The Ninjabot

Nerd Off – What’s the best console of this generation? This Inked Soldier says Xbox 360

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm by AGouff

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Back by popular demand, Geek Legacy is proud to present another installment in the “Nerd Off” series. Last time, The Mighty Jerd and Tyler Waterman embarked on one of the most epic arguments in Nerd culture; Marvel Now!  This time around, another argument will be fueled by one of the questions that rocks every gamer to their core; which current generation console is the best?  I will be playing the part of the X-Box 360 and going keyboard to keyboard to keyboard in a triple threat match against Stephen Janes who made his case for Sony’s Playstation 3 on friday, and David Edmudnson who tackled the Nintendo Wii yesterday. Despite what some of my cohorts may be trying to tell you, the Xbox 360, greatest of the current generation of game consoles, and there’s nothing they can say to change that.

I love my Xbox 360. I do. It’s absolutely fantastic and is, without a doubt, superior to the PS3 and the Wii.  I feel I am better qualified to make this judgement than most because I’ve owned both and played all three pretty equally.

The Titles

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The games on the 360 are often very similar to what you’ll find on the PS3, and the multi-console titles tend to have pretty equivalent performance. Because of that, I’ll focus on some of the 360-exclusive titles here that really make the system shine.

First and foremost is, of course, the Halo series. The most popular FPS game franchise in history, Halo was already great on the original Xbox but really came into its own on the 360. The graphics and gameplay are legendarily intense, and the AI’s complexity on the latest incarnation make for some of the most difficult (and most fun) battles of any game I’ve ever played. The vehicle combat and addictive multi-player only add to the fun, then throw in Spartan Ops and you have a totally unbelievable set of titles.

Next we can take a look at the Forza series. Some of the most advanced racing-simulations to hit gaming in history and an ever increasing stable of real cars to choose from (528 so far for Forza 4) and massive customization options, make any other racing series seem awfully pedestrian. The tracks are all real and famous (my favorite is Road America in my home state of Wisconsin), and beautifully rendered. When you’re looking for high speed and some of the greatest cars ever built in a game, there’s only one name to consider the top of the list.

kinect360Then there’s all the games on the Kinect.  Unlike with the Wii, the Kinect allows you to get your whole body involved in gaming, with no stupid shakeweight strapped to your hands.  The Kinect is an amazing piece of equipment in and of itself, but with the right game it makes for some of the best party gaming around with titles like Kinect Sports 1&2 and Joyride.  Then there’s the plethora of fitness games out for it.  My personal preference is UFC Trainer.  I’ve never seen another system able to give you a harder workout than this thing can dish out.  And with no controller to worry about, you can really focus on your form – the Kinect even allows for the use of weights and resistance bands.

There is a long list of other fantastic titles alongside these: Gears of War 2, 3 and Judgement; Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4; Dead or Alive 4 and Extreme 2; Fable 2 and The Journey; and Metro 2033. None of the other consoles of the current generation can claim to have exclusives with nearly the massive followings of these titles.

The Presentation

Presentation wise, it’s hard to beat the 360.  The setup is pretty straight forward, and that nifty avatar option gave you loads and loads of stuff to always customize, unlike the significantly more basic Miis the Nintendo is offering this generation.  You had plenty of regular updates to keep your OS lemony fresh and clean, and the visual orientation of your friend’s list as avatars side by side was much cleaner than the Miis that you had on the Wii.  Once Microsoft went to the Falcon chipset, a large amount of the “red ring” issues were alleviated.  Navigation through the dashboard stayed pretty slick and addition of the Kinect’s voice and gesture recognition meant you didn’t even need a controller in your hand when you wanted to back out of the game.

Not that straight out of the box it was always the prettiest piece of equipment on your entertainment center, but it has certainly become one of the most iconic.  The green “X” on the controller combined with green ring on the console itself are instantly recognizable. Not that those always had to remain green, of course. In fact, customization is one of the places that the 360 really shines.

SW 360 

Though already available stock in black or white (along with a plethora of special edition versions, including an R2D2 look-alike), fat or slim, with wired controllers or wireless, the 360 offers so many other ways to make it your own. For starters, you have the easily upgradeable hard-drive. Don’t want to drop a house payment on your new system? No problem, pick up a cheaper Arcade model with a 4GB hard drive, and just upgrade to a 160, 250 or 320 when your cloud storage is full, or when you want to start loading your music collection on there for a custom in-game soundtrack. Don’t like staring at the plain white/black face on your system? Pick up a custom faceplate and change it to everything from woodgrain to an ironman gloss red and gold metallic.

But the stock and OEM options aren’t all the 360 has available for customization. A huge market has opened up of custom cases, HDD cases, controllers, front LED boards and other modifications as a result of the ease of disassembly of the system, opening up the possibility of all kinds of ultra-highly personalized pieces of functional art. My own 360 now sports orange LEDs and a completely custom case. My controllers are inspired by the Iron Man MKII and War Machine – complete with white LEDs and red LEDs surrounding the guide button. It’s hard to beat the options available.

Legacy

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The 360’s impact on gaming cannot be overstated.  It was the first of the two high resolution graphical powerhouses, beating the PS3 by a full year.  The controller is absolutely and instantly recognizable even by non-gamers.  The sleek white and green has become increasingly ubiquitous in all things gaming related.  The dashboard users first come to can be seen carried over to varying degrees in Microsoft’s new Windows 8 OS.  The “gamer score” feature and “achievement unlocked” notifications have become a classic part of pop culture – adorning everything from T-shirts to physical trophies.  The Smartglass options allow your mobile device and gaming console to work together in a way not really seen before, and open up a whole new realm of possibilities for the next generation of consoles.  The Kinect was nothing short of revolutionary when it was unveiled (controller free gaming, the stuff of science fiction!), and has seen itself used in applications that no other gaming peripheral could ever have been.  Even its terminology has infiltrated other gaming consoles’ cultures – users of the Playstation 3 can often be heard mentioning their “Gamertag” even though what they have is a “Playstation Network ID”.  The design of the 360 was just similar enough to everything else you may have on a xbox360elite2156-610multimedia shelf that it fit perfectly, but just different enough to from everything to stand out from the crowd of DVD players and Blu-Ray players and receivers – a design scheme sure to carry over to the next generation of consoles.  The 360 has left quite the indelible footprint on the gaming world.

So, is the 360 the best?  Well, how do you beat all of that?!  The Wii just isn’t for hardcore gamers and cannot touch it on graphics, and the PS3 can’t touch it for exclusive titles.  The most popular games exclusive, an incredible visual form factor, catchy terminology, massive customizability and expandability, and those nifty avatars to dress up and show off with, plus a third tier of competition with the gamer score added to multiplayer and achievements all combine to make the 360 the definite king of the 7th gen console mountain. Period.

Check out Stephen’s case for the Playstation 3.
Check out Snackbar’s case for the Nintendo Wii.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts, and check out our past Nerd-Offs.

Got a suggestion for a future Nerd-Off let us know in the comments section below or email us at info@geeklegacy.com

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