Holding Off For Fight Night 3

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A month and a half.

That's how long it has been since the last Xbox 360 title was released: Dead or Alive 4. Now while it was an impressive title, the single player mode was a nightmare to play, featuring the most frustrating AI I have ever experienced. At least playing on Xbox Live was a different story. But still, that was over a month and a half ago.

Since then it has been a dry spell for Xbox 360 gamers everywhere. Yes, before you mention it to me, I do know that Full Auto came out this week. But after playing the demo which I downloaded from the Xbox Live Marketplace, the formulaic gameplay, combined with an inconsistent graphic engine, did not pique my interest.

The next big 360 release will be Fight Night Round 3, and again thanks to the Xbox Live Marketplace, I was able to download a four round demo. Now I haven't played an EA Fight Night title recently, and that includes their former Knockout Kings series, but what I saw in Round 3 was amazing.

The likenesses of both Roy Smith Jr. and Bernard Hopkins were jaw-dropping, but not as impressive as when a critical blow is given. The camera zooms in on the punched face, as it distorts realistically while blood flies out of his mouth. All those trailers that begin with the words "actual game footage" are right on the money. I can only imagine how good the final product would come out.

But still, that is a week away. What about now? In the end, I started becoming addicted to the Xbox Live Marketplace for more than just demos and trailers. I have ended up purchasing games for the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA), including Gauntlet, Smash TV, Bejeweled 2, and Marble Blast Ultra. And that doesn't even include Hexic HD which came packed with my Premium Xbox 360. Sure having to pay for Microsoft Points (at $12.50 for 1000 points) can hurt my wallet at times, but being able to download games instead of waiting for the local EB to get their latest shipment helps out.

But lately there has been one game on XBLA that I have been playing a lot of. It has received a lot more attention since my girlfriend was lucky enough to buy her own X360. In the past we used to play pool all the time via Yahoo Messenger, but since we both downloaded Bankshot Billiards 2, it has taken over both of our lives.

The only catch that BB2 has is its high cost. Clocking in at 1,250 Microsoft Points, that comes out to about $15. But in the end, it is about the same price as PC shareware titles of the past. While I didn't purchase many shareware titles (save the obvious ones like DOOM,) if Bankshot Billiards 2 was a PC shareware title, I would easily have made a purchase of it.

Now then, I might have to go download Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. After all, the demo version in Project Gotham Racing 3 was quite impressive.

CURRENTLY PLAYING: Bankshot Billiards 2 (XBLA)

WAITING FOR: Fight Night Round 3 (X360), Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (X360)

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