Well as you all know, August 11th marked the new 360 Dashboard update. We were promised many new shiny things such as Games on Demand, the avatar marketplace, an improved party system, user ratings.. and a whole bunch of other stuff. I was mildly excited.. I quite enjoy new updates. Unfortunately I haven’t noticed much of a change. A few things here and there have been a nice improvement, but overall it all seems a bit overrated. Maybe I just haven’t explored enough?
My first example being the avatar marketplace. Because I enjoy nothing more than dressing my virtual self up in pretty dresses or nothing but a raincoat, I was looking forward to the possibility of expanding my wardrobe. A lightsaber?! I can’t imagine anything better to complement Darth Telle’s attire! But wait.. 400 Microsoft Points? WHAT?? That’s half an arcade game! That’s £3.40 real money! For a lightsaber?! Well that’s disappointing. I’d rather spend my points on an arcade game. What makes a lightsaber (or Q-Tip (wtf btw)) for my avatar worth that much money? Will I be able to use it in a game? It won’t even show up on my Xbox.com profile page. So as far as I can tell, the new props are completely cool, and totally useless. The clothes and costumes as well, are incredibly cool (Splinter Cell outfit? Yes please!), but are all incredibly overpriced. I am fairly disappointed. Especially seen as no new free avatar clothing will be available.
Lately I’ve heard a lot of talk and done alot of thinking about gamerscore and completion rates on games. Of course, everyone is impressed by insanely high gamerscores, but is that as impressive as completing a game to a full 1000 gamer points? Or is it a combination of both which earns you the title of “hardcore”? Because let’s face it. Achievements, at least on the 360, have become a big part of gaming. Getting 5 points for kicking a chicken or starting a new adventure may be so easy it makes you feel dirty, but at the same time (for me anyway) they make me want to play harder to complete a game or play through it on the hardest difficulty possible (which I’ll probably get my ass kicked doing so, but that just makes it more sweet when I beat it).