Oblivion: Achievement Unlocked

So, last night I finally beat Oblivion on the Xbox 360. I started gameplay on May 19th, and finished on September 7th (all according to achievement tracking). 91 hours and 34 minutes of game-time.

That's a long time. I can't think of another game that's kept my attention this long — over 3 months. I definitely got my $60 out of that game.

I do, however, admit to being bored with it in the last week or so of gameplay. It gets pretty predictable at the end. Oh well, now to consider what to play next: Test Drive: Unlimited or Chromehounds… Decisions, decisions.

Sony News Conference at E3

So, I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts after watching most of the Sony Press Conference at E3.

Overall, I was fairly underwhelmed with the show. Even the audience seemed underwhelmed — I don't know if it was just that the microphones weren't capturing it, but there was very little applause and cheering from the people in the stands. I counted at least 5 times where the Sony presenters asked for applause – it seems like it should be more spontaneous.

Most of the demos were unimpressive — come on, we saw videos at last years' E3. There were a few demos played, though. They started off with Gran Turismo HD (which they admitted is just newer textures on the GT4 engine). While Kazunori Yamauchi (the president of Polyphony Digital) was holding the controller acting like he was playing, it was fairly obvious by the camera views that he wasn't playing — seriously, who can hold a perfect racing line in turns while in the camera “fly-by” modes?

Some of the other games looked impressive: Eight Days stood out in my mind. Another cool thing was using the PSP as a rear-view mirror for the Formula One game they showed. That's a novel use, albeit a little expensive. Their Sony Network seemed pretty much like an Xbox Live copy (video chat was the only thing that's currently not there, but there's reports that the Xbox Camera will make video chat possible on XBL as well):

  • Friends list: check
  • Micropayments: check
  • Voice chat: check
  • Text chat: check
  • Rankings: check
  • Video chat: pending, supposedly

Back to the audience seeming, well, unexcited. Even the presenters didn't seem excited (except Kaz Hirai yelling “Ridge Racer” on the PSP), they all talked in monotone voices. Get some liveliness, guys!

And that worldwide launch thing? Good luck with that one, guys. It didn't treat the Xbox 360 team very well.

So, I didn't catch the tail end of the presentation (I watched up until Electronic Arts showed up, then decided to drive home). Engadget has the blow by blow which talks more in detail about a few events, shows off the new (erm, I mean old) controller (bluetooth? Weird.), pricing details (ouch), etc. Engadget follows up with posts about the launch details, the controller, and pricing info.

Gamerscore Addict

I think I'm original in this, but maybe not. I came up with a new word today while browsing my Xbox Live gamerscore in comparison with friends.

I submit to you: gamerwhore.

I think to be a gamerwhore you should compare your gamerscore to others frequently (I do), but you should have also played NBA Live 06 and King Kong (I haven't).

UPDATE 03/01/2006: what timing! Major Nelson also says something similar on his blog yesterday. Great minds think alike…

Wrapping Up in Taiwan

10:30pm Saturday in Taiwan, and 6:30am Saturday in Seattle.

Our work here in Taiwan is wrapped up, and we spent today wandering around the city doing some photography. I should have around 200 pictures to upload when we return.

We visited the electronics district of Kaohsiung today. I was a bit disappointed with it – for sure there were tons of counterfeit items and knock-off items (I saw this guy, this one, and a ton of others), but, overall, not much in the way of good stuff. Quite a bit of Xbox360 advertising for the pending Taiwan launch on March 2.

We hit up a night-market last night – also tons of knock-offs there as well: “Kingdom Jeans” with a kJ logo a la Calvin Klein's cK, etc.

All in all, though, Kaohsiung is a cool city. I don't know that you could spend more than 2-3 days of sightseeing, but if you ever find yourself in Taiwan with a few free days, swing down to the south end.

Kameo Co-Op on XBL

Ok, grievance with Kameo on the 360 – why can't co-op games be done on Xbox Live? I suspect it was going to be, but was dropped to make the game ship:

  • The manual, when talking about setting up a cooperative game, talks about logging into Xbox Live profiles.
  • The game, has a menu to choose the cooperative game mode. The only option presented is split-screen.

Seems odd that the manual talks about Xbox Live profiles, and there's a menu for cooperative mode in the game with only one option.

I want XBL-based cooperative modes for Kameo. That, and a fixed multiplayer mode for Call of Duty 2.

Chaos: Xbox360 Midnight Madness

Some friends from work and I stood outside of the Bellevue Best Buy yesterday waiting on the midnight launch of the Xbox360. We had originally planned to get there at 4pm, but as the days went on, it seemed the demand (and the count of those willing to wait in line for hours) grew and grew. We ended up there at 10am. In Seattle. In November. It was cold.

We were numbers 127-130 in line, and shortly after 12:30am, we walked through the doors of Best Buy and received our consoles. YAY! Time to play some games… (Call of Duty 2, PGR3, Madden '06)

I'll blog more about my, uhh, experiences there later.