SB Recommends XBLA Games

More assorted games handpicked from the Selectbutton troop. These games are available through download on XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) on the Xbox 360.

  • Alien Hominid
    • Rudie: At once quarter munching and too easy Metal Slug with a newgrounds coat.
    • Kitten ClanClan: I recommend this, but largely not because of the main game. Also featured within the game are “PDA” stages, which are single-screen puzzle platformer stages that have online multiplayer. I found these more appealing to play with a friend than I did the actual game, and highly recommend them to any puzzle-platforming fans.
  • After Burner Climax (also on: Arcade, PS3)
    • Rudie: Get your blue skies here!
    • Renfrew: Sometimes, all a man really needs is his F-14 Super Tomcat and the infinite blue sky. People often complain about how awful post Dreamcast Sega is. People who have played this and Outrun 2 know that the real Sega never left us, they just went to the arcade.
    • The Blueberry Hill: I know this is a rare opinion, but I this this game is a mess. Stick to OutRun.
  • Bastion (also on: PC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Magnificent Action-RPG that oozes style. The soundtrack is an excellent, if bizarre mix of bluegrass with more electronic music, and the result is something you'd be damned to miss out on. Game is notable for having a gruff, dynamic narrator that creates a unique experience. The difficulty has a few balancing issues, but it's largely negligible to the overall composure of the game, which is delightful.
  • Banjo-Kazooie
    • Rudie: I love B-K. Now I can play it in HD!
  • Battle Fantasia
    • Booji: Disc Based on 360. PSN got the online release.
  • Battlefield 1943 (also on: PSN)
    • Kitten ClanClan: A standalone competitive multiplayer game, BF1943 is largely enticing because of its simplicity. There are only 3 classes all with preset loadouts, and nothing is unlocked as you progress in rank. While there are only 3 maps, as well, the game is quite well refined and provides an addictive, competitive experience without being bogged down all the trappings of a modern competitive FPS.
  • Bionic Commando: ReArmed (also on PSN)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Classy re-imagining of the NES original that actually manages to outdo it. I don't think they updated the clunky level design quite enough, though. Includes some utterly insane optional challenge rooms that require you to stretch the game mechanics to their absolute limits. They could seriously extend your time spent with this, depending on your patience/stubbornness.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Excellent remake that manages to exceed the already outstanding original. Mechanics are tweaked to be more varied and skill-intensive, and the game has an immense amount of content for its tiny price tag.
  • Braid (also on: PC, PS3)
    • boojiboy7: An amazingly solid platformer with a wonderfully explored time-manipulation mechanic and beautiful artwork. Ignore all the text, though, for your own good.
    • gatotsu2501: That warning's no joke, incidentally. The sophomoric obnoxiousness of the writing pissed me off so much that I actually enjoyed the (fairly inspired) gameplay a lot less as a result. The dismissive label of “pretentiousness” is tossed around a lot these days, but Braid works itself ragged to earn it.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Seconding what Booji has already said, but offering a counter-opinion on the text: I found the game's plot to be very interesting. Its method of storytelling is one that I believe cleverly implores gaming mechanics to tell, and I also believe that the ending of the game is quite thought-provoking.
    • boojiboy7 (again): Man, if you think text blocks that could be written in any number of freshman level creative writing courses are a good way to tell a story, that is a problem. The game could've actually told the exact same story without those text dumps, and would've been much better for it.
    • Kitten ClanClan: To be honest, the only text I really remember is from the ending, but I did feel it left an impact. Come to think of it, the last few times I played it I was speedrunning it.
  • Castlevania: SOTN (also on: PS1, PSP, PSN)
    • Gorblax: The best Castlevania game ever? I dunno, maybe! It's certainly easy to see why this became the model for every decent Castlevania game subsequent to 1997. Try playing it without any weapons.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Symphony of the Night's balance issues and boring, inverted castle for the latter half of the game have become especially noticeable (in a really bad way) as the years have rolled by, but the game is still the best Castlevania in terms of atmosphere and aesthetic level design. It's also got a great soundtrack. Still an essential game.
    • Rudie: Doesn't this have a new translation without the fantastic dialog?
    • Kitten ClanClan: Yes, on the PSP. It also adds a few things that had been exclusive to the Japanese version to the game (none of the Saturn stuff, though).
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (also on: PSN)
    • Kitten ClanClan: While Harmony of Despair is egregiously disappointing (perhaps even offensive) in its aesthetic design and as a single-player game, it shines like no other game does in how it works as a co-operative lootfest. If you have a few buddies willing to play it with you, you can waste dozens and dozens of hours on this game without regretting it. It's well-balanced, and the absence of leveling, but emphasis on loot means that levels are all designed to be completed incrementally quicker as you get better and better - this makes the game quite addictive.
  • Catan (also on: PSN)
  • Crysis (also on: PC, PSN)
    • gatotsu2501: Mashes up some of the best ideas from Halo and Metal Gear Solid 3, and sprinkles in a pinch of Half-Life 2 for good measure. Not as good as any of those games individually, but the combination and creative implementation of borrowed elements makes for a worthwhile experience. The last third of the game inexplicably does away with the wonderful open-endedness and tactical variety available up to that point and becomes a typical linear run-and-gun shooter.
  • The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai
    • Kitten ClanClan: Takes the mechanics of games like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden and puts them on a 2D playing field. While the story and setting are slightly juvenile and “gothic” (much in the vein of Jhonen Vasquez of Invader Zim fame's work is), the game is very stylish, fast-paced and difficult in a very satisfying way. Making the game 2D makes you aware of your surroundings at all time, so there's no shoddy camerawork to curse at, and it also makes it easier to direct where you're attacking.
    • Rudie: Flash game.
  • The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile
    • Kitten ClanClan: Takes what made the first game good and adds another playable character. The game plays differently enough and makes enough enhancements over its predecessor that it is well worth looking into.
  • Final Fight Double Impact
  • From Dust (also on: PC, PSN)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Eric Chahi, creator of Another World/Out of This World and Heart of Darkness created this God Sim masterpiece. While it's extraordinarily hard to recommend “in general,” fans of Populous and kids who grew up with a sandbox should consider this essential playing. The game is basically just moving dirt, water and lava around to sustain and protect a tribe you will eventually need to move to an objective, but it's gorgeous to behold and a delight to play. There's not really anything just like it.
  • Fruit Ninja Kinect
    • Kitten ClanClan: A game where you use karate-chop motions in real life to slice fruit on a screen. Its simple nature belies an incredibly addictive, “arcadey” game that is fun to play for hours on end and great to go back to and improve scores on. Absolutely unmissable if you purchase a Kinect.
  • Galaga Legions
    • Mikey: The quasi-tower-defence wave destruction is a very natural evolution of Galga's core core gameplay. This game deserves a lot more attention than it gets.
  • Galaga Legions DX
  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves
    • P1d40n3: Great game (SNK's 3s by some respects), turgid netcode, don't let anyone who knows what they're doing play Kevin.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Gorgeous animation, original characters and a simple-to-perform moveset make this my favorite fighting game, and one of the only games from the genre I feel I truly appreciate.
  • Geometry Wars 2
    • robotdell: It's as if Robotron 2084 controlled like a drunk Sasquatch on ice skates was shoved out onto a frozen lake. It's really pretty to look at though!
    • boojiboy7: Makes the first Geometry Wars redundant. Has a few interesting twists on the core ruleset of GW, and probably the best implementation of leaderboards into a game on XBLA.
  • Guardian Heroes (also on: Saturn)
    • Loki Laufeyson: It's Guardian Heroes, but on the 360! And with 12 player online versus mode!
  • Guwange (also on: Arcade)
    • Rudie: Medieval Japan is under attack! Armed with your Ghost take back Japan from Tootsies the Spider Kitty.
  • Hard Corps: Uprising (also on: PSN)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Hard Corps: Uprising is a prequel to the original “Contra: Hard Corps” on Sega Genesis. The levels are tremendous, the attention to detail great and the amount of content overwhelming. It kind of misses the idea of being a “Contra” game with the absurd length and all the clutter, but I suppose it was titled without “Contra” in the name for a reason. I personally wasn't a big fan of it and prefer my run 'n guns to be concise, but I can respect what they did.
  • Hole in the Wall
    • Kitten ClanClan: An arcade game for the Kinect based on the game show where you fit your body through shapes on a giant piece of foam to avoid being pushed into the water. It's very simple, and quite a physical workout to play, but it's an amazing party game.
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
    • Kitten ClanClan: A game that presents a compelling argument that tweening and other techniques commonly used in cheap Flash animations definitely have their place in an aesthetically pleasing game. Although its a little content-barren for its price, it's a very entertaining Metroidvania with puzzle elements about a UFO.
  • Ikaruga (also on: DC, Gamecube, Windows)
    • Rudie: Without sarcasm I love the sort of memorization this game asks of you (if you are playing for score).
    • Kitten ClanClan: I adore the game's soundtrack and admire the visuals, but that's honestly where I stop enjoying the game entirely. Its mechanics are built entirely around a scoring system that requires asininely tedious memorization, squeezing all of the fun out of the game.
    • Rudie: or you could just ignore the score mechanics!
    • Kitten ClanClan: I felt the scoring mechanics were very intrinsically built into the game, to the point where avoiding them once you could beat it was playing it the “wrong” way. Playing for survival is not satisfying because of how the game is built, and playing for score is nightmarishly tedious.
  • The Maw
    • Kitten ClanClan: Incredibly charming, if slightly dull and simple game about leading around a purple blob that eats things. The objective is always to make him bigger, but there are many entertaining puzzles along the way, many of which involve the Maw transforming and adding new mechanics to the game.
  • Marathon: Durandal
  • Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (also on: PSN)
    • boojiboy7: I'm gonna take you for a ride! So Pringles! Curl-eh MUSTACHE! No game has ever spawned as much joking commentary about it as MvC2, a Capcom Vs. fighter that throws 50+ characters together, breaks all of them somehow, and somehow works just for being really fun. The PSN remake features some optional graphical “improvements” and a downloadable hip-hop mixtape to replace the soundtrack with (if smooth, peppy jazz is not your thing).
    • Sniper Honeyviper: The Smash Brothers of traditional fighting games, and the glue that's held the American 2D fighter scene together for nearly a decade. Only about six characters are really viable for use in “serious” play. The PSN/XBLA version has the ugliest menus you've ever seen, as well as some awful Vaseline sprite filtering (which can thankfully be turned off).
  • Mega Man 9 (also on: PSN, WiiWare)
    • Kitten ClanClan: The music is spot-on, but I feel like Mega Man 9 misses the point is so many other areas. Level design is visually very dull compared to the NES games, mini-bosses are recycled in the Wily stages and the game adds a shop in while getting rid of the charge and slide mechanics. I feel like after so many years, Capcom kind of forgot the spirit of the original games. It's still well-designed, however, and definitely worth playing (unlike 10, which is phoned in and embarrassing).
  • n+
    • Kitten ClanClan: A single screen, difficult platformer built around completing each stage as quickly as possible. While the physics are a tad floaty, they work very well. Online co-op levels are where I found the most entertainment. Super Meat Boy does most of what this game does better, however.
  • Omega Five
    • Kitten ClanClan: Although it's only 4 stages long and sometimes a little too focused on showcasing gaudy, “next-gen” graphics, the game still looks great and plays quite well. It's simple and relatively easy, but I enjoyed it much more than I did Forgotten Worlds, which is the closest game I could compare it too. It's often overlooked, but a great way to burn a few hours.
  • Outrun 2
    • Renfrew: Get this and Afterburner Climax to complete the 1-2 blue skies punch of arcade Sega. My absolute favorite racing game. It's pretty, controls well, you've got a red Ferrari with a blond in your passenger seat, and it's perfect in every way.
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Keep in mind you're really only getting half the game with this port, it's just the Outrun 2 SP courses. You'll need to track down one of the original Xbox/PS2 ports for the other trackset.
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition
    • P1d40n3: Just be sure to bring your own soundtrack.
    • boojiboy7: Actually, I kinda think the soundtrack works perfectly. Certainly the ramp up in the last 30 seconds is grand. Also, kinda upstaged by its sequel, but still worth playing a lot of.
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (also on: PSN)
  • Perfect Dark - forum thread
    • vision: Though [the N64 version is] often visually smeared and stuck to a familiar secret agent plot line, Perfect Dark forayed much deeper into varied weaponry, gadgets, AI foes and comrades than its predecessor, all while granting GoldenEye fanatics their spiritual sequel.
    • Rudie: It's now on Xbox360 and I kind of want a 360 for it.
    • Lainer: Still has the best collection of memorable weapons in an FPS. Unfortunately it only has three good levels, and they're the first four levels in the game.
    • Hekatoncheir: This game is pretty great and the remake is cool looking and ridiculously faithful (blank faces in HD whose mouths don't move when they talk). There are a lot of things I really like about it that I think are missing from many shooters.
  • Pinball FX2 (also on: PSN as “Zen Pinball” and “Marvel Pinball”, 3DS as Zen Pinball 3D, iOS as Zen Pinball, other systems)
    • Kitten ClanClan: An excellent pinball game that sells you tables either one at a time or in little 4-packs. The physics are excellent, and arguably the very best currently available in pinball simulation. Tables are all very well-made and well-themed, but can require being played a little too specifically for all the “cool stuff” to happen.
  • Plants vs. Zombies (also on: DSiWare, PSN, PC, iOS)
    • Kitten ClanClan: A charming take on the Tower Defense genre that managed to make me overcome my dislike of it. Plants vs. Zombies offers a startlingly large amount of content and a lengthy “story mode,” as well as simple, but addicting mechanics. Serious strategy enthusiasts might find themselves a little bored, however.
  • Radiant Silvergun (also no: Saturn)
  • Resident Evil 4 (also on: Gamecube, PS2, PC, Wii, PSN)
  • R-Type Dimensions
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Totally not recommended. Fugly 2.5D “upgrades” of R-Type 1 + 2 with simultaneous multiplayer that the games weren't designed to accommodate, and an alt camera mode that shrinks the screen into a tiny fidgeting box. R-Types on PS1 is still the best way to play these.
    • Kitten ClanClan: I personally enjoyed the 2.5D visuals. The multiplayer and alternate camera modes both added a little bit to the game, as well. All of the additions are optional, and the games can still be enjoyed in their pure, undiluted classic format, as well.
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (also on: PSN)
  • Shadow Complex
    • Kitten ClanClan: A 2.5D Metroidvania with cover shooting mechanics that heavily homages Super Metroid. Extremely well-designed and accessible, the game blends two genres in a way that helps set itself apart from negative terms like “derivative” and “clone.” Highly recommended to fans of both genres.
  • Skullgirls (also on: PSN)
  • Sonic Adventure (also on: PSN)
    • Lainer: The worst version of Sonic Adventure. It has the nicer textures of the GCN version, but the camera is missing several scripted movements from the US DC version, leading to more fighting with the camera or leaps of faith. Several of the physics are (more) broken too, like when walking on slanted or rotating surfaces or especially the pinball minigame. Metal Sonic, who was added in the GCN version, will also run you an extra $5.
  • Space Invaders:Infinity Gene (also on: PSN)
  • 'Splosion Man
    • Kitten ClanClan: Fast-paced action-platformer that retains the speed of a game like Sonic the Hedgehog 3 while adding in a lot of humor reminiscent of games like Earthworm Jim. Visually, level design gets very lazy, and the physics can hurt the game mechanically, but it's mostly fair in its challenge and filled with many difficult levels. Absolutely do not ever play the sequel, it learns nothing from what 'Splosion Man did wrong and ruins what they had going for them.
  • Strania: The Stella Machina
    • Loki Laufeyson: Mecha-themed shooting game that plays, looks and sounds excellently, and is incredibly hard. Has DLC to play the game backwards as the villain, too.
    • Kitten ClanClan: I don't think any other G. Rev shooter is going to live up to Under Defeat, in my eyes, but for Strania's price point you've got a great game on your hands. It has fresh mechanics and a high level of challenge, and the DLC that allows the game to be played as the villains is great.
  • Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition (also on: PSN)
    • gatotsu2501: IT'S THE THIRD STRIKE YO, IT'S STREET FIGHTER III!
  • Super Meat Boy (also on: PC)
    • Rudie: 300 levels of delicious platforming! The only sad thing is it has the Newgrounds humor. The old game references, the bonus characters, and the physics make me forgive that though!
    • Kitten ClanClan: One of my top 15 games of all time, Super Meat Boy is an astoundingly well-designed, but challenging platformer focused intensely upon finishing levels as quickly and perfectly as possible. Homages many classic series and independent games without becoming derivative. Newground aesthetic felt initially off-putting, but became very charming over time.
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II HD Remix (also on: PSN)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Incredibly addiction-forming, competitive puzzle game. Fast-paced and exciting, I've spent dozens of hours playing this with friends. The super deformed Capcom characters help add a lot of memorable charm to it, as well.
  • Trials HD
    • Sniper Honeyviper: You know that Flash bike game with crazy physics that's got a million different variations? This is the definitive version of that, with a very welcome eject button for maximum hilarious ragdoll antics.
  • Triggerheart Exelica
    • Rudie: Uh…really?
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Yes! It's not the greatest shmup in the world, but it's got enough unique game mechanics and fine-tuned enemy patterns to be worth your time. If the fanservicey moe girls are a turn-off, rest assured that you won't see much of them while playing.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Not worth playing. Incredibly ugly aesthetic and tedious scoring mechanic with very few appealing elements.
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (also on PSN)
 
 sb/recommended/xbla.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/27 03:38 by the_blueberry_hill
[unknown button type]
 
Recent changes RSS feed Driven by DokuWiki