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Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Soul Calibur II (J)(Original Xbox)


In this video I demonstrate my special (multi console) Soul Calibur II Fight Stick and play the Japanese game on my original Xbox console. Heck, I even try to pronounce the Japanese name for it. It is easily one of the graphically best looking games on the Xbox, really showing off what the device is capable of.

I play and finish the arcade mode single player, fairly easy but this game shines in multi player mode. Take a look how I fared. I had to cut out many pieces of the commentary as that was just a very noisy mess of button presses on the fight stick! :)

Bill Loguidice's picture

First Impressions of Microsoft's Xbox One

My Xbox One (2014)My Xbox One (2014)With the Xbox One's release this past Friday, November 22, we have the final piece to the next gen console puzzle. Whether you consider the Wii U next gen or not, or that neither the PS4 or Xbox One can truly be considered next gen in the face of a good PC, the fact remains that the Xbox One represented the last major new system we were waiting on for the forseeable future. Certainly the Steam Box will get some buzz once that's released, but price and compatibilty may represent hurdles to the type of adoption both the Xbox One and PS4 have thus far received. Plus, there's the argument - which I tend to agree with - that you don't necessarily gain any benefit investing in a Steam Box over a good PC. Final judgment will be reserved though once Valve's Steam Box initiative gets fully underway.

Naturally, both the PS4 and Xbox One launches can be considered a success, with each selling over 1 million units in the first 24 hours. The Xbox One needed 10 or 11 more countries with which to reach that number, but it was also priced $100 more, and faced similar supply constraints (meaning its arguable both could have sold more if stock was there). Like the PS4 and Wii U before it, a small percentage of Xbox One launch consoles were affected by technical issues, but, luckily, overall, all three seem to be solid hardware out of the gate. That does nothing to soothe those who actually have a unit with issues, but it seems that, based on percentages, all three major new consoles had reasonably smooth launches. To wrap up the sales commentary, if sales don't pick up for the Wii U this holiday and beyond, it's certainly reasonable to think that both PS4 and Xbox One will surpass total Wii U sales by or before June 2014 (as some analysts have suggested), which would also put to rest the idea that the industry's new norm is greatly reduced sales, i.e., the Wii U's sales issues are its own. No matter what, console gaming is still small change compared to smartphones and tablets, but we at least have the potential of still being a very vocal percentage of the technology ecosystem if sales for both the PS4 and Xbox One maintain positive momentum into 2014.

Now, with all that out of the way, I'll provide my impressions of the Xbox One. Since my wife and I are writing a book on the Xbox One, My Xbox One, follow-up to My Xbox, which covered the 360, we needed our usual two consoles: one to play with, and one to keep pristine so we could methodically document the goings on. For now, I just opened up the one to play with.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Outrun2006 Coast to Coast / Outrun2SP (PC)(Post Replay 2013)


Outrun2006SP a wonderful arcade game that found its way onto the PS2 and the Xbox as well as the XBox360 - not sure about the PS3 but I am sure it's on there too. Well at Replay 2013 I finally got the chance to sit down (barely as I am a tad too tall for the machine to really fit) and play me some Outrun2006SP. I also played the full sized two seater arcade game at the Namco Arcade at the Trafford Center but that also has a hard time accommodating my long legs (I am 6'8"). So my performance was hindered by me not being too good with the pedals resulting in some rather poor gameplay :P
After getting home today I figured up Steam on the PC and downloaded the PC version of the game I bought many eons ago and it worked great. I grabbed it at 60fps which YouTube sadly degraded to 30fps so the footage is not as smooth as the original. I just had to redeem myself a little - recover my crushed ego :P

Well here's a little of me playing the game on Easy and Hard. Enjoy!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Hands on Impressions of the Microsoft Xbox One on the Xbox One Tour

My Xbox One (2014)My Xbox One (2014)In preparation for working on our upcoming My Xbox One book, Christina and I thought it would be a good idea to check out Microsoft's Xbox One console prior to its official November release. Thanks to the One Tour, we had our chance today in Philadelphia through an Area One party. Basically, what this meant was that we had to pick one of the three hour blocks of time, wait in line, and hope we could get in to experience "live music, live gameplay, and more..." Naturally, we were most interested in the live gameplay part.

Once inside the large warehouse area, we were treated to our choice of multiple game areas where we could sit or stand and play some of the Xbox One launch and launch window titles, which included: Crimson Dragon, Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct, LocoCycle, Ryse: Sone of Rome, Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood, Zoo Tycoon, and Kinect Sports: Rivals.

Getting ready with Christina for Microsoft's Xbox One event here in Philadelphia.
Just outside the venue.

Christina and the Xbox One truck as we wait to get into the event.
Christina waiting in line to get in. Note the Xbox One truck.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Microsoft unveils the next Xbox: Xbox One - What they said and what it means!

Yes, Christina and I will be working on another Xbox book!While we had a previous poll and some thoughts and speculation on the next Xbox here at Armchair Arcade (among many other thoughts from staff and other commenters), it's now time to discuss the reality from today's #XboxReveal, with Microsoft the last of the three to play its next generation hand. As you no doubt already know, Nintendo's Wii U is struggling mightily, while Sony's PS4 has a lot of positive buzz so far and will be released around the same time as the new Xbox (Xbox One). With all that said, let's take a look at what was just unveiled.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Pure (Xbox 360)


Pure was published in 2008 for the Xbox360, PS3 and PC by Disney Interactive Studios and it was developed by Black Rock Studios. Here I play the xbox 360 version. This game has a very nice trick system that gives the gamer speed boosts and the chance to perform even more tricks in mid air. The emphasis is on the tricks in this game. Read more below...

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Ridge Racer V (PS2)

Ridge Racer V - is the 5th game in the Ridge Racer series on the Playstation line of consoles. This actually was one of the launch titles the PS2 was graced with and it is quite similar to Ridge Racer Type IV on the original Playstation or PSOne. It plays a lot faster and is more twitchy and it took me some time to get used to but it also showed a promise of things to come as Ridge Racer VI and VII obviously built opon the foundations laid in this game. A must play if you are a fan of the Ridge Racer series.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Some Thoughts and Speculation on the Next Xbox

On Tuesday, May 21, we'll have the next Xbox announcement. Nintendo has obviously already played their hand with the Wii U, an intriguing, but possibly failed gamble on a mix of current gen technology with tablet paradigms, and Sony has shown much of what they'll be offering with the PS4, a "social" next gen console that emphasizes its access speed for everything from updates to getting to play games/demos without much, if any, delay. Interestingly, Microsoft was first out of the gate this current generation, but will be last to make their announcement thanks to positive momentum in the past few years (everywhere except Japan, of course).

In any case, the rumor mill has been quite active, obviously, with the usual mix of thoughtful and not-so-thoughtful claims. You can read all about those elsewhere, but here are my thoughts on what is and isn't likely:

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (PC)

Written by the now gone Bizarre Creations, Geometry Wars originally could be found on the original Xbox was a mini game within the Project Gotham Racing 2. This game is the sequel to it and it was the most downloaded game on Xbox Live on the 360. For me this game was the must have game for the Xbox 360. Check it out.

The Sequel Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 was released on the 360 but also on the Wii and the DS. There's also a version out on iOS.

MIND YOU: This clip has some loud noises so you'd better not use headphones while watching this. Sound quality is not the best as the microphone had some issues that couldn't be fixed in post.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Games on the new Xbox won't function without a permanent connection to the Internet (rumor mill?)

Sources like Kotaku claim that the new upcoming Xbox console will always have to be online to play games. Even if they are single player games. Without an internet connection the device more or less is a doorstop as it won't be possible to launch any games or apps. It is also said that internet interruptions up to 3 minutes won't cause issues but longer drop outs will halt the machine. And despite Sony denying that the new PS4 won't be able to play second hand games they did apply for a patent for technology doing that very thing. Companies do seem to be drifting away from giving a good customer service. Below are my thoughts on these matters which seems to become a reality for consumers world-wide. If you don't want to read it all, there's also a video :)

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