New GTUSA guest contributor Dr. Rampageo here! Since joining the team to help out with some guest content coincided with me buying a Xbox One I figured what better way to kick off my articles here than with a rundown of my first week as a One owner? Read on to see what I think of this strange new world.
The OG Xbox was a great system with amazing games like Halo, Munch’s Oddysee, Obi Wan (There I go losing at least 80% of readers in the first sentence by saying Obi Wan was an amazing game, but hey, analog lightsaber combat went a long way in those days if you ask me), and DOA3 at or near launch that captivated me back in 01. I was fresh into my twenties and ready to spend countless hours gaming which I (and my friends) did a lot of. The debut of Xbox Live (after a tantalizing glimpse of console online play with the Dreamcast) cemented me as a Xbox supporter, and while I did have a PS2 the hundreds of thousands of hours spent online and at LAN parties clearly showed that the box was the main system for me. Then they dropped the bomb on us in 05 with the 360 which if you ask me is one of the great consoles of all time. Right off rip the 360 was amazing, and during months of time playing PDZ because it was the only online game worth a damn that worked (thanks COD2 for not working day one and forcing us all to play PDZ forever by the way.) I met people who are still my friends to this day… like Nando. The 360 dominated last gen for me, and the PS3 was barely a footnote in the logs. Then it all changed in the current gen when Microsoft dropped the ball on their successor to the 360 with an announcement that was filled with questionable ideas that we don’t need to go over here,but let’s just say it placed them solidly behind the PS4 where they stay to this day.
Suddenly we lived in a world where it seemed like the new Playstation was a more viable option for the main system in the living room. Many of my previous Xbox friends went over to PS4, and we’ve had a lot of fun the past few years for sure. Now though the prices are dropping so picking up a One has become an option, and a few of us have jumped over the fence. You see a lot of console war stuff going on out there on the net so I thought it would be good to see how the box stacks up against the 4 in an objective way that isn’t based off blind fanboyism. So after that very extended intro let’s see what I’ve learned in my first week on the XboxOne.
The controller: The bigger size of the controller feels much better in my hands than the small Dualshock does, and the vibrations are much better. My hands feel fine after a long session on the box where on the PS4 my hands cramp up pretty quick.
Playing with friends: Seeing who’s online, and getting them into your party/game is much smoother over on the xbox. Plus having my entire old friends list from the 360 is great! I’m playing games with people I haven’t talked to in years, and it feels good.
Ark Survival Evolved: This is actually what pushed me to buying the One. I’ve been super excited about this game coming to consoles,and having the early preview version is awesome! Who needs to wait until June when you can play it now?
Graphics: There has been a lot of talk about how the Xbox is inferior to the PS4 resolution and framerate wise so I was expecting to see more not quite as good visuals, but honestly the graphics look great over here on the box with no noticeable negatives from the PS4 from what I’ve seen. Maybe doing a side by side of the same game would show a few flaws, but on the whole I think the box looks just as good as the Playstation.
Free Games: History has shown that Xbox gets much more full retail games than the mostly indie smaller games we get over on PSN, and Ive already gotten Sherlock Holmes as a full retail free game on Xbox where the only full retail game I can remember getting on PS4 was injustice and that was months ago.
Backwards compatibility: Having access to a ton of my old arcade games is a HUGE boon for me, and it makes the thousands of dollars spent seem like less of a waste. Now if they would just hurry up and make Skyrim/Oblivion BC that would be great.
Battletoads: There is no Battletoads on PS4….This isn’t a good thing.
Voice chat: The voice chat on live is a pale shadow of the chat on PSN. Playstation chat works great, and is clear as a bell. Xbox chat is either too soft or so loud that there is an echo, and at best we have had to settle for a faint echo in all parties. I’ve tried multiple different mics and there doesn’t seem to be a good option. Maybe an expensive headset would fix that, but you shouldn’t have to spend a bill to get decent voice in this day and age.
The controller: Yep the controller is both good and bad. Great size and rumble, but by default it takes batteries…is it not 2016 right now? Why not just ship with a rechargeable battery? Sure you could buy a play and charge, but why? Just why?
Live: It costs more than PSN, and in the first week it was down or messed up 3 out of 7 days. PSN has been down maybe 7 days total in the years I’ve been playing PS4.
The interface: The box interface (especially the store) feels about a hundred years behind the easy to use and navigate Playstation interface.
The toss ups:
Franchises: At this point I can’t point to either system having a win in franchises because they both have exclusive access to some of my favorites.
Selection: Both systems have different classes of games available to purchase, and both have their own differences in the variety they offer.
Fun: I can’t say I’ve enjoyed either system more so far, but it has only been a week.
Killer Instinct: KI is the most un free FTP game I have ever seen. One Character? Come on guy even DOA gives you more than one free character. So my options to play this (admittedly cool from what I’ve seen) game is to spend a full $60 to get a bunch of characters? or $20 to get just a few characters? Kind of let down by that one. I may get season 3 when it drops (provided it doesn’t cost more than season 1 or 2 did) just to play as Rash, but it is hard to justify spending money on it with so little there as a base to really get me wanting more.
Smite: 50% Since I’m not really a MOBA fan this is surprising, and the 3rd person view gets most of the credit there. Smite has become a new addiction for me, and good news is it’s coming to PS4 soon too so I can play with all my friends.
Ark: 30% Loving Ark so far, and if I hadn’t gotten so into Smite I’d be playing a lot more of it.
Halo/Forza: 20% When not playing Smite or Ark (or Street Fighter on PS4) I’ve beeb spitting most of the remaining time between Halo 5 and Forza 6 which are both great games.
So far my time on Xbox has only reinforced that the console wars are stupid and pointless. Both systems have their faults and bonuses so really the choice of what system to buy should come down to what game you want to play, and where your friends are. However it has also become clear to me that really to get the most out of the current gaming landscape having both means you are winning all around. Thanks for reading my first of many guest spots here on GTUSA! In the meantime if you’d like to see more of my video game adventures check out my Youtube channel DoomKickTV where I post weekly.