Resurrected Entertainment

Archive for the 'Xbox 360' category

Xbox 360 DvD Drive Woes

August 1, 2009

Our 360 optical drive is stuttering and causing the video playback to freeze sometimes. It doesn’t always do it, but once it gets going, it won’t stop. We always need to turn it off and hope for the best the next time we use it. It may be a dirty lens, since I have never cleaned it the entire time we have owned it (around 5 years). Does this sound like the problem? Has anyone ever tried to replace the drive?

Bionic Commando: Rearmed

December 21, 2008

I started playing this game last week but it had been sitting around on my Xbox 360 for about a month before I had a chance to play it (my wife and I had been deep into Fallout 3 and had little time for anything else). I have to say that I am impressed so far. The fine people at Capcom and GRIN have put their collective heads together and created a new experience around a classic title.

The training rooms are perhaps the most significant departure from the original. While the new visual look and great audio soundtracks do not change the gameplay experience, the training exercises are designed to enhance the game with a public ranking system and add a competitive edge for those who would not be completely satisfied by Bionic Commando’s mission based levels.

For those who like item and monster records in their games, and I am one of those people, this game adds that feature to a genre which has traditionally shied away from such features. GRIN has also revised how you hack the enemies communication systems. Instead of simply selecting the “hack” option and then waiting to see if you have been detected, Rearmed starts a mini-game where you need to direct a ball to various target spaces in a cubic grid.

However, the most important feature the GRIN team has added is to ensure that it feels like Bionic Commando. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think about the remake.

Settlers of Catan on the Xbox 360

August 21, 2007

Settlers of Catan Board GameI’ve been playing this little gem for a couple of days now and it is simply fantastic. For those of you who don’t know, the game began life as a board game many years ago. I own the board game too, and it is a great way to spend time with family and friends. It’s rules are pretty straight forward even though the game has strategic elements to it. In the end, though, it is ultimatley ruled by the roll of the die, and the more lucky you get the better off you’ll be. However, the best luck won’t save you if you can’t strategize your way out of a paper bag.

The software version does an excellent job of handling complex interactions like bargaining and trading with other players. Subtly is obviously lost since it doesn’t take into account facial expressions, body movement, or gestures… yet. You may laugh, but this sort of thing is happening now. It’s called real-time facial expression recognition. The Nintendo DS, for example, is putting out a camera and is encouraging developers to release software which does exactly this. Facial recognition aside, the AI in Settlers does a great job and seems to use evaluation mechanisms which can change the outcome of a trade even while the players themselves are bargaining. If you see an offer you like, I would take it as soon as you can before the computer decides to change its’ mind or accepts an offer from another player.

If playing against a machine isn’t appealing to you, there is a good on-line alternative as long as your friends own a 360, but even this isn’t sacred since cross-platform multi-player console games are already on the horizon.