We’ve seen a lot this Wednesday with titles like Orcs Must Die! and NBA Jam: On Fire Edition but what’s coming next week? Fear not, as Major …
After a week off due to scheduling crazyness we’re back, although it’s just myself and Todd. We hit some of the news from the last couple of weeks before the usual what we’ve been playing. Including the few XBLA related things I played during my time at Eurogamer Expo.
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It’s no secret that Nintendo isn’t in the best shape right now. After finding great success with the Nintendo DS, the Wii launched and got the masses talking about Nintendo once again. Then something happened. The Wii’s sales plummeted, the Nintendo 3DS launched poorly, and investors are questioning Nintendo’s direction with their next console, the Wii-U. Nintendo is desperately trying to gain back momentum. What happened to Nintendo’s mojo? Well, Microsoft, the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade all have something to do with it.
To truly understand what’s at play here, we have to first consider why Nintendo has historically been a successful company. Nintendo has always excelled at making games that appeal to the masses. Nintendo makes games that anyone can pick up and play. Mario has been a part of our living room since 1983 because Mario games have always been easily approachable for anyone who wants to sit down and play. Whether it’s you, your little sister, your best buddy or your dead beat uncle, Nintendo makes products for everyone. When Nintendo is succeeding, it has always been the case. So why are the tables turning?
While Xbox Live Arcade hosts numerous classics both untouched and unaltered, it also hosts modern renditions of the same titles with contemporary additions. But XBLA is becoming known for games that take the mechanics of classic titles and makes them better. It’s a concept that draws a line in the sand, pitting friend against friend, brother against brother. But in the end there’s a reason why you often see the word enhanced in regards to XBLA titles: they’re simply better than the classics. I chose three classic games to go toe-to-toe with three modern XBLA games. Each defines their genre relative to when they were released.
Shadow Complex was developed by Chair Entertainment and Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It retails for 1200 MSP and was released August 19, 2009.
Modern games seem to always wear a little bit of inspiration from the classic days. Sonic had inspiration from Mario in the platforming realm while Gears of War got some from Resident Evil 4 in the shooter realm. Chair Entertainment’s Shadow Complex borrows a lot from classic Metroid and Castlevania games and seems to outdo both in its own little way.
You play as Jason Fleming when your girlfriend gets kidnapped during a hike in the mountains. The culprits are a mysterious terrorist organization and it’s up to you to use their own technology as a means of destroying the enemy. For being inspired by a classic style of gameplay, Shadow Complex does more in that style than most developers. But does that mean it’s always for the best?
Many XBLA games are currently discounted at multiple locations throughout the dashboard. Capcom content is featured in the Deal of the Week section, which is located on the “Spotlight” section of the dashboard. Also within the Deal of the Week ad is another sale of recently discounted games. Of those titles, Comic Jumper, Quake Arena Arcade and Puzzle Quest 2 have been permanently discounted to 800MS points, and Droplitz has been permanently discounted to 400MS points.
Finally we have a Microsoft Games Studios sale located in the “Spotlight” section of the dashboard. You can currently find the following 10 XBLA titles at a discount price:
Xbox Live Arcade has come a long way since its launch on the original Xbox a little over 6 years ago. Back then the selection of games was in the teens but now there are hundreds of games on the service. You can play anything from 16-bit classics like Streets of Rage 2 to exceptional original titles like Shadow Complex.
With so many games to choose from it’s hard to know what to spend your good ‘ol Microsoft Points on. Lucky for you however we at XBLAFans have taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of the 15 XBLA games you must own. The games featured (listed alphabetically because they’re just too good to rank on quality) are the best of the best. If you haven’t played a game on this list then you owe it to yourself to at least download the trial (which we’ve handily linked to) and give it a go.
So let’s get on with it shall we, below you’ll find the games we decided on and brief summaries from our writer explaining why they’re deserving of the term “must own”. If you agree or disagree with the list, or just want to comment in general please feel free to do so.