Thursday, October 16, 2008


Last month, I finally took the plunge and bought a XBox 360. I had been wanting one for a long time, and I had the means, so I got one with a bunch of games. From the little time I've been able to spend with it, I really enjoy it. I have a cheap HDTV and a regular hookup (meaning no HDMI cables), and it still looks really damn good. I really want to get XBox Live, but I have to spend 100 extra dollars for a wireless modem, and with the limited time I have, I'd rather wait until I have a little more free time.

Anyway, I got Grant Theft Auto IV, Saints Row, Assassins' Creed, Just Cause, Condemned, Dead Rising, and for the original XBox, Halo. The only games I've played at length so far are Just Cause and Condemned. Just Cause is, meh, okay. The graphics are amazing, and it's really cool how you can paraglide around the island, but other than that, it's a medicore GTA clone. There are a lot of glitches, and the experience and atmosphere just feels really lacking. I've put it to the side, and will pick it up again someday. But Condemned: Criminal Origins? To me, that's my first taste of what the 360 is about.

Condemned is a real experience. To me, if it were a movie, I'd say that it's a mix of Seven and Dark City, with a little splash of Cobra (old Stallone movie) mixed in. You are an FBI agent framed for the murder of 2 cops, and you must catch the real killer. But this takes place in an environment where the homeless and the fringes of society are freaking out and becoming violent for an unexplained reason. Birds are dropping dead. And you chase the killer through empty buildings, railroads, and other dark areas, hence the title "Condemned." Your flashlight will be your best friend in this game. That, and the taser, and the weapons you need to defeat the bad guys. While you may come across a gun here and there, most of the weapons you use are considered "melee" weapons, such as a shovel, pipe, conduit, whatever you can find in the buildings. And this game is one of the few that has really freaked me out. Do yourself a favor, and play this game at night with the lights off. It can be pretty terrifying. More than a few times, I've had a crazy, drugged-out guy with a pipe sneak up on me from behind.

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