Given my job in the DirectX team, it’s probably a safe bet that people already realize i would be what is called a ‘Gamer’. I spend entirely too much money on video games, and depending on the games that are out there, entirely too much time playing them. However, right now my ‘gaming’ time is being spent almost exclusively on two games.
Obviously, i’ve had XBox Live since it was first launched in November of 2002, but honestly for the almost the entire first year it was out, there was never anything i really wanted to play on it. Sure, i played some Mech Assault, and was into Unreal Championship for a while, but nothing i would consider ‘great’. That’s been changing recently though.
For example, Project Gotham Racing 2. This is probably the best XBox Live game available today. Not only does it have a great multiplayer experience online, even the single player missions are all ‘live-enabled’. Your best scores are stored on xbox live, and you can compare yourself to other players in all of the single player missions. Better yet, you can actually download the ‘ghost’ of other players who have played the missions to see how they’ve acheived these outrageous high scores. And since you’re always signed into live while you’re playing (even in single player mode), any of your friends who are also online can invite you to play a multiplayer game. Even playing in the multiplayer modes lets you get kudos tokens you can use to help yourself during the single player mode. This game should be the model for all future live games. It is the entire package. The only downside (if you could call it that), is that it doesn’t support XSN, which i can understand considering it isn’t a ‘sport’.
Speaking of XSN though, the other game i’m really into nowadays is Links 2004. Joining tournaments online, and competing, and watching my stats is addictive. Personally, i’ve tried Tiger Woods game, and it just doesn’t match up. Sure, you have a wider array of choices when creating your character, but the golf isn’t as realistic, you can’t play with teams, and you can’t play with more than two players. Playing in tournaments is the absolute best.
This doesn’t even consider the other great XBox Live games out nowadays.. Rainbow Six 3, Counterstrike, Crimson Skies, Midnight Club 2, etc.. After being out a year, i’m now really starting to be impressed..