In any gaming circle of friends, there’s always a story that usually starts with “You’ll never believe this, but….” (Insert impossible claim here) and ends with “you should have seen it.” This kind of scenario made its way to forums, with the fitting response of “pics or it didn’t happen” but back then we had a more refined term for disbelief. Bull S**t! Thankfully, the creation of the achievement system gave you a virtual badge of bragging rights and lent some validation to the wild tales we’d hear. No matter how hard or difficult they may be, one thing is for certain, it gave games a longer life span and had gamers doing things they may not of ever considered. Would I of ever carried Gnome Chompski through Half Life 2: Ep 2 for the fun of it. Maybe, just to say I could, but with achievements that 30G made it seem worth it. Right? (Achievement Unlocked: 0GS – Lying to Yourself)
~ Nick Grave
4. The Rise of DLC
Downloadable content has become a filthy word in the minds of gamers; worse than any swear. It was originally a great idea, as developers could continue to support their games with expansions and more additional content after release. It eventually got to the point where developers were deliberately not finishing their games, or even finishing their games, but also finishing downloadable content prior to the game’s initial release, which caused consumers to question the intent of “DLC.” The Xbox 360 was at the very core of this arising issue. The rampant demand for franchises like Call of Duty, Halo and Gears of War, all of which have dedicated, sizeable online player-bases, caused the developers to milk the games for content until the next game in the series would release. It could be argued that the explosion of online multiplayer on the Xbox 360 gave rise to the plague of DLC that we have today.
~ Jeremy Schepper
3. Xbox Live Arcade
Starting off as a convenient way to download Arcade hits like Smash TV and Contra, over the years XBLA grew into a place to find numerous indie exclusives. From 2D puzzle-platformers like Limbo and ‘Splosion Man, to more action focused titles like Shadow Complex and The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai. Gamers could find a little bit of everything at a fraction of the cost of retail games, but with just as much value. This program would eventually evolve into Games on Demand and help pave the way for ID@Xbox, but just as notably, it began an era of small scale digital gaming, long before it became the norm.
~ Nick Grave
2. Worthy Competitor
From the gargantuan sales, the phenomenal online multiplayer, the fantastic, varied library of games and more, the Xbox 360 dominated the sixth generation of consoles up until the end, when the Playstation 3 caught up, and by some reports, surpassed the Xbox 360; but it was too little, too late. The original Xbox had a comparably niche core group of fans next to the powerhouse Playstation 2, so when the next generation of consoles launched, Sony blundered with the Playstation 3 and Microsoft used that to cement themselves as a bona fide competitor to Sony in the console space.
~ Jeremy Schepper