XBox Live Arcade Game Reviews
If you saw my recent WiiWare reviews and got a bit upset because you don’t own a Wii, here's something for Xbox 360 owners. If you’re getting a bit tired of the standard games, why not take a look on the Xbox Live Arcade for something new? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
The Secret of Monkey Island
Some older readers might have previously played this game for PC. The Secret of Monkey Island is a classic point-and-click adventure game, practically kickstarting the genre and shooting it into popularity. Now comes a modern-day remake of the game complete with updated graphics, an updated soundtrack and new voice acting.
The game follows wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood on his quest to fame and all the craziness that comes with it. It pretty much coins the term "adventure game logic", meaning that the puzzles are totally bizarre and are solved using items you’d never think of putting together. This means the puzzles can be downright tricky at times, and you might end up needing a guide to get through parts here and there.
While the updated music and voice acting is great, the new graphics are kind of ugly and the new controls are very clunky. Thankfully, you have the option of switching back to the original controls/graphics at any time. Other than that, this is an amazing update to a classic game, and when you’re done with this, the sequel is also available. Go out and discover why this kickstarted a genre. You won’t be disappointed.
4 out of 5.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1
Ignoring all the more recent Sonic games, this is a follow up to Sonic 3, released all the way back on the Sega Genesis. It aims to fill in the gaps between the older games and the newer games, while combining the play style of both. It has the classic 2D viewpoint and platforming, combined with a few of Sonic’s newer tricks.
The game is fast-paced and full of nostalgia, while still keeping things fresh by giving Sonic new moves. His partnership with his friend Tails the Fox can change up the gameplay as well. The game relies heavily on combining speed with platforming, giving you sections where you’ll just run along at breakneck speed, only to have to stop suddenly to tackle a tricky platforming section that requires precise jumping.
This is where the game starts to show its biggest flaw. The physics are rather jarring, with momentum being lost very easily and jumps not feeling quite right. While it evokes feelings of the classic games, it certainly doesn’t have the play style down right, feeling awkward and clunky instead of smooth and exciting.
Episode 2 is coming out with plans to fix all this, but if you’re a hardcore Sonic fan then you might as well give this a shot.
3 out of 5.
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game
This is a beat-'em-up game based on the Scott Pilgrim movie and comic series. Never seen or read them? Well that doesn’t matter, because this game stands up just fine on its own, managing to explain what’s going on well enough as well as just being great fun.
The game throws little references here and there not only to the comics, but also to other beat-'em-up games from the past. You control one of four characters and, if you want, you can bring in a few friends to play the other three. There’s no online play, but having a group of friends all playing in the same room makes it much more fun. Your characters level up as you go, learning new abilities and eating food to increase your stats, all the while beating up enemies and listening to an amazing soundtrack.
This game is all kinds of fun to play through, especially with a few friends over a few afternoons, or maybe just a couple of all-day gaming sessions. If you love beat-'em-ups, then this is one for you. Or if you’re only going to get one game from the Xbox Live service, then this is the one to get, no doubt about it.
5 out of 5.
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