More of My Flickr photos

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Armageddon and the Xbox360

EGADS! I am so slack! After the last entry work got ridiculously hectic and busy, and then ofcourse the plans for our engagement party have since kicked up another gear, and before I know it, it's bloody Thursday!! Where did the week go?

Anyway, I promised xbox360 pics, and xbox360 pics you shall get. We watched some Call of Duty game play and it looks like a pretty cool game, a little more detailed than Battlefield 1942 (and Vietnam.... I haven't seen BF2 yet tho, so can't make that comparison). The dashboard setup of the 360 looks cool, and the free silver Live subscription is excellent - I've already created myself a gamertag on, so I wait with baited breath for the Asia Pacific 360... COME ON MICROSOFT!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING???
I'm not entirely sure about the 360 controller though. To be honest, the only xbox controllers I like are the big original controllers, with the back and start buttons in the middle between the D pad and the right thumbstick, the white and black buttons accessible by the right thumb, above and to the right of the XYBA buttons. The smaller controller's never quite cut it with me. We've had an xbox ever since approximately a month after they came out over here (about 3 or 4 years ago), and we had an entire year to get used to them before the small controllers came out. This controller's redeeming feature, however, is the wireless slash easy recharge capability that comes standard with the 360. No more do people have to trip over our controller cords, and curse the day the game console entered our lives! There are no cords for the cat to chew on, thus wrenching the controller out of my hands with the flick of a claw! No More!!
The interchangeable face plates of the main console will let the 360 settle in with your stylish lounge decor in which ever way you choose. Let it match the iPod you have plugged into it - or the cabinet you have the console sitting in, or even the stereo that feeds through the console as a receiver - that's right, the 360 is to act as an allround media centre, letting you plug-and-play any auxilliary inputs you wish so as to feed your aural appetite.

I've heard rumours aswell that you can use your iPod to select the music you want to play at any time during gameplay... That's pretty cool...

The rest of Armageddon was average. There were only two other things of note - the "Buzz" stand, and the Rockstar preview stand, which was R18 - thus I actually got to play something. The latest game from Rockstar, "Warriors" promises to be the next-censored-thing out. I'm not sure what the storyline is, or where it's meant to go, but during my time of gameplay, I was an afro-wearing, gun-toting, spraycan-wielding gang member, and my various missions consisted of beating the crap out of enemy gang members, and tagging over their random bombings and murals. The tagging feature of the game was different, and hard. I spent 5 minutes, and approx 4 cans of "spray" trying to tag freehand using only the left thumbstick. To successfully tag, you have to use the left thumbstick to follow the guidelines on the screen. If you colour over the lines, you get a vibration to further throw you off, and a spray penalty. After watching me painfully waste away all my spray, Matt gave it a go, all full of male confidence, only to concede that it was indeed alot harder than it looked. I smiled smugly and continued on my merry gang-bashing way.

The ground floor of the show was annoying. It was almost solely dedicated to Telecom and their highly over priced and overrated broadband service, and their subsidiary, "Boost Mobile". Lame. We moved on downstairs.... to the Card tournaments. *insert groan here*. Onwards and upwards we went, and landed in the middle of some seminar panel thing, with 3 of the guys from "Survivor" *insert louder groan*. The only celebrity I was hoping to run into was Neville Longbottom of Harry Potter fame, but alack alas, he was nowhere to be seen.

Next up was the xbox 360 show, which was 10 minutes of awe-striking crap. Listening to a condescending product manager crap on about stuff he clearly didn't know about was yawn inducing, but all his ramblings were worth sitting through just to get a close up of the 360. I'd rather hoped we might get some gameplay in, given that we have to wait an unjustified 3-4 months for a console to reach the shores of Australia, let alone New Zealand. Unfortunately we were ceremoniously marched out the door, as there was a queue of another 60 people waiting for their turn.
The next part of the show was pretty cool - it was basically a concourse lined with games. PS2s, xboxes, new generation ataris, psp's - the only downside was that they were all covered in screaming pushing little kids that apparently held little to no respect for their seniors. At the end of this aisle was a rather unsettling sight: a queue of approximately 80 - 100 males (ranging from 8yrs to 30 yrs) waiting to take a picture with two random promo girls. The queues in the celebrity room weren't even this long!! This was a sad, sad display.

The rest of the show was pretty cool, with various stands that I wanted to buy stuff from. There were lots of Medieval merchandise stands, with fake (read: blunt) swords, lots of variations on Excalibur, and even some armour suits complete with lances and chainmail! Lots of comic book collectors (alas, no Lobo...), and some freehand comic artists. There was even a LOTR figurine stand, which had apparently actual models used for the movies (at their 3 and 4 digit prices, I'd expect them to be made from solid gold). We unfortunately missed out on the wrestling show, but all in all I had fun walking around the geek-fest, being a self confessed semi-geek myself. There weren't, however, enough PC gaming stands there, and there definitely werent' enough enter-on-the-day tournaments. I was hoping for a halo 2 tournament or something that Matt and I could have whooped ass in :)

There won't be much to report on this weekend, as it's dedicated to garden tidiness and home preparations for the engagement party the following weekend, but I'll try and find something to bore you all to sleep with.

OOOH point to note - I got my first insect sting last night - I got stung by a dying wasp. At least now I know I'm not allergic - but it was stupidly itchy. No swelling though, and no dying or anaphylactic shock. I'm still not even sure which toe it was he stung me on. I can however, be sure he won't sting again, thanks to the sacrifice of an old issue of New Weekly (or whatever it's called).