Thursday, August 31, 2006

Time Pilot (X360)

- 400 pts ($5) on xbox live arcade
- the original graphics version is about as close to arcade perfect as you can get. The screen resize options are great and there is even a fix aspect ratio option.
- the sounds/music are slightly remixed (a bit of reverb thrown in) but other than that they are pretty close to the original
- all the achievements are really easy to get except one (get to 2001 without dying a single time).
- the enhanced graphics look great with some nice multi layer cloud effects, little bits fly out as enemies explode, and nice smoke trails on the missiles. The controls seem just a tad more sluggish on enhanced mode where as the original mode feels about perfect. Both still play great but when going for that high score I prefer the original mode.

- I tried a few multiplayer games over live
- You can only play vs in ranked matches. Co-op and vs is available in player matches.
- It's split screen. You are pretty much each in your own instance of the game. The only thing you compete on is score.
- In vs it's kind of cheap in that it usually benefits you more by staying in the earlier time periods longer (don't destroy the boss) to try and rack up more points.
- Both screens in the split are in sync. If there is lag you will see both halves lag even if you are the server. It's silly that your local half should lag at all. They should have made it async and just let the remote split screen lag. Overall, lag was noticeable but still very playable.

Overall if you are a time pilot fan this is well worth the 400pts.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ninety Nine Nights (XBOX 360)

I finally tried the demo.
- Why can't I play as the chick? I'm stuck with the typical androgenous male character.
- Graphics are very pretty. The models look great, even the enemies and there are a LOT visible on screen at one time with really no noticeable slow down. I'm pretty impressed by the engine.
- The camera is a bit too zoomed in for my taste but I can kind of see why they did it. With so many enemies (and friendlies) all on the screen at the same time I can barely make out where I am. They even draw big arrows to help you locate the enemy b/c otherwise I can't tell who's who in the big brawl.
- There's still some fogging but less noticeable.
- It's a tough unforgiving game. There seems to be no checkpoints at all. I decided to explore the demo level a bit and took some side paths. I took it slow and as long as you stay with your men you do pretty well. Well, eventually they all died and I was pretty much alone. At this point it's hard to stay alive. So I ran to the mission objective, I get a cutscene, and then I died. Yup start all over from the beginning. There are some really logical checkpoint points in the game yet there are NONE.
- The music is pretty good.
- It's the prettiest Dynasty Warriors clone I've seen yet with a nice Japanese rpg style to it but I'm not sure I'm up for this level of challenge (read: frustration).

Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting (XBOX 360)

- $10 over live arcade
- It's pillar boxed and even slightly letter boxed
- The single player is pretty much arcade perfect though either I'm getting slow in my age or the game plays a tad faster than I remember.
- I'm rusty, Really rusty. But after about an hour or two of playing I'm starting to get a bit better. I'm a little slow on my timing for the combos.
- Single match over live is pretty good. The quick match seems broken (or doesn't take into account ping) b/c it ALWAYS times out for me. If you do custom match you get a ping rating for everybody in the browser. Just pick somebody with 3 or 4 green bars and your off.
- I only had one REALLY laggy game (it even disconnected at the end). The rest only had minor lag. The whole game seems to play slower than single player. There seems to be minor lag during any game. Like the motion of the characters aren't perfectly smooth or even. You have to actually compensate for the slight lag in your timing (pulling off attacks earlier than you normally would in single player). At first it was quite annoying but you actually get use to it and compensate after a while. I can live with it and it's still a lot of fun but I can't help but be slightly disappointed. I expected better considering how long they delayed this game working on the network code. For some reason my memory of the original xbox sf2 anniversary edition which had live support seemed to play a bit smoother.
- The quarter mode works just fine. When you first enter you sit in a lobby where you can chat. After the next game starts you can start observing the current fight though even more heavily pillar/letterboxed. It works fine and plays pretty much just like single matches. That lag was about the same.
- I did have one hard lock while viewing a gamer card from the lobby. This reminds me of PGR3 before it was patched.

Overall well worth the $10 but I just wish the live play was just a tad smoother but overall not bad enough to be a deal breaker.