The XBox 360 3.0 Legal Experience

This is a short video of the very fun time I had playing the new game that comes with every XBox 360 upgrade, “Legal Agreement”.

Its a pretty basic down-scroller, build old-school text-only style.   I liked a lot of games like Zork and Hithchikers Guide to the Galaxy back in the day, but I figured with the upgrade you would get some cool new stuff.

Anyway, here’s a video of the gameplay.

Wii First and Pulling Away, PS3 Third and Closing, 360 Second and Lagging

DailyTech – Nintendo Wii Tops for Console Sales in June

Bloomberg reports that the Nintendo Wii outsold the Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 in the U.S. last month. Nintendo sold 666,000 of its Wii consoles in June compared to the 405,500 PS3’s sold and 219,800 Xbox 360’s. It’s interesting to note that the PS3 sold nearly 200,000 more units for the month than the Xbox 360.

Both Sony and Microsoft recently increased the size of the hard drive inside their respective consoles to lure new buyers. The minimum hard drive on the PS3 will now increase to 80GB with the Xbox 360 growing to 60GB. NPD Group says 10.9 million Wii consoles have been sold since it launched in November of 2006 – that tally pushes the Wii past the Xbox 360 in total U.S. sales despite the Microsoft’s consoles one-year head start.

Just a quick update on the console wars.  This has been an interesting generation, as it looks like the Wii is expanding the market so much all three can be winners.  With online markets and downloadable old-school content, all three platforms have IMMENSE libraries.  It might even be hard, at this point, to know how many games, exactly, are playable on each system.  I’ve been seeing torrents with 5000+ roms for various boxes.

Regardless, interesting times in the gaming world.  Transformative, even (Boom Blox, FTW).

Penny Arcade Episode One :: Game Review :: XBOX 360

This is a short (5-minute) review I put together of Penny Arcade’s “One the Rain-Slick Precipice of Doom : Episode One” which is a short RPG for the XBOX 360 available through their download service. There’s probably a couple other ways to get at it, but that’s the one I used.

Peep the video and let me know what you think.

The Joys of Random Number Generators (Catan)

For those that don’t recognize the screen, this is from the game “Catan” on the XBOX 360 Live. It based on the board game “Settlers of Catan” and is a very accurate recreation of that game. The screenshot is of an analysis of all the die rolls during the game. The dark blue background shows a “likely” distribution. The light blue foreground shows the “actual” distribution. The likelyhood of no “8”s being rolled is very small.

Yes, I had a Big City on a tile with an 8. And there was not a single one rolled in the game.

I lost the game.

Dark Sector :: Game Review :: XBOX 360

It was good to spend some time back in full ninja mode. Never before have I seen such a slow moving ninja, but eventually I was able to get around like the best of ’em. The secret is fairly constant use of the A button.

The Basics:

Dark Sector is a third person violence fest with an over-the-shoulder view. The gameplay is along the lines of Resident Evil 4 (RE4), with the Halo health system and some Gears of War cover action. The addition to this type of gameplay, and a newish weapon to play with, is the “glaive”. I’m calling it the glaive because that’s what they called it in Krull and that’s where the idea came from. It’s never really explained why you have a glaive, and not ninja stars, or nunchucks, so some other cool implements of death, but the glaive works and eventually it works quite well.

The Story?

You are one of the infected (some sort of goverment/business defense research). As the story progresses, so does your infection and you track down the doctor who created the virus. The mood and storyline are also very much along the Doom 3 lines of demons/infected and a mastermind at the end. You kill stuff, you fight special bosses and the story moves on.

You continue to gain abilities as you move through the very linear storyline and get your personal weapon upgrades out of the “black market” that is a very direct homage to the weapon upgrade system in RE4. I was able to complete the game without getting enough cash to buy the final handheld weapon, but my trusty AK with full upgrades made good work when needed.

The Glaive:

The glaive is one of the first automatic upgrades that you get as the game progresses. You soon gain the ability to control in bullet time the flight of the glaive, learn to embue it with various elements (fire, cold, electricity) and even make the thing blow up on command. As your timing with the glaive get better, it is possible to through a “super-glaive” that is orange. Orange means dangerous, as limbs and heads flow much faster with the organge glaive.

You also get random (to you) upgrades, including a very handy force shield, and finally the ability to go momentarily invisible. This is useful for the finishing moves that also cause of lot of limbs/bloods/energy to flow.

The Gameplay:

The game is divided into 10 chapter, leading up to a final confrontation with the big boss. Most of the chapters conlcude in a pitched battle with a boss character, many taking particular combination of glaive power-ups, boosts, and finishing moves to defeat.

You will die, and you will die often. Enemy are plentiful, if a bit dense. They’ll take cove but stick to it, and group tactics seem well beyond the AI. There’s not a lot of variety in the targets, but those that do make the grade and nicely animated, including demons that hop with the agility of, well, the demons in Doom 3. Once they land, however, they become pretty slow moving targets, fighting with a steady barage of energy shotgun blasts.

Working a combination of the glaive and standard weapons, the game avoids drudgery with a bit of variety with locals, short vehicle sequences, and some wonderfully rendered cut-scenes. All in the graphics do a good job of displaying the on-screen action, and let you know who and what is likely to kill you wkith splotches and vibrations.

There are a few moments of dread, albeit, less than RE4, and some excellent ambiance.


A workable action title, easily finishable within a week rental. The game is fun enough, although breaks no real new bounds. The artwork fits the theme of a dark and nasty base, replete with ruins, sewers and the test labs.

I’ll give it a 7.4 out of 10.

And I got 605 out of 1000 achievement points.