You may remember that I wrote a pretty long piece on the Xbox One reveal a couple weeks ago. While it was pretty therapeutic to write it and get all my thoughts out, due to Acadia bumbling about and unplugging all the wires he could find backstage here at the Gallery, I have no way of knowing if that piece received the hits I would have liked it to in order for me to continue writing things of that length. So, for this post, with the help of the fine chaps from VideoGamer.com, I’m going to try to be a bit more concise.
The next generation Xbox was unveiled on Tuesday. There’s been plenty of talk about it already. I’ve spent the time since the reveal trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it, and even now I’m not entirely sure. I’ve decided to write this piece to try and sort it out, so just bear with me on this. I know what the Gallery’s bread and butter is, so if you humor me while I ramble, I’ll give you a bunch of gamer girl pictures at the end.
After the jump, I’ll go into what I feel are the pros and cons of the system. I just want to take a second to touch on two things that really don’t matter about it. First, the name. Microsoft is calling their new system the Xbox One. People are losing their minds about this, and I’m failing to see why. ”It’s a stupid name!” No, it’s not. You want to know what a stupid name would have been? The Xbox Panda Stroker. The Xbox Baby Enema. Xbox Sweaty Nipples. It really could have been worse. Another thing I’ve read is, “It’s not the first Xbox, it’s the third!” Right. So if you know that, and I know that, what’s the problem here? Were you already calling the original Xbox the Xbox One? I doubt it.
Another thing that has people all in a tizzy is how the One looks. The most popular complaint is that it looks like a VCR. So what? Did something involving VCRs traumatize you as a child? I don’t get it. It’s not a big stretch for a gaming system to be rectangle shaped. Most of them have been that shape. I could understand the uproar if they made the One to look like a cat’s butthole or something, but they didn’t. All this complaining about the name and look of the machine just strikes me as superfluous. Isn’t how the machine performs more important?
As big a gamer as I am, I have to admit that the Dance Dance Revolution games are not for me. I’d be lucky to not fail out of the easiest one player game. However, I have found a guy who these games are for. This dude is amazing. He takes on a two player game all by himself and absolutely kills it. Now I don’t know if there is a Dance Dance Revolution championship tournament out there (there probably is), but if this guy doesn’t win it, I don’t know if I want to see the person who does.
This can display of Mario is probably the most impressive thing of it’s kind that I’ve ever seen. Seeing this picture took me back to my days of working at a grocery store when I was a teenager. I probably got more enjoyment out of making these displays than I was supposed to. While I never got to do anything this elaborate, I always rejoiced in the fact that I was getting paid to use stuff like 12 packs of soda as building blocks. For a guy who still plays with LEGOs, that’s not a bad gig.
I’ve been a pretty big video gamer my whole life. The first game I can ever remember playing was Ms. Pac-Man. My brother and I took turns on the game while at the laundromat with our mom. Since that time, I’ve never stopped gaming. Even with the technological advances in the gaming industry, I miss the arcades of old. I would spend hours in them. Even after I had spent all my money I’d still hang around and watch everyone else play. As much as I love home consoles, the arcade as I knew it effectively disappearing makes it feel like a little magic has been lost. Still, the memory lives on in myself and others, and it always does my heart good to see people still paying tribute to the games of the past. Today’s video is such a tribute. It is a stop motion video made entirely with post-it notes. It lasts only two and a half minutes, but took 4,800 post-it notes, 5,722 still images, and 11 months to complete. My hat is off to the guy for sticking with it until it was done.
Last week I talked Acadia out of an Ingress activation code. Ingress is a game created by NianticLabs@Google for Android devices. It’s currently in closed beta, meaning it’s closed to the public and anyone lucky enough to get an invite right now is basically testing it out for them. I hadn’t been particularly interested at first, but after a friend of mine had me ride shotgun while he hacked some portals I wanted in pretty badly. Long story short… I’m going to have to pull some overtime to make it up to the boss.
Ingress is a “capture the flag” kind of game with two teams competing for territory. It’s pretty much nerd gang wars. In this case the Enlightened (green team)are battling it out with the Resistance (blue team) for control of portals. The twist is that you have to actually go out and about to the various locations that these portals are located at and be standing at the location to access them. Portals can be fortified, and your ability to do so increases as you level up in the game. Also, the attack power you have access to increases with your level. Pretty standard stuff.
The fact that the targets have to be accessed up close and personal added two elements to the game that were unfamiliar to me though. The first is that you can, and do, run into other players on a regular basis. Within a couple of days of playing I had met others out doing the same thing, and even discussed strategies and was given game advice. Everyone seemed friendly and helpful. The second element is that in the first week alone a ton of miles were driven, a lot of gas was burned, and I walked what seemed like a million miles. Gaming has never left anything but my thumbs sore in the past, so my burning calves were a particularly surprising side effect. Oh, and talking about blowing up things in front of post offices (where many portals are located) was sketchy at best.
All in all, It’s definitely a fun game. You have to invest some time and effort to make it worthwhile, but that’s the case with a lot of MMO’s. And with New Year’s resolutions breathing down my neck the extra exercise was a nice bonus. I highly recommend you check it out, especially once a shiny clean version is released to the public.