Wednesday, May 2, 2007
The last couple of months have been pretty strong for the Xbox Live Arcade, both in terms of original and retro titles. Here's another roundup of thoughts on the most recent ones:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
THE killer app for Xbox Live Arcade. One of the greatest games of all time is now available on the 360, and it's a blast playing through with the new achievements. It was fun enough going for 200.6% completion back in 1996, and getting achievement points just adds that much more incentive. The fantastic art design is as sharp as ever, and the enhanced graphics mode is actually a welcome addition. The best game on the Live Arcade, bar none.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Anyone in their early 20s has to have fond memories of playing this classic arcade title at bowling alleys and skating rinks. Now it's been ported to the Xbox Live Arcade, playing exactly as you remember it. Play it by yourself and you'll get bored fairly quickly. Play with one to three friends and it's an absolute retro blast.
This is fairly similar to TMNT in the fact that it's a short-lived single player experience, but a blast with friends or over Live. The visual and audio presentation is great (and similar to the classic Worms titles, not the significantly inferior Worms 3D), but it suffers from a severe lack of features. Some of the most loved and useful weapons have been omitted, including the baseball bat, Concrete Donkey, and Holy Hand Grenade. There's also a severe lack of variety in the environments, making this version far more castrated than it should be.
Playing like a hybrid of Arkanoid/Breakout and Zuma, it should appeal to old-school gamers as well as those looking for a quick pick-up-and-play experience on XBLA. You simply fire colored balls at a moving stream of similarly-colored balls to eliminate them. Nothing fancy, but certainly an entertaining title.
A basic pinball title with three available tables. They're all well-designed, but replay value and pinball tables don't really go hand-in-hand.
Eets plays like a simplified version of Lemmings, except the player must guide one slightly-creepy creature to an exit rather than dozens. You do so by placing odd creatures and items around the map in an effort to guide Eets. A good brain-teasing title that features a good amount of levels. If you're tired of the main game and looking for something a bit more hectic, try out the multiplayer minigame for some fast-paced action.