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donkeyspaceman avatar 5:53 PM on 11.29.2007
Free XBLA Games That Deserve Some Lovin' (Also, Yaris)


Welcome, to the third installment of XBLA Games That Deserve Some Lovin'! This is a special edition, because every game that I've listed below I got for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Yep, through various methods of cheating the system (or just downloading holiday freebies), I have added 8 new XBLA games to my collection, bringing the total to 25! What quality titles have I gotten since my last post, you ask? Let's take a look:

These first two I got by filling out a quick form from Microsoft. As long as you had purchased your Xbox 360 within the last year (I bought mine in June), they'd send you two codes for Joust and Robotron: 2084. They're actually doing another one of these for Frogger and Robotron that ends January 1st, which you can find more info about here.

Joust

You get to ride an ostrich? I already like this game.

It's classic Joust, which you've probably played before, so you know what you're getting into. You play as a knight, flying around on your ostrich and slaying other knights on their inferior buzzards. It's not exactly my favorite classic arcade game (that would be Bubble Bobble, which I would pay a large amount of money to have as an XBLA game), but hey, you can't argue with free.

Unless you really like Joust, I can't recommend actually paying 400 MS Points ($5) for this, but can be fun for a little while for free.

Robotron: 2084

For some odd reason, I always get this game (rather, Robotron 64) mixed up with Tetrisphere for the Nintendo 64. I never actually played either of the Robotron games, but "Robotron" and "Tetrisphere" always sounded kind of similar............okay, maybe they don't. Anyway, Robotron: 2084 isn't half-bad, but I was still quite disappointed that it wasn't Tetrisphere (or anything even remotely like Tetrisphere).

Tetrisphere: 2084 is a top down shooter in which you shoot robots and try to save humans from said robots. If you ever played Smash TV, it's kinda like that, but really old. I think I like it better than Joust, but it's still pretty low on my list of favorite XBLA games. It's hard as hell, too, so don't expect it to hand out achievements like candy.

Again, not exactly worth paying 400 MS Points for unless you really like it. It's not a bad freebie, though. I could see myself playing it from time to time in the future.

These next two games I grabbed only a few weeks ago, as I'm sure most of you did. In celebration of Xbox Live's 5th anniversary, Microsoft was kind enough to give away a free XBLA game. It's surprising enough that they gave something away for free, but what's even more surprising is that it's actually a pretty good game. Also, if you were smart enough to create a Korean gamertag, you could pick up a second free game.

Carcassonne

Now this is a good free game.

From what I understand, Carcassonne is based on a board game in which you place land tiles on a table and try to create cities and other structures in order to gain points. The XBLA version is basically the same thing, but on a TV instead of table, obviously. I don't really feel like explaining the game, but I will say that it's a lot of fun if you enjoy strategy games. I hear a lot of people say Catan is better, but Carcassonne was free, so I think I prefer it for now.

Honestly, I think I'd pay the 800 MS Points for this if I hadn't gotten it for free. It's a lot of fun playing with friends or even just online with random people.

Hexic 2

I love puzzle games. Pazzle games are fun, too, but I love puzzle games. I was quite pleased to find Hexic HD already on my hard drive when I first got my 360, so much so that I played it for an hour even though I had Dead Rising and Viva Pinata sitting right next to me the whole time. When Hexic 2 was announced, I was like "OMG AWESOME ONLY $10 TO PLAY BATTLE MODE FOR A GAME THAT I ALREADY GOT FOR FREE!"

In other words, I wasn't that excited that they were making a second one. Hexic isn't exactly my favorite puzzle game of all time (coughPokemonPuzzleChallengecough), so I didn't really care that they were making another. However, I DID care when they announced that Hexic 2 would be free on the Korean marketplace. After borrowing a random Korean hotel's contact information, I had a Korean gamertag and got Hexic 2 for free.

How is it? About the same as the first. Rotate colored hexagonal pieces and try to make three same colored pieces connect in a cluster. BUT, this time, you can compete with an opponent to see who can rotate more colored hexagonal pieces and try to make more three same colored pieces connect in a cluster. There are some special powers and stuff you can use, too, but it's still just Hexic with two-player. Oh, it does have easier achievements than the first Hexic, though. :D

These next three games were also free. How did I get them free? I bought a Mad Catz Xbox Live Arcade Retro Stick. You're probably thinking, "How the hell can you consider that free? Not only did you pay money for a crappy joystick that you're never going to use, but you also paid money for a crappy MadCatz joystick that you're never going to use." Yes, I did pay money for a crappy MadCatz joystick that I'm never going to use, but do you know how much money I paid? Only $9.99 (plus tax) at my local Best Buy. And do you know how much GameStop gave me for trade-in credit on said joystick? Ten dollars, plus 10% for using my Edge card. So, if you do the math, I actually made a few cents more off of it by trading it in.

Yep, they practically paid me to take these games off their hands. My only regret is that I'll never know how well that joystick would have worked for Halo.........

Astropop

Yay, more puzzle games! Astropop is kind of unique. I can't really think of any puzzle games to compare it to, because the concept isn't really something I've seen before. You control a ship at the bottom of the screen and you can pull blocks from the top of the screen, then shoot them back and try to match four or more blocks together to destroy them. It's pretty fun and it gets really frantic in the later levels.

Not really worth the 800 MS Points you would normally pay for it, but it's not bad at all for free.

Frogger

You know what this is.

You can't go wrong with Frogger, but I think it's much more fun playing real life Frogger. You can have as many players as you want, there's a ton of maps you can play on, and the hazards are always random. You might want to practice on virtual Frogger first, because you only get one life in real life Frogger.

One life, EVER. Those quarters won't save you when you're flat as a pancake out in the middle of the highway.

Time Pilot

Another arcade classic. They really love giving these away for free, don't they?

Time Pilot is pretty fun. I was more excited about the other two games, considering I never played (or heard of) Time Pilot before, but after playing it for a few hours, I found it to be one of my favorites. It's pretty simple stuff, just fly around and shoot down enemy aircrafts, but after destroying the boss ship, you get to travel through time. You start in 1910 and end up in the distant year 2001. It's a pretty simple game, but still a lot of fun.

For 400 MS Points? Maybe. If you like achievements, definitely. I'm only short two after playing it for a few hours. :P

There you have it, free XBLA games that deserve some lovin'. Then again, doesn't anything that's free deserve your lovin'?

.........maybe not.

Yaris

No. Just no. Don't download this. I don't care if it's free. It's awful.

I like achievements. Every time that little box comes up and says "Achievement Unlocked", I don't see those words. I see "Hey, you're awesome. Have some awesome-points." The more awesome-points I have, the more awesome I feel. They make me feel like I'm somebody. They make me feel like I have friends. The achievements are my friends. They make me feel.......awesome.

I can't even play Yaris for the achievements. It's that bad. I unlocked an achievement in Yaris and you know what it said? It said "You just became 10% less awesome." I don't want to be less awesome. Also, the achievement I got from Yaris isn't very friendly at all. All my other achievements compliment me on how nice my hair is and how I have a good personality. My Yaris achievement calls me names and tries to force drugs on me. He also drinks a lot and sometimes he hits me.......

................

Um, anyway. Yaris = BAD. Stay the fuck away from it. Everything else on this is very playable and the achievements are very nice. Sadly, unless you're lucky enough to find a $10 MadCatz joystick at your local Best Buy, most of these games you won't be able to find for free. Of course, you can still get Frogger and Robotron, if that offer's still good.

That's all for now. Expect another edition of XBLA Games That Deserve Some Lovin' after Ikaruga and Rez come out. I'll be saving all my MS Points until then. :D

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