Gamer Mania 2

Thursday, September 07, 2006

XBOX Live Arcade Reviews: Week 1

Microsoft set out to make the XBOX Live Arcade popular around 10 months ago when they released the 360, and at the moment I own 8 of the titles from it, with about half of them good. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to give you short and to the point reviews of each and every one, and tell you which 4 of them are worth your money, and which 4 aren't. Today I’ll do… Pac-Man, and Uno.

Pac-Man: The original arcade title, loved by millions, was released on XBLA at the end of July. It features what the original did, and just about nothing else. Which is its biggest fault, all that’s there is the regular arcade game, and Live leaderboards. Same graphics, same levels, same everything. It just feels too basic, even for a $5 XBOX Live Arcade title. The other problem with this version is that using the XBOX 360’s controller is absolute crap, the analog stick sticks a bit when you use it for this, and the D-Pad is much worse. Also, as with the other classic titles like this, only 2/3 of the screen is used.

I know they just wanted to get it out there, easy as possible, to make some money off of an old title, but I really wish they would have put a little bit of work into it and maybe come up with some new maze designs or even Co-Op play on Live. Even if it wasn’t great, it would be a lot better then playing the exact same thing over and over, by yourself.

As you can probably already guess, this is one of the 8 titles I own so far that I can not recommend. Going to have to give this package a measly 2.5 out of 5. It would be lower if it wasn’t a classic like Pac-Man. Even for $5, I expect far more then one game mode and leaderboards. Only buy it if you want 200 easy gamerscore points.

UNO: One of the most popular XBOX Live titles, an adaptation of the classic card game UNO, was released back in May. It’s arguably the most loved arcade title, because it’s simple yet has a lot to it. It’s basic UNO, with standard, partner, and elimination modes. You could play against the computer if you wanted, but where the game lives is on Live. It’s incredible fun to hook up with 3 friends and just play Uno while you’re having a chat. Or you can use it to make friends, which I have done quite a few times thanks to this game.

The Uno cards look amazing in high def or standard, yes I know it’s kind of funny to say that about cards, but they are very shiny. You could probably complain about the music which is basically a ukulele or guitar tune that loops endlessly, but to be honest I doubt you’ll notice it. Or there’s the custom soundtrack feature if you really hate it that much. Last but not least, there’s the ability to use different deck skins, which add some effects, make the cards look different, and change the rules up a little bit. So far there’s only 2, the 35th anniversary one (free) and the PGR3 one ($1.25).

As this is one of my favorite XBLA titles with almost endless replay value, I can do nothing but recommend it. I’ll say it deserves a 4 out of 5 just because if you play it too much, it can get boring. After all, it is only a card game. The most amazing thing is, even though it’s an incredible game, you can get it for 400 MS points ($5). Go buy it.

So that’s it for this week’s XBLA reviews, I’ll be back next week with 2 more (likely Hexic HD and Galaga). See you then.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Get Firefox!
Firefox Flicks!
Locations of visitors to this page