To the Readers…

First off, Welcome to! Today is a big day for us at Advanced Media Network. marks the first expansion in our brand new network. What once started at now has evolved into a growing full fledged entertainment network. We are very excited to start coverage on Microsoft’s Xbox, a system that houses some amazing specs, a great online service and some top notch games!

So what can you expect from Xbox How about news? We will deliver to you THE MOST UP TO DATE news on the net for all things Xbox. Reviews and Previews your thing? We have them! Some of the most well written reviews on the net will help you steer clear of bad purchases, as long as you check XA first. We will also be delivering hands on impressions from early builds of titles. For example, this upcoming week we will be meeting up with THQ, so you can expect some hands on impressions of Full Spectrum Warrior coming soon; as well as a slew of other titles!

Are you an opinionated gamer? Well so are we. We will tackle the most controversial gaming issues in our editorial section that is sure to stir up debate. One of my favorite things to read is interviews and XA has them! We will be interviewing some of the industries top publishers on all the latest hot titles. How about the Xbox community? It’s what we are all about here at XA. With our set up you will be able to post your reviews, feed the hype for upcoming games by voting in our most wanted section and talk with other gamers in our brand new forums. On top of all this we are all set to rock E3!

We are very happy you made your way over to today and we hope you check back daily as we grow and deliver you the latest on everything Xbox related. Welcome to Xbox Advanced: the most advanced coverage on all things Xbox!

Sean O’Neill
Advanced Media Network CO-Owner

Hey there readers, this is Fernando Bueno, your resident Editorials Managing Editor/Supervisor, Team Leader, whatever. My good friend Dre (you’ll meet him in a bit) and I will be spending a lot of time with the writers here at Xbox Advanced making sure that we bring you the absolute best in Xbox gaming. I just thought it would be nice of us to introduce ourselves and offer you a little view into who we are, what we will be doing and all that good stuff.

Some of you might be familiar with, if so, you might recognize me as one of the writers for that site. I will pretty much be doing here what I did there; play games and give you the scoop. In all honesty, we are all the same. I am just another gamer lucky enough to have an opportunity to share my thoughts on what we all do… game.

For those of you who care, I am a recent graduate of UC Davis in Northern California (though I grew up in SoCal. San Diego, baby!). I got my B.A. in English and Art History, so you can see why I am drawn to games. In my humble opinion games are like films in that they are the ultimate collaboration of artists both visual and literary. Well, at least that’s what I tell most people when they ask why I have so many damned video games. In all honesty the truth is most likely the reverse. I probably ended up studying English and Art because I grew up with a healthy diet of Marios and Sonics. If you take into consideration that I’ve been playing video games since I got my first Coleco Vision, it might not be hard to discern that the gripping story line behind Pong, coupled with the revolutionary graphics of the Super Mario Bros. games that followed on the NES, must have been the catalyst to my gaming addiction.

Ever since then my gaming tastes have undergone many changes. For years after Mario I knew of nothing other than the platformer. Once Street Fighter hit, all I wanted to do was beat the crap out of the sucker who had the audacity to drop that quarter into the slot next to me. Now? Now I have a healthy love for the FPS (thank the gods for Halo) and Action Adventure genres. Don’t get me wrong I’m not some Xbox fanboy. My Xbox sits happily next to my treasured SNES collection (among other gaming interests which I will not mention here), but the majority of my games currently consist of the above mentioned. Some of you might have died at my hands in Soldier of Fortune 2 online. Some of you might have taught me a lesson on Rainbow 6, but I’m sure all of you share the same interest in Microsoft’s magical machine. Why else would you be here?

All in all, I can only tell you that I plan on telling you like it is. No bias, no preferential treatment, no knob polishing. With that said, let me introduce you to my good friend and partner in crime, Dre, while I sit here patiently twiddling my thumbs waiting for Halo 2. Good bye and happy reading.

Good morning/afternoon/evening/night (Whatever time of day it might be as you’re reading this). First off, thanks for taking a gander at our new home. Secondly, let me introduce myself. My name’s André “Dré” Fredrick, and I’ll be heading up the review/preview team. To tell you a little about myself, I’m a family man, with a lovely and beautiful wife, and two children whom happen to be my two greatest achievements.

I’m also an avid gamer (and with that statement you’ve discovered that I am also master of the obvious). Growing up I spent a large portion of my life living abroad in places like Yemen and Morocco. While living in Morocco I met a Japanese kid named Yujin who just happened to have a Nintendo and a copy of the original Ninja Gaiden. I’d never seen anything like it. That was my first real exposure to gaming.

Since then I’ve owned pretty much every console known to man…well, not so much, actually. I’ve never owned a PS2 (cries of “Fanboy” erupt from the bleachers). I’ve never owned a Jaguar. I tell you what; let’s just talk about what I have owned starting with the NES and working our way up. From the NES I moved to the Turbo Graphics 16, then to a Sega Genesis, and then to an SNES. After a long relationship with that particular system, I came by an N64 and later a PSX. When the Dreamcast dropped its price I jumped on that, and then, in a fit of bitterness over watching my beloved Dreamcast go the way of the DoDo, while Sony stood there, bloody club in hand, I vowed that I would await the launch of the Xbox. It was a grueling time of self-doubt, but I prevailed. And that pretty much brings us to now.

As for my writing style, some might consider me long-winded, or even self-impressed. I’ll just let you know that I’m simply passionate about what I do. You see, I’m an English Major, which means I have devoted a great portion of my life to learning how to write. I would say that, after writing, gaming is my favorite hobby. With that said, you can understand how much I relish the opportunity to combine the two things that I love best. This passion carries over into my work. I’d like to think that I write reviews worth reading; reviews that are well crafted bits of prose that pay homage to the game developers who bring so much enjoyment into my life. Oh, here I go again. At any rate, I write for you, my audience, as well as for myself. But ultimately, particularly in terms of the great games out there, I write as a way of saying thank you.

Hey all! My name is Sascha Lichtenstein, but everyone I know has given up trying to remember, or even pronounce, my last name within days of meeting me, and I certainly don’t expect you folks to act any differently in that regard. I’m a 20 year old Canadian with a unique sense of humor and a massive passion for gaming. It’s a passion that started at an early age and has only grown as I’ve become more and more aware of the different facets of the medium, and of the industry behind it.

I began actively gaming at the age of four on the original Nintendo Entertainment System (and at what point did everyone start referring to them as ‘consoles’ instead of ‘systems’?). I would not receive another videogame-related good on behalf of my parents for next 16 years of my life, since my mother still considers bringing the NES into her house as the single biggest mistake of her parenting career (her words, not mine). From that point on, every dollar that went toward this new obsession came out of my own shallow pockets. Every cent that went toward one of those $80 cartridges had to reap dividends in gameplay that I would enjoy for a long time – I could quite literally not afford to be unsatisfied with a game purchase. As a result, I became keenly aware of my preferences in terms of genre and gameplay, as well a harsh judge of game quality in general.

The first game I ever played was a platformer, and perhaps its thanks in part to nostalgia that the genre remains my favorite to this day. As games have become more complex, it is the finer details of games in this genre that become important, and determine the quality of the gameplay experience. The timing of the double jump, the level design, and the personality exuded by the characters that inhabit the world and of the world itself. It is these smaller details that separate fantastic games such as Mario 64, Jak II, for example, from mediocre entries in the genre. Action/Adventure has always held a place in my heart as well, no doubt in part due to the fact that my top two favorite games of all time – Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – are of the genre. It’s also one of the most flexible genres out there, with game mechanics ranging from the straight-forward ‘kill-everything-that-moves’ gameplay found in games such as Ninja Gaiden, to the free-roaming nature of games in the Grand Theft Auto vein. Variety is the spice of life!

I appreciate and respect the fact that gamers, myself included, buy new consoles each generation for a reason – to reap the benefits that new technology brings to these areas. That being said, gameplay/control means more to me than all of the other aspects of the game put together. I don’t discount the importance of great graphics or sound for adding to the immersion of a game, but I can watch a great looking and fantastic sounding movie if I want to. What makes a video game a unique experience is the interaction the player has with what occurs onscreen – if that interaction isn’t enjoyable, then I may as well not interact and just kick back and watch Die Hard for the 4 trillionth time.

I feel that games are more than just a means for having fun, or in the very least, they have the potential to be. I feel they can be used for the presentation of ideas much in the way cinema is used today. However, cinema is still used for a good old-fashioned good time as well, and at the end of the day games are still a ****-load of fun. I hope that my reviews will help you spend your money wisely, and get you the most fun for your hard-earned cash. Who is next?

My name is Brett Jones, and I join the Xbox Advanced staff as a holdover from our formative years as FunXbox. I began working for FXB as a news editor back in 2002 and eventually moved into the writing department, working as the senior editor for the site, hacking to pieces the submissions we’d get from our writing staff, lamenting the folks I’d have to put up with on a never-ending basis. Every once in a while, I even found an opportunity to write a review of my own.

As you (hopefully) can tell, I don’t take myself too seriously. I do, however, take my craft seriously. In this instance, my craft just so happens to be expressing my opinions on games and the industry from which they spawn. However, I don’t limit myself to video games or writing. I am a big fan of sports. When I’m not watching football or baseball (or playing games) I can usually be found in the gym, as I am passionate about fitness. Until May 2005, all these things are superceded by my ongoing college education as I work on my degree in Business Information Systems.

More on the topic of this site, I began gaming as far back as 1985. My father managed an arcade, and subsequently we had in our home several pinball machines, as well as a coin-op Missle Command machine. From what I’m told, I would play Missle Command like it was the greatest thing in the world (and to a two year old in the 80’s, it probably was). As far as my first coherent gaming, I was first allowed to play NES when I turned six, prior to which my father forbid me from playing until that time (oh, the hypocrisy). As you can understand, I’ve been making up for lost time ever since. To date, I’ve owned every Nintendo console not named “Virtual Boy”, the original Playstation, as well as the final two consoles from Sega (Saturn and Dreamcast). I own all three consoles from the current generation, and while I’ve found very few games on either Playstation 2 or Gamecube that I’ve felt are worth my time, I have purchased more games for my Xbox than any previous console I’ve owned. I also own Crescendo, the official Xbox Live clan of Xbox Advanced (formerly FunXbox).

As far as my writing is concerned, I value truth above all else. I express my unadulterated opinion with each piece I write, regardless of the hype that may accompany a particular game. This tends to lead to some conservative scores as far as my reviews go, but my hope is that you (the reader) take the scores I give and the words I write for what they are worth and use them to develop your own opinion on the subject matter. I’m just one (very opinionated) man who happens to have a platform, but we’re all consumers who need to make our own decision. If I can help direct you toward what you ultimately deem the “correct” decision, then I consider it a job well done. I thank you for keeping that in mind as you read all of my work both past and present, and hopefully well into the future.

Hi, this is Kenny Burgess. I will be focusing on getting you all the media everyone loves for Xbox games as soon as possible. It’s my goal to make sure the videos and screenshots are top notch and you don’t have to watch sucky people play in the videos, like many other gaming sites.

I have loved videogames ever since I first set my eyes on my cousin’s NES. I’ve been hooked since then. SNES was an amazing upgrade, but Playstation is what brought 3d gaming into play and got me addicted all over again. In the current generation I favored GameCube at first, but the past couple years have been great on all systems (although I’d say GC the least) so it’s impossible to pick a clear cut winner. Heck, they’re all winners.
I started working in the videogame industry about 2 years ago for GameCube Advance as Review/Preview Team Leader. This is where I got my feet wet as to what was expected from a gaming site and an Editor. After about 6-7 months I got an offer from Jonathan Coley to help him start I was the owner of NI, and enjoyed it very much. I was lucky enough to nab a GC NR Reader (GC dev kit to play beta’s), and who wouldn’t love playing games before anyone else gets to? But after a year or so, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Recently Kenny Cauley told me he needed some help with the GCA review crew, as well as getting exclusive media. I have helped him out for about a month before transferring over to Xbox Advanced (where I belong).

I have no bias towards any system. I’m a gamer, as long as its fun, I’m there. But I also love technology. I love playing the best possible version of said game, and most of the time, that version is on our beloved Xbox.

What up peeps? This is Joe Sapp otherwise known as “bigdogJ” in the online community. I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself to kick things off right. I am a resident of Oklahoma and currently work in retail, though I am a licensed PC Technician (if anyone cares). I am 21 years old and my love for videogames stretches back from when I was the wee age of 4. My parents bought me an NES console and from that day forward I was a fan of videogames. For years Mario was the cornerstone of my video game collection. Then Zelda came along and sparked a deep interest in the immersing effects of videogames. When the SNES arrived I got into the RPG genre and to this day it remains my favorite genre by far. Many systems have come and gone in my day and many of them will have a special place in my heart, but none more-so than the SNES. It is, after all, the system that hooked me.

Since then I have had a deep passion for videogames and how they can draw you in making you forget where you are. I can honestly say I keep myself well entertained with a vast assortment of games across all three next generation systems currently out. Sometimes one of my consoles gets played more than the others and so forth but it shifts a lot. I am looking forward to writing for Xbox Advanced and about Xbox in general as it is a very powerful piece of hardware with some amazing games. I hope my work helps you all stay in the gaming loop. Anyhow, enough of my rambling, onto the gaming; everyone get cracking and start playing. _____________________________________

Hi guys I am Sean O’Neill, aside from being co-owner of Advanced Media Inc. and PR boyscout I will also be doing some writing for the site. I am very proud to have the crew from the former FunXbox joining us for the exciting new venture known as I come from a background of classic gaming, stemming from my NES, which I still play weekly. That carried me over to every other system that has hit the market since … yes including the Virtual Boy (lol). In terms of gaming media I started out on a Dreamcast site where I met this crazy kid named Ken Cauley. We then started to worked together to develop, our first site.

Over time GCA grew to an unprecedented status, and is known by many Nintendo fans as “the best source for all things Nintendo….” During our evolution from fan site to media outlet we were given the opportunity to see Xbox Live at work before it was launched; hand picked by Microsoft as one of only two non Xbox sites to attend the event. Since that time Ken and I have remained in contact with Microsoft and when we pitched the idea to expand to an Entertainment network we knew right away Xbox would be the first site we added to our growing community. But most of this was mentioned above in my letter so… more about me.

I am a 21 year old student at the Academy of Art, with one more year to go in the animation program. I am a huge comic and movie fan, while I am also an avid sports nut. At 6’4 I play a lot of basketball both on the court and in video game form. I like long walks on the beach and one day hope to own a pet monkey … that throws its own … oh yeah gotta’ act professional. This year’s E3 looks to be an exciting one and we will be there reporting LIVE so keep it here at In the meantime I look forward to seeing you all on our forms.

I think I saw a pattern emerging. Wow, it’s hard to believe that a single console (our treasured NES) can spawn a whole generation of gamers like that isn’t it? However, this is not a Nintendo site. Nor is it a site where you are forced to read endless pages and pages of meaningless musings and tangential rhetoric. No, this is a site where we discuss everything Xbox and YOU, our beloved reader, can speak his or her mind. So get to it. Thanks again for joining us; we hope you enjoy your stay,

– Fernando Bueno, Andre “Dre” Fredrick and the entire writing staff at Xbox Advanced