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Don't Worry, We Love the 360 Too

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Today marks the sixth birthday for the Xbox 360! Yay! Cake and streamers for everyone! Despite the fact that six years isn't traditionally any sort of milestone like the PS3 and the Wii just had, we're gonna run through some of our favorite parts of the 360 in the spirit of fairness. (Togetherness? Friendship? Something lame like that.) Feel free to comment, agree, or complain in the comments if you think we missed your favorite part of the 360. Make the jump.

1. My god that controller is comfortable. Though it may run on AA batteries, a terrible offense, the rest of the controller just can't be topped. The grips fit easily and comfortably into your hands like a warm cup of hot chocolate, with marshmallows of course, and the buttons provide firm tactile responses with satisfying clicks. The joysticks float smoothly so you can land that headshot like it was nothing. Even the D-pad responds without that gummy crappiness that seems requisite for all other controller's D-pads.

It would be absolutely perfect...except it doesn't have an internal battery. Augh!

2. You can literally carry your gamertag in your pocket. Because the Xbox allows flash drives to be easily plugged in and used as extra storage devices, you can save your gamertag and bring it with you when you play on other Xboxes (you cheating harlot). It's such a simple concept, yet it makes sharing an Xbox or playing with all of your friends so much easier.

3. Kinect proved how stupid we look while playing games, but, in a good way. No matter who you are, at some point, you've fallen prey to the absurd competitiveness that has infested the last ten years of gaming. Gamers these days can barely go five minutes without comparing Gamerscores or kill-to-death ratios. That's not to say that gaming in the 80s or 90s was without competition (the 80s did give us high score charts, after all), but the situation seems a bit out of hand these days.

Thank god Kinect came along to show us just how stupid we look. Once you realize that you've been flailing along to Soulja Boy in Dance Central like a drunk college freshman, except sober, it all suddenly makes sense - this is just a game, and one based on not-too-accurate motion detection, so what point is there to really putting your pride on the line with each game? Take a step back and realize that it's all supposed to be fun, then play Kinectimals: Now with Bears. Consider yourself enlightened.

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4. The Xbox is an indie game masterpiece. Indie games have it rough. In an environment that increasingly forsakes all the but best in quality, numerous developers have gone out of business in the last few years dues to the rising cost of game development and consolidation among the biggest developers. Anyone who can pay to devour smaller companies will and do. But somewhere at the bottom of this new food chain, past the social media games and those flash ads advertising free smileys, are the indie games, which have found a new niche thanks to Microsoft establishing a home base.

Thanks to both Xbox Live Arcade and the Xbox Indie Game Marketplaces, plenty of games that would otherwise have been lost to the internet have gained the fame they deserve. Braid, Limbo, Castle Crashers, Splosion Man, Bastion, and countless others have gotten their start thanks to the 'box. Not only has the 360 been instrumental in small developers breaking into the typically big industry dominated console market, but it has actively fostered their growth into larger companies that can compete with the likes of companies like EA and Activision for gamer's attention.

5. We hope those 13-year-olds on Xbox Live never grow up. Seriously, admit it. You may whine and complain in public about all the immature jerks on Xbox Live and tout yourself as being above all those trolling shenanigans, but secretly, you love it. There's a gross sense of pleasure that comes from having something to despise and put down. For gamers, it's the hordes of people trying to bait each other out of comfort zones with personal attacks about each other's mothers and sexual orientations (the polite way of saying yo' momma jokes and fag comments).

We may, and do, disagree with those statements, argue endlessly about their real world repercussions, and write up lengthy forum posts about the nature of gaming as an inclusive place for everyone, but the pleasure of debate would be nonexistent without those kids on Xbox Live. And best of all, sometimes it's just funny to spectate and listen in on a game. Anonymity breeds amazing creativity among insults.

8 Comments

james said:

The controller? Are you kidding me?!?! That is the one thing I HATE about the 360! The d-pad is completely unusable (have you tried playing a 2D game with it?). The plastic feels cheap (as opposed to the shiny-smooth style of both the PS3 and Wii controllers. The hideous jellybean buttons look like....jelly beans. I also hate how rounded and mushy they are. Pushing those buttons doesn't feel nearly as good as it should.

And how about those clicky RB and LB buttons? The horror!

And the "Microsoft Gray" analog sticks--they lack the style of Sony's dark rubber and the functionality of Nintendo's defiantly unstylish octagonal design.

Seriously, I've spent hours of my life contemplating the horrors of the 360 controller. As for RT and LT? That part I won't criticize ;)

james said:

The controller? Are you kidding me?!?! That is the one thing I HATE about the 360! The d-pad is completely unusable (have you tried playing a 2D game with it?). The plastic feels cheap (as opposed to the shiny-smooth style of both the PS3 and Wii controllers. The hideous jellybean buttons look like....jelly beans. I also hate how rounded and mushy they are. Pushing those buttons doesn't feel nearly as good as it should.

And how about those clicky RB and LB buttons? The horror!

And the "Microsoft Gray" analog sticks--they lack the style of Sony's dark rubber and the functionality of Nintendo's defiantly unstylish octagonal design.

Seriously, I've spent hours of my life contemplating the horrors of the 360 controller. As for RT and LT? That part I won't criticize ;)

Nexus said:

I love my 360. I have all the consoles and my 360 is the one that sees the most use by far. I even use it to watch my DVDs.
Got a games library for it that nearly rivals my PS2 one (and that one is massive).

And I love the controller as well. The shape of it handles far better than the tiny clunky playstation one. And I use a cable, so I don't have that battery problem.
Really don't get james' comments on it though. None of it seems to actually apply to the 360 controller.

I have gotten the red ring of death 2-3 times, but each time it was handled in a speedy and professional way.

Shin Gallon said:

The 360 is a very strange beast for me, because I love mine despite not really playing much on it anymore.
I have play-and-charge kits for my 360 controllers (honestly, who doesn't?), and that transforming d-pad on my sleek silver controller makes me wish I could play every console game with it (seriously, I'd kill to be able to use it on my PS3). It's far and away the best controller of the last 10 years (not the best ever, that remains the Sega Saturn controller, now and for all time).
I've got less than zero interest in Kinect, just as I have no interest in Move or Wii games that won't let me choose Classic or Gamecube controllers, so that's not really a draw for me.
What keeps me from selling my 360 is the great selection of exclusive stuff they have on the XBLA store. Guardian Heroes being a recent addition that I love, but there are plenty of others.
The only thing in the write-up I have to completely disagree with is the Live community. I don't think I've ever had an enjoyable experience playing a console game online with anyone but people on my friend's list, on either PS3 or 360 (online? On Wii? HAHAHAHAno). I made the mistake of trying Halo 3 online once (this was before I gave up on ever enjoying playing a FPS without mouse/keyboard), and I'll never make that mistake again. I keep a Gold account right now because Netflix on the PS3 has been spotty as of late, and Guardian Heroes with one of my friends, but other than that I really fail to see why Live gets the kind of praise it does. To me, it's still a pale, pale imitation of Steam.
Granted, if I HAD to only have 1 console it'd be the PS3 (sorry, I could never give up Ratchet and Clank or Sly Cooper games for anything), but thankfully I don't have to. So even though I spend the majority of my gaming on the PC, and most of my console time on the PS3, I still have a soft spot for the first console I ever played a game in HD on.

Branovices said:

I hated those little kids on Live so much I've never played a multiplayer game with voice chat enabled (or I just turn speakers off).

Those filth-mouthed, aggressively ignorant, empty-headed little bastards have done more to turn me off online multiplayer than anything else.

Rosa said:

I think the 360 controller is probably wonderful ... for a man. I'm a tiny little girl with tiny little hands -- seriously, size 2 ring. Holding that massive thing and managing to press all the buttons at once is just horrible. It ruins the entire system for me. I use the PS3 whenever possible for this reason, despite liking the 360's connectivity options a lot better :(

Also the DPad actually does not work. The controller is designed for FPSes, and it's amazing for them, but mostly anything else doesn't adapt well to the control scheme.

tropicofanatic said:

I agree with James as far as the d pad is concerned on the 360. I bought one of the xbox 360 controllers for my pc, and it is impossible to play games on the d pad. I bought all of the sega classics on steam, and it's easier for me to play on the keyboard. I miss the Sega Genesis controllers.

Shin Gallon said:

@ tropicofanatic
I miss the Sega Saturn controllers. Best d-pad ever created, ever. Thankfully I have 2 of the PS2 versions they released in Japan, and a good adapter to use them on PS3 or PC.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Recent Comments

Shin Gallon on Don't Worry, We Love the 360 Too: @ tropicofanatic I miss the Sega Saturn controllers. Best d-pad ever created, ever. Thankfully I have 2 of the PS2...

tropicofanatic on Don't Worry, We Love the 360 Too: I agree with James as far as the d pad is concerned on the 360. I bought one of the...

Rosa on Don't Worry, We Love the 360 Too: I think the 360 controller is probably wonderful ... for a man. I'm a tiny little girl with tiny little...

Branovices on Don't Worry, We Love the 360 Too: I hated those little kids on Live so much I've never played a multiplayer game with voice chat enabled (or...

Shin Gallon on Don't Worry, We Love the 360 Too: The 360 is a very strange beast for me, because I love mine despite not really playing much on it...

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