squadmates help you or abandon you in a later gameplay segment.
K’Chell — A Seeker ambassador who interrupts the planetary ruling council and demands that the Aurelians hand over Gideon and Marin. When Kelehm refuses, K’Chell kills him, then escapes to the ansible to inform the Seeker armada.
Sevan — A council member on Aurelia, he leads a rebellion to give the humans to the Seekers and avoid retaliation. After staging a coup, he co-opts the council, gives Marin to the Seekers, and puts Enorym on trial for treason.
Banath — Originally serving as Enorym’s best warrior, he is revealed to be a double agent for Sevan. Having planted a Seeker ambush inside the ansible, Banath becomes visibly angry after Enorym orders him to escort Marin back to the Aurelian capital. He returns with a dropship manned by other rebels after giving Marin to the Seekers and announces his betrayal by killing one of Enorym’s warriors. Gideon kills Banath shortly after Enorym is put on trial.
As Gideon you’ll be able to utilize his kinetic abilities. One of my favorite parts of this game is the fact that he is just learning them. Now clearly this something many games use in order to make your character weaker in the beginning so the game will be harder. However in Advent rising they really mean he is LEARNING and he doesn’t stop ever. You get new and exciting moves and upgrades all the way through until the last stage. The greatest part of this game is they always throw something new at you and honestly its not even when one thing gets old, they just do it. Oh you’ve got a gun? Here take this Kinetic energy, oh you’ve got kinetic energy? How about SHOOTING FIREBALLS out of your hands? Oh I see you’ve got a Jeep- HOVER CRAFT!
One of the more interesting parts of this game is the control system. They have made use of a “flick targeting” control system that utilizes the second joystick. It’s very cool once you get used to it. Basically you flick the stick in the direction of the offending enemy and all of your attacks then go directly to that foe. This really comes in handy as its a large cartoony looking world. A third person shooter like that would have been a hair pulling experience trying to aim.
The enemies are intelligent and vary in size and abilities. They all have several specialized attacks of their own. While one tries to over power you with its extra limbs, another might try to snipe you from a distance, while yet another will try and Rambo you with automatic weapons. All in all the controls and enemies you fight make for very exciting and fun game-play.
Here are the actual controls for the game.
Left Thumbstick Walk. Run. Click In to Toggle Crouch/Stand
Right Thumbstick Flick Targeting
A Button Jump. Pull Up From Hanging Position.
B Button Melee Attack
X Button Arm Left-Handed Weapon (Hold). Dodge From Hanging Position. Activate.
Y Button Arm Right-Handed Weapon (Hold). Reload Weapon.
White Button Throw Grenade. Toggle Grenade (Hold).
Black Button Select Alt Fire Mode (With Right or Left Trigger)
Left Trigger Fire Left-Handed Weapon
Right Trigger Fire Right-Handed Weapon
Combo #1 X + A = Charge Jump
Combo #2 Any Direction + X = Acrobatic Moves
Also there are vehicles! These are pretty cool
SCYTHE VEHICLE CONTROLS
Directional Pad Enter or Exit Driver Side (From the Left). Enter or Exit Turret Side (From the Right).
Left Thumbstick Up = Forward. Down = Reverse.
Right Thumbstick Turn Left/Right. Aim Turret Chain Gun.
A Button Jump
Right Trigger Turbo. Fire Turret Chain Gun.
Left Thumbstick Forward = Thrusters. Down = Slow.
Right Thumbstick Steering
Right Trigger Thrusters
ANTI-AIRCRAFT TURRET CONTROLS
Right Thumbstick Aim
X Button Activate/Release
Right Trigger Fire
Now the graphics are the only reason why any one would ever doubt this game. The director made the choice to have elongated limbs which made them look more like comic book characters. This is an artist’s choice, however it gave them a weird gangly look (the game was originally supposed to be a comic book which may explain why he wanted this so badly). The frame rate does lag in certain areas doing certain things, however it is never enough to detract from the game as a whole. Plus I mean look at it! It still looks AMAZING for an original Xbox game. It plays well and by well I mean its extremely exciting.
Ok I have to come back to this music because…well it’s part of me! I love music and truthfully a game with poorly composed music will make me put it down just as quickly as bad graphics.
But here are two examples of the total and complete epicness of the music for this game.
Here’s another one which is used a few times during boss battles but they have more themes as well.
The music was composed by Emmanuel Fratianni and Michael Richard Plowman and performed by Laurie Robinson and Tommy Tallarico. Here’s the list of songs for the entire soundtrack.
Advent Rising Original Soundtrack (57:21)
No. Title Length
1. “Muse” 3:08
2. “Poeta” 3:36
3. “Bounty Hunter” 3:05
4. “Aurelia” 3:03
5. “Greater Lights (feat. Charlotte Martin)” 3:52
6. “Glorious Human” 1:46
7. “Stolen Transport” 2:15
8. “Canyon Encounter” 2:04
9. “The Rise Of Aurelia” 2:01
10. “Edumeas Last Stand” 2:04
11. “Aurelian Conflict” 2:04
12. “The Aurelian Movement” 2:21
13. “Luriam Down” 1:04
14. “The Human Movement” 2:09
15. “Human Demise” 1:35
16. “Seeker Assault” 2:05
17. “Midst Of The N’Kul” 0:34
18. “Seeker Horde” 1:04
19. “Fiery Arrival On Aurelia” 0:55
20. “Power Within” 2:11
21. “Fortified Strength” 1:01
22. “Mastery Of Self” 2:20
23. “Return To Humanity” 2:16
24. “The Seeker Movement” 2:09
25. “Seeker Unrest” 2:05
26. “Conquest” 0:36
27. “Greater Lights (Jay-J’s Shifted UP Mix)” 3:58
WHY ISN’T THIS GAME HAILED AS AWESOME?
Well apparently there was a terrible marketing strategy of people being able to win one million dollars if they were able to decipher secret messages in the games various levels. Due to issues with security they had to shut down the contest which cost them quite a lot of money and advertisement. Also the first reviews for this game were way off, giving them five out of ten. Later they went back and fixed that with reviews like 8 out of ten or 7.8 out of 10 (IGN). Without advertising its hard to really get as big as you should be able to. However there is a core community online that knows about this game and they LOVE it. Its getting bigger and bigger by word of mouth, unfortunately it may be a little late for the company that produced it. However there are sites and Facebook pages online dedicated to this game and to creating a sequel.
Will there be one? Who knows, it’s one of those things, teased forever but it’s anybody’s guess. Some things weren’t meant for sequels (Hangover I’m looking at you). However this game clearly was written to be given at least two more entries. Especially taking into account the terrific ending that happens AFTER the credits. Oh and that’s not just a cutscene there is GAMEPLAY after the credits. Yeah I had walked away (like a BOSS) after thinking I had beaten one of the best games ever made.
Suffice to say that last part was the icing on the cake. I mean that really let me know how much one, they respected this genre, and two knew about cinematic qualities being infused with video games. It was an amazing teaser for the next game which unfortunately never came out. Yet there are still those who are pushing for it.
On the plus side they have produced a line of comic books that I haven’t read but apparently they follow up so if you want to check those out here.
If you couldn’t already tell this is getting five out of five stars. The story is excellent, the music is amazing, the gameplay is exciting, fun and always advancing. It does a great job in making you feel what Gideon is feeling and all of these things merge together at the end to make one amazing experience. The replay value is VERY high on this as they’ve included a way to upgrade different abilities. Also if its ever NOT fun to dive through the air and force blast an enemy into a lake of lava please stop the planet because I’ll be getting off.
So the bottom line is, if you haven’t gone out and purchased this game, do it. Seriously it’s like 2 bucks and an original Xbox is like 30 bucks now(because its not backwards compatible sucks I know.)
Thanks for reading everyone! I’ll keep you up to date with new Xbox One news as well as PS4 news when they start delivering it. As always I’ll be bringing you old school reviews!
Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries
Long ago when I t’was but a child, a game emerged from the darkness that changed First person shooters forever. That game was Halo, and almost as long as its been out, there have been rumors about its first foray onto the big screen. First Peter Jackson signed on then off again, no wait on again! Then back off and the project labored in development hell and fans around the world screamed and shook their fists at the moon, or maybe that was just me.
Anyway video games to movies usually end one of two ways, terrible for the fans or terrible in general. Resident Evil is a good example, I challenge you to show me at this point, any connection to the game’s plot at all. I won’t wait because it’s not there. They completely overhauled it into an apocalyptic zombie fest which isn’t bad but it definitely isn’t a reflection on the survival horror game I came to love that had you constantly searching for ammo.
Street fighter legend of Chun-Li made me literally hate Chun-Li, I honestly haven’t played as her on Street fighter since then. It was such a bad movie (as was the first street fighter) that it may have negatively impacted sales of the video game.
What usually happens is the production companies see the video game industry as a comical thing. They don’t respect the genre and see it as a cheap way to make money, so they go cheap on it. They don’t get the best producers, they get the writers that have never proven themselves in an action genre. I.E The writers for the Tekken movie had people that only wrote dramatic films which led to over developed characters, not enough action, and a storyline that never quite got fulfilled.
However with all of these things in mind Microsoft would not allow that to happen to the child it stole from Apple(c’mon people look its right here). They have now enlisted Steven Spielberg to Executive Produce a Halo television series for Xbox Live gold members.
Now here’s the problem…A TELEVISION SERIES. Halo is far to epic in reach and scope to be confined to the small screen. Honestly I don’t know if I want to see the Master Chief every week anyway. He lacks the character to be seen repeatedly in this sense. In fact the most interesting dynamic in the entire game is his relationship with Cortana, the computer that is far more human than he is.
“For me, the ‘Halo’ universe is an amazing opportunity to be at the intersection where technology and storytelling meet,” Spielberg said.
I just don’t know on the one hand it’s Spielberg, coming off of Lincoln I’m sure he’s just itching for some sci-fi epic goodness. On the other hand a television series with characters that are basically reasons for the Master Chief to blow things up in awesome ways just seems, unreasonable. Now I know as a quasi-nerd I should go by the “in Spielberg we trust” rule but for me its doubly rough to take the fact that a feature length live action film probably won’t be made, and also that Halo will be basically an experimental project for the Xbox1’s crossover capabilities and appeal.
Hopefully it will be as awesome as it’s potential but that will be seen in the months to come. Until then I’ll keep holding out for a Gears of War movie. Maybe they’ll wait a year or so and I’ll be able to direct that. You never know!
Thanks for reading.
Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries
Today is the big day! Xbox one is finally revealed in dramatic form in Seattle and London. Ok now some of these things (like Steven Spielberg’s connection with Halo, awesome) I will have to address in separate Blogs that I will link to in this article when they are up. However right now I will list everything that I can at the moment.
The real upgrades to the controller take place on the inside.
The triggers are apparently very responsive and the directional pad has been reworked for touch sensitivity as well.
Everything else pretty much looks the same, the joysticks are concave now which seems like it will give you a little more control.
The images on the start and back buttons are different but seriously relax people, they’ll probably do the same things as before.
The bumper’s are still there (remember the black and white buttons? Good times…) With this controller Microsoft opted to keep the traditional controller and focus on other upgrades for their new system.
The Xbox One is powered by an eight-core AMD processor and a very powerful graphics processor. Codenamed “Durango,” the console, gaming site Kotaku reports, will have 500GB of storage space, 8GB of RAM and USB 3.0 connectivity right out of the box. It also now has Blu-Ray capabilities! This will give us cleaner cut scenes and of course access to a wider movie base as everything is moving toward blu-ray (been moving toward it). It has wi-fi built in also which wasn’t featured in the original 360 but was later added into the Elite version.
All of this power will make for games with amazing visuals and equally amazing gameplay. Hopefully the story lines will be as awesome, graphics aren’t a band-aid for poorly written material.
Kinect is now an extremely integral part of this system as it will not work without it. That’s what I said it WILL NOT WORK unless your Kinect is attached, but take a deep breath and chill reader, it comes with one.They have completely upgraded Kinect and it can now take 1080 video as well as notice subtle movements. It is also compatible with the Xbox controller. By moving the controller you can do different activities in the game which makes it possible to utilize the Kinect even in traditional games. They’ve also upgraded the speaking functions allowing for a wider range of voice commands utilizing the Kinect’s microphone. Another addition is the Kinect’s upgraded light to object meter and camera. It now has the ability to work in a completely dark room. Microsoft is really pushing the Kinect’s limits in order to captialize on one of their more popular add-ons. Seems like a good idea, Nintendo tapped into an entirely new marketplace with the accessibility of the Wii’s control. Perhaps just using your hands and voices will appeal to that same consumer base? We shall see!
They haven’t revealed many games and the ones they have are the ones that are on every system such as FIFA soccer and NBA live. Microsoft execs have stated that there are 15 games in production right now and 8 are Xbox exclusive. They are probably saving these reveals for the E3 event and are focused more on the actual gaming systems special functions.
I’m sure however it’s safe to say that fan favorite trilogies such as Halo and Gears of War will be back for the Xbox1. Also I just saw the trailer for Batman Arkham origins that may be playable on Xbox1 depending on the release. Even still it may get a Xbox1 and 360 release so we can look forward to that.
I for one would love to see Prey 2, I loved the first game and even though the second one seems quite different, I wouldn’t mind seeing what Tommy has been up to.
Xbox one will allow you to chat with friends on Skype(owned by Microsoft) while watching a movie on the new Blu-ray system or watching live TV, or surfing the web. In addition to adding more voice recognition functions, they’ve added a lot of integrated app functions. This means when you download an app such as ESPN, you can get the updates while you play. You can also hook your cable up to the Xbox and record shows as well as get show recommendations based on what you usually watch.
The real focus of Microsoft has moved from purely gaming to entertainment as a whole. Microsoft is attempting to send the entire entertainment industry through their product. From your cable television programs to their own programming that will be coming soon, you can send all sorts of entertainment through it.
Well I guess they had do something because as I hear Apple is coming with something similar later on, and people by Apple stuff just because it says Apple on it.
Microsoft has built deeper Smartglass support into the console, letting you use your smartphone or tablet to display secondary information. However this is the only thing that has been released regarding news of Xbox one’s compatibility with tablets and mobile devices. Hopefully we’ll hear about that more later on. However for the present time that is the only thing that is a little disturbing. I’ve had the Xbox live app on my phone for awhile and I would love to see an upgraded version of that soon.
It’s clear that Microsoft has decided to attempt to grow not only with their games, but with entertainment as a whole. With this new Xbox they are attempting to give the consumer the ability to do everything from watch television to record videos, through their product. It seems like an exciting situation and I can’t wait to find out the (hopefully) amazing things that will be done with it.
The release date is sometime in 2013 though they failed to be more specific about when.
Sony didn’t stay quiet as they threw a little “shade” Microsoft’s way via twitter.
Well we await your full announcement with bated breath Sony!
Oh and Spielberg is Executive Producing a Live Action Halo series for Xbox Gold.
Ha! More on that later! Thanks for reading!