The Avatar editor for the Xbox 360 comes nowhere near the intricacies of the Mii Channel, but with some effort you can create a ‘North American’ version of yourself.
I had more fun discovering a few of the easter eggs while in the editor:
- Press the Right Stick to make your Avatar burp.
- Use the Right Stick to pull your Avatar’s head back then quickly flick it forward; your Avatar will ‘bump its head against the screen’.
Your Avatar will be momentarily dazed after the last action, allowing you to take a rather confused Gamerpic mugshot.
As for the rest of the NXE: it is very pretty and the open atmosphere it evokes is rather pleasant. Sadly, the crucial menus are in essence the same as in the old Blades interface. Also, getting access to your Game Library is buried too deep in my opinion. Especially when trying to play a game that’s not in your Recent Games list.
It also seems riddled with minor inconsistencies. The Triggers and Bumpers seem to switch function at random; use Right Trigger in the top menu and you will be zapped to the Spotlight menu, while the Bumpers are used to Page Up and Down through lists. However, when in certain detail menus (like your Game Library), the Triggers take over the Page Up and Down function.
Sadly, that gives the NXE a slightly ‘Vista-ish’ taste. Like the operating system, you are better off learning controls for individual menus, rather than learning an all encompassing set. Being able to access menus from multiple spots also wreaks havoc on your mind-map of the interface.
If Microsoft can fix those niggles and give a better sense of where you are in the menu at any given time, NXE can become an even stronger addition to the 360 experience.