A few nights ago, I decided to download some new Xbox Live Arcade titles. It's been awhile since I've played my Xbox, mostly because of multiple Wii and GBA games consuming my life (Paper Mario, Mega Man Battle Network 6, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Metroid: Zero Mission, etc).
I bought 2,000 MS Points and checked out the marketplace. I ended up buying Worms and Alien Hominid, neither of which I've played until downloading the trials on my 360. After staying up until five in the morning playing the shit out of Alien Hominid and getting frustrated at Worms, I realized that I have other XBLA games, too! I forgot about some of the other games I bought in the past and decided to revisit some of them.
I've come to realize that every XBLA game I own is AWESOME and you should own them, too. Some of them are really fucking obvious and you should have them already, but I have a game or two that nobody or very few people on my friends list own. That makes Kit a very sad panda.
This one is one of those fucking obvious ones. If you don't have it already, get it, because it's free. Honestly, I'd much rather pay money and get Ikaruga than play this for free, but it's not half bad. It's no Ikaruga, but it's still pretty fun.
Alien Hominid HD
Up until the release of Metal Slug Anthology for the Wii, I had never played a Metal Slug game. Terrible, I know. But now, I'm older, wiser, and I fucking love Metal Slug and all things like it. After playing the demo of Alien Hominid, I just had to have it. It's not quite Metal Slug, but it'll have to do until Metal Slug 3 comes out.
If you like Metal Slug, give this game a shot. It's pretty much the same thing, but with a cute little alien and fat kids. It's not that easy, but it's still a load of fun. It even has a bunch of kick ass minigames to further waste your time.
Band of Bugs
When I said that I had a game or two that nobody on my friends list owned, this was the game I had in mind. Seriously, why did nobody buy this?
If you've ever played Final Fantasy Tactics or any other game of that sort, you know what to expect from Band of Bugs. Sure, there's not really a leveling system and it's not quite as deep as FFT, but it's still a lot of fun. Plus, you get to play as bugs! How many strategy games let you command an army of bugs?
Taking away the leveling aspects of FFT, Band of Bugs is more of a game where skill is what matters, not how many hours you spent grinding for levels. I'm not saying that FFT doesn't take skill, I'm just saying that you could easily get your ass handed to you by someone who's a much higher level than you in a game like that. In Band of Bugs, you can jump online and take on anybody and only have skill to worry about.
The game comes with a 20 level campaign that will take you a good couple hours to beat and even longer to get gold medals on every stage. The story isn't terribly deep, but interesting enough to keep you playing. You can also play on Live, of course, on preset levels or even your own, with the built-in level editor. If you crave more insect action (I know I did), there's an 250 MS point expansion that includes 10 more levels and a few more achievements.
Bottom line, it's fucking awesome AND YOU NEED IT. Try it out and get back to me. It'd be nice to have a few friends that I can play against.
A must-have. One of the greatest multiplayer games ever made is now available on your 360. Don't hesitate, but this if you don't have it already. And if you do have it already, buy it again. IT'S THAT GOOD.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
You should already have this. If not, go download it now. NOW, I SAY!
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
Another title that you should already have. Not only is it cheap at 400 MS points, it's probably the best shooter on XBLA. I've had this for a long time, but only recently did I put more than a few minutes into it. I still suck, but not quite as bad as before. Hey, I broke 200,000 and that's a score worth bragging about, taking my past high scores into consideration.
YET ANOTHER TITLE YOU SHOULD ALREADY HAVE, but for a different reason. :P
Oh, Lumines. I love you so much, but I don't own a PSP and I didn't care much for your PS2 appearance. So what should I do? Give Microsoft loads and loads of money so I can play Lumines on my 360.
Yeah, I know. It costs 1,200 MS points. For the Base Pack. Microtransactions suck, I know, but I NEED MY LUMINES. ALL OF IT. EVEN IF IT COSTS ME AN ARM AND A LEG.
I know it costs a lot of money to buy everything for it, but Lumines is fucking awesome. If you have a PSP, save yourself the money and get it on there, but the rest of you should buy the Base Pack for the 360, though.
At least try it.
Last but not least, Worms. I know, I should have played this years ago, but whatever. I've discovered it now and I love it. I fail miserably at it, but I love it. Maybe I just have a thing for strategy games with tiny creatures....
That's all I've got for my XBLA games. I'm pretty pleased with all of my purchases, but I wish had more people to play them with. Anybody who has Lumines, Band of Bugs, or Worms, PLAY WITH ME. Anybody who doesn't have them, buy them, so you can PLAY WITH ME.
I'm sure we've all got a game or two that we wish more people would play attention to. Comment and tell me what yours are. Maybe I'll give the trials a shot and find another gem or two.