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XBox 360: Day One

Scene from the XBox 360 game 'Dead Rising'.
Mmmm…Zombie-killin’ time!

Last night, before heading home, I went to Blockbuster to rent a couple of games on which to give my new XBox 360 a test run.

“Get something fun for me,” said the Ginger Ninja. This was going to be difficult, as the 360 seems to be the console that pays the least attention to the casual gamer and especially women. If there ain’t killin’, adventurin’ or scorin’ goals on the opposin’ team, the pickings are slim. As a person who thinks of himself as a “fair play” sort of guy but who also likes killin’ and adventurin’ games, I often find myself going back and forth between the attitudes of:

  • It’s a shame that game manufacturers have no idea of how to write games that appeal to women
  • I’m not responsible for your gender’s lame-o Gilmore Girls lifestyle choices, sister!

The nearby blockbuster was out of the disc featuring Bejeweled 2, so I picked the Open Season game for Wendy.

For me, based on what I’d heard and the comments in this entry, I got the stuck-in-a-shopping-mall thriller Dead Rising. I had myself a grand old time killing zombies with two-by-fours, garbage cans, the unexpectedly powerful flat-screen TV, baseball bats and my current favourite: the lawnmower. Nothing kills masses of suburban undead like a bad attitude and a gassed-up John Deere.

Alas, since mine is a Core System rather than the Full System, it doesn’t come with the hard drive (I can’t complain, I got it for free and I can upgrade). Without a hard drive or a memory card, any time I get killed in Dead Rising, I have to start over from the beginning, which makes the box nearly useless. I’d like to know two things:

  • If I get the hard drive, is there any point to getting a memory card?
  • Can I any old USB storage device — say a USB key or iPod — to save games and XBox gamer profiles?

4 replies on “XBox 360: Day One”

Question 1: the only point in getting a memory card, if you have the hard drive, is to bring your saved games and gamer profile to your friend’s house.
Question 2: As far as I’m aware, you can only use the 360 hard drive. No hackery has been done to get you going with other USB devices at the moment. They’ve got that stuff locked down pretty hard to make sure you can only buy their stuff.

“Without a hard drive or a memory card, any time I get killed in Dead Rising, I have to start over from the beginning, which makes the box nearly useless.”

Just like in real life — so don’t think of it as “useless”, think of it as “more realistic”.

At any rate, congratulations…

Also, without the hard drive, you’re missing out on the Live Arcade, which is your best chance to find some casual gamer-appropriate games. That way, you could download Bejeweled 2 without having to find a store selling the disk. Also, the Arcade games all have demos, so you can try before you buy them. I’ve even caught my wife playing Hexic a few times, so it works at least a little bit.

Yes, get the hard drive with the Live Arcade. My boyfriend has a 360 also, and he plays all the ‘big’ games – Halo 2, Battle for Middle Earth, some war game I cannot remember the name of. I play all the live arcade games (bejeweled, outpost kaloki, feeding frenzy, Hexic, etc.). If you get the hard drive you can also download demos of games to try out before you buy – a good idea if you aren’t sure you are going to like a game.

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