Those who faithfully follow the writings contained in this digital tome will notice that, under contributors, two monikers appear. Up until now, you have the faithful writings of Nathanial. He has recently asked that I start contributing to his creation, and contribute I shall. However, I felt that before writing something of cohesive value, a brief paragraph introducing myself was in order. So greetings and salutations. My name is Matthew, and I will also be writing for you.
The popular topic of the moment is the NXE. I, for one, am not sure how I feel about this change so far. This is perhaps because like others, I do not believe I've taken full advantage of the abilities that it provides. Why, just today, I finally buckled down and purchased a Premium Theme (the Halo Wars theme, as I eagerly anticipate the arrival of this RTS experience). However, I have not deleted all of my 0 Achievement Score games, I have not participated in a party, and I have not installed any of my games to my hard drive. At most, I have created an avatar and allowed him to belch and spin his head around for a bit and, of course, taken full advantage of the Netflix addition. All this goes to show that I am not using this to the full potential even remotely.
However, I think that the NXE is a great thing. I love my avatar and I love looking at my friend's avatars. I currently have two costumes for him, one that looks like me and one that, according to Nate, looks nothing like anything I would ever wear (perhaps it was the monocle). I am really excited to put my avatar into games, and even gave it a shot in Kingdom For Keflings (which I did not care for). It's weird, but for some reason I just like looking at the menus now too. I'll scroll through all the menus looking at nothing in particular. It is possible that in this case I am merely like a cat being fascinated at the shiny prize in front of my eyes, but the NXE is incredibly visually appealing. There will always be lazy people like me who accept the changes put forth and just smile and nod at the little things, but it is important to note that Microsoft has even managed to capture my attention. I could have lived without the update, sure, but now that it's here, I definitely turn my XBOX on more often.
The other big thing for me is Netflix. Since getting Netflix on my XBOX, I have watched 10 movies and the entire fourth season of The Office. I have complaints about the quality of the video, but honestly, I feel that if you can push past the first five minutes of a film, your eyes will begin to adjust appropriately and it will no longer be an issue. The only movie I had difficulty watching was Paris, Je T'aime because the subtitles were a bit hard to read. At times it was because the subtitles were in white and against a bright background, but at other times it was simply because of the quality of the video. I wish this was something that would be corrected because I missed full lines of dialogue, but I doubt this will be fixed, and I am now apprehensive to watch foreign films because of this. However, I do have a normal Netflix account, so I could always just get a DVD if it bothered me that much. If I can offer some recommendations, however, I would say that it would be in everyone's best interest to take a look at the films Confessions Of A Superhero, Gone Baby Gone, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and Being There. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to watch these movies and many more, so kudos to Microsoft and Netflix on a great idea for a partnership.
The only major complaint I have as of the moment is that, for whatever reason, I can no longer play Fable II easily. It constantly freezes and crashes. I am not sure if this is due to the NXE or not (as I can not see how the issue could correlate), but it is slightly aggravating as I have not yet beaten the game and would like to see one of the endings.
That just about wraps up my limited thoughts on the NXE. I feel that when I write, I will mostly contribute reviews of games. With that thought in mind, Penny Arcade Episode 2 calls to me to play it. I will, however, return at a later date to write my thoughts on Fallout 3, which I spent a total of 53 and a half hours playing and absolutely adoring. If I could date a video game, that game would be Fallout 3, and I will explain why soon.