Catherine Woolley

Blog

Xbox 360

Well I've been told I should have done a kinda review of the 360, so I guess I should do as I'm told. Anyway the day it came out over here (2nd of December) we popped into town and picked up our pre-ordered console which was the hardcore version not the smelly core (2nd person to pre-order one) anyway, we were a tad confused on what to get, as I had been told GAME had a bundle which they did by mistake, getting 5 games and the console for £450, the guy we know there, Greg was telling us we could have the console along with 4 games of our choice plus Condemned or King Kong, we chose King Kong already having Condemned, but of course the girl who served us didn't think it sounded right (it being the mistake bundle) so because of her we didn't get a free game (ugh bitch!) anyway we picked up Kameo, Project Gotham Racing 3, Call of Duty 2 and Perfect Dark Zero, along with an extra wireless controller. We were also going to pick up two play and recharge packs, but GAME were sold out, so we popped into HMV and bought their last two, along with War of the Worlds, using the gift card Jay nicely gave us as a kinda month late birthday present.
Anyway we couldn't actually get home until about 5pm, as we needed to pick up Charmoo's 5.1 speaker system thing, and had to go round our sisters to help her with stuff (she recently had an operation).
Once we finally got home, after a few hours of setting up the speakers and getting them right with War of the Worlds, (as the tripod guys make the coolest sound) We finally decided to put a game in, which was Charmoo playing Call of Duty 2, she played it for a little while, and then had a play of PGR3, and then Perfect Dark Zero, I then got to play on Kameo and then Condemned was played the day after.

charlotteplaying

Anyway on to the reviewing.

The Box and contents

As everyone says I think it was cute how the box had a handle on it, although our box had been damaged which I was a little disappointed about. But other than that it's pretty cute, I also loved how it actually had a BBFC rating of U on it, I thought it was a little on the weird side, but didn't question it.

box

I thought it was packed very nicely with its little foam strips and all sealed in green or white bags saying welcome on them. When I picked up the 360 I was amazed at how heavy it was. I also thought it was cute how even the batteries were sealed in the same type of plastic.
One thing I thought was a tad weird was that there was an xbox 360 sticker inside the box, not sure why they gave people that.

sticker

But the one thing I did hate is how there were like protective seals on anything that could get scratched. The one of the communication port was fine, but the one on the cd drive I never noticed, so when we tried to open it first time it didn't, but the most annoying bit was the one on the hard drive, after I peeled it off it left some kind of sticky residue on the hard drive, which took me about half and hour to get off with some cello tape, how annoying.

controller

If you notice on the controller it has a cute little sticker telling you to press the guide button, I haven't had the heart to take it off yet tho.
Unpacking the 360 was fun, what was not fun was getting the spare wireless controller and play and recharge packs out of their packets. I fucking hate blister packs, I cut myself a couple of times on trying to get them open, the scissors didn't even wanna cut through them, and the other day George opened a blister pack with her bare hands…which I couldn't believe.

Turning it on for the first time

Anyway after setting everything up we were just looking at everything I was looking at the little media remote we got with it and pressed a random button on it and it turned on and completely freaked me out,

littleremote

First time I saw the intro thing was cool, although the speakers weren't set up properly at this time but the second time we saw it, it was so cool, the animation is really pretty and the sound of it all as well. So we played around by seeing what we could plug into the USB ports, first we tried my phone, but nothing happened. Then we went for my USB memory stick thingy and shoved a film on it, but we couldn't watch it. Then Charmoo's MP3 player which was good, then I set up some Windows media connect thing so I can stream music to my 360 which is nice.

The games

games

Well first to be played was Call of Duty 2 by Charlotte, which looked nice I hadn't played it before myself but it didn't look bad. She played it for a couple of hours, doing training and a few missions.

cod2

After that she popped in Project Gotham Racing 3, where she played like 1 track or something and we decided it looked a bit too surreal when driving, but other than that it's a pretty game.

pgr3

I would take a picture and show what I mean, but it's hard to take pictures of games as they're always moving. Anyway after that Charlotte put in Perfect Dark Zero for a little while, she played around a bit and did the first mission.

pd0

She then thought maybe I'd wanna play on it a little as it was like 1am (how kind) anyways I popped in Kameo (my main game) and had a play around.

kameo

Charlotte was falling asleep so she went off to bed, so I was left playing my game when the speakers were set up as they were one was placed on the edge of my desk, and all I can say was that it kept freaking me out as I kept hearing the scary voices of everyday flying things in the Enchanted Kingdom freaking me out.
I know some people won't like this reference I'm about to make, but to me Kameo very much reminds me of...Ocarina of Time...there I said it, the sound clip when breaking a pot in Kameo is just the same, and I keep confusing myself with it, I know people will disagree as Kameo is more of a platformer, but its a good thing, it makes me feel at home and like Kameo even more. After a few hours of running around in Kameo I decided I'd give my eyes a rest and play Hexic, and god was that a bad idea. It's not that I don't love the game, heck I used to play it on msnzone, but playing it at like nearly 3 in the morning killed my eyes, and I was practically falling asleep in my chair I was so tired. After getting myself the easiest achievements with Hexic I decided to give it a go by finishing Survivalist, and that’s what I should not of done, I was half asleep and needing to get through 50 levels, yay, and while Paul was having fun playing PGR3 with Adam I got to die playing Hexic. But it was worth the measly 15 points I suppose. Since playing it on the first day we got it I have played a lot of PGR3 (not much lately) and have nearly finished Kameo, just gotta get into Thorns palace (if I don't keep dying and give up that is) grrr but omg yesterday I collected every single piece of fruit, once I kill Thorn I will have finished the game completely, wooopie. So far I have also bought Smash TV, Geometry Wars Evolved, and Gauntlet, them all being very cool, Smash TV, brought back memories for Charlotte and her playing it on the SNES for hours. Charlotte has also played Condemned; I think she played it the morning after we got the 360, as she only plays it in the morning or at night, as its darkest then. And she seems happy with it, the surround sound works great with it, and it is a very freaking game, especially with mannequins and stuff.

Sound

I have to say not playing on anything with surround sound before I am very impressed, it's lovely moving around in a game and hearing people talking literally behind you, it's all so cool, I'm a bit disappointed with the sound when listening to music on the 360 as it's rather quiet, although I think that’s the speakers as they like to be loud. One thing I am a bit disappointed with is that when you had your volume up really loud on the Xbox you hear weird robotic like noises, and to my knowledge there isn't that with the 360, it was always cool to hear it, but I'll survive. Not much you can say about sound when reviewing a console really.

Marketplace

I very much love the marketplace, I bought myself some points which have helped me buy my amazing Jinjo picture, which is mega cute, and I also have some other Banjo gamertag pics along with it. I'm tempted to buy one of the Kameo themes, but haven't as of yet, but I did buy the Warrior Winter pack which is amazing, like omg, they're so cute, as you can see kinda from the pic, I also downloaded a free winter Kameo theme, which I have also taken pictures of:

winterwarrior

wintertheme

Sorry if they aren't the best of quality but it's hard to take pictures of a tv.

Online play

I have to be very honest at this point and say how I haven't actually played online with it yet, I'm more of a single player person myself, I will no doubt play PGR3 online with Paul and maybe some portal forumers as well, but I don't really like playing with people I don't know as I find it rather intimidating being the shymo that I am.

Crashing

Now there is talk all over the net that the 360 crashes all the time and stuff, now I think ours has crashed once...although I'm not so sure as it might have been a dream, but I can't remember why it crashed, but other than that it has been fine, no problems whatsoever, the console has space around it to breathe as does the brick of a power adaptor.

brick

There it is poking through the gap. We decided to prop it up on like 3 boxes to make sure it was high up.

brick

There you can kinda see how big it is.

Price

Ok well I'm not made of money, needing a job and all, but I think it was very reasonably priced, with £300 being the average of a console on release 20 quid cheaper was a nice extra, especially with the core being a mere £210 as you can only just buy those PSP Gigapacks for that. I mean jeeez a handheld should be cheap like the DS!! anyways I feel wireless controllers are a tad expensive, but then so was the wavebird, if you want better controllers they're gonna cost more, so I doubt I'll be seeing controllers for around £20 anymore. Play and recharge kits were nicely priced, saving myself the cost of a bunch of rechargeable batteries, and the battery you get hasn't even run out once yet for either controllers, which is very good. Games, now I know the R.R.P for games is actually about £50 and for N64 and SNES it was £60 and up, but I feel like I'm gonna have a bit of trouble buying games when they come out if they're all gonna be about £50, but there’s always discounts and what not to help me with the price of games. Although for the price of a game on the 360 I was able to pick up the AOEIII collectors box for £15 less, so things like that still make me cringe a little, as you can compare stuff, but I'll still pay £50 for a game if I really want it, heck I'd pay £70 if they released all the Shenmue games in one and finished the series on the 360, I WANT IT.

Final Thoughts

happycustomer

Here is a happy customer, but being serious now. Overall I think it's one lovely piece of machinery, not my favourite console, but that’s as I don't have a favourite console, they all have their good points, but certainly a very nice start to the next gen consoles, I just hope all future games for the 360 start coming out more weekly instead of in a few chunks, it’ll be cool to see some new original games come out on it. It must be a good console if moo will play on it also.

moo

Anyway I've gotten to the end of my review, I hope you enjoyed it.

360

You can now stare at its prettiness
I will also be reviewing all the games we bought, including images, but at a later date.