I indicated last week that I finally got my Xbox 360, so the obvious follow-up question is ‘what games am I playing?’ First of all there’s plenty of life left in Halo 2 and other “Xbox 180” games, and they look better than ever played through the 360 on my HD display.
The future’s in the new games, though. Based on my friends’ recommendations and the games they’re already playing, I bought two games right away along with my 360. Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (GRAW), has become my Halo 2 clan’s 360 home for FPS gameplay, with not only a challenging solo campaign but a multiplayer that’s as good as – while still different from – Halo’s. My other purchase was Rockstar Table Tennis.
Table Tennis – in a video game? Yes. Lots of fun, challenging and terribly addictive.
I’ve also rented Kameo, which doesn’t do much for me, and Eric let me borrow Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) and Perfect Dark Zero yesterday, so I’ll be giving them a try over the next few evenings, and several of my friends and I have Chrome Hounds on order to pick up tomorrow.
For me, the games are fun but the real enjoyment comes from playing with friends. I’ve got online friends that I play with regularly all across the U.S. — family members, co-workers, and friends, not all of whom I’ve yet met face-to-face, and there are always new people to meet in a game (alas no, I haven’t played with Gajit, Derk or Kendo yet) — we all share a fun evening together. Of course, a few of them don’t have a 360 yet, one reason for the continued playing of Halo 2 mentioned above.
Which game we’re playing, and how well we do, almost become secondary. It’s like having the gang over for a poker party, albeit long-distance. Long thought of as the refuge of the loner, gaming is becoming a social experience.
I can’t emphasize that enough, there are very few non-online games that I’ll buy. Without Xbox Live, I probably wouldn’t have gotten my Xbox 360 at all.