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DAILY MANIFESTO

Let's Do Launch

Posted on Wednesday, November 2 @ 15:02:49 Eastern by Ben_Silverman
Okay, so it's not really a Daily Manifesto. More like Bi-Weekly Manifesto, maybe, or just Random Manifesto.

But this time we swear it's not our fault, since instead of ranting about this and that, we're working our pale asses off reviewing the seven thousand games sitting on our in-shelf and frantically beta-testing the upcoming brand new GR site. That's correct - we're relaunching soon, giving you all kinds of new tools, features and, sadly, bugs to play with. Anyone got some digital Raid?

If so, feel free to pass that on to Microsoft as they make the final tweaks on the upcoming Xbox 360. At a mellow little shindig earlier this week, I sat down with a crop of near-final games and have since picked a favorite.

Oblivion? Nope. Perfect Dark Zero? Nope. Project Gotham Racing 3? Very pretty, but nope.

It's the 360 dashboard. For real. It's just flat-out clean, clear and supremely navigable. You can pop out of a game, tweak settings and pop right back in seamlessly. Forget burning tunes onto your hard drive - you can plug in an Ipod in the middle of a game and access your entire music list within a few seconds. I'd take the built-in arcade shooter Geometry Wars over some of the launch titles. Even the much-maligned Xbox Marketplace feels unobtrusive and slick - you can quickly scan your games list and find all possible downloads in one simple step.

The fact that the coolest thing about the Xbox 360 isn't the software might make some people nervous, but let's be frank - launch titles are almost always a let down. Sure, the Xbox had Halo, but it also had 4x4 Evo 2, Fuzion Frenzy and Dark Summit. The PS2 dined on SSX, but served with it games like X-Squad and Summoner. The Gamecube had a nice showing with Rogue Leader, but who still plays Luigi's Mansion? Launch titles are supposed to hint at a system's potential, not reach it.

Let's just hope that's indeed the case with the 360...and the GR relaunch. Fingers crossed.



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