Xbox Live Arcade Games

Microsoft recently completed it’s Summer Promotion of Arcade Wednesday. For five weeks this Summer they released a new Xbox Live Arcade game on Wednesdays. The promotion was a smash hit on Xbox Live Arcade. I happened to download four of the five and thought I would give my impressions of them.

Frogger

This was the classic coin op game of frogger that you may remember playing when video games were just getting popular. Your goal is to get a frog across the street and across a river to a safe haven. Like most of the coin-op games that have been showing up in Xbox Live Arcade, the graphics looked like the old game. The sound was jazzed up and some new modes were added. I havent played it online with others yet. I never could compete with the “good” kids in this game back in the 80’s and nothing has changed though I have unlocked most of the achievements.

Cloning Clyde

This is a new game and not based on previous coin-ops, at least to my knowledge. It is side scrolling platformer where you goal is to get the character Clyde out of his predicament. Along the way, you will make various clones of yourself to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Think Donkey Kong type platformer with new twists on puzzle and get past objectives. This kind of game is not really my style, but Sean has played it for hours and just loves it.

Galaga

This is one of the most popular coin-op spacecraft shooter games of all time. It’s 1981 graphics didnt get a facelift, but that’s part of the allure. This game is another scroller where your spaceship is at the bottom and hordes of alien ships descend at you from the top trying to destroy you. The object is to destroy all of the ships before they get you. As one of the early games, folks used to memorize the patterns of the ships and position themselves properly to get the kills. Not being one to like that style, I again was never elite at this game. It’s just more fun when there is randomness in the ships. Still, I quite enjoy this game and will play for some time to come. I have completed most objectives and am likely to never complete the perfect bonus one 🙂

Street Fighter II

I have nothing to say about this game as I havent and wont download it. This is a 2-D fighting game and that is not my cup of team. Even Sean doesnt like these kind of games. It is quite popular though and was anxiously awaited.

Pac Man

The classic coin-op game made its debut on Xbox Live to close of the Five Wednesday promotion. Even though I wasnt all that good in this game during its 80’s glory, I had to have it. I wanted the kids to play it. This is another one of those games where the good kids had the patterns memorized to win with extremely high scores. I usually do the opposite and mix it up to randomize each game and try different ways. Needless, to say I dont do as well. Sean has taking a bit of a liking to the game, but struggles with it. Savannah thinks its too hard.

Overall Comments

We have downloaded a bunch of the Xbox Live Arcade stuff for the XBox 360. Its a pretty cool idea and has really taken off. The games tend to be pretty good and they are pretty inexpensive, especially when compared to their $60 full development cousins. The Wednesday promotion was so successful, that Microsoft has announced all future Xbox Live Arcade releases will come on Wednesdays, though it wont be every Wednesday.
One thing that has been pretty annoying with the coin-op games is the tightness of the controls. The coin-op arcades had really big and bulky analog joystick controls. The Xbox 360 has a wireless controller with small digital joysticks. Sean and I have found that in Frogger and Pac Man in particular, it can be difficult to get the characters to do what you want. The control scheme tightness just seems to be lacking. This may be more related to the controller than the game, but it can be a problem. Its not a wireless thing because the modern fast-paced games dont have any latency issues.

I am hoping the next Xbox Live Arcade game released is Texas Hold Em Poker. Rumor has it that it will be released on the 23rd of August, but it has missed half a dozen release dates before.