Unlike other companies, Microsoft didn't have a problem giving us a few hours to visit their booth and check out several of their titles,including Fable II, Lips, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Halo Wars, and more. Although Gears of War 2 wasn't playable, they had many other goodies we checked out and enjoyed.
First off, we sat down with Rare producers to take a look at Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, which has been in development for the last three years. The game is perfect for the Xbox 360, and it looks very sharp and detailed. The colorful and vibrant look doesn't make this game just for kids. In fact, we found this one to be one of the most exciting titles of E3 2008. In Nuts & Bolts your task will be to create original and crazy vehicles that will help you pass different challenges. There are many ways to get through a challenge, but timing and originality is the goal. Leaderboards and replay videos will help players understand the never-ending possibilities of the game. The game engine sports some incredible physics, easy-to-pick-up controls, and exciting visuals. All in all, it looks like it will be a very successful title!
The new Xbox 360 dashboard was one of Microsoft's strong points at this year's E3. Therefore, we had to check it out and see if it'll be the right thing for us gamers. The new dashboard somewhat resembles Windows Vista's cascade view and seems quite easy to navigate. Different channels give you access to your movies, pictures, music, installed games, etc. It also has some new sections like Spotlight and Primetime, which contain new features like live contest everyone can participate in. Gamers will not only have their traditional GamerCard and stats, but also a customizable avatar they can take to parties with other online friends to play games, watch movies, etc. It seems like the integration of the community was meant to happen, as the new Xbox Live experience has quite a few things in common with SONY home and Nintendo's Mii channels. However, the Netflix addition may make this one a winner. Stay tuned, as we'll soon have a feature about the new Xbox 360 interface.
After the Xbox Live presentation, we tried "You're in the Movies." This game, developed by Codemasters, will be available before the holidays, hoping to make the perfect Christmas gift for friends and families. It's a party game where players are thrown into a few short mini-games. The Xbox Live Vision camera will record and detect the players' motions. At the end of the mini-game session, a funny movie will be made out of it. Four players will be able to participate in the mini-games at the same time, and the title will include a large amount of movies and games to keep the gameplay fresh. The Director's mode will also let you edit the game scenes before creating the final movie. That was fun!!!