more xbox gaming

I’ve been playing GTA IV. It’s got a lot of good things, but for the most part I’d say it’s a big step backwards from GTA: San Andreas. It’s clearly benefitting from being on newer hardware, but there’s less game. I seem to have fewer missions available, and nearly no random pickup tasks. In San Andreas, I could steal a cop car and do “Vigilante” missions. I could steal a fire truck and fight fires. I could steal an ambulance and pick up the wounded. I could do cab rides. There are probably other random missions that I can’t think of, too. In GTA IV, vigilante missions are much more of a pain in the butt, and are unlocked quite a ways into the game.

There are random characters you can meet who will give you missions, but they’re random, they’re not options that are option to you. I realize there are technical reasons, but the city seems incredibly underpopulated for its claim to eight million people. It looks a lot like New York unless you look below the first floor windows: the streets are nearly empty of cars and people. I’ve had to call for a cab because there weren’t nineteen of them already on my block.

Still, it’s fun. I’ll try to finish it. Maybe it’ll be the first GTA I finish.

At Shawn S.’s recommendation, I rented Overlord. It showed up yesterday and I’m sending it back today. It’s fun, pretty, and very funny, but it’s got a big and very self-similar overworld and no map! I spent something like twenty minutes wandering around last night trying to find a waypoint before deciding that my time was more valuable than that.

I still have Bioshock, but haven’t played any more of it.

I have tried a bunch of demos. Mirror’s Edge seemed like it could be a lot of fun, if only I could see my feet or something. I kept jumping too soon or too late. I’ve heard that later in the game it has other problems, but the generic “run around rooftoops” tutorial was fun, apart from all the plummeting.

Red Alert 3 looked like it might be fun. I really liked the first two Red Alert games, but RTS on console fills me with apprehension. I don’t think there’s enough resolution on the screen to show me enough units at once. Still, it was good looking, funny, and fun. I might try renting it.

Fracture seemed like it had promise, but not enough to second-guess all the reviews that say the promise is squandered.

Small Arms was pointless and lame.

The marbelly game that was like Super Monkey Ball was lame.

So far, I am glad my Xbox was free. I look forward to Halo 3, Fallout 3, Dead Space, and Resident Evil 5.

Written on December 13, 2008
games   videogame   xbox