Xbox 360 Kiosks – Your Views

After our recent announcment about Wal-Mart stores in the USA featuring XBOX 360 Kiosks, we’ve had a few people take a word for it and go check them out, then report back to us (Thanks guys!)

Bob Perrotti was kind enough to send us a detailed email of his visit, covering his views on the games:

I was glad to get hold of the playable demo for Kameo – because until that day, I had been planning on that for my first game for the 360.  After getting to try it out though, I’m no longer interested.  The game has massive battles and interesting characters, to be sure, but the controls are just not intuitive in the least.  All four buttons on the controller face are used to switch characters, with actions done almost exclusively with the shoulder buttons.  Maybe I’m picky, but I’m also no longer interested in the game.

The King Kong demo was beautiful.  No HUD to be seen – no health bar, no control hints unless necessary for Jane’s safety.  The first demo level is Kong v the T-Rex.  You are Kong, and the Rex is a bitch to fight.  It’s extremely cinematic, with close-ups when appropriate.  The second section of the demo was first person as a human character.  The goal is to distract the t-rex while your companions get the door open (Jack Black’s voice was audible the whole time…awesome).  Rain fell from the sky and seemed to make individual drops on the ground as they hit.  Overall, a great showcase of what the whole game will be like.

Now, Call of Duty.  This game looked amazing.  The soldiers were amazingly detailed, and the terrain was virtually indistinguishable from real photography.  The enemy AI was smart, reacting to you by ducking behind cover and emerging somewhere else, conscious of your position.  They’ll even frag into an area they know you’re at.  Your brothers in arms are also reactive to you, waiting until you’re in position before advancing and offering up helpful strategies along the way (read: “We need to flank that turret on the left side!”)

The dashboard menu system was fluid and easy to use, and the controller is very much an improvement on the “S” style of the Xbox alpha.  The guide button in the middle pauses the game and brings you to a section of the 360 guide.  This functionality was limited for the demos, but it seems like a great addition to the system.”

Cheecky Chappy J.D. Ortega was lucky enough to actually hold the Xbox 360 in his hands, and get some great pictures.   Click here to view them all. 

The nice lad either took time out of his busy schedule of playing the 360 to tell us what he thought of it all:

“I think the XBOX 360 rocks.  Not just because I’ve gotten to hold it and tell it “I love you”, or that I carry pictures of it along with my kids’ pics in my wallet, but because it is quite a machine.

I think it’s cool that one can access the Dashboard without having to eject the game.  As it is now on the 1st Gen Xbox, I never use my dashboard BECAUSE I’ve got a game in! (Halo 2 of course!).  But the new Dashboard, it’s eye-catching, it’s smooth, navigation is easy, and it all just makes sense.  Being that it will truly be integrated with the XBOX LIVE network, they would have to have a smooth, easy way for people to access it, and they did an awesome job coming up with the answer.

One of the cool components for the 360 is the controller.  It’s slimmed down, it’s curvy; it feels good in your hands. Much like a Supermodel, but the controller will actually let you touch it.

The games.  It was a little disappointing that there were only 3 playable demos on the disk, but hey, there could’ve been none.  Personally, I think the video was, dare I say, ‘breath-taking’.  Call of Duty 2 was a good example of how crispy clean the pixels are for this game.  I almost thought I was outside, looking at the screen.  The on-screen HUD would, depending on the situation, be either visible or hide itself.  With so much action going on, I didn’t even notice for a while.

Kameo.  I keep hearing this is a kid’s game. Guess it’s a good thing that I’m a kid at heart, because this game is fun.  Nothing is cooler than being able to morph into 4 different things at the touch of a button.  The screens just flow with the action. The colors…oooh the colors.  They are vibrant! If you’re eyes were looking for candy, this is the eye-candy for you.

Peter Jackson’s: KING KONG. This game caught me completely off guard.  In most games, in between levels, you have your 1 or 2 mins of ‘cinematic’.  When this game started, there was some ‘cinematic’, and then this T-Rex just started kicking King Kong’s butt.  At first I didn’t get it, I was thinking “Wow, he’s a wuss!”  After being killed twice, I realized that the WHOLE GAME is in CINEMATIC perspective.  It’s like playing an actual movie, just in CGI.  You almost can’t tell from when the game transitions from cinematic to actual gameplay.  The controls were good. Not great, but good.  I know he’s a giant ape, but I was hoping for ‘a bit more’ as far as attack moves or something.  But still a great game.

Alot of people are saying that the XBOX 360 is just a high-end Gaming PC, to them I say… “So”.  If, at the very least, it is a ‘Gaming PC, it is one very bad ass machine.  And I am counting down until I have mine at home, to hold and love and call it my own.”

Russ Clow

Russ Clow not only nearly shares his name with one of the best Gladiators around, but he also has a bundle of experience under his belt. Since a very young age he's been playing video games, and has been working in the video game industry for most of his working career. Russ is a secret Sony Fanboy, although he tries hard to hide it so as to keep his position as Editor-in-Chief. When he's not playing games, Russ likes to play football with the "lads".

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