360Monster tour of our new home

With all of our boxes unpacked, we can now get back to doing what we do best and that’s bringing you daily Xbox 360 goodness! First off, we would like to point out what has been done in our new home, so here is a rundown as to what is new here at 360monster.com.
Xbox 360 Guides (New Feature)
Over on the left navigation column you will see a new link called ‘Guides’. In here, our resident Toby has written out some helpful guides on getting the most out of your Xbox 360. Over time we will add to this area more helpful guides for our readers, so keep your eyes on that from time to time.

Achievements (New Feature)
In its baby stages right now is the Achievements section of our site. Achievements play a big part in all of our Xbox 360 lives, so it would be silly not to cover this here. Over the next few days we will be stocking up on achievements which will make us up-to-date with the latest games available and the achievements for them.

Last Five (More detail)
Over on the right column, we have updated our Last Five area, which now features the date of the article submitted and also the thread starter in the last five forum posts. Something we thought wasn’t that necessary, but it’s a nice addition nonetheless.

Article images (From old to new)
Something that was implemented recently on the old server was where we placed images inside the articles for our previews and reviews. This is to add some colour to the page and to break it up between paragraphs. Clicking them will take you to the image media page of the site. For our new home we have given these a graphical update.

360 Details 2.0 (New Look)
A whole new look for the games details column has been made. We have removed some uninteresting areas such as Online Content, which wasn’t really going anywhere and replaced this with achievements for the game. 360Monsters Score and User Rating has been cleaned up also, and there will be a new voting feature coming soon. Thanks to Tomb Raider Legend’s flood of images we were forced to clean up the image area a little bit, so it can contain a bigger number of media.

Game bar navigation (Forum had to go)
At the top of a game there is the Game Bar, this has had a makeover too and the forum button has now been removed from this bar, as it wasn’t used much and just confused not just you, but us too! In its place we have added achievements.

Game Overview comments section (New feature)

By removing the specific game forum button in the Game Bar, we have added a comments system to the bottom of each games overview page. From here we ask our members to post a comment on their thoughts of the game, so that potential buyers of the game can read opinions in one key area.

Scoring (Yes, we have gone decimal!)
Debated by many users in our forum, decimal has been chosen for our scoring system. We believe over time, once we have a backlog of titles, all sharing similar scores, it will be hard to distinguish titles that are better than others. For this reason we have leaned towards using decimal scores in our reviews, as well as the total score for our users.

Media Viewer 2.0 (No more pop-ups)
Personally I am not a fan of screenshot pop-up windows, so this is something I’ve been wanting to change for a while, but it was difficult finding a suitable system to use for our media viewer. Screenshots and now also Video will be viewed from within the site, this meaning the screens will be a little smaller than normal, but we believe it’s a better system than our previous pop-up system. We have also done our best to ‘shift’ the page down for users with lower resolutions, so that it doesn’t rise up after every view of a screenshot and therefore less scrolling down to the arrow buttons.

Updated Forum with Buy and Swap forums (New Feature)
The forum has now been upgraded, with that comes some new features for both staff and users. With the upgrade we now had the ability to launch our Buy and Swap forums, where our members can buy, exchange and sell their Xbox 360 games and peripherals.

So as well as all the above, we have added new features to our backend that helps our staff more and a few minor changes to some pages have been made both in code and in graphics. We hope you enjoy our new home here; if you encounter any problems with any of our new features, let us know by using our contact page.


Anthony Barker

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.

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