Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
I have become one, with the borg.
Published on November 17, 2004 By Draginol In Console Games

I finally broke down and got an Xbox. I have a Game Cube already but I'm mostly a PC games person.  I've been playing some World of Warcraft, Kohan 2, The Sims 2, and a few others games that recently came out.

No, I'm not playing Half-Life 2. Indeed. I'm waiting for my new mega machine to arrive. Only then will I begin playing it.

But in the meantime, I wanted to see the hub-bub about Halo 2 was.  So I went out and got the XBox and Halo 2. The XBox came with a pretty decent football game and a pretty lousy tennis game.  Played those for a bit but mostly I tried out Halo 2.

And it's a great game. I can tell a great game even if I'm not personally enjoying myself.  I think I waited too long. The XBox controller takes some time to get used to and I'm just not used to it.  I like my keyboard and mouse interface for FPS.  My friends tell me that "once you get used to it it's great".  But that's easy to say if you've been playing with an XBox on other games for a year.  I haven't really done fast action with a game controller..since..well ever.  I had an Atari 2600 and a C-64 and after that I was all PC guy.  No Nintendo until I got the Gamecube and I only got that because Nintendo gave me one as a gift because of a project I worked on with them.

As for the other qualities of the XBox, I actually prefer the Gamecube. First off, the Gamecube is much smaller. Which makes it more portable.  Secondly, I like the Gamecube's mini-DVDs. The lack of hard drive in the GameCube is an advantage I think. It seems to put more discipline into the Gamecube developers or something because games on the Xbox seem to take a lot longer to load than any of the Gamecube games I have.

It also annoyed me that the XBox won't play regular DVDs. Why use the DVD size if you're not going to allow the user to play their DVD movies without an extra option?  Sure, it's only $40 for the controller to enable DVD movies but that makes the XBox even less portable if I have some thing hooked into a controller port.

I'm not saying the XBox is bad. I liked Halo 2 and am happy with my purchase. But the real test for me is going to be Knights of the Old Republic II. That's what I really purchased it for and I'm looking forward to getting that this holiday season.

on Nov 17, 2004
You're killing me. All weekend long I've been going back and forth between an Xbox and Halo2 or Half-Life2 and a new Mx1000. You're not making this any easier.

BTW, you keep talking about this new uber box on the way. Whats the specs? If you tell me you're going to have SLI nVidia graphics my head might explode...
on Nov 17, 2004
Hey great article as usual! Your friends are right once you get used to the controller the Xbox rocks. However their are two different size controllers I perfer the larger one. I agree on the Xbox adding the option at a cost of $40.00 is silly. If you owned this hardware I know you would have included it!! I have a powerhouse PC now but have not played Half-life as yet. Our house we have every console that was ever made. I am a former Atari Computer owner it took me a long time to ween myself off from the Atari computers. I bought my first PC only about 7-8 years ago.

Knights of the Old Republic ROCKS on the Xbox and I understand the sequel will be even better. The Xbox has many short comings and I am with your accessment completely. I enjoy it a lot more then the GameCube or the PS2, though the PS2 has a vast library. Fast action games with a controller on any console takes a long time to get used to I think. I am 49 years old and lost my reflexes some time ago but I am still GREAT at Need for Speed series like NFSU and NFSU2!

What is a Uber system?
on Nov 17, 2004
I love PC gaming -- but due to genetics and time spent at the keyboard vs hand-eye activities (played hockey but not nearly enough), twitch games have me beaten almost from the start. The first-person games I can rate as my favourites (Jedi Knight series and the Thief series) all had an aspect where it was possible to survive at least partially on wits. Long story short: I don't buy PC hardware for game playing anymore.

The current machine I run the Stardock stuff on is over 5 years old: dual Celeron 533 w/ 512MB RAM.

For research and business purposes I've bought server-grade hardware, but nothing you can play games on.

If (when, depending on the kids) I get a game machine, it'll probably be a console to cut down on headaches and (hopefully) obsolence.
on Nov 17, 2004
But the real test for me is going to be Knights of the Old Republic II.

Same here.
Also, I enjoy having a PS2, along with my Xbox, but I also have a Monster PC, so everything in excess!!
Doom 3 for me was good the first time through, but...
Now I am playing Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, which for me as a Warhammer 40K fan is just awesome, plus the modding community is starting to pick up making it great.
Also, I just saw a advert for Ghost Recon 2, which I am a war game fan (Operation Flashpoint, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six) that looks like I might have to get my hands on it.

Have you tried Evil Genius yet? Sort of like Sims meets Austin Powers, though little lacking on the replayability side after the second/third time through.
Still wanting the Xbox Next to be able to play both Next and Xbox games so I only have to one console for the games.

- Grim
on Nov 17, 2004

At the time PS2/Xbox first came out, DVD players were still generally over $200 on their own (as opposed to the $40 I saw a progressive scan one for the other day). I've known lots of people who used their PS2 as their first DVD player, because it let you do it out of the box. Granted, you had to use the controller as the remote unless you ponied up an extra little bit, but it was a perfectly serviceable solution.

Microsoft might have had something to pay extra for if they had allowed progressive scan (which the newest retail xbox might allow, but afaik, still doesn't) for dvd playback, but given all the talk about how they're eating it on hardware sales, one could make the argument for them breaking it out initially.

It's quite a bit less valuable as a feature now. And remember, it did make for using commodity off-the-shelf hardware for the machine.

Less of an issue now. I would have a dvd player in the bathroom if there was a tv there...

How many times have you exploited the more "portable" gamecube elsewhere?

I don't remember if you played the Simpsons Hit & Run on the gamecube (which I purchased metroid prime 2 for yesterday), but I'll bring it in for you to give a whirl on the xbox.

My inner ear is all screwed up after playing Half-Life2 and running around in the first vehicle. I've had to stop for the night. Beautiful stuff, ok pacing, certainly has a sense of tension in a much more expansive world than Doom3, though it does seem to tend to rush you through the world. And the loading times are somewhat distressing, even on my tricked out rig. Looking forward to a little gravity gun action...


on Nov 18, 2004
Interesting Someone else besides me knows about Kohan...[Not that I would think that no one else knew, its just, I've never run into anyone who did know that Kohan Existed, I've only played the demos and they seem like fun games]
on Nov 18, 2004
I prefer GameCube out of the three major consoles. I only have a PS2 and XBOX so I can play exclusives only available for those two that I want to play.
on Nov 18, 2004
I don't have any consoles.....Just don't like the types of games on them.

But, my PC games I am playing.....

1. Neverwinter Nights Platinum
2. Everquest 2 (not sure I care for this one though)
3. Rome: Total War
4. SuperPower 2
5. Kohan 2

I am playing mostly NWN & EQ2. But, like I said, I am not sure I like is World of Warcraft? Worth it when it comes out??? Rome: Total War is a great game, SuperPower, I have only played a bit....loaded it up and turned into a religious right-wing extreme nut in a matter of moments (outlawed every religiong but Christianity, took away all rights....declared war on Cuba, nuked France...twice....then nuked Iraq just for the hell of it). Kohan 2 I have only played a little bit....very rusty with that game style (been quite some time since i played Kohan). I also have Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War....great game....but at the moment, it is uninstalled.

Anyways, Drag, how is World of Warcraft????
on Nov 18, 2004
I think you will enjoy KotOR. That's what I got an xbox for; my wife and I played it through twice.
on Nov 18, 2004
Halo 2 is great game, but it doesnt compare to Half Life 2 in terms of overall polish. You're really in for a treat, well worth the wait. Kudos to Bungie for the online though, I cant say as much for Valve and the decision to include an elitist online version of Counterstrike rather than a Half Life 2 multi.
on Nov 18, 2004
I agree, overall the Xbox isn't very good. I had an Xbox when they were first released, and all I played was Halo, everything else was pretty bad. When I got bored of Halo, I sold the Xbox and Halo.. Then a little over a year ago, a friend convinced me that "Xbox is great now!", so I purchased another one. That lasted for 4 months, it wasn't great, it was like playing a bunch of PC wannabe games with a bad controller. So I sold it.

Now, since Halo2 came out, everyone has been trying to get me to buy one again. Halo2 is great, but man, those Xbox controllers sure do stink compared to Mouse+Keyboard combo. Its difficult for me to enjoy a FPS with those rediculous control schemes of consoles.

I've given up on consoles until the next generation, HL2 and DoD:S will keep me plenty busy without Halo2.

Oh, and Kohan series is incredible.. I was an old Kohan fan, Kohan2 is pretty good, but I think I still like Ahrimans Gift better.
on Nov 19, 2004
I have to say that with an unmodded xbox you are missing the best features the platform has to offer. I've tried many different varieties of media delivery and teh xbox media center is by far the most straightforward and smooth option I've seen. It connects to my network and allows me to play just about any kind of media i could want directly to the xbox. The extra cash to throw a mod chip in your box is well worth it in my opinion for the added features you get. It's entirely too bad that microsoft locks the box so you can't run other software on it to begin with as it's just a dumbed down computer.

on Nov 19, 2004
If you mod it, Microsoft won't allow you to connect it to XBOX Live.
on Apr 09, 2005
Microsoft is a fascist company. I reall enjoy my Xbox, im waiting for Jade Empire and Doom 3 to come out. I would have Doom 3 on a PC except mine sucks and I do not have 2-4 grand for the computer that i really want, oh well i can wish.