Monday, November 24, 2008

The "New XBox Experience"

Well it has been a few days since the "new experience" update for the XBox 360's dashboard. At first I thought there was going to be an option to revert to the old interface. I was wrong! So having said that I downloaded it not realizing that I was being forced into this "new experience". Needless to say felt like a kid that has been duped out of his allowance by a cheap toy at first. I was lost and it took me a good hour of just flipping through the pages of reorganized content before I could fumble through it like a drunk.

After I got over the frustration of being lost on a system that I have owned for a few years now, it wasn't that bad. The avatar system that opened at the first login was intuitive and fun to use. The fact that I could use my controller to interact with my avatar held my attention for longer than I would like to admit.

A few of the new features include parties and calendar events. These are not totally new ideas with parties just being an improved and enlarged version of the private chats that were on the old interface. Also calendar events has always been on the Xbox Live website and has just been made accessible to users on a live enabled system.

Finally, the old "blade dashboard" interface is still integrated so that system settings, messaging, and media access is always at your fingertips. The cover flow handles the marketplace, friends, parties, and calendar events.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mirror's Edge

So the newest game from Dice and EA came out this week on Tuesday. Mirror's Edge is a refreshing change of pace from the standard sports and shooters out there.
As the game starts the scene is set in a recently taken over with the city's government becoming big brother. You are a runner named Faith an orphan of the city's riots when the government had taken over. Runners use the tops of buildings to transport sensitive information for clients that don't want it to be seen be prying eyes.
Instead of fighting through your opponents you use your speed and agility to run circles around them and make your escape. The game is modeled around the idea of parkouring allowing a player to scale buildings, walls jump over obstacles and shimmy along ledges with ease. The game is very user friendly with the use of "runner vision" allowing the player to see jump and climb points on the run with the use of colors.
The control layout is very simple with moves broken into two basic categories, up and down. Attacks and movements are modified by the actions being taken at a given moment. All of this makes for a very intuitive control set up.
Mirror's Edge has leaderboards for time-trials on over twenty courses and speedruns where you complete a level as fast as possible. The leaderboards allow players to challenge their friends and players across the world. Racing with ghosts of other leaders let players learn new ways to complete maps. All of this makes for high replay value!

Unique gaming experience
Simple controls
High replayability

Lighting is too dark to see at some points
Disarming enemies is sometimes problematic

My rough cut summary: This game is totally worth it! I give it a 9 out of 10 just because it seems a little short. If you liked where Assassin's Creed was going with climbing buildings you will absolutely love Mirror's Edge!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saw V

WARNING! Series spoilers for past movies!

I saw the latest installment of the infamous Saw series which was released last Friday the 24th. A lot of people were wondering how the series would continue after Jigsaw had died in the previous movie.

The movie picks up right where the four left off with Agent Strahm discovering Jigsaw's body. The only other survivors were Hoffman and the little girl. Strahm continues to investigate the jigsaw murders while Hoffman seems to be keeping track of the special agent. Also there is a new puzzle is set in motion at the beginning of the movie with five victims that share a common connection.

As the movie goes on we change between following the people inside the game and the detective and Strahm. The way they do this makes it seem a bit thrown together. At the end though it all gets pulled together into a nice, if not twisted ending that left me in awe.

My rough cut summary: This was not as good as SawII but I still give this movie an 7 out of 10.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sex Drive

I heard from a few of my friends that I should go see Sex Drive which opened last Friday the 17th. This is the antidote to the horribleness that is College! If Superbad and EuroTrip got together and had a baby this would be their legitimate child. This movie is great with its quirky characters and the classic main character that isn't good with the ladies. He goes on a road trip to meet a girl he met online with his two best friends tagging along for the ride. Seth Green shows up for parts of the movie as an Amish dude with an altitude. With all the weird situations they end up in it ends up being a trip to remember with a few surprises along the way.

My rough cut summary: I would give this movie an 8 out of 10. If you like the college type movies then it is a must see!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Zero Point Access is expanding!

I am proud to announce that I am looking to add new members to the Zero Point Access site! If you are an outgoing individual and enjoy letting people know about your opinions let me know at with the subject being "ATTN: Reviewer". If you have any suggestions on what we should cover let me know!

Monday, September 29, 2008

College Fest '08

So this past weekend was College Fest in Boston. This is where all sorts of companies that have stuff to sell to the college going crowd come together to advertise their products and services. There were many things to do and see with about ten different preformances like Status Quo, Chamillionaire, White Tie Affair, and Soulja Boy over the two days of the convention. Of the over one hundred companies there, we saw Microsoft, JetBlue, Trojan , Scion and Playboy. Even PETA showed up on the second day to promote vegetarianism for a greener world. I think that is one of the only times I have seen them without the cops showing up. Companies were giving away everything from free samples, games, trips and enough energy drinks to run Boston's collegians for months on end! Overall it was an awesome weekend of not getting any homework done in the pursuit of cashing in on free swag and having a good time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Well to start off with, This was an all around awesome game!! If you love the movies or even if you just have a little bit of a god complex, then you will love this game.
The story line is a little slow to start off but with good reason. It gives players time to master the controls before too much is thrown at them. The game takes place between the Third and Fourth Episodes (The last movie in the new trilogy and the first of the old. Just so we are straight!) and tells of how the Rebel Alliance came to be and how they got their crest as well. The game keeps you guessing at what Darth Vader is really up to as well as the main character, the apprentice.
Force Unleashed allows players to wield all the classic force powers and combine them to get different results. They are not all at your disposal until you have gained the experience to learn new moves and strengthen your character. Each level has cubes that give you more experience as well as customizable parts for your light saber!
The replay value is high with all the customizations the player is allowed to make. This is pushed even further by having a choose your own ending and small bonus missions that are reminiscent of the Halo trilogy and their skulls.

My rough cut summary: I would give this game on the XBox 360 a 10 out of 10 any day!!

Note: It has been brought to my attention that there is a PlayStation2 version out there... AVOID it at ALL costs!! My friend picked it up and it is a shame they give it the same title!