Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


360 Burnout?

Could be that it's just my frame of mind lately but I think I'm officially burned out on the Xbox 360. I've been fighting off the illness Pramas brought home from Flying Lab, a strangely threatening sore throat and general fatigue. Such fatigue that I found myself unable to stay awake, falling asleep reading, falling asleep just sitting down, falling asleep in front of my computer even though I was getting plenty of sleep at night. I don't feel like I have a full blown debilitating illness but I do feel in precisely the right mood to want to boot up some electronic games.

Except that I don't.

I tried playing a little Viva Pinata, something I haven't touched in weeks. I've got three or four different gardens going but none of them appeal. I'm at the stage now where in order to accomplish anything I pretty much have to do a bunch of tedious animal breeding in huge quantities. After a bunch of trouble I finally manged to attract a couple of bush babies. Before I can do anything with the cursed things, I have to have a unicorn in my garden, which means I have to bring in some ponies, which will attract some horses, which I can then breed until I have some ungodly number of them (which makes ma a "Master Romancer")... all of which necessitates that I fill in my painstakingly dug ponds so I have enough room and grass... oh, and I have to feed each of the horses something like 15 gems to put them in the mood to romance in the first place. I am clearly not a hardcore gamer because going to all that work just so I can hatch a baby Galagoogoo does NOT sound like fun.

Tried playing Zuma but I've been stuck on level 12 for weeks and no matter many times I try, try again, I can't get past. Bejeweled? I've had this for ages for my Palm and I normally like games like this, but these days? Yawn. Geometry Wars? Tried that for about five minutes and then gave up. Lost a couple of games of backgammon to the cheating computer (oh yeah, it just happened to get all those doubles in every single game just when they were needed). I leave the shooters to Pramas. When I launched Hexic Kate said, "Oh, you can play this one for hours!" but again, no. I didn't even clear one screen before I just didn't feel like playing.

I suppose I should wait until I give Guitar Hero for the 360 a try before I declare I'm done, but barring another RPG-style release like the original Knights of the Old Republic (something like KOTOR 2, if they'd bothered to finish it, would be top of my list) I can't say I'm even mildly interested in sitting down for some console gaming at the moment. Curse James Wallis for making me long for Ecco the Dolphin. Hell, if someone wanted to sell me a game where I could "just prat around being a dolphin" I'd buy it right now!

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Anonymous Kara Says:

Kev just fanatically played through Lego Star Wars and loved it. He says there's a new 360 game being made by the KOTOR team called Mass Effect that looks phenomenal. Unfortunately, most of the fun, quirky games are Nintendo-based. Viva la Wii!

Anonymous James Wallis Says:

As Kara says, the Lego Star Wars games are a hoot (plus if you're me you get to experience the second trilogy without hearing a word of Lucas's awful dialogue or any of the romance nonsense), but the Xbox360 isn't really much on non-linear non-shooty games overall.

You may want to look into the Xbox's back-catalogue. Two of the finest games released for that platform aren't X360-compatible (Beyond Good and Evil and Oddworld: Stranger's Curse) but you'd probably enjoy Psychonauts and the first Prince of Persia game, plus you can pick them up cheap on eBay.

There's a new Zuma-alike on XBL: Luxor. I enjoyed the demo. Have a look.

(The list of Xbox games that'll run on the X360 is here.)

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Oh holy master, I would learn thy ways!

Jenny, supplicant in the temple of 360 burnout

Anonymous John Scott Tynes Says:

There are two recent 360 Arcade demos you should try. Luxor 2 (the one James mentions) is Zuma on only one axis and is pretty fun. It's kind of a cross between Zuma and R-Type-style "shmups".

The other is Boom Boom Rocket, which is kind of like Guitar Hero Lite. It's a rhythm game where you tap out beats on the joystick which generates pretty fireworks. Try it on Easy a couple times and then try it on Easy in Endurance mode. It's super intense and fun that way while still being accessible. I worked up a real sweat playing Endurance mode and then Jenny tried it and beat my score into the dirt.

Carcassonne comes out June 7 and Talisman is in the works for later this year. I'm looking forward to those for some couch-boardgame gooness.


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