Posts Tagged ‘ Xbox Live ’

Vanquish Xbox Live Demo Review



PlatinumGames released their latest action-shooter, Vanquish, onto the Xbox Live marketplace for potential fans to sample. Here is a review on what this demo appears to imply about this intense game.

First off, the game is clearly visually pleasing. The amount of detail in your armor and in the environments is astonishing. This game is very polished and the style is very distinct. You will already see, from a mere 3 minutes of playing, that the bloom effects you experience, coupled with the lighting, will make this game a very visually intensive and entertaining, in that aspect at least. The voice acting, however, is dreadful. Just go watch the official trailer to the game and listen for yourself. The dialog is poorly written and they could have really put more effort in better voice acting. But then again, this game is not trying to use its story and voice acting as its selling point. The clear goal of Vanquish is to keep you in a state of pure chaos and havoc, which it certainly does well.

This game is very fast paced and filled with in your face action. Within 10 seconds of the demo, you enter a battle-zone where you have two enemies shooting your way already. You are able to do hand to hand combat, which is capable enough to dispatch of almost any like-sized enemy, very fluently. You can also toss grenades across long distances, in a stylistic manner might I add. You also have the general features to be expected of a third person shooter, such as a minimal zoom in for further accuracy, being able to swap for a gun dropped by a downed enemy, etc.


Vanquish Gameplay

The game got very old really quickly for me. The enemies die in a flashy and explosive fashion, but the shooting is very bland. The game plays as if it is meant to be more of a visually pleasing experience rather than an immersive one. You are able to use walls and objects for cover, but you are not able to blind fire, which is fairly disappointing that they left that simple feature out. You can high-jack some of the machines that you will see attacking you, which offers a bit more entertainment. The enemies complete their basic requirements fairly I suppose, simply shooting and ducking. The A.I. seems to be lack luster, judging by how the enemies make no real initiative to kill you and will often stay in the same spot, spraying in your direction.

The demo is fairly short, but it does give enough content for one to be able to judge whether or not they will be impressed by this game. Personally, this game was very lack luster and seemed to cater only to those whom like an extremely chaotic and fast paced third person shooting game. This game reminds me of a sort of 3D Contra. You are constantly being shot at from almost all directions, especially in some of the more intense levels that have been previewed in Vanquish. However, the issue I have with this game is that it does not offer anything new to the genre. There are no distinguishing features that I can find that would warrant purchasing this game over a game like Halo: Reach.

Vanquish is a hate it or love it game. PlatinumGames, the same team that developed Bayonetta, did a good job on the visual appeal of this game, but, judging from the Xbox Live demo, the features are lacking.


Xbox Live Price Increase Due November 1st

Xbox Live

Xbox Live Logo

Xbox Live users may feel a pinch as Microsoft increases the price of a yearly subscription to the service by $10 in North America, starting November 1st.

According to a recent post by Major Nelson’s blog, Xbox Live will finally see a price increase after eight years’ of service at $50 a year. Starting November 1st, a yearly subscription to Xbox Live Gold will cost $59.99, opposed to the current price of $49.99. A one month subscription will increase from $7.99 to $9.99 and three month subscriptions will see a raise to $24.99 from $19.99.

North America will not be the only region that is affected. In the UK, the price of a one month subscription will increase from 4.99 GPB to 5.99 GPB. The price of a month in Canada raises a dollar to $9.99 and a year subscription in Mexico rises from 499 to 599 pesos.

However, to sort of lessen the negative feelings of many Xbox Live users whose subscription will be ending aruond that date, Microsoft has a special deal in effect for North American U.S. customers, allowing them to lock in a year at $39.99.

Jesse Divnich, with industry analyst EEDAR, claims that this new price is still an incredible value. When launched originally in 2002, an Xbox LIve gold subscription would run about the same as an AAA video game,, $49.99. Due to inflation and the additional services being made available to Gold subscribers (ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Video Kinect), a $10 price increase is still an impressive price for customers.

However, this is an analyst, oen who does not necessarily voice the opinions of the gaming public. Reading the comments across multiple websites, I have found that, almost unanimously, gamers are extremely upset at this price increase, with some feeling betrayed. However, the general public does not take into account inflation or the payment for these added services. Many do say that they would not choose to pay for these additional services if it were up to them, however, Microsoft does add a lot of incentives to the service. In example, how they are able to pay for timed exclusives, as they did with GTA IV.

All in all, the choice of whether or not you support the Xbox Live subscription price increase is up to you, what do you think about this announcement?