Jeremy got an Xbox One. So here is the review: Part 3

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Nothing is perfect and the Xbox One is no different. If you missed part one and part two of my review, well, those are hyper-linked so feel free and read those first. The Xbox One has been fun so far and even if this part goes over some of the frustrations it is still a good system that could be great. It is also understandable that every system is going to have a few stumbling points right out of the gate and what Xbox One has experienced can be overcome and most likely will be by spring of 2014.

Microsoft has, much like any other tech company, is pushing their cloud service. The Skydrive is their go to product for storage and it works pretty well and it is fast. Files can be uploaded and downloaded on any number of devices. Since I have a Windows 8 laptop it came standard and the basic storage option is free. It is handy and maybe I am just so used to discs by now but there had to be a better alternative.  Also, the Skydrive does not come equipped on the system. I had to download it and from there it linked to my current account. So for those who do not have a Microsoft account they may not know what the Skydrive is for. There are other solutions for online storage and the app can probably be used but this leads to another negative.

The initial launch of the Xbox One should have had a good deal of apps ready for use. As it stands now there are very little to choose from. Most were already available on the 360 and Windows 8. After so many different apps have become available for Windows 8 it is quite a surprise to see so little available. The standard apps are all there such as Netflix, ESPN, Hulu Plus and Crackle. Sure there are others but nothing compared to the amount currently available on other platforms. I would expect there to be as many ready for the launch but would have settled for at least fifty percent of that.  This will obviously change as the system gains momentum but the same issues that plagued the Windows 8 app release is plaguing the Xbox One. You would think Microsoft would have had that figured out. There is no Flixster, Ultraviolet, UFC, WWE, Instagram or even Facebook for that matter.

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Jeremy got an Xbox One. So here is the review: Part 2

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So part one covered the outside pieces of the Xbox One but I purposely saved part 2 just for the console itself.  So if you read all of the first installment and came back for round two your patience is going to be rewarded here.

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Cameo appearance by Mariah.

Straight out of the box it is clear the Xbox One is supposed to look much more sophisticated than its predecessor. It is all black with some high gloss definition. It screams maturity when compared with the plastic look of the 360. 360 looks like a Hanna Barbera cartoon compared to the Xbox One’s Pixar feature. This is a general complaint though; on the front of the Xbox One is a sticker proclaiming that it is HDMI compatible. This isn’t necessarily Microsoft’s fault since every piece of electronic equipment you purchase now has a sticker on it touting the same shit that is on the box it comes in. Is it supposed to be reassuring to the purchaser that the box, the salesman, a website and the back of the equipment isn’t fibbing? How about saving a few cents and getting rid of this idiotic practice.

As I said in the first installment the box for the Xbox One was pretty heavy for a piece of electronics. It wasn’t on par with a receiver or a DLP television but it bears repeating. Once the console peripherals were out of the box the console still came out on the heavy side. At first it seemed like it was way larger than the 360. So, since I had to rearrange the equipment on the stand it seemed like a ripe time to compare the two.

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Jeremy got an Xbox One. So here is the review: Part 1

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When it came time to preorder either the PS4 or The Xbox One I was so conflicted on each system that I skipped out on ordering either one. The initial details for the Xbox One were not good. After being out of gaming for a good long while I returned about 4 years ago and purchased an Xbox 360 but that was just to play GTA IV as a means of keeping me out of trouble during my divorce. I didn’t utilize most of the Xbox systems and didn’t understand why you would purchase an Xbox Live account. All of that was explained to me by my girls’ kid just what the Xbox could do and I was back in the gaming world.

I wanted to like the Xbox One despite what I was reading. I am already familiar with the brand and after reading and hearing about the PS3 network crash I really didn’t want to switch companies and platforms. Once it became apparent that most of the negative details about the Xbox One at its unveiling were changing for the better it was time to get on board and order an Xbox One. So, this is about the Xbox One. This isn’t disparaging to the PS4 or the people who bought one so that is that. This is the last you will read about anything else PlayStation or Sony related.

This is the part where it became obvious I was not going to get an Xbox One without preordering it. It was already unavailable online at every outlet I could think of so the next best option was to camp out at Best Buy or GameStop in order to secure one. Well that sort of thing just isn’t going to fly. I did actually drive by the closest Best Buy after I finished up at the gym and at around 9:30 pm there were already people in line. There was even a tent set up for some reason as it was in the 60’s here in Charlotte and a nice clear night. These sort of attention seeking douchebags are the exact reason I didn’t bother. Yes, I would rather deprive myself the opportunity to grab the console than stomach hanging out with the tent people who will no doubt be talking about how they camped out for the Wii U or the PlayStation Vita or every other system or game launch. It was a mistake not preordering the system and I was not about to make another mistake hanging out in front of Best Buy for 3 hours.

After checking stores and websites ever since the opportunity to grab one of these elusive devices came to me and now I have one in my living room hooked to the surround and the 55” and have been playing around with it ever since. So, here’s my review. It isn’t technical. I am not interested in the hardware and why it operates the way it does. . I am interested in the product as it sits in my entertainment stand currently. This isn’t about the future of the console this is about the last three days I have had it.

When the console arrived I actually met the UPS delivery guy outside the fitness center of my apartment complex. He was a solid dude for bringing it over to me instead of putting it back on the truck and delivering it the next day when I assuredly would not be home.  The first thing that stood out, before I even opened the Amazon box was the weight of the package. It was much heavier than I expected. The Xbox 360, which from here will be the 360, was a relatively dense machine but the word heavy wouldn’t come to mind.

IMG_20131205_195846 After opening the Amazon box to find no packing material whatsoever it was apparent this was a heavy duty machine. Removing the striking Green Xbox One box it was pretty clear they packed this console and accessories pretty solid. The heaviest piece of equipment relative to its size was the overbearing and probably the first piece of equipment to go down in the future power pack. This monster generator is about a foot long and three inches thick. Everything about this power supply screams potential problem. Whereas the 360 power supply was a solid piece of plastic this seems flimsy. Maybe it is better ventilated and thus will not have any issues proving me totally wrong.

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Stunt Granny Video Game Review: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3 brought a lot to the stealth/action genre.  It had large, open environments that looked great and were fun and easy to explore.  The stealth mechanics were intuitive and made you feel like a badass when you were able to take out an enemy camp without being seen.  And there it had tons to do, aside from the main quest, like hunting, liberating outposts, and gathering new weapons.

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Stunt Granny Video Game Review: Dark Souls

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I was going to try to review the new Dragon’s Dogma game this week, but my PS3 died and I had to send it in for service.  I needed something to scratch the hack-n-slash itch, so I got on my PC and booted up my copy of Dark Souls.

It’s been awhile since I played and I am not sure where I am in the story on this character, so I head to the forest – one of the PvP hotspots – to find a fight.  I start an invasion, the game’s name for loading into a random player’s world with the intention of fighting them, and quickly find a target.  It looks like he wasn’t expecting company because as soon as I show up, he bolts deeper into the trees.  I give chase and the trees give way to a ruined tower that provides access to a bridge.  Thinking my sprinting friend is going to make a stand, I slow down to make sure I have the gear that I want selected.  Sure enough, I get up to the bridge and he is standing on the other side.  I start to charge across and my opponent readies his shield when I hear a noise behind me. I turn around to see a Forest Hunter, another player who has taken the role to fight off trespassers in the forest, has just invaded my target’s world.

The hunter doesn’t have to side with either of us, and he is armed well enough to not need to.  While we technically have the same goal of killing the target player, he could choose to come after me first and finish the target later.  As I am trying to judge if I have a new enemy or ally, the original target starts running again.  It looks like the tree-hugger and I have settled on a truce for now because I run after the target and he comes along without attacking me.

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Invading other players or summoning them for help makes a unique multiplayer experience.

We find the runner at the exit to the forest.  I know he can’t leave the area, the game won’t let him while there are enemy players in his world, so I suspect he is looking for help.  A familiar sound rings out from the base of the staircase the target is at; he is summoning a white phantom, a player who offers to fight as a team with whoever calls them.  I stop to get a look at the newcomer but the forest guardian runs right on past and opens up on our target’s new bodyguard.  The guy was in the world maybe 5 seconds before being crushed with a giant axe.  But it was enough, because the target we were chasing is now behind my fellow invader and stabbing him in his back.  While he is pulling his sword out of my short-lived companion, I run in and cut him down with my greatsword.

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Stunt Granny Video Game Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us

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Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?  You know, if Batman had some special supply of kryptonite that would make it a fair fight?  Would Batman’s superior tactics and ridiculously specialized gadgetry win out, or would Superman conquer with his abilities to fly and shoot lasers from his eyes?  Injustice: Gods Among Us asks these questions and lets the players decide the answer in battle.

Injustice: Gods Among Us is a new fighting game from NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive.  NetherRealm is run by Ed Boon, one of the creators of Mortal Kombat, and the influences definitely show in Injustice.  The game is available on PS3, Wii U, and Xbox 360; with a free to play version on iOS devices.  This review will be focusing on the PS3 version, but I understand the 360 copy is comparable.

If you are thinking that this sounds familiar, you may have played Midway’s Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe in 2008.  Rest assured, however, Injustice stands apart from the Mortal Kombat games in several ways.  First, the cast is all DC heroes and villains.  The big names are all there: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, Catwoman, Sinestro and Joker.  The game also has characters that don’t get the mainstream spotlight treatment, such as Ares, Black Adam, and Killer Frost.

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Stunt Granny Video Game Review: Bioshock Infinite

bioshockBioshock Infinite is the new story-driven first person shooter from Irrational Games available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.  This is the 3rd game in the series and has the player visiting Columbia, a flying city in 1912, to extract a mysterious young girl and bring her back to New York. With a gripping plot, highly engaging setting, and stunning visuals; Bioshock Infinite overcomes its few flaws and creates one of the freshest and most memorable gameplay experiences I have had an opportunity to play.

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You play as Booker DeWitt, a private eye who has been given the task of retrieving a young girl named Elizabeth in exchange for clearing his substantial debts.  Booker struggles to get Elizabeth out of the city while having to deal with both the local police force, known as the Founders, and group of revolutionaries known as the Vox Populi.  Elizabeth has the power to open tears, rifts to parallel dimensions, which she uses to help you in combat.

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