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XBox 360 Review

Updated on September 21, 2014

I Love My Xbox

An Xbox console (both "original" and 360) has been my gaming companion for the past few years, ever since I finally threw my gaming PC out the window in frustration.

...Well, not literally as my wife and kids still needed to do stuff on it, but you get the idea.

I had so many technical issues trying to get games to run on the PC, that I was spending more time tweaking settings than I was actually playing.

Read on to find out how the Xbox saved me from all that.

PC Innards
PC Innards | Source

The Problem With PCs

My problem with PCs, as gaming machines, is that they are just too temperamental.

Yes, I know that they are potentially the most powerful machines around for games and yes, I have seen some of the amazing graphics on them.

The trouble is, that when I was playing games on PCs, it always took so long to get them running.

I always had to check the game packaging very carefully to make sure I had the juice to get them to run in the first place.

Then I had to install the game, which could take minutes, but often took longer, due to updates being downloaded, before they too had to be installed.

Finally, I would try to play the game and I lost count of the number of times that I saw an awesome introduction movie, only to be dumped back to the desktop with a nasty error message.

Worse still, many games froze completely on me, had to be returned to the shop, and so on.

When I did get a few games to run ok, I would then find that in another year, the latest games would require a better graphics card, or something else to work correctly.

I soon realised that if I wanted to play the best games, at the best screen settings, I would always be on a treadmill of upgrading my kit to work with them.

This was something I had neither the time, money, or inclination to do anymore.

It was all very fine and good when I was a young single man, with lots of time on my hands, but with a wife, family and my own home to look after?

No, thank you.

Xbox "Just Works"

Now I know what you're thinking. "Why is he reviewing a console that is on its way out?"

Well, I'm here to tell you that there is a lot of life in the old dog yet.

When I bought my first Xbox, I plugged it all in to the TV, pressed the button to open the DVD tray, slotted in my first game disk, pressed the button again and grabbed the controller.

I watched with bated breath as the machine chuntered for a few seconds and would you believe it, the game burst into life.

No stress, no fuss and definitely no muss.

Occasionally, I put the disk in and see a prompt to download the latest update.

I simply say "yes" and a minute or so later, I'm back to playing again.

As one of Microsoft's competitors (to be left nameless) is fond of saying, "it just works".

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller - Glossy Black
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller - Glossy Black

The Xbox 360 comes with a wireless controller, but who wants to play just by themselves?

This controller will let you bring a friend to the party and play from the comfort of your sofa.

 

Another World

And it's been like that ever since: I put a game in the disk drive and a few seconds later I'm away in whatever fantasy (or science fiction) land I want to be in.

When I finish the session I take the disk out, switch the machine off and go to bed - trying not to wake up my wife.

When the time came, I moved over to the 360 and later bought a Kinect sensor and that too has been a good experience from day one.

It hasn't all been plain sailing though: I once got the infamous "red ring of death", indicating a hardware fault on my early model of the console, but one phone call to Microsoft and it was all sorted (Microsoft had extended the warranty automatically due to the number of people experiencing the problem at the time - newer models don't have that issue).

I just had to wait a few days for it to come back through the post, but once it arrived, I was back to untroubled gaming again - much better than my PC woes.

There has been the odd time where a game has frozen on me in the middle of playing, but that was due to the game developers being sloppy with their code, not the fault of the hardware.

All I had to do each time, was to take the disk out, switch the Xbox off and then on again, pop the disk back in, and away we go.

320GB HDD Compatible with Xbox 360 Slim
320GB HDD Compatible with Xbox 360 Slim

If you want to download games then you will need the storage to put them on. Look no further than this baby, which simply slides into your console - one simple "click" later and you can download as much as you like.

 

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Games are epic, lol!My Xbox (mine it is, mine, my own, my precious...)Wires and more wires - the price of being a games maniacMy games collection - part 1Games collection - part 2 - the ones I am playing "at the moment"*cough* and more gamesThe surround sound gizmo for my headphonesCheap headphones, but they workThe Xbox dashboard - gateway to funMarcus Fenix from Gears of War 3
Games are epic, lol!
Games are epic, lol! | Source
My Xbox (mine it is, mine, my own, my precious...)
My Xbox (mine it is, mine, my own, my precious...) | Source
Wires and more wires - the price of being a games maniac
Wires and more wires - the price of being a games maniac | Source
My games collection - part 1
My games collection - part 1 | Source
Games collection - part 2 - the ones I am playing "at the moment"
Games collection - part 2 - the ones I am playing "at the moment" | Source
*cough* and more games
*cough* and more games | Source
The surround sound gizmo for my headphones
The surround sound gizmo for my headphones | Source
Cheap headphones, but they work
Cheap headphones, but they work | Source
The Xbox dashboard - gateway to fun
The Xbox dashboard - gateway to fun | Source
Marcus Fenix from Gears of War 3
Marcus Fenix from Gears of War 3 | Source

Pack Animal

My point is that the Xbox 360 is a gaming workhorse and while there is a newer, more shiny machine available in the form of the Xbox One, it will take them a while to iron out the kinks.

The majority of new releases over the next year or so will be made for both the One and the 360, so the only real difference will be the resolution of the graphics.

Case in point: I am playing Watch Dogs at the moment.

Ironically, Watch Dogs was panned by many gamers on the next gen machines, for graphics not living up to the promise of the original advertising.

Me? I just got it for the 360 and enjoyed the gameplay without really worrying about it.

All of that makes the Xbox 360 the ideal machine to pickup if you're new to gaming or if you just want to see what all the fuss is about without paying a premium price tag.

Maybe I'll move on to the One at some point in the future, or maybe, I'll even defect to the "other side"...

In the meantime, I'm happy for others to be Microsoft's Xbox One Beta testers, while I enjoy picking up cheap games for the 360.

Besides, I've got a whole library of unfinished games to complete (see below)!

My "Currently playing" list (in no particular order of priority): Skyrim, Batman Arkham Origins (again), The Amazing Spiderman and Half Life 2 - all at once (only kidding!)

Ok, so Batman Arkham City is not the Xbox itself, but this is my favourite game on the Xbox so I had to show it here too!

Batman Arkham City

© 2014 Tim Bader

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    • Tim Bader profile image
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      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @boneworld: Indeed they are + they still take as long to play through as the day they were released.

      I'm playing Half Life 2 once again (I don't know how many times I've played it) ...and will be posting a review of it soon.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • boneworld profile image

      Jackson Thom 3 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      Totally agree. I love going to the game store, and picking up used games for $15.00 or less, while others fork over $50.00+ for new games. The old ones are still fun, right? And that's all that really matters.

      It's also nice to hear you had good luck with Microsoft Customer Service. Glad to hear it.

      Great review!

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @CreativeJasper: Ooh, careful we don't want to start flamewars here... ;)

      I'm glad you found a platform you like though.

      May your game time be blessed.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @eduguy1: Thanks!

      What made me stop?

      Well, as I mentioned at the top of the page, I had all sorts of technical issues trying to get games to run - and I am a technical guy, who knows a bit about this stuff.

      I had so much trouble with it that I would often spend most of a two hour session trying to get it to work, rather than actually playing.

      In the end, I gave up, since I have found I have little time for faffing with machines (kids and life in general tend to get in the way!).

      That's my personal take on it anyway.

      Thanks for asking.

    • CreativeJasper profile image

      CreativeJasper 3 years ago

      Playstation over Xbox any day.

    • eduguy1 profile image

      eduguy1 3 years ago

      Good job!

      If you dont mind my asking, what made you stop gaming on PC?

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @john-tabernik: I agree!

      I'm still working my way through my (fairly substantial) games library so it'll be a while before I make the upgrade.

      Thanks for reading.

    • john-tabernik profile image

      john-tabernik 3 years ago

      We got an Xbox One last Christmas, but I have to tell you, we spend much more time playing our old Xbox 360 with all the games that the kids love. You are right about how great the 360 is....I am sure we will still be using it for years!!

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @PaigSr: Glad you found it helpful.

      Thanks for reading.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      Thank you. The wife and boys are both hinting we should get one. With your review we may just be adding this to our electronics collection within the week.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @georgepmoola2: Thanks for reading.

    • Tim Bader profile image
      Author

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      @Brite-Ideas: Profound indeed - I'm just a grown up kid myself! ;)

      Thanks for sharing with us.

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      Not a gamer myself, but a well-written review which I enjoyed reading anyway.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I want to offer a profound comment here, but all I can say is my kids agree with you..it's like an XBOX store in my house!