Xbox 360

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ratsoalbion
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Xbox 360

Post by ratsoalbion »

We need your contributions for our latest console special recording in early July!

Please leave your memories of buying and living with the Xbox 360 from 2005 and beyond.
From launch day excitement to RRODs we want to hear it all!

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Scowsh
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by Scowsh »

This is the first console special I thought I may have something to add to in that I didn’t get one at launch (in fact I can’t even remember when I did buy it) and I’d not owned an original Xbox either. I was very much a PlayStation gamer (though I believe in console agnosticity), mainly down to (at the time) free online play and the fact my brother had one too (we always upgraded at a similar time & still do to this day pretty much). But there were a few games that so piqued my interest and curiosity I couldn’t hold out - I bought one secondhand for £50 in my local Blockbuster/Gamestation (no WiFi capability) and then purchased THE game I couldn’t resist. That was Fable 2. I just really wanted to play a 3rd person rpg (before it was possible in Skyrim - or did I not know it was?!?) and this game totally scratched that itch. I also bought Halo 2, Blazblue and a few others but I really only played Fable... here ended my relationship with Xbox. I had a great time, I’d do it again, and I really liked the feel of the controllers, UI & points systems. My time with the Xbox 360 was like a nice little sunny uk holiday in Filey.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by Alex79uk »

I bought an Xbox 360 around a year after launch with Dead Rising and Gears Of War. It was the first console I'd bought for myself since the PS1, and after playing it for a short while on a standard definition TV it prompted me to abuse my credit card even further and fork out for a HD Panasonic telly. The difference was incredible! I'd never seen HD games running before and playing Gears Of War kind of blew me away.

I've got so many memories of the fantastic games I played on that console. Several of my all time favorites - Fable 2 and the Mass Effect trilogy spring immediately to mind. But the biggest revelation for me was playing online, on a console! Racing in Forza Motorsport, death match in Halo, using the headset and mic, being a part of different communities, it all added up to such a brilliant console experience.

Another huge thing for me about the 360 was having demos available for every single game on the store. In the early days I'd download and try absolutely everything. It took me back to the days of PS1 demo discs on magazines, where you'd give everything a try because it was there.

I've still got my launch model 360, 20gb hard drive or whatever, and aside from the pads not holding a charge any more it's still going strong. I got the RROD at one point, but the service from Microsoft was quick and efficient, and I was back playing again within a week.

The 360 is a really important console I think, and one that will be long remembered for really popularising online play in such a huge way*, leading the way with online stores and Xbox live arcade - it was a real trailblazer, the likes of which we shall probably never see again.

Finally, I still prefer the Sony Dual Shock pad over the Xbox any day of the week.

(*I know the original Xbox did all this stuff first, but I always think the 360 took that and just exploded it so much more.)

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LunarLoony
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by LunarLoony »

Up through the early 2000s, my brother and I been happy with our PlayStation and later PlayStation 2. The PC and Game Boy Advance got an occasional look-in, but in general, our gaming world started and ended in the Sony camp.

When my brother got to high school in 2004, however, he started hearing about this interesting game that his friends were playing. He talked about the sci-fi storyline, undoubtedly inspired by some of our favourite films, and he talked about the gameplay as if it was somehow better than our beloved Star Wars: Battlefront II. And he also mentioned that the main menu showed this huge ring-shaped world, which was a mental image I couldn't shake.

By Christmas 2006, we finally had our hands on a second-hand Arcade Edition Xbox 360. It had two slightly grubby controllers, and came with three games. One was Forza Motorsport 2, which got some playtime when our dad was around; but, crucially, we also got Halo 1 and 2.

And this kept us in gaming for the rest of the decade. We didn't need anything else. Every night, we'd spend hours upon hours thrashing each other in Halo 2 multiplayer; stopping only for our tea. We made our own custom gametypes, discovering the joys of setting the gravity to zero and the player speed to maximum. We sampled every single weapon the game had to offer, drove every vehicle, and imitated Jeff Steitzer's announcer voice at every opportunity. "Gained the lead, lost the lead, tied for leader" became a running joke. And this was before we even touched the campaign mode.

I should mention at this juncture that all this was played on a cheapo 14" CRT over composite. How we managed to read anything on-screen is a mystery!

Of course, interest eventually began to fade. We were playing it every night, after all.
But when we heard Halo 3 was a thing, we snapped it up right away - not quite on launch, but not long after. And the obsession began again. I started high school around the same time, and the arguments between which was better between Halo and Call of Duty were rife. I think I was the only one of my peers in the former camp, but I stuck to my guns.

My first adventures on Xbox Live were spent in the Lone Wolves playlist, and y'know, I didn't do too badly back then! Rather than get an official wireless adapter, my dad found some knockoff thing from China; but it worked, and that's what mattered.

It was a matter of time before our beloved 360 succumbed to much-rumoured Red Ring. At first, my dad was chuffed! - he instantly saw a get-rich-quick scheme in this, and set about learning how to fix the issue. Whatever he did, it worked...for a few months. And then died again during a game of Halo Reach.

So I went into town with my mum and we got a new one. Bish bash bosh.

While my brother was content with Bungie's various masterpieces, for me, it wasn't all about Halo. I picked up a few other games during my tenure with the 360; the most memorable titles include Castle Crashers, The Simpsons Game, and the deplorable Crash of the Titans. There were probably a load of others, but I honestly don't remember them because Halo absolutely was the crown of that period in my gaming life.

I also remember being somewhat bemused by the controller - specifically that its thumbsticks weren't in parellel! This didn't take any time at all to get used to, though; and when I graduated to PC gaming in 2011, I picked up a wireless adapter so I could continue using these excellent pads.

More recently, I've taken a proper look at the Xbox 360's digital library. Without going into excruciating detail as I already have done, the biggest discovery was that there's a fantastic version of Daytona USA, which is also compatible with Xbox One! It doesn't work properly in 4:3, which is annoying, but otherwise it's given my old 360 a new lease of life. I also really need to try Rayman 3 HD one of these days.

All in all, the 360 was, and is, a highly-respected and much-loved part of my gaming collection. Even if most of my time with it was spent on one series, that time was some of the best gaming I've ever had. And when my brother got an Xbox One a few years back, he gave me his Halo Reach-flavoured Xbox 360 - the perfect gift.

Sorry if this went on a bit - the 360 (and Halo) came just at the right time, it seems.

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ashman86
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by ashman86 »

The Xbox 360 launched my sophomore year of college. I had a console pre-ordered at GameStop, but my friends and I (who'd all pre-ordered together) had learned that the store was only getting a handful of systems in at launch. Being young and impatient, I was frustrated that I'd have to wait who knows how many weeks before stocks were replenished, but I made my peace with the matter.

Come to my surprise, I got a call from the shop on the day after launch saying that they'd had some no-shows and that they were only holding consoles for 24 hours. I told them I'd be there in an hour, and immediately rushed out my door to collect it.

I still have vivid memories of those earliest days with the console. Perfect Dark Zero turned out to be a massive disappointment--I couldn't believe how rudimentary the enemy AI was, especially after having played Halo 2 daily for the past year--but I found a lot of fun with other early game releases. In particular, Peter Jackson's King Kong was a brief but enjoyable play with a fire system that seemed to show exactly what next-generation hardware was capable.

Call of Duty 2 seemed like the real killer launch app, though. I'd not played the series despite being a lifelong PC gamer with a high-end gaming rig I'd saved up for and bought the year before. My friends and I played a good deal of 4-player splitscreen on the game, not realizing how numbered those particular days were as multiplayer would move more and more towards the internet, and the game's explosive set pieces looked absolutely glorious on the new console.

The Xbox 360 enjoyed a long lifespan, and it landed at a particularly unstable period of my life as I was transitioning from childhood to adulthood. In the time between its launch and its successor's, I started college, dropped off due to financial stress more than once, got married, became a dad, left a company I'd worked for since I'd been a teen and started at a company for whom I'd work for 8 years, and ultimately returned to school at a different university and completed my undergraduate degree.

As a graduation present, my wife gifted me the newly launched Xbox One, my college studies effectively bookended by Xbox generations.

Looking back it now, it's wild to put the console's longevity into perspective. With other consoles, I can firmly place my memories with them in specific locations and stages of my life, but my memories of the 360 are geographically and emotionally diverse. Equally as diverse were the range of games I enjoyed on it.

I remember early multiplayer sessions with Gears of War and salivating over the upcoming the idea of a new Halo.

Halo 3 may just be my favorite of the series, but I also remember the disappointment of finding that my friends moved away from it more quickly than they did Halo 2 to play Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare instead, a great game in its own right, but I've never forgiven the series for it.

Bioshock terrified me as I played in the wee hours of the morning after working late summer nights.

Mass Effect became one of my absolute favorites of all time, and I still associate the game with a certain smell of a product my parents used to clean the house of residual smoke odor after I discovered a fire burning inside our vacuum cleaner one night after playing late.

I remember backhanding my close friend in the nose during a Rock Band session as I did my best to pull off a Pete Townsend windmill.

I remember online multiplayer becoming normalized in a way it never really had been before, even on PC, and the joy of being able to turn on the console in the evening and immediately spot a friend playing a game I could join.

I remember introducing my wife to Assassin's Creed 2, which was a far cry from the 2D Mario games she preferred to play, and then watching her tear through it and its two immediate sequels.

I remember completing the Halo 4 campaign with my sleeping newborn daughter in my arms, a Christmas tree twirling and twinkling in the reflection of the game's loading screens.

The memories come rushing back to me, and I realize now just how special the Xbox 360 was and just how wistful I am now for the 8 all too brief years I enjoyed with it.

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Angry_Kurt
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by Angry_Kurt »

I didn't pick up an Xbox 360 until a few years after it's release, picking up one of the sleek slim elite models along with copies of Halo Reach and Crysis 2. I had never owned an Xbox before and wanted to see what all the fuss around the Halo series was about.

I enjoyed owning the console but most of my memories were from indies and multiplatform games rather than AAA exclusives, which although good, weren't to my tastes as much as Sony and Nintendo's exclusive offerings. I was a big fan of the indies which were exclusive to Xbox Live arcade and the summer of arcade event that Xbox used to do. Highlights included Limbo, Trials HD, Shadow Complex and Splosion Man.

I also found that Microsofts online infrastructure was far more superior to the PS3, it was a lot more stable and I never had issues getting into matches or playing with friends on the 360, it really introduced me to online gaming, even though I was and think I always will be a single player gamer, which is why I think the Xbox exclusives appeal less to me as they tend to have more of a focus on online multiplayer.

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by Jobobonobo »

I have always had trouble getting into Microsoft’s line of consoles. The original Xbox was a black brick with an ugly lime green circle on top which looked extremely unappealing compared to the futuristic PS2, the cute dinky Gamecube and the elegant Dreamcast. Its controller was also too large and unwieldy for me to use comfortably and felt less like a device used to play games and more like an impromptu weapon to use against an intruder in your house. With a few exceptions, most of the library was just not to my tastes and I was better served by the competition. In the current gen, the Xbox one is an unintuitive and stupid name for the company’s third console and even less of the exclusives appealed to me than the original machine. The few exclusives that I would be bothered to try out are either also on the Switch or Rare Replay so not enough to tempt me either way.

However because my roommate at the time had a Xbox 360 I got to be more acquainted with the machine and as a result grew much more fond of it. The console itself with its sleek grey and white exterior was much more pleasing to the eye. Its controller was also reduced in size for someone without the proportions of a bodybuilder to pick up and enjoy.

In regards to the games on the machine, well I have had some interesting experiences. It was my first time playing the Halo series with the third game. I was absolutely terrible at multiplayer but couch co-op was a blast. GTA 4, Viva Pinata, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Child of Eden were all fantastic experiences I have had with this console. However, it was very rare that I was playing Triple A titles on the 360. It was Xbox Arcade that produced some of my fondest gaming memories. The wonderful world of indie gaming truly blossomed in this generation and was a blessed escape from a, at least to me, increasingly stagnant mainstream gaming landscape. Castle Crashers, Trials HD, Worms HD and Splosion Man were always great to play with friends. I also got to experience a lot of classic titles for the first time such as Rez, Ikaruga and Perfect Dark all nice and spruced up. Every title on the service having a demo that you could try out was a repeat of those innocent days of me and my mates getting the newest Official Playstation Magazine and trying out all the demos on the free disc. This really was a great feature of Arcade and put it head and shoulders above similar services on the PS3 and Wii.

With the Xbox 360, Microsoft really got everything right. Well, nearly everything. My roommate got the Red Ring of Death and had to get a replacement one day. Living in fear that the console would suddenly snuff it was not the ideal situation for owners of the machine and was a pretty big oversight of the console manufacturers. But other than that, it got everything right. A console with a pleasant aesthetic, a comfortable controller and a fantastic online service that introduced indie games to millions all over the world which resulted in a far more diversified library than its predecessor. A massive improvement which made me take Microsoft more seriously as a player in the videogame scene.

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The Walking Dad
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by The Walking Dad »

The XBOX 360 felt like a second coming of the 16-bit era to me. Which, I know, sounds borderline sacrilegious, but the combination of young adulthood offering more disposable income without the added responsibilities that would later come with a house, serious career, and progeny, left me more able to dive into games than I had for years. I was, as they say, working for the weekend, and the weekend was for games. The generational leap seemed like an exciting expansion on previous ideas and models that could make good on promises of truly living open worlds, sprawling multi-game narratives, and the explosion of online multiplayer.

Not to mention add-ons and ancillary tech advancements. I still remember buying my first HD TV a year or so after my 360, and seeing games like CALL OF DUTY 4 or DEAD SPACE pop in high definition was a true "Oh, I get it" moment. Even if the graphical leap was less noticeably substantial than the one at the turn of the century, the jump to HD made it seem more than worthwhile. But it was that sweet, abundant software that enshrined the 360 as my most-played gaming system to date.

After KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, I was a Day 1 BioWare fan for whatever they did next, so I bought my 360 primarily for the (by no means guaranteed to conclude, just ask TOO HUMAN) MASS EFFECT Trilogy, which still stands as my favorite gaming experience of that gen (yes, including 3, and yes, also including the ending). But how spoiled for choice we were! EA took serious risks on projects like BRÜTAL LEGEND and MIRROR'S EDGE, Team Ninja remixed Chinese folklore with ENSLAVED: ODYSSEY TO THE WEST, Rocksteady definitively nailed the feeling of playing Batman in their ARKHAM games, and first-party titles like HALO 3/ODST & REACH showed there was plenty of gas left in the old Spartan tank. And So. Many. More. I played the GEARS OF WAR games cooperatively over split-screen, got to experience the hilarious lies of PORTAL alongside PC players who's HALF-LIFE experiences I'd previously envied, got lost in the wastelands of the 3D FALLOUT games, and got eaten by zombies alongside internet randos in LEFT 4 DEAD. It was a vast virtual playground, and even after losing 2 consoles to the infamous Red Rings of Death, I couldn't get enough.

As in "couldn't get enough" to the point that I'm regularly playing 360 games to this day! My XBOX ONE is as much a glorified 360 port machine as anything else (currently alternating ENSLAVED with THE LAST OF US: Remastered), and I'm honestly not mad. The era had a rough, scrappy sensibility to compliment the slick and polished franchise side of the industry at the time, and felt like the last hurrah for several companies taking big, wild swings before settling into mostly safer bets for much of this generation. I'm discovering while writing this that I have a shocking amount of nostalgia for a period of time only a decade or so ago, so I may try to track down some fun B-sides like KINGDOMS OF AMALUR this week.

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by ratsoalbion »

Jobobonobo wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 10:31 pm
The original Xbox was a black brick
Actually very dark green.
Jobobonobo wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 10:31 pm
The [360] console itself with its sleek grey and white
Actually very pale green.

:D

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by Jobobonobo »

ratsoalbion wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 1:05 pm
Jobobonobo wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 10:31 pm
The original Xbox was a black brick
Actually very dark green.
Jobobonobo wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 10:31 pm
The [360] console itself with its sleek grey and white
Actually very pale green.

:D
Ah yes of course, I forgot only priest's socks are truly black. :lol:


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Stanshall
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Re: Console Special No. 8 (recording 3.7.20): Xbox 360

Post by Stanshall »

Despite hundreds of hours with Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Bloodborne, Metal Gear Solid V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Forza Horizon 4 and many many more, my most played console in the eighth generation is undoubtedly the Xbox 360.

Having been introduced to Cave shmups following a revelatory experience with Dodonpachi Daioujou at Arcade Club in 2018, it was only a matter of time. Having partially slaked my thirst with Danmaku Unlimited 3 and Rolling Gunner on the Switch, I still needed that pure Ikeda hit and so I procured an RGH console online to play region-locked games. Dazzled by the insane bullet cancelling skills of the likes of of Gus and Iconoclast, and inspired by the marvellous STG Weekly and Bullet Heaven series on YouTube, I began to trawl eBay for the improbably-named treasures which had excited me so much: Mushihimesama Futari, Ketsui X, Muchi Muchi Pork, Dodonpachi Daioujou Extra, Deathsmiles, Akai Katana and many many more. I felt like I had opened a door to a brand new world and I hadn't felt so excited and completely consumed by gaming since the PS1 era.

After fiddling around to little success with the admittedly excellent 360 pad, I was encouraged and inspired to pick up an arcade stick by the community on the Cane and Rinse forums. I settled on the Hori Real Arcade Pro EX and I modded it with a Seimitsu LS-32 stick and some supposedly 'silent' Sanwa buttons - although my wife may not agree! It was and still is my pride and joy, and for months and months it has been my constant gaming companion. Within a couple of weeks, I finally managed to get a rather pedestrian 1CC on Mushihimesama Futari Black Label and I could not have been happier. I spent hours and hours on the 360 as my Switch, PS4 and XB1X sat slowly gathering dust. Night after night after night, I would grind out chains on Dodonpachi Daioujou, chase the biggest burnt orange bullet cancels on Futari and point blank those tumbling 5 chips on Ketsui. I became obsessed. Even today, the 360 is a pure lizard brain dopamine fountain, and it's my connection to the most exhilarating, challenging and heart-thumping arcade games I've ever played. For me, the 360 represents gaming at its most pure, most compulsive and most thrilling, and I will be playing these games on this console until whichever one of us goes first.

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