Monday, March 31, 2008

Xbox LIVE Arcade games to play

A couple of days ago, I started a list of PS2 games that are still worth playing, even in this era of "next-gen" gaming platforms.

kapital asked if I knew of any Xbox LIVE Arcade games that might be worth playing. They had some extra points left over after getting the downloadable Mass Effect module, "Bring Down the Sky" - great choice, btw - and wanted to know where they might spend those points.

Well, after taking a look at the games in my XBL Arcade library, I've found some patterns.

Of the games available from XBL I seem to prefer the puzzlers. I think it's because I can easily get into those games and don't need to play them for a long time, so if I've only got 15 minutes and want to get lost in a game these work great.

Of the true puzzlers, Bejeweled and Hexic are my favourites. They are similar games in that they provide you with a container and you have to rotate pieces in the container to make matches.

Zuma and Luxor are more arcade-style puzzlers. They present you with a row of balls, and you have to aim and shoot other balls into the chain to make sets of three. If the chain of balls advances into your "house" before you make them all disappear, you lose. Amazingly simple to play, amazingly compelling, too.

Of the shooter-type games, Geometry Wars and Rez HD (the same game I mentioned in the PS2 list, but ported for Xbox Live) are my favourites. Crystal Quest is similar to these, but rather than being a pure shooter, you have to pick up crystals while avoiding the enemy ships and mines. It's tricky.

A more recent game I've tried and quite liked is Omega Five, which is a traditional 2D arcade game in which you play a warrior with a big gun, shooting at things that come at you as you move across the screen.

And if you're older, and nostalgic for arcades of the past, you can always go for the old stand-bys: Galaga, Joust, Dig Dug, and Tron have all brought back memories for me.

Most of them good.

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kapital said...

Thanks for the list!

Invisible G. said...

Okay, so here's my dilemma. A year ago, a male friend and I were playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and he proceeded to tease my wimpy gaming skills. I swore vengeance, so when he went on an 8 month around-the-world trip I managed to score his PS2. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I only managed to play God of War, but nothing since then. Anyhoo, he's coming back soon and my skills are less than impressive. Is my only hope to play everyday, for 3 hours a day in order to kick his ass??? I need help! I never did answer your Invisibles question, I mostly identify with Ragged Robin of course.

Blaine Kyllo said...

Invisible G, the trick is, as you've already intuited, to practice, practice, practice.

The list of PS2 games that I posted will provide you with some fun practice experiences.

Games like those in the God of War and Prince of Persia series are good to teach your fingers more complicated button combinations and timing.

Katamari and Okami will help you figure out some of the more refined thumbstick manoeuvres.

But really, if you want to show off your m4d sk1llz, you need to hunker down and get some gaming done.

Invisible G. said...

I knew you were going to say that. Alright, let the practicing begin. Thanks for the list!