Getting back into gaming

I’ve been thinking about getting back into gaming for a while, and over the weekend I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an xBox 360. I went for the full pack, which has a wireless controller, built-in hard drive, and xBox Live goodies. I’m not intending to do internet gaming, and I only realised later how useless the HD is going to be without the net. You can rip your CDs to the hard drive and store your photos. That’s about it. It won’t let you copy your existing MP3 collection, whether obtained legally or not. The HD is capable of storing and playing WMV videos, too, but the only way to get them on there is to download (or buy) them from xBox Live. The xBox even has a USB port, which can support pen drives. It’s just such a shame that a piece of kit, capable of so much more, is held back because of piracy (I presume).

I’m really into online DVD rentals, and when I receive a disc that has four episodes, I usually image it onto my computer and convert it to xVid for watching later (I have a nifty living-room player capable of playing that format). I’m not building up a collection of pirated media; as soon as I watch the files, I delete them. If you want to nit-pick about it, technically it’s breaking the law, but all I’m doing is time-shifting – allowing myself to get the disc returned and another on its way to me while I watch the current stuff. It would have been nice to be able to use the xBox as a buffer for these videos. But it’s not allowed. Had I researched just how restrictive the HD was before purchase, I would have bought the basic Core System and a memory card for game saves.

But no matter. I bought the machine to play games on, and how does it fare? Excellent. I’ve bought Perfect Dark Zero and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. PDZ is a first-person shooter, where you play a sort of female James Bond. Beautiful game, tough learning curve, and difficult controls to master. I really miss the mouse-control of a PC, but I’ll persevere. I think it’s going to be a great game when I get some practice. Oblivion is a massive role-playing game. I was initially a little put-off by all the statistics (you know, health, fatigue, magic, etc., etc.), but once I’d gotten a feel for the game, I fell in love with it. There was one particular breathtaking moment, when I first emerged from the castle and looked around at the stunning landscape, and I realised, “It’s like a whole world, and I can go anywhere.”

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10 thoughts on “Getting back into gaming

  1. Anonymous says:

    aw come on darryl, you have to get live, its quite fun when you get into it!
    i have live myself and to be honest when im on the 360 now its usually in the live section, also quite good for downloading demos of games when considering to buy it!
    Phil Hopper

  2. Darryl Sloan says:

    Hi, Phil. Good to know you are still hanging around here.

    There’s just one problem with Live: Sad little me has no home internet connection. Besides, I’m more of an adventurer than an arcade-person. Blastathons are not really my thing.

    But if I ever do sign-up, I’ll let you know, and we can knock the crap out of each other.

    What’s your favourite games?

  3. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    I’ve never even considered going live. I’m a Playstation person, but I’ve decided (after hearing about the $600 price tag) that I’m giving Sony the boot with the next gen consoles. Since I have a daughter who’s two, I’m going to switch back to Nintendo. I know, the Wii has a dumb name, but they have more family-friendly offerings. I usually play fighting games and, when I put Street Fighter in my PS2, my daughter gets excited and says, “Daddy’s gonna kick bootie!”

    Not a positive role-model. :0)

  4. Darryl Sloan says:

    It’s the family-friendly offerings that put me off Nintendo. 🙂 Mind you, I’m fascinated to see how this radical new controller on the Wii works out. I’ve watched some great YouTube videos about it. It’s almost like “exercise while you game.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    well im very into Lord Of The Rings battle for middle earth 2 at the minute, perfect dark is awesome although ive worn the single player mode out, and im pretty into fight night at the minute, thats about it really, just a little bit of every genre in there, lol.

    Phil Hopper

  6. PRAEst76 says:

    I’ve never been much of a console gamer. Always liked having a keyboard and mouse for stuff. not to mention the fact that PC games, even if you are buying them legitimately, tend to be much cheaper that console games.

    I’m not sure about the Xbox 360 but I know the original Xbox got hacked to buggery. People put Linux on it and everything. I know some frneds working on getting things like that running on the 360, but I think they got all formats of music and movies running on it using it as a play-all media center. Probably needs “chipped” first though.. and that’ll be your warranty down the toilet.

  7. Darryl Sloan says:

    I definitely prefer the mouse & keyboard combo for first-person shooters, but I’m getting used to the joypad. Besides, it’s pretty hard to operate the mouse & keyboard from the living-room sofa! When I was PC gaming, I used to to place a big plank of wood across the arms of the armchair, and on it I would put the keyboard and mouse. Not ideal.

    I would dearly love to see this xBox 360 hacked to bits. There’s already some software (Xploder Media Centre) that allows ethernet steaming of xvid files, etc., from an XP Media Centre-equipped PC. But that’s not the same thing as having the files there on the xBox’s HDD. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a chip. I hate the corporate mentality that won’t let buyers do what they want with the hardware they buy.

  8. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Well, I like more mature stuff, too (As far as fighters go, the “DOA” series comes to mind. But I do have to watch what I play around Kaitlyn. Besides, I kind of miss old school Mario and Zelda. And the Wii is going to offer the older Nintendo games for download.

  9. PRAEst76 says:

    I think the idea these days is that you don’t actually buy a product… just the rights to use it as the creators of the owners decree.

    I think “consumer rights” has become a bit of an oxymoron.

  10. Darryl Sloan says:

    Yep, that’s it in a nutshell. I don’t mind them voiding my warranty by me modding a product; that’s fair enough. But it bugs when when they try to make it out to be illegal. In my opinion, if you hand over money for a physical product, then you own that item and can do what you like to it.

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