Tagged: Xbox

Winter Wishing for SSX 3

I admit, I’m mildly interested in EA’s latest take on the SSX series — Deadly Descents — and am glad to see the IP back in a new release but, man, do I miss SSX 3! By the time I’d finished the main career mode all I wanted to do was repeatedly hit the All Peaks Run. A race against the clock that would still top 10 minutes even if you nailed every curve; I never did but it remained fun time and time again.

Painful as it is to pun, it only went downhill from there. The next game in the series, On Tour, was fun but it still left me yearning for that far flung peak.Years passed before SSX surfaced again, this time on the Wii as SSX Blur, but I had no interest in waggling my way through that whatsoever. I’d love to see EA retool SSX 3 (or any of the titles, really) for a downloadable tie-in to Deadly Descents but since the themes of the old games are so disparate from the new I can’t think it’s more than a hopeful daydream.

At some point once we’re back from vacation I’m going to dig out my old Xbox and load it up for one more run down that mountain! Anybody else miss the good old days of stupid Monster Tricks, dance club soundtracks and 2-legit commentators?

Thoughts on Xbox Media Center, Progress, and Clutter

I’ve been looking at the rows of games I’ve accumulated for the  ”modern consoles” that sits next to the TV and contemplating a little pruning. I never got into modding the PlayStation 2 and GameCube discs work just fine on the Wii but I did get into the whole Xbox Media Center thing in the early 2000?s and those dusty, green boxes are slowly starting to lose their emotional ties. Of course, having a modded Xbox sitting around makes them the most expendable but I assure you I love Brute Force just as much as ICO. This is more of a convenience purge.

For those not familiar, Xbox Media Center started out as just what it sounds like; a fantastic piece of homebrew software that let users turn the green ‘n black Xbox into a dazzling and fully capable media center. Tied to the internet and a PC, the thing can still run circles around what’s possible on corporate sponsored DVRs and even Microsoft’s own Windows Media Center. What I used it for — a lot — was games. Emulators were pretty fantastic on the thing and with a few key utilities it was as easy as clicking ‘copy’ to dupe a disc-based game onto the hard drive. And that’s what I’m thinking about nowadays.

I own almost 40 original Xbox games and though they’re almost all still special to me, I think I can disconnect from a few and continue to de-stuff my life. This plan also hinges on early 2000?s technology, or rather, its limits. I forget how much hard drive space even a modded Xbox can read but I’m pretty sure 40 games is pushing it. As time goes by I also have to wonder how much longer the hardware will hold up and if I’ll eventually have to keep an LCD display around just to plug the thing into. Older hardware typically requires, not just the TV and consoles but a middle-man VHS/DVD player to get the ancient co-axial plug into play.

It’ll be a daunting task if I ever dive back into it but fond memories of that slick interface and its rows of instantly available games feels both soothingly nostalgic and unexpectedly modern. XBMC was enabling the kind of experience in 2004 that we’ve become so accustomed to on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with downloadable games. Maybe this isn’t so much a crazy retro throwback as it is more progress into my all-digital future.

What about you? Any equally crazy thoughts about abandoning old games and the dust that they support?

Calling all Doctors, Micro Xbox dupes Tardis technology

microxbox

Like a Tardis, it seems impossible to think that all the junk inside the original Xbox fits inside that tiny, one-inch thick case (ok, there’s no disc drive) but Xbox-Scene modder Bandit5317 has tightened the belt and crammed it all into an amazing package. There’s plenty of specs and details on how he did it at the Xbox-Scene forum but what you really want to know is that it has a 320gb hard drive, still plays nice with FTP/Media Center access, and runs a helluva lot quieter than the gigantic black ‘n green box you’re still hanging onto.

What it doesn’t do is build itself so unless you’ve got half a year of “off and on” time to spend on it like Bandit5317 you’ll probably have to settle for hiding your old Xbox inside a cabinet and running an IR extender in order to emulate these svelte dimensions. Thanks to Engadget for grabbing the pics before they hit their Photobucket bandwidth limit.

One last (40 minute) look at Dinosaur Hunting?

I... I think I got 'im

I... I think I got 'im

That T-Rex head is probably as clever as Scarab ever got in designing Dinosaur Hunting. When you first enter the area that it’s laying around in it fills the foreground and freaks you the hell out because there’s no other moment like it in the game. Then you wonder just what would’ve ripped a T-Rex’s head off..

Anyways, my 40-minute video review/walkthrough/tribute is up on Youtube now, so do head on over and check it out. And if you’d like to hear even more, check out Episode 3 of The GameLuv Show where I first go in-depth on the game.

Xbox Media Centre just won’t Die… and it’s Awesome!

I know Xbox Media Centre has expanded beyond the console it was originally designed for but there are still folks using it as a Home Theatre PC and this latest skin by Team Blackbolt looks way more modern than the crusty old XBlock that it’s running on. I don’t know if I’m prepared to update mine since the consoles, TV, and computers are already in the same room but it’s a dazzling looking interface for sure.