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E3 - Hands On Impressions - Microsoft 31

Posted by simoniker
from the ghoulie-kicking-fun dept.
Slashdot Games is continuing its look at the major booths here at the E3 Expo. The last of the major hardware manufacturers to give us a hands-on look at their software is Microsoft, after earlier articles on Nintendo and Sony. Read on for info about all the new Rare titles, Brute Force, Halo 2, and more..
- Kameo, the Rare-developed game that was shown in significantly different form on the Nintendo booth a couple of years back, looked just amazing. The graphics were lush, colorful, and beatiful, possibly the best of any Xbox game so far, including Halo. The third-person action was fun and somewhat innovative, as you could switch swiftly between multiple characters with different powers to solve puzzles and wipe out enemies. The characters included a plant beast, some kind of rock monster, and even Kameo (a fairy lookalike) herself. So, not only does the Xbox lack quality examples of this type of game, Rare seem to have come up with the goods yet again.

- Brute Force, the Digital Anvil-developed third-person team shooter which has been in development for what seems like an age, was looking promising, with a really fun co-op mode, simple but direct controls, and good sniper-zoom effects. It seemed just slightly plain compared to the very best-looking titles like Halo or Kameo, though, and it's a shame it's not supporting Xbox Live, but it's still a game you can look forward to.

- Voodoo Vince, a quirky new Microsoft-published platformer, looked good, with perky graphics and some really nice fire effects. But overall, it wasn't really a spectacular stand-out, although there were some neat ideas about the main character hurting himself in order to damage enemies - he's a voodoo doll, folks.

- Conker:Live And Uncut is Rare's team-based shooter, and it focuses on multiplayer modes to create an intense but cartoony deathmatch title. As you run around the sharp-looking arenas, picking up everything from knives to rocket-launchers, the third-person view seems to work pretty well for fast and fun combat, and Xbox Live support should wrap up the whole deal. Now, if we could only stop thinking about Fur Fighters when we see it..

- Project Gotham Racing 2 is still using the rather innovative 'kudos' system first pioneered by Bizarre Creations in Metropolis Street Racer. It also sports the noticably real-life tracks, with many fenced-off areas and 90-degree turns, something that will either delight or bother you, depending. The graphics are certainly a notch above the first title, but Gran Turismo 4 seems to have a grittier, more exciting feel overall.

- Grabbed By The Ghoulies was the third Rare title on display, and was an somewhat bizarre, almost flat-shaded, semi-cartoony platformer. Kameo seemed to us to look nicer, but this title certainly had some unique stylings, and even some noticably twisted semi-gore. Look what a few years being forced to make insanely cute games like Diddy Kong Racing will do to a bunch of developers?

- it seems Halo 2 is viewable as a real-time demo, though sadly not playable by the public, in a special booth area that's been drawing gigantic queues. The demo has the same layout as that shown at the Microsoft press conference, and it reliably blows everyone away, with amazing attention to detail, double-gun action, spectacular graphics, super-realistic voice interaction, the ability to jump on the Ghost ships and kick the pilot out.. basically, genius. This is definitely one of the games of the show, and may become the Xbox's second killer app, after its predecessor was most definitely the first.

There were a whole bunch of other third-party games on Microsoft's booth, but we'll get to them on Thursday and Friday. In the meantime, be sure to check IGN.com, Gamespot, Gamers.com, Gamerfeed, or all the other usual suspects. Our hands-on impressions will continue on Thursday.
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E3 - Hands On Impressions - Microsoft

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  • PGR vs. GT (Score:5, Informative)

    by nicky_d (92174) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:20AM (#5962581) Homepage
    Project Gotham is the game to go for if you find Gran Turismo a little dull. GT is wonderful if you're into 'realistic' racing, tweaking, and the pure challenge of maintaining a racing line and trimming split seconds off lap times. PGR is more immediate fun, concentrating on score-based gameplay via powerslides and stunts. Both have a place, and if you're a driving game fan you could happily bounce from one to the other in the name of 'variety'. I'll have to get PGR2 to see how they've recreated Florence... but I'd step over both to get at Halo 2 - which will also feature fine drivin'!
    • I don't own a PS2, so I can't play Gran Turismo, but I have Meytropolitan Street Racing for dreamcast as well as project gotham racing for xbox... I can tell you that if you are going to enjoy PGR2, you better like SHARP turns... all of the tracks are in a city setting (like as in downtown) and loaded with very sharp turns.. the kudos system is really cool...

      if you like gran turismo type racing better, sega gt may be more up your alley with more open/high-speed tracks... sega gt is also going to suport
  • namely Mythica and the Titans expansion for Age of Mythology [jivemagazine.com]

    As with all online RPGs, Mythica's dev and support will determine whether or not it's a good game, though right now it looks pretty good and has a lot of potential, simply with the fact that they're covering untrodden ground.

    The Titans expansion is going to change the balance of the game dramatically. Right now the new race, Atlanteans, are grossly over-powered but should present an interesting challenge in online play.
  • Four shooters, 2 platformers and a racing game...hm...yeah, that'll get folks excited about XBox.

    Throw in the $20 price drop, and the whole thing just shouts "*L*A*M*E*"

    Microsoft expects Xbox to live through another holiday season. Assuming it does, I think we'll see Microsoft drop this thing in February/March of 2004.
    • You do realize the article only covered Microsoft's direct titles for the XBox, right? For instance, Konami announced DDR (with XBox Live! support, even!) and Silent Scope for the XBox, but you don't see it here because these are only Microsoft titles. Also, this was only focusing on games. The author didn't cover any of the XBox Live enhancements. So, 7 games (at least one guaranteed to be a major blockbuster and system seller), $20 price drop, and major new enhancements to XBox Live really isn't that

    • I rather think Nintendo's reliance on their GC/GBA system link feature in lieu of a serious online strategy was the major disappointment of the big 3. Doom III and Halo II will keep the xbox in business and xbox live will sell itself, (it is that good) and Sony is so far ahead of either MS or Nintendo that it doesn't need a killer app. (Though It has GT and GTA anyway!) With Sony announcing its GBA handheld competitor, this segment is only going to get better for us -- the gamers!
  • by jxa00++ (322387)
    With the prevalence of people seeming to favour buying an Xbox for Doom III instead of upgrading their entire system going on in the Doom III thread on the front page, Xbox is making itself a serious alternative for FPS fans. (Note the Doom III trailer was taken from the Xbox version.)

    For FPS fans the following games make an xbox an attractive proposition:

    Halo I & II
    RTCW
    Thief III
    Doom III
    Counterstrike
    Red Faction I & II
    Deus Ex (rpg elements aside)
    Medal of Honour
    HalfLife II

    The above also could make

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