My Thoughts On My Xbox One!


After waiting for what seems like forever for K-Mart to deliver my Xbox One, and as you can tell by my Peggle 2 review they did. I am finally ready to give my impressions of the device.

Lets talk about the size of the device first.  It is much bigger than the Xbox 360.  I guess they are not taking any chances with it overheating, but once it is in with the rest of your AV electronics you don’t even notice it.  It is a black box surrounded by black boxes.  Plus you can now use the Xbox One as a Blu-Ray player, so that saves a little space.

The Kinect is also a little bigger and heavier, but they have put a lot more in it this time.  The nice thing about the bigger Kinect is that it actually works much better now.  It can see you and identify you better, and it tracks movement to a much higher degree.  Having the Kinect actually work is nice, compared to the hit or miss model that came with the 360.

The new controller is pretty much just a streamlined version of the 360 controller, and that is a good thing.  They made the analog sticks a little wider, the triggers rumble, and the D-Pad is finally usable for fighting games.  Some people like to rag on the bumper buttons because they don’t really press in.  They kind of just click a little, but after using them for awhile, I like them better because I can “bump” them easier when I am playing a game instead of having to press them in.

The biggest difference is the new interface.  If you have ever used a Windows 8 device, you will see the resemblance.  It has a bunch of square icons that you can press.  You can navigate the whole interface with your voice or with your hands via the Kinect.  On the 360 you only had certain areas that this worked.  The switching between apps and games is very fast, and it is fun to snap two things on the same screen every once and awhile.

The downside for me, is that all my apps and games end up in the same place, and it is kind of a mess to search through to find my stuff.  You can pin things to the start screen, but a little more organization would be nice.  Just like the 360, I am sure the interface will be tweaked a lot in the future.

People that hate the adds from the 360 should be happy, because apart from the game and apps stores and store fronts, they are gone.  It is just your stuff.  It is nice not to have even more adds in my life considering we are bombarded by them enough.

It is a good machine, and I am glad I have one.  If you get one under your tree this year or next, I am sure you will be too.  If you have any questions about the Xbox One let me know, and I will do my best to answer them.

Basking in the Warm Glow of Peggle 2!


There are not a lot of games my wife and I agree on, but Peggle was one of them, so when PopCap/EA released Peggle 2 for Xbox One yesterday it was a must purchase.  Peggle 2 is mostly just a prettier version of Peggle with different characters, but that is like saying “meh it is just tastier chocolate”.  Peggle, like cowbell, is something that you cannot have too much of.

For those of you that did not play Peggle, I would like to welcome you to the end of 2013, and ask what rock you have been hiding under for the last decade?  Peggle is an awesome mix of plinko and pin ball with a crazy cast of characters that give you special abilities to destroy all those orange pegs.  In Peggle 2 you do the same thing, but there are new characters, and each level has special optional extra challenges to add to the replayability.  Plus each character has their own set of trials that test your skills in doing crazy ball shots.  There are also character costumes to unlock.

Despite being a 2D puzzle game, they still updated the graphics quite a bit.  The special abilities have really cool particle effects, and the characters are much more animated on the side lines.  The backgrounds are much more intricate.  While this game is still about the fun gameplay, the new graphics do make the game more enjoyable.

Some people are complaining that there are only five characters, and six worlds to explore, but there are still 160 puzzles to play, which is much more than the original.  That is still a lot of bang for $12 bucks, and this game is impossible to play without a smile on your face.

One of the big reasons for the smile is the music.  In Peggle it was all about hearing the Ode to Joy play at the end of every level, but in Peggle 2 each character has its own Fever music, from Ode to Joy to the William Tell Overture, and they all sound great and make that last shot one of the best things to happen in all of video games.

The only downside about this game is that it ships without local multiplayer.  They just announced that it would be added in the next DLC, but its exclusion keeps Peggle 2 from being perfect.  It was one of the things my wife and I enjoyed most about the first game.

I like Peggle 2 quite a bit, and if you have an Xbox One it is more than a worthy purchase.  For me it is a must own.  If you do not have an Xbox One, I am sure, much like Peggle, it will be on just about every platform known to man soon enough.