October 1, 2009

Microsoft's X09

On September 29th, 2009, Xbox held their annual showcase of the new and upcoming games being released this fall. On display this year was a wide variety of games including: Tony Hawk: RIDE, Left 4 Dead 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Halo 3: ODST, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction™, The Beatles: Rock Band, DJ Hero, South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!, Lips Number One Hits and Modern Warfare 2.

The first game we had the chance to try out was Forza Motorsport 3. Racing through the new Amalfi Coast circuit in a realistic style racing seat with the steering wheel and pedals which really brought the game to the next level for us. However, for the average home gamer rest assured the game was just as impressive on its own. The new circuit design was so beautiful and fun to drive it almost didn’t matter that I ended up in last place (watch a clip of the experience below). Along with the addition of the new track design Forza Motorsport 3 will also feature over 400 cars to drive, including 29 Ferrari's. The game is available in Canada October 27, 2009.

Next on our must see list was the new Tony Hawk: Ride. What made this game such a focus of interest was the new skateboard controller. The controller consists of a skateboard deck with the addition of four motion sensors on each side of the board. This game allows you to take your skateboarding virtual through sixlocations across the world where you can skate through courses from start to finish or try your hand at the half pipe. There are also over 100 skateboard tricks which you can learn and perfect in each. The board feels comfortable to stand on and requires a good sense of balance for those of us who aren’t seasoned skaters. To perform tricks you need to either rotate, tilt from side to side, lift it and at times use a combination of these and hitting a sensor button. Check out some half-pipe footage from X09 below. The board has been tested to hold up to 300 lbs and learned the hard way, for optimal performance, socks or flexible footwear is a must. This game is scheduled to be released on November 17, 2009 in North America.

Due out at the end of October is the new DJ Hero from the creators of Guitar Hero. As the name might suggest this game allows you to try your hand at mixing tracks on your very own DJ turntable. Unlike Guitar Hero, DJ Hero offers a wide variety of musical genres available through the more than 100 tracks included. With the greater variety in genres this game is set up to appeal to a broader audience. For those who have a Guitar Hero Guitar Controller you might be happy to know that you can use this controller to play co-op with the DJ. This title was the one that had the most demand, and unfortunately we didn't get a hands on experience of the title, but we can say with certainty that this game looks really freaking cool. Be sure to check out the set list to get a feel of what you will be able to play when this title is released.

Halo 3: ODST was released in Canada on September 22, 2009 and is a must have title for any fan of this franchise. Continuing on with the traditional gameplay style of the previous Halo titles, this game differs as it takes place in the destroyed city of New Mombasa and instead of taking charge as Master Chief you play the part of an "Orbital Drop Shock Troopers" or ODST. Play through campaign mode or take a hand in firefight an all out alien shoot out. This game is sure to keep you entertained with its new story line, multiplayer maps and firefight gaming option. Check us out later next week when we give an in depth review of Halo 3: ODST.

Be sure to check out Part Two of our visit to X09 for some more coverage of the must have titles for this fall gaming season.

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