Can I have my life back now?


I just sold my Xbox console. I’m hoping this means I can have something resembling a real life again. If not that, then hopefully I’ll be a bit more productive and spend hours staring at a computer screen full of great stories, as opposed to a screen full of things blowing up.

I got the Xbox for christmas and spent the best part of five months playing games with the diligence I should have shown towards my writing. Even though I only got a fraction of what the machine was worth, I suddenly feel a lot more free. Strange how leisure can become an obligation.

Anyway, for some unknown reason, I feel compelled to post details of all the games I played and what I thought of them. This is pretty boring and more than a little geeky, but I need closure.

This was the first game I got on Xbox and in many ways it?s been downhill from there. I loved the comic-book style, compelling plot and variety of gameplay.

Dead or Alive 3
Finished (Unlocked all endings)
I liked this because it involved big-breasted women kicking men off balconies.

Destroy All Humans!
Finished (with cheat)
I really wanted to like this, and thought it was really well scripted. However, there were really annoying elements in the game, so I ended up using a cheat to see what happened at the end.

Doom 3
Abandoned in Hell
Scared the shit out of me in places, but a big monster in the Hell level got annoying, so I gave the game away.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Despite thinking that I would never get into this, I found myself hooked by the demo and then saw it in GAME for seven quid or so. Now, aside from the usual Tom Clancey political bollocks, Chaos Theory has perhaps the strangest, most unsubtle in-game advertising I?ve ever seen. Wrigley?s Airwaves chewing gum features heavily in the cut-scenes, to the point where it almost becomes laughable.

Everyone goes on about Halo, but both my brother-in-law and I agree that it?s over-rated. That didn?t stop me playing it all the way through, though, so they must have done something right.

Timesplitters 2
Gave up at Sci-fi level, but carried on in Arcade mode.
Desperately needed a shooting fix one weekend and bought this for a fiver. The story mode was OK, but the arcade levels were better – shooting ducks and punching zombie?s heads off, especially.

FIFA Football 2005
Won the League cup with Arsenal on easy
I know that Pro-Evolution is a better football game, but this was only 3 quid from Amazon. It passed the time.

Rainbow Six
Abandoned on last mission
This was a kind of masochism. I?d played R6-Black Arrow round at Chander?s and couldn?t get it out of my head. Rather than ask to borrow it, I got the earlier version 2nd hand. Now, the weird thing is that I was absolutely sure before I got my Xbox that I was never ever going to play a Tom Clancey game. Now I?ve played two of them and I feel dirty. In R6, you?re part of an elite UN counter-terrorism squad protecting US oil interests overseas. Despite the fact that I find this morally repugnant, I played through to the very last mission. You could argue that by abandoning the mission at the last moment, I was usurping the American capitalist hegemony, but the fact is that the game got just too tough.

Deus Ex: Invisible War
Abandoned near end (possibly)
Hated this when I first got it, as I kept dying. When I put the game into easy mode, I got sucked in by the story line. I could see quite a lot of the plot twists coming, but it was interesting nevertheless. Then I got stuck and moved on to something else.

Far Cry
Hated it.
Really, really didn?t get on with this. Another one handed over from Chander that I just didn?t click with. Hated the storyline, the fact that everything looked the same. I don?t give a damn how well rendered the grass is if I can?t see who I?m shooting at.

Outrun 2
Finished all courses.
Ooh. Lovely. Looks lovely, plays lovely, sounds lovely. I can still hear the ?Night Flight? woman singing in my head. I played this on easy as well, because I was getting tired of the seeing the same three courses (lovely though they are).

X-Men Legends
Loved this, despite not being a huge X-men fan. It just really, really pushed my buttons. Familiar characters, vague RPG elements, but with superheroes instead of elves and shit. Beating up hordes of villains before unleashing a lightning bolt up their ass. Snikt!

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Hated it.
This was a bargain. It was only ?9 in PC World, so I got it, despite the fact that I didn?t think I?d like it. My initial instincts were right. It?s not that I mind the gangsta elements of it (I love a bit of NWA), but I just found the huge map and weird controls confusing. The most enjoyable part was nicking a motorcycle and cruising up the coast listening to Rage Against the Machine.

Unreal Tournament 2
Swapped it.
Really had enough of First Person Shooters by now. They?re all the same ? except for this one, which swoops out to third-person perspective so you can twat people with big swords.

Star Wars: Battlefront
Killed lots of Jar-jars and Ewoks.
And I did enjoy it. A lot. Fanatically, you might say ? but only for a couple of days. With the same maps over and over, it gets a little tiresome. But it was a childhood fantasy come true. Endor! Hoth! Yavin! Err? other places!

Area 51
Abandoned near end (approx 80% in)
Chander really liked this first-person shooter and had it for ages before passing it on. Not bragging or anything, but within a few days I got about as far as he?d done in six months. Eventually, though, I just didn?t care. I realised that I had no idea what I was doing or why, and without a decent story, I lose interest. Plus which, the ?pdoink! pdoink!? ricochet sounds really annoyed me.

Star Wars: Republic Commando
If I hadn?t played Battlefront first, I probably would have liked this a lot more. But ordering a couple of kiwis to blow up a door is a lot less satisfying than being one of a hundred Imperial Stormtroopers massacring Ewoks en masse.

Midway Arcade Treasures
Nostalgia is a dangerous business.
I thought this was going to be great, but only Smash TV was in any way entertaining. That?s one out of twenty games. And Smash TV is so bloody hard that even with infinite continues, you get tired of dying so many times.

Metal Gear Solid
Completed main story.
This was? odd. I?d already completed Splinter Cell:CT and thought I?d see what the main competitor was like. Initially, I thought this was the worst game ever, but I kind of persevered. Then it told me to stop playing it and do something more interesting with my life. So I decided to sell my Xbox.


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