XBox 360 Classics
Nintendo classics not your thing? Well thankfully the Xbox 360 has a wide range of classic games on offer from all kinds of different developers and platforms. So let’s take a stroll down memory lane and a look at three of the very best classics the Xbox Live Arcade has to offer.
Normally in a series, I’d recommend you play the first game before the sequel. While playing Banjo-Kazooie is an option here, this is a limited list and I want to bring you the very best the console has to offer.
Banjo-Tooie works very well as a stand-alone game and gives a bit of explanation about the first game in the series too. It’s also a superior game, with a larger world, more interesting stories and characters, and better gameplay.
Banjo-Tooie follows the revival of the evil witch Gruntilda, who is still bent on world domination. You play Banjo, a bear whose job is to stop her and bring peace to the world (as well as finding all the little collectables and playing all the mini games along the way).
You travel through different themed levels, from a Mayan forest to a circus, helping the inhabitants with their problems and gaining new powers along the way. Banjo is accompanied by his best friend Kazooie, a bird who allows him to have a wide variety of attacks and different ways to get around. In some parts of the game, though, they do get separated.
The game still holds up well even today. It has hours upon hours of playtime if you’re a perfectionist, and there’s always a new surprise or twist around every corner, with the gameplay getting switched up every now and again to keep things fresh. The worlds are colourful and fun to explore, and if you do chose to explore you’ll be rewarded for it.
If you’re a fan of platformers, or just looking for a different kind of game that’ll keep you entertained for hours, check it out.
4 out of 5
Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
Here’s a game where you get some value for your buck. It contains Streets of Rage I, II and III: three classics from the Sega Genesis. The gameplay in all of them is very similar, so if you like one you’ll like them all.
Each one is a classic side-scrolling beat-'em-up-style game where you take control of one of three characters. Each character has their own style of attacking, some quicker but lighter, others slower but more powerful. They also have their own special attacks, which can be used only a few times, so it’s best to save those for the harder enemies.
The great thing about this series is that you can play with a friend, which always makes it much more fun. You can pick up weapons like steel pipes or knives, and break open objects to discover health upgrades or power-ups.
Be careful, though, because you can end up attacking each other, which, in my experience, has caused quite a few arguments and competition between friends. It’s all part of the experience, though, and the games are really helped along by their amazing soundtracks.
All three games are a lot of fun to play with a friend, or even on your own. Things do get a little bit samey after a while, so unless you really enjoy it you might stop playing after the first or second one. Get a friend and give it a go, though, especially if you’re the kind of person who loves a little retro violence.
3 out of 5
If you’re a gaming fan, chances are you’ve played some of the older Sonic games. For this list I’ve chosen a slightly more obscure one from the franchise.
Sonic CD takes place when Sonic decides to take a look at a planet that’s only accessible once a year, only to find it chained to the Earth. He decides to investigate the cause and, in the process, discovers that the entire planet has been covered in Dr. Robotnik’s robots. The game also happens to be the first appearance of the fan favourite Metal Sonic.
At first you’ll find things very similar to the first couple of Sonic games: running, jumping and destroying robots. It’s not long, though, before you’re introduced to the new time travel mechanic. Each level has a past, a present and a future. You can find past and future signs on each level, and passing them with enough speed will land you in the future, which will show the world all destroyed and industrialised, or the past, which gives you the chance to fix things before the industrialisation happens.
The aim is to change the past in order to get the best future possible. It’s an interesting mechanic that means every level has a range of different scenarios in which the music, the layout and the entire feel changes.
Sonic CD really gives you a look at how innovative Sonic games used to be and how much they could get out of the hardware. It's a lot of fun, though some might find travelling back and forth through time, trying to get a good future for every level, a bit tedious.
It’s not for everyone, but if you’re a Sonic fan then this is most likely for you!
3 out of 5 stars.
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