So Christmas is fast approaching and for some of us, it’s a dreaded time when members of the family all come together, open their presents and then get a bit bored because it’s tradition. Well, if you want to change that trend, here are some ideas of what you can get for the whole family to play if you happen to bring along your Xbox 360 or are getting one from Santa.
In a move that blatantly rips off Sony’s ideas, Microsoft have released three Xbox 360 party games in time for Christmas to support their new philosophy to target casual gamers as well as the hardcore.
They’ve released a karaoke game called Lips, a new version of Buzz! Quiz TV-style quiz game called Scene It? Box Office Smash! and an PlayStation 3 Eye style game which uses the Xbox Vision camera called You’re in the Movies. Ok, so they may have many similarities to PS2 and PS3 games but if you only have an Xbox that’s no bad thing.
So let’s start with Scene It? Box Office Smash. This latest version is basically a movie quiz that shows you film clips and then asks you multiple choice questions about them. Up to four players can enjoy the game at once but of course, if you have a larger family round for Christmas, you can play in teams. The controllers are wireless and as sturdy as you’d expect and there’s a fair mix of movie genres so everyone should be able to at least get something right. Unfortunately there’s not a massive amount of questions so don’t break this from its box before the big day if you don’t want to have your fun spoilt be repeat questions.
If singing round the telly after you’ve had a few sherries is more your thing, then Lips could be what you want to bust out once everyone’s digested their Christmas pudding. Boasting a track list of 40 songs, it’s basically a karaoke machine in a box. There’s not much here for solo players so once again, this is ideal for parties. The wireless microphones put Sony’s USB ones to shame and they even light up and have motion sensors for use in the game. Each track has the original music video and lyrics to sing along to and there’s more content on the way via Xbox Live. You can even import your own music from your iPod but be warned, you won’t have the words on screen so you’d better know those words or you’ll just have to hum along.
Finally there’s You’re in the Movies. It’s basically a series of mini games bundled with the Xbox Vision camera, where you act out scenes into the camera and then they’re compiled into a little movie at the end. Horror, romance and action are all there but, although this may sound fun, it’s actually not. It takes a fair while to make all the scenes for your movie, and the bits at the end are a bit disappointing after all your hard work. It’s also tricky to get the lighting right as the software ‘keys’ out the background to fit you into the scene. Once again, it’s probably a bit of fun to try out on Christmas day but it’ll probably end up on eBay come boxing day.
So, there’s some ideas to make your holiday a little more fun this year if you own an Xbox. Next week I’ll be taking a look at some of the party games available to you if you own a PS3.