Obscured View

A few chosen words on the world of video games

Archive for the 'LIVE' Category

Is LIVE going to see the light?

I still stand by my theory that Geometry Wars kinda screwed LIVE  when it first started.  Sure, MS’s very tiny download limit didn’t help, but really when a very simple (albeit fun) retro-styled game becomes the #1 game on LIVE, it’s easy for everyone to do the “me too” and start cranking out the retro!  Of course, everyone went cheap (because they didn’t get that GW was a polished title), and the result is LIVE flooded for over a year with -mostly- cheap games that lack any real quality or fun past the demo.

— Let me say that I’m not lumping some of the quality casual games into my “lack of quality” bin, but as a gamer they don’t really count for what I’m talking about, which is actual games. —

So now, we’ve got a different situation.  Bionic Commando : Rearmed, Braid, and Castle Crashers all slap the “cheap and retro” idea in the face.  Sorry Galaga, you didn’t go far enough to qualify in this group.  To your dev team’s credit, PacMan CE did though.

But anyway, so here’s a new generation of fun, eye-catching games that re-assess what a console download title can be and what experiences it can deliver.  Sure, Braid was overpriced, but the others weren’t, and all of them delivered some very fun gaming.

I’ve always believed that PSN is a more risk-taking service in terms of providing games and experiences I couldn’t get on the other consoles and via some retro game port.  However, is that changing?  Are we going to see some better games on LIVE now that we’ve seen that original titles (and remakes done right) can be successful, and they’ve finally lifted the footprint size that developers can work in?

All we need now is a rating system (purchased user rating and non purchased, please!) in place and we’ll be making some great progress!

I really don’t know what MS plans to do with LIVE, but I can hope they get it together.  The new fall update, which is the bastard child of iPhone UI and a Wii, seems to just be new clothes on the same navigation system they have now.  For now I have to remain unimpressed, especially when MS peeps say things like “well, we wanted avatars before the Wii…”.  Sorry that doesn’t matter.  Suck it up.  They got them in first, and now you’re copying.  Just admit it, or just don’t answer any questions regarding that glaring fact, eh?

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What's goin' on, Meekon?

Sorry for the lack of updates, the new company (yes, the new GAME company) is sucking up a lot of my time.

I’m not abandoning this site, just focusing on the next big thing!

As for recently played games on XBLA:

Bionic Commando – Brutally old-school, but an XBLA game done right for certain.  This is how any company should take an older game and update it.  The only crime is the lack of on-line multiplayer

Braid – A nice blend of a bunch of neat platform mechanics, combined with a rather “deep” story.  I don’t know if I’m really impressed with the story that much, but the puzzles and game mechanics are rock solid.

Galaga Legions – I have to give this one a meh, just because the game doesn’t change enough through play to keep me interested.  GW2 at least has waves and the mixture of enemies keeps the game interesting.  I didn’t find this to be the case in GL, where it was just crazier and crazier waves of not-so-unique enemies.  Perhaps the demo doesn’t let you see enough of the game, but from what I saw, I’m not spending the $10.

Castle Crashers tomorrow!

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