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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-03-19 05:32:13
Xbox Live Arcade FTW
If I didn't already have a cherished PlayStation copy of the game that I played to death back in the day, I'd gladly drop ten bucks on this. It's funny how the killer apps on these next-gen systems are downloadable retro titles. Geometry Wars on Xbox Live sported visuals that harkened back to 80's arcades, and was essentially a cross-pollination of Asteroids and Smash TV, but somehow it was the thing to play in the early months of the 360's existence. Check this list of monster classics you can play on the Nintendo Wii: Legend of Zelda (Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past), Kirby's Adventure, Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64, and...effing Gunstar Heroes!
The PlayStation 3 has...um, Q*bert for download. It's still a $600 paperweight but eventually Sony'll get there.
It's a cost free source of revenue for these game companies, as they're just re-releasing existing titles, but I wholeheartedly approve. College-age kids are generally stunned by the epiphany that I grew up without the internet; they can't conceive of a world without it. But to younger children, everything prior to the PlayStation 2 might as well be from the Paleolithic era. I hope these cheap downloads give people a chance to enjoy true classics.
I played a few more Xbox games since my last update. Jet Set Radio Future is pretty solid. Like its Dreamcast predecessor, the cel shaded art direction simply exudes cool, and I absolutely have to get my hands on the soundtrack. The gameplay involves jamming around on inline skates and waging a graffiti war against rival gangs with all the seriousness of the Jets vs. the Sharks. It's a fun casual game, with the bulk of its merit earned by style, not substance. Fortunately, JSRF's stylistic flair is amazingly sufficient to carry the title. If, however, you're looking for an inline skating game with deep gameplay, track down a copy of Aggressive Inline. GRADE: B
Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer was decent. Apparently KSPS is the final word in surfing games. If you have any interest in the pro surfing circuit, it provides an immersive career mode, with good controls and physics (supposedly, you never see the same wave twice). The primary failing is an iffy camera system that's skewed more toward where you've been instead of where you're going. Honestly, I had a hard time getting into this niche title, so raise the grade if you love surfing or extreme sports games. GRADE: C
Now Playing - Kingdom Under Fire (Xbox), Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce