This morning, Microsoft and Xbox hosted X07 Canada, a little get together to show off what's coming to the Xbox over the next few months. This year the event felt different somehow. More exciting, more diverse. The screens were filed with all sorts of games, not the endless walls of FPS' and war themed games. Read on for a summary of some of the highlights.
Given my constant raving about Rockband, I have to start with it. They had the full band setup and there was a steady flow of people there to play. The drum kit is actually way more solid than it looks in the photos that I've seen floating around. It's a decent side and you can really wail on it. The Fender guitars are slick and feel good to hold. I like the addition of the high frets for solos. The mic, well, it's a mic. I'm still deciding what's cooler, rocking out with a full band or the selection of original tracks in the game.
The picture below is a bit dark, but you can see the drummer and if you look close, I'm in there on bass guitar.
The really big titles of the season (aside from those two little games Jen wrote about...) are both Japanese RPGs, Eternal Sonata and Blue Dragon - which comes on a whopping 3 DVDs. I've played the demos for both these games. I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan of this style of gameplay. Turn-based combat with long animated attacks. Long conversations that require you to click after nearly every single sentence. Feels like it drags on too much for me.
Of the two I like the feel of Eternal Sonata better. The pacing seems more fluid and the story is quite different. I want to love these games though. The stories are rich and worlds are beautiful and deep. I've got a copy of Blue Dragon now, so I'll give it another shot and report back later.
Project Gotham 4 looks like it will be the most solid driving game over the next while. Most interesting thing about PG4 today was the real cars they had outside to zip us around the block in.
Off in a corner setup with a bunch of couches and a coffee table was the popular DVD game, Scene It. Except this time it's making it's way to the Xbox. What sets this apart from the boardgame version are the controllers that come with it. When you buy the game you get a set of four buzzer style controllers. A giant coloured button is what you use to buzz in to give your answer first. I'm really getting into the variety of periperhals that Xbox is gaining. Definitely a nice touch to hold off my desire for a Wii a bit longer.
Next week you can expect to see the new messenger pack out in stores. This is the add-on keypad and a new headset to go with it that we've been hearing about. This thing felt really good to me. The keypad is super light, you barely noticed it jammed into the bottom of the controller, the keys were a decent size and it's so much easier to type. I can really see this working during a game. Jen had a harder time typing, finding it a bit big for her smaller hands. Combine this with the recent announcement that XBox would allow MMORPG makers to require the presence of a hard drive and I'm thinking we can expect to see some competition to World of Warcraft coming to the Xbox 360 some time in the future.