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What Are Your Standout Xbox Memories?

MattGardner |  May. 21, 2013 at 11:14

It's time for a trip down memory lane, folks! As we prepare for this evening's event in Redmond, let's cast our minds back over the past few years.

Good, bad, thrilling, disappointing? What have been your favourite games? What things about the Xbox and Xbox 3360 excited you most back in the day? What have been the Xbox memories that stick most in your mind?

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JonLester  May. 21, 2013 at 11:57

I bought by first Xbox 360 (yes, I've had three - thanks awful build quality) with my first paycheck from an old job, and it became a staple in my shared house. In terms of memories, I still remember completing the first Gears Of War on insane difficulty with my housemate and agreeing to only use the lancer chainsaw on certain sections ("operation chainsaw!"), and spending countless hours enraptured by Oblivion.

Then Guitar Hero 2 and 3 came along, and rocking out with mates became the order of the day. Amazing.

I also owe a lot to Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank, which provided some of the most epic couch co-op I've ever played (and continue to play) - along with Rocket Riot.

The first few years of the Xbox 360 were absolutely amazing, and we got to play all manner of brand new and exciting games along with genre staples. Rainbow Six Vegas blew me away, for example, while the Halo games always gave me some excellent online multiplayer. XBLA came into its own, while the Indie Games scene became my home away from home on Xbox Live. Oh, those indie games. So much potential, frittered away by Microsoft's totally abysmal treatment.

Sadly, I feel that MS took their eyes off the ball in the latter years of this gen, and concentrated too much on timed exclusivity rather than securing first-party developers and exciting exclusives. Still, here's hoping for an emphatic showing tonight.

MattGardner  May. 21, 2013 at 12:53

Oh the glory days of Guitar Hero. How we loved thee!

It wouldn't be a trip don memory lane without swaddling a console in towels and desperately hoping that by forcing the thing to overheat we might encourage the melted bits and pieces to slip back into working order.

For me, the 360 was my first introduction to Halo. I'd go back and play the others (and love the first game), but Halo 3 was my entry point to the series. Never looked back after that.

I remember shedding a tear at Lost Odyssey, long nights spent playing Puzzle Quest. You're right, many of my favourite games came via XBLA (you've already mentioned two of them) such as Geometry Wars 2 and Castle Crashers and Trials, but then there was Summer of Arcade too, and gems such as Shadow Complex and Limbo.

And that controller. D-pad aside, it's practically perfect, and is a huge reason (along with solid reliability of Xbox LIVE) why the Xbox 360 has been my comfort console of choice this gen.

stevenjameshyde  May. 21, 2013 at 13:57

Left 4 Dead 2. I had gone to a friend's house for the weekend, celebrating his 'last night of freedom' before the birth of his first child. We had 4 Xboxes and 4 TVs in the same room. Rescuing the gnome from the carnival was an absolute riot - his wife laughed so much that she went into labour

Many other memories too - winning a Rock Band contest in full Slash fancy dress, 1000g'ing Dark Souls - but nothing quite tops that

MattGardner  May. 21, 2013 at 14:12

"winning a Rock Band contest in full Slash fancy dress"

Amazing :D

Crazy Jamie  May. 21, 2013 at 15:31

Now that I think about it most of my highlights relate to co-operative gaming, which is actually very reassuring. Even before Left 4 Dead, I have very fond memories of Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six Vegas, Halo 3 and Gears of War. Of course there were plenty of single player highlights as well, Bioshock probably being my favourite, but co-operative gaming always has that extra edge for me when it is done right.

I was also bitten by the Guitar Hero 2 bug, and poured a lot of time into that game. It's the first time I'd spent any notable amount of time playing a game that didn't use a traditional controller. Even the lightgun games of old were little more than novelties for me, whilst Guitar Hero 2 was something altogether more compelling.

I'll be the first to mention the introduction of Achievements. For me this marked the pulling of traditional arcade leaderboards into the modern world, and as a way of competing with friends and publically displaying milestones, as well as adding lifespan to a lot of games, it has become a system that I can't really imagine games not having now. I went through my own phase of achievement whoring, as many did, and whilst I don't religiously pursue them now, along with trophies they provide an optional way of getting more out of my games.

Finally, an honourable mention to Virtua Tennis 3, which is probably the game I spent the most time with on the Xbox 360. I like tennis games generally, but the online play for VT3 was absolutely spot on. No one else will mention it, so I thought I should.

Quietus  May. 21, 2013 at 15:40

The original Halo for me. It is probably the only game that has ever sold a machine to me. It was never topped for quality in the machine's entire life cycle.

For the 360, there are some gems on XBLA, such as Shadow Complex, but mostly it would be Borderlands.

MattGardner  May. 21, 2013 at 16:57

Just remembered the entire reason I bought an Xbox 360 in the first place: Mass Effect.

BioWare were making a new RPG. And, having busted through the Baldur's Gate and KOTOR series in the best marathon ever, I had to have it.

Virmire is and always will be one of my greatest Xbox memories.

Oh, and sh*tting my pants at Condemned.

Ilium  May. 21, 2013 at 17:05

Agree with Crazy James. The achievements ruined me for years. I can see the light now, but for a good four years or so I was obsessed with trying to 100% everything I had. I'm ashamed to say that I've bought **** games I didn't even really want just to be able to bump up my Gamerscore.

I'm so sorry.

Forza is probably my highlight of the 360. Never got on with GT, but loved Forza, especially F4. One of the best racing games ever made. Looking forward to whatever they announcce on that frot tonight. Hope it's Forza 5, wasn't too impressed with Horizon. Felt like they were trying to be a bit too trendy, and the world map was way too plain. Should have done Southern France and the Alps, not bloody Colorado!

Baron Domo  May. 21, 2013 at 19:46

Gaming wise it has to be original Halo but overall the most vivid memory is the red rings of death.

That feeling of disbelief and anger. 3 fricking times Microsoft.....

They better make build quality a priority on the next one.

JamminSlammin  May. 23, 2013 at 16:22

The only thing that stands out for me is that the day i bought my Xbox my sister commited suicide. I couldn't bring myself to look at the thing for ages. When i did finally go online meeting and talking to lots of people was like therapy without the face to face stress. I do believe that the good friends that i have made on Live really helped to pull me through the "dark days".

MattGardner  May. 23, 2013 at 16:46

Sorry to hear about your loss JS. Glad that you found something to help you through, and thanks for sharing that.

The communities that build up around games can be powerful, wonderful things. When I was researching the City of Heroes articles, spoke to a number of people -- such as those who'd suffered loss or injury or soldiers returning from war -- who'd found that the virtual communities and the friends they'd made through gaming really helped them.

I've found Xbox LIVE to be a powerful tool for reconnection too. A childhood friend I'd not really seen or spoken to in the best part of a decade added me on XBL. A few rounds of Halo later, and it was just like old times. Since then we've met up a few times still in touch to this day.

JamminSlammin  May. 23, 2013 at 17:12

Sorry to hear about your loss JS. Glad that you found something to help you through, and thanks for sharing that.

The communities that build up around games can be powerful, wonderful things. When I was researching the City of Heroes articles, spoke to a number of people -- such as those who'd suffered loss or injury or soldiers returning from war -- who'd found that the virtual communities and the friends they'd made through gaming really helped them.

Thanks Matt. Sometimes you just need someone to listen. It really did help me turn myself around.
On a lighter note as others have said whoring of the score!!
150k and counting!!

slimy31  May. 23, 2013 at 19:23

It has to be the Halo and Forza brands. I started on them with the original Xbox, and looked forward to the new ones. But still being a skinflint I waited until the arcade edition dropped to £99 before getting stuck in. Of course, by that time the first releases of each game had dropped to less than ten pounds, and I couldn't argue with that sort of bargain.

Xbox live was the other stand out memory, but for all the wrong reasons. My first experience was what I thought was a class E Forza race, and I soon realised that my class E car was not going to compete with the prototypes that filled the rest of the field. I never went back.

alababaju  May. 23, 2013 at 22:19

Winnning my first Champions League title in FIFA 12 career mode vs Barcelona in the Final. They are HARD! I play Legendary now, (I may have been playing World Class at that time). After trying to protect a 1-0 lead the painfully came back 2-1. My ~79th minute equaliser and my ~87th minute winner are my favourite Xbox 360 (didn't have an Xbox) moments!


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