XBOX Event Impressions

When the Xbox One was unveiled, I was disappointed. The focus on TV, Sports, and German Shepherds greatly decreased any building excitement I had for Microsoft's next gen console.  I have accepted the impending death of used games and the rise of the always online requirement (competitive businesses usually adapt the same strategies... my guess is Sony will soon follow). But it is still disappointing. 

But then Microsoft wowed me as much as I hoped when their focus on games took the forefront at today's media briefing. I really enjoyed what they had to show.

Before we get started, one thing I will say is I think that they need to put the people playing the game not on the stage, maybe have them play backstage. It looks awkward and takes me out of the presentation. 

Okay now to the good stuff...

Dark Souls 2- We've already seen a good amount from this game. What else can be said except... it looks fantastically badass.

XBOX Live- Gold subscriptions will indeed carry over to the new console. I was delighted to learn Microsoft is adopting a Playstation Plus model, giving gold subscribers 2 free games a month. It looks like it will start within the coming month. But where Playstation Plus gives away both newer and older games, the first two games under the model are Assassin's Creed 2 and Halo 3. When they announced thes titles, there was almost no applause. Anybody who owns an Xbox has probably already played both.

XBOX 360- I was happy with Microsft for focusing the first 10 minutes or so on Xbox 360. It was a smart move, even if a new 360 model isn't necessary at all. Then they announced World of Tanks for the Xbox 360. I wasn't very excited for it, but I was definitely in the minority. The game was greeted with thunderous applause. 

Games, games, and more games, that's what this event was all about and overall it didn't disappoint.

Max: Curse of Brotherhood- With almost no description or talk surrounding it, this game left me and the people I sat next to a bit confused. It looks like an arcade title, but we weren't sure. It is definitely a spinoff or sequel of Max and the Magic Marker.

Smartmatch- A new feature for Xbox Live that finds an online game for you while you are playing single player so you can seamlessly switch from solo campaign to multiplayer.

Killer Instinct-  They showed a teaser for Killer Instict! This confirmed previous rumors that Microsoft was developing a new Killer Instict game after the brand was renewed. I was disappointed I never got to hear C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!

Sunset Overdrive- A Microsoft exclusive made by Insomniac! This is huge. This further proves that Microsoft is here for the long haul. It's also a little jab at Sony. Having said that, I have no idea what the game is or how it will play. It looked a little bit like Brink which may not be the best thing, seeing as Brink failed miserably.

Forza 5- This is the first Forza title I have any interest in. It looks accessible. That being said, it doesn't look easy either. It looks ike it stays true to its driving simulation roots. The end of AI. I'll believe it when I see it, Microsoft. Drivatar looks cool, but I really doubt this could apply to games other than Forza. Also, I don't know how I feel about the Computer losing or winning races while I'm not playing.

D4- From the developers of the cult hit Deadly Premonition comes a new episodic adventure, and it looks like a Mind*@&$.

Minecraft- The Xbox One Version flaunts bigger worlds and bigger multiplayer. I actually don't know how you can make it any bigger, seeing as I know of nobody who uses the entire map. But the bigger multiplayer could be very beneficial.

Quantum Break- From what I saw from the in-game footage, the premise of this game sounds and looks really cool. Fragmented time stasis? Sounds freaking cool. I'm not all that excited about the TV and game mashup though. 

Project Spark- Creating a game is the game. I wasn't impressed with this title until the end when they showed user created games that you could play. There the possibilities actually seemed endless, and then it hit me: this is Microsoft's answer to Little Big Planet.

Smart Glass- Man, oh man... they were really pushing this. I guess they are trying to compete with the Vita. But it's still basically a gimmick. I don't know a person who is so interested in their friend's stats they they would look them up... and leaderboards? You can usually check those out in-game.

Upload Studio and Game DVR- This seemed really inuitive. A strong competitor for Playstation. They demoed it on a combo from Killer Instict. It also included nice themes you can use to personlize your video. You can also add commentary via Kinect!

Twitch- Microsoft has partnered with Twitch for a partnership that brings Livestreaming straight to your console. It looked very sleek.

Kinect- The kinect talk was kept to what seemed like a minimum. Optional voice commands--that seems to be the only "practicality" in gaming. It's nice for getting from point A to point B within your console, but other than that, Kinect seems like a waste of space. 

Crimson Dragon- There was no sound. It was actually very funny as fellow members of the press and industry made dragon and bird noises. The game looks very chaotic and fun. It reminded me a lot of Starfox.

Dead Rising 3- It looks incredibly open world. It also looks way more accesible via creating weapons on the fly. The charcter's (Nick Ramos) on the fly remarks really made the game a little more lighthearted in the face of overwhelming adversity.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt- The first Witcher that is truly open world. It's sad then to realize that this is the last chapter in Geralt of Riveria's story. I was also delighted to learn that the combat has been rebuilt from the ground up. I thought that the combat was the weakest part of the previous 2 games, and now it looks VERY fluid. 

Untitled Black Tusk Game- All I can say is it looked a lot like Syphon Filter, but that's impossible. But a man can dream!

The Details- The Xbox One is coming out this November at $499. I think this is a reasonable pricepoint, if not a little pricey. 

 What did you guys think of the presentation? Yay or Nay? Favorite part? Most Hated Part?

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