Tag Archives: xbox-360

Homefront for Xbox 360 Review


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Brandon is a writer over on Lockergnome and has helped our community behind the scenes in many ways. He also just happens to be an avid gamer, so decided to create a video for us with his review of the new Homefront multi-player game. This title is available for XBOX 360, Playstation and Windows computers.

Some may say that this is THQ’s answer to Call of Duty or Battlefield, Brandon feels it plays more like the old Dynamix Tribes 2. Homefront’s most popular game mode – Ground Control – pits two teams of sixteen against each other. These are domination-style matches. The longer you hold control points, the more game points your team will receive.

Ideally, teams will communicate with each other and break into small groups. More likely, snipers kill a few people and unlock a vehicle. They then devastate a lot of people, unlock a helicopter and win a round. The best two out of three rounds wins.

The levels are large, open and have lots of places for cover. There are very few places for close-combat scenarios. For the most part, that’s only useful during the first few seconds of a round. The leveling system is different than Call of Duty’s leveling system. This game has weapons which get better as you advance.

In truth, Homefront is more like HALO with modern-day weapons. The game is less about the first person shooter aspect and a lot more about the vehicle aspect. Battle points allow you to unlock vehicles, and the team who unlocks the most vehicles tend to win.

Homefront is a faster-paced game than Call of Duty. There’s no camping and nowhere to really hide. With no building and cover, you’re forced to run, shoot at someone, hide behind a rock for a second and then run again.

  • Take the battle online, experiencing large scale multiplayer action like never before in epic infantry and vehicle warfare.
  • Discover a terrifyingly plausible near-future world in which the familiar has become alien in this nightmare vision of Occupied USA.
  • Fight for a cause joining a cast of memorable characters as your resistance cell wages a guerrilla war against overwhelming military odds in the name of Freedom.
  • Witness the human cost of war in a gripping story from the pen of John Milius is told through immersive, interactive 1st person cut scenes.
  • Experience explosive FPS gameplay as you battle through a dynamic mix of infantry and vehicle combat in a gripping single player campaign boasting intense, memorable set pieces.

Due to the faster pace, Brandon feels there’s not as much adrenaline. Since you tend to not live as long, your life doesn’t feel as valuable. There’s not much incentive to staying alive during the game. You come back to life a few seconds later and continue on. The only thing you lose is a few battle points. Battle points accrue whether you live or die. You can actually earn them faster by running into the fray, tossing grenade spam, dying and coming back to life.

The graphics of Homefront aren’t quite as good as they should be. The characters look sort of HALO-ish without much personality. They don’t vary from level to level. You don’t feel as though you’re in a virtual world.

Overall, Brandon feels Homefront is okay. He definitely doesn’t feel that it is worth sixty bucks. Have you played Homefront yet? What has your experience been like?

Will Kinect Kill the Wii?


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Someone asked if Microsoft’s Kinect will “kill” the Wii. I really hate that whole “kill” mentality.

In any case, I don’t think it will happen. I think that the Kinect will be a gateway drug of sorts – it will encourage people who never wanted an Xbox 360 to grab one. The Wii and the Kinect systems are so completely different, that many people will choose between them – or use both.

I don’t know if one technology will “trump” a second technology. Comparing the two of them really isn’t fair. They truly are different.

What do you think about the Kinect? Is it better than the Wii? Or, is that even a fair comparison to make? Should Microsoft encourage Kinect hacking? Inquiring minds wanna know.

Halo: Reach Suffers from Disc Errors

Microsoft has now confirmed that some customers are experiencing issues when attempting to play their beloved new game. According to reports, the problem mostly affects the 20GB Xbox 360 Pro, which was on the market from 2005 to 2008. Users have also reported some issues playing Halo Reach with the 120 GB Xbox 360 Elite.

Microsoft representatives have said:

We are aware of a very small number of customers reporting that their copy of Halo Reach is causing a ‘disc read’ error. Those affected should contact Microsoft customer support at 1-800-4MY-XBOX for troubleshooting assistance.

There are now 68 pages of complaints on the Bungie Forums. Many posts suggest that things such as a dirty disc could be to blame. Reasons behind the issue, though, have been vague at best. The thread has been updated to point customers to the toll-free (US only) number to receive support. Bungie released a statement recently, as well:

If you find yourself lumped in with the ‘small number’ of people who find relevance in this portion of the update, you’re probably finding that five letter moniker more than a little frustrating. We feel your pain (we want you to play Reach, too!). If you’re receiving a disc read error with Halo: Reach, or any other title for that matter, Microsoft customer support is your path to resolution.

Have you had issues playing your copy of the game? Have you contacted either Bungie or Microsoft to resolve the problem?

Halo: Reach


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Microsoft and Bungie sent me an advance copy of “Halo: Reach” to play. Given that I’m not that much of a FPS kind of geek, I thought I’d just pop in the disc and let you see what I saw – for the first time, together.

After stopping the recording, i did play it for quite a while longer – as the people in the chat room will tell you. In fact, I might still be playing it right now.

I’ve learned one thing about “Halo: Reach” so far: DON’T LET THE AI PLAYERS DRIVE.

Sadly, there is one thing missing from this game: a n00b mode. The easy mode still is too much for someone like me. I’m not a gamer, by any stretch of the imagination. The game looks and sounds great, though, and that’s all I could ask for.

Apparently, I’m a little trigger happy. I truly didn’t mean to shoot the farmer – honest!

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Halo: Reach Release September 14, 2010

Halo: Reach is finally here! I was one of the lucky few to receive an advance copy of the game to try out. I have to say – it’s pretty amazing! I fired up my Xbox 360 over the weekend and gave the game my best effort. Keep in mind, I’m NOT a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. However, the graphics and overall game play on this version of the popular series is nothing short of fantastic.

Halo: Reach is considered to be the prequel to the entire Halo series. It tells the story of Noble Team – a group of Spartans – who saved numerous lives against impossible odds. The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the Covenant and their goal of destroying the Earth. If they fail, humanity will be perched on the brink of destruction.

Top features of the game include:

  • Welcome to Noble Team. – Halo: Reach immerses you in the ominous and heroic story as you play a member of Noble Team. Each member has deadly talents as unique as their individual personality and customized gear.
  • Intense and Epic Campaign. – Live the events that set the stage for the entire Halo trilogy as the UNSC and Covenant clas at the height of their military power. New weapons, vehicles and abilities compliment the familiar Halo arsenal. Wage the biggest battles ever witnessed inside of the Halo universe.
  • Definitive Multiplayer Experience. – The Halo series has set the gold standard for multiplayer experience with this iteration of the game. There are new social settings for matchmaking. This helps you find like-minded teammates, vote on preferred maps and keep an active roster. There are also new multiplayer game modes, such as “Invasion” and “Arena” to offer competitive players a chance to show off their uber skills like never before.
  • Technical Advancements. – Halo: Reach takes a huge leap forward with an all-new type of engine technology. Power your way through massive scale combat across unthinkable environments. Fight up close and personal alongside several new characters and creatures. The new engine represents the next generation of art, studio, AI, animation and special effects.
  • Player Customization and Rewards. – Halo: Reach gives you the ability to customize your Spartan with a variety of armor accessories. These will appear in both multiplayer and campaign play. You’ll be rewarded for nearly everything you do, no matter what your style of play is. Earn credits to unlock additional cosmetic upgrades via the Armory.

There are two special editions of the game. Both include collectible items and special in-game content.

  • Halo: Reach Limited Edition – This edition includes a game disc housed in recovered ONI black box. It features an exclusive Elite armor set for use in multiplayer modes. You’ll also find an artifact bag containing Dr. Halsey’s personal journal and other classified documents which unravel long-held secrets from around the Halo universe.
  • Halo:Reach Legendary Edition – This is the complete Halo: Reach collection. You’ll find the game disc, a manual and the contents listed above for the Limited Edition. Also, you’ll enjoy a Noble Team statue crafted by artisans at McFarlane Toys. There’s also an exclusive multiplayer Spartan armor effect.

By every stretch of the imagination, Halo: Reach is sure to be a huge hit for Microsoft and Bungie Games. More than 2.7 million players participated in the “Halo: Reach” multiplayer beta in May, making it the largest console video game beta test on record and more than triple the size of the historic “Halo 3” beta.

Are you anxious for the release of Halo: Reach tomorrow? Have you already gotten a copy in your hot little hands?

Phone-to-Console Gaming Coming to Windows Phone 7

During the Microsoft X’10 event in Toronto recently, RGBFilter managed to score a great interview with Greg Milligan – Microsoft Mobility Solutions Manager. Greg confirmed that real-time phone-to-console gaming is coming via WiFi to Windows Phone 7 in the “near future.” He also revealed that games are coming where mini version on a phone will unlock additional features in the console counterparts.

Of interest is the price range suggested by Greg – about two bucks per game. This is much lower than expected for the Xbox Live titles… even if they are on a phone. Game invites will show up as avatars of friends on your tile, which is a pretty kick-ass feature.

There is no Twitter integration, even though Microsoft is supporting multiple third-party clients. Some feel this is a serious oversight. Everyone is on Twitter these days… even the folks in Redmond. Gamers want to tweet about what they’re playing and how well they’re playing it. Hopefully this is something that will be baked into the finished product when it launches.

Greg’s answer to the question of console to phone chat was pretty cagey (“We have nothing to announce now”) and I don’t think it is too much of a reach to expect something will come later.

Crackdown 2 on Xbox 360 Review


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Crackdown 2 is about to hit the stores and we were lucky enough to get a review copy early. Community member (and professional DJ) Dan Guru-Meditation Wood was kind enough to play the game for a while and then create a video review for all of us to enjoy.

The story for the game takes place in Pacific City which is filled with infected humans who attempt to kill anything that gets in their way. You alone have to attempt to save the city from certain doom. According to Dan, the disaster is of epic proportions, much like that found in I Am Legend and 28 Days.

Crackdown was one of the original titles released with the Xbox back in 2007. This game takes place some ten years later. The freaks have escaped from the research center they were contained in during the original release. The virus is now starting to spread through the city and affect the general population.

You join the game as the Agency goes back online and is trying to regain control over the city. Your character is one of the first agents who is back on the streets of Pacific City. There’s an interesting three-way power struggle within the game. Not only are you out to kill nearly anything that moves, you also have to dodge those who are after you and your blood.

The more Agility Orbs you collect throughout the game, the more your skill improves. Chasing them around as they fly through the air can be challenging, but the reward is very worth your effort. More kills mean more strength. The game rewards the player for doing things. THe more you do, the more your skill improves.

The game isn’t only about walking around and shooting people. You are trying to regain control of the city, remember? There will be a series of challenges you’ll have to complete.

This game has pretty much everything you could ask for: a great storyline, challenges and skill-ups, racing elements, third-person-shooter elements, awesome weapons and more!

By the way… according to about 80% of the commenters on YouTube, Dan has an amazing voice and should start a Lockergnome radio station. What do you think of that idea?

Are you a game reviewer, too? Can you produce high quality reviews for the Lockergnome Network? Let us know! Email my assistant and Community Manager Kat for details.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Play With a Kinect Demo in Microsoft Stores

The Microsoft Store announced via their Twitter account earlier today that the Kinect demo is ready to play with in their stores. Sadly, there are only four Microsoft stores in this country. If you don’t live close to one of them, you’re out of luck.

Kinect is a system that does away with controllers entirely, instead using technology to scan players, detecting motions as subtle as a smile or a frown. This is impressive, but the slight delay between movements and onscreen effect is something to be concerned about.

Are you looking forward to Kinect’s launch? Do you think this is a device that could change gaming forever?

Seeking Home Theater Advice


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Kevin called in the other night and wanted advice on setting up a home theater. The friend of his who is trying to set things up is wondering if an Xbox 360 is sufficient as a starting point. He also already owns a 1080p television. Have you ever set up a home theater? What was your experience like?

As far as Blu-Ray players out on the marketplace, for my money it was the PS3. It has fantastic quality. Of all the players out there, I realized I wanted it to be able to do more than one thing. That’s why the PS3 made a fantastic option for me. I don’t own many games for it, but at least I have the ability to use it in that capacity at any point in time.

You could get a regular old component and perhaps spend less money. I think that overall, though, you would be happier using something like the PS3.

One place where people tend to skimp when setting up a home theater is with audio. Amazing video doesn’t do you much good if you have crap sound coming out of cheap speakers. Do your research and save money – but you also will need to spend money to have something good. You want to have crisp, clear sound.

Find the balance within your budget for good audio and good video. Together, these will make for a good experience.

I know that everyone out there has one thing they feel you need to have in that environment. Everyone has their own tips and ideas. Hopefully, the community will chip in and give their best advice.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Xbox Fail


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

In conjunction with the E3 event, I am now a part of a super elite group of Xbox 360 enthusiasts. We were hand-selected by Microsoft to receive advanced (beta) copies of games. If you’d like to join the group, you can submit your application for the “Red Ring Club” online.

With any luck, you’ll be able to play it at some point in the future. I know you’re jealous and can’t wait to get your hands on this. The lines are likely already forming down the block.

Don’t be a hater just because you haven’t gotten this yet. I’m sure that at some point, you’ll get your turn. Just be patient, young grasshopper.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video: