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Halo Reach and Gears 3: Proof that the 360 Still Has Some Fight Left in it

In 2007, the Xbox 360 was an unstoppable force. Fresh off the heels of the release of the now famous Gears of War (arguably the true beginning of the next gen of gaming as we know it *on consoles anyway*) Microsofts not-so-little (and quite noisy) box enjoyed exclusive blockbuster release after blockbuster release. Just a few notable hits included sci-fi epic Mass Effect, the gigaton release of the conclusion of a certain space marines trilogy, and sleeper hit "hey-this-isn't-just- a-$60-Halo 3 beta", Crackdown. Meanwhile, the PS3 was still stumbling out of the gates. It was the most expensive home console at "599 US Dollars" and had little in the way of exclusive blockbusters other than games like launch title Resistance and the stellar Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. However, these could hardly slow the momentum of the 360 (despite the RROD issue, which by the way just goes to show how damn good the 360 must have been at the time if people were willing to deal with multiple console failures). 360 fans bashed the PS3 to no end, calling it the "world's most expensive paperweight" while the desperate PS3 fans clutched their consoles in the corner touting the systems features such as Blu-Ray and Cell architecture and telling 360 fans to "wait and see", which the 360 fans presumably laughed at while continuing to log countless hours into Halo 3.
Fast forward 3 years and the situation is nearly opposite. The 360 fans are now the ones backed into the corner by the PS3 fans, whose "wait and see" attitude seemingly has paid off. In 2008, 2009, and 2010 Sony's machine seems to have gained the upper hand with titles like Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, God of War 3, Little Big Planet, and Infamous and a revamped market campaign. Yeah you remember that whole Cell and Blu-Ray combo that 360 fans laughed at? Well it turned out to be pretty damn key to Sony's success. The 360's momentum has slowed and while the system is still lining Microsoft's pockets its line-up has started to falter and the graphics havent been able to match Sony's exclusives (with the 360's standout title being Gears 2, which while a beautiful game, is no Uncharted 2). The sequel to acclamied hit Crackdown was met with mostly negative critical reception (though I admit I thourouhly enjoyed it) and Alan Wake, in development for 5 years, had top-notch graphics and was a great game overall, but failed to make a splash at the box office... err rather game store. Many thought that the 360 was losing it's touch.
However, the 360 appears to be back on the rise in 2010 and beyond minus those few hiccups. The platform has been graced with the release of part two of the Mass Effect series and the long awaited Splinter Cell: Conviction, both met with great critical reception. However, it is when one looks to the future when you realize that Micrrosoft is stepping up it's game, or games rather with releases such as Halo:Reach, Gears 3 and the upcoming Kinect (yes I said Kinect deal with it; despite what extremist fanboys may tell you the device does have potential in the future, although it seems as if it will take awhile for the momentum to pick up... whoa wait a minute doesn't that sound just like a certain console at launch that is now cherished by millions? Hmmm... its name eludes at the time...). Now I know some PS3 fans will look at that list and laugh saying "hahaha look all the Xbots have nothing to look forward to but sequels and a motion controller. Good thing Sony has the Move comming out along with Killzone 3 and Gran Turismo 5... oh shit". I am in no way bashing Sony's line up but the hypocrisy needs to stop, and yes I realize that those aren't Sony's only games, but they are the most anticipated just like Reach and Gears... and what do you know they both also happen to be the fifth and third releases in their series respectively.
Anyways these games are out to prove that the 360 still has some juice left in it. Some people saying that Reach is a "minor upgrade over Halo 3 but nothing special" really need to take off the fanboy goggles. The game looks fantastic and is hardly what I would call a minor upgrade over Halo 3. Just look at this comparison between the two:

The game also stacks up well amoung other graphical beasts in the FPS genre and shows that the 360 is still a competitor in the graphics war. Just check out this new gameplay vid and tell me that it doesn't look fantastic: Let's not forget that graphics aren't the only thing that matters and the gameplay in this video is also top notch. Also, with all the content crammed on this one (or possible two) DVD9 disk such as Firefight, an epic campaign-confirmed to be 10 missions in length, Forge World, an extensive armory, saved replays and screenshots, robust multiplayer, and more, it shows that 360 games can still pack a lot of content without Blu-Ray disks. In fact, it just might have the single most content of any game released this gen (kinda makes me wonder how Bungie pulled it off considering God of War 3 was around 32 gigs of a Blu-Ray with just a 10 hour (epic) single player campaign). Maybe they know something we don't. With Gears 3, another graphical beast, coming out shortly after, a few things are certain. 1). The haters will be silenced, 2). It will be one hell of a battle between the 360 and PS3, but most importantly, 3). Gamers will be satisfied no matter what their system of choice is. Seriously guys, there's no need for fanboyism. Both consoles are great and both have amazing upcoming exclusive releases. If you don't enjoy a game, there's no need to hate on it because millions of other people do. Just play the games you enjoy rather than trolling the internet. And yeah that's right the entire article seemingly pitted the 360 against the PS3, but just because the consoles are competitors doesn't mean the gamers have to be. Competition in the games industry leads to innovation while fanboy wars lead to living with your mom until your 35. Seriously guys, games are supposed to be fun. I don't buy a game to come home, pop it in the Xbox and say "Oh man, those PS3 guys must be sooooo jealous of me right now. Haha those morons". No truth is those PS3 gamers would be too busy enjoying their game of choice to care. Be a gamer not a hater.

PS: If you take the time to read this please comment. I felt the need to write an article that was atleast somewhat insightful when the main articles on N4G are usually "Why (Insert Product Name) Will Fail" or the one-millionth "PS3 vs 360" article. I just wanted to ssay that both consoles are great and are more similar to each other than fanboys would like to admit.

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Playerz82856d ago (Edited 2856d ago )

Microsoft is trying to compensate for the longer console cycle by coming out with Kinect and the Slim, but they know the 360 will fall before the PS3 (10 year life cycle) and the Wii (Gamers need a new Nintendo console, but Nintendo doesn't.) .

GWAVE2854d ago

The main problem with your argument (not saying you have a bad argument) is that there is a large segment of gamers who don't really care about Gears or Halo anymore such as myself.

I already gave the Halo series and the Gears series a fair trial. Neither series interests me anymore. So, why would their newest versions spawn any new interest? This is the problem with the 360: they don't have much variety. At least the PS3 (while it certainly has a lot of sequels) can bounce between the racing sim, arcade racing, FPS, TFP, RPG, action-adventure, platforming, and adventure genres.

dizzleK2855d ago (Edited 2855d ago )

one example of hypocrisy i've always wondered about is why is infamous never referred to as "the game that came with the uc2 beta."

i own both consoles. i genuinely don't give a sh*t who "wins". if one was killed off i'd probably be just as happy with the other.

i recently bought another 360 after not having one for about a year. i was a ps3 only player for that time. while i enjoy the ps3 and many of it's games, i find i simply enjoy the 360 more. it's where my head is at now in my near 25 year gaming career. i don't need cutting edge graphics, frankly something like killzone bores me from an artistic perspective. i just find i have more fun with the 360, i like halo and i like the dopey little games like divinity, edf, sniper ghost warrior, etc, that the ps3 doesn't get.

i appreciate the ps3 but its not what i'm looking for out of gaming. personally i don't find very many ps3 games to be what i consider fun. are the games bad? god no, only an idiot would say that. they just don't fit my tastes at this moment in time.

great piece, man. you should write pro.

FatGuyStrangler472855d ago

I love coming to this sight for a sort of all-in-one stop for the latest gaming news, but the one thing that bugs me is the fanboys in the comment section, from both sides. I don't know what it is about this generation, maybe it's because consoles were a lot more expensive and the games are as well that people feel the need to vigourously defend their purchase to justify that they made the right choice in their mind. Truth is, we're all going to like different things and games are no different, but there's no need to attack someone because they think differently. It is okay to have a console preference and be mature about it (much like yourself), but fanboyism iis just stupid. By being close minded like that, one misses out on a lot of great experiences. Alrite, I'm starting to write another article here so I'm gonna end it on that point. By the way, I agree with your comment on graphics. Killzone 2 looked great from a technical perspective, but wasn't much to look at artistically, which is why in my opinion, games like Halo: ODST and Super Mario Galaxy 2 look just as good in their own way.

P.S. Thank you for the compliment, it is much appreciated as I spent quite a bit of time writing this article.

lh_swe2855d ago (Edited 2855d ago )

Both consoles are very similar in the respect that they have a s***load more to offer and the 360 has never been counted out of the game, the general impression N4G gives you is that the 360 is the idiots choice; without diversity, great games and a plethora of great and intuitive features...That however is far from the truth as the 360 offers just as an amazing experience as the PS3.

But one truth we can't shy away from is that every gamer is an individual and likes different things...dizzleK has great reasons for prefering his 360, others have great reasons for loving the PS3, it's only when these individuals start to try and impose these views and restrict opposing ones that it suddenly becomes a problem.

P.S. dizzleK - I am not saying you are one of those individuals, I could change the sentence but I am too lazy so I'll just write this instead :P