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N+ Developers talk XBLA: "There's like 100 games, and they're all shit." (plus more!)

rohlfinator

Member
Sep 9, 2007
4,286
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0
Mr Killemgood said:
The thing about XBLA is: one man's crap is another man's treasure.
Exactly. The type of games on XBLA/PSN/(and presumably)WiiWare are very simplistic by nature, so if the core gameplay doesn't appeal to you, it's easy to shrug off the entire game as low-budget crap. But when it does appeal to you, you just got a great game for five or ten bucks. That's one of the big strengths of the platform (and indie development in general), so it's kind of odd to see them criticizing that.

As an aside, I wouldn't be surprised if the release delays actually helped their sales. If N+ had been released a week or two earlier, it could have easily been overshadowed by Rez HD, which was getting a lot of attention from the enthusiast press for a week or two. Being released a bit later earned it quite a few mentions from podcasts and such, and the proximity to GDC probably helped them out as well.
 

kmfdmpig

Member
Aug 19, 2007
4,571
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TheOneGuy said:

I would say so. Their throw any business sense, tact or appreciation to business partners that have made them much wealthier than they would have been otherwise attitude is pretty blatant.

What's the line of thinking?
Work with MS and get a lot of money.
Trash MS in an interview.
Apologize for trashing MS in an interview, give a few lines about how they're great people and then trash their service again while also trashing their main IP (Halo).
It seems like an impeccable business plan.

If Jeff Bezos had similar business sense then he would have given wedgies to customers, publishers and shipping companies. After all it's cool to badmouth business partners and it makes a lot of sense.
 

Chrange

Banned
Jul 29, 2007
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What I STILL don't understand is how developers make these wild claims about the shadow conspiracy at Microsoft and we're supposed to buy it - though other companies evade those same pitfalls.

Epic claims they can't release things for free, while other - FAR LESS POWERFUL - developers manage to do just that. These guys say they can't do cheap or free themes and pics - but other developers manage it just fine.

There's this total disconnect between what one group, who is ALWAYS explaining why they're charging for something, says and what the other group is doing.
 

Psychotext

Member
Jun 15, 2007
35,928
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1,175
avatar299 said:
I love the response. They just got shafted royalties wise(which apparently is completely okay) and they aren't afraid to call shitty games shitty. Awesome.
I doubt the royalty change affected their income from N+ as their contracts would have already been in place prior to Microsoft making the modification. Perhaps they had plans for future revenue that were affected.
 

Chrange

Banned
Jul 29, 2007
3,826
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0
kmfdmpig said:
It's funny. They come off as trying so desperate to seem cool, above it all and superior. They really come across just as badly as Jeff Bell did during his short-lived posting here.

More than anything it makes me wonder who's going to want to deal with them in the future if this is what you can expect as their "partner" in business?
 

Patrick Klepek

furiously molesting tim burton
May 31, 2004
4,605
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36
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www.giantbomb.com
avatar299 said:
I love the response. They just got shafted royalties wise(which apparently is completely okay) and they aren't afraid to call shitty games shitty. Awesome.

It's no different than the typical GAF, kneejerk response. If they had trashed less sacred cows (i.e. focused their hate on "Yaris"), this thread would have been one page.

A developer should be championed for brazen honesty, and yet they're shit on. This happened in the last Call of Duty 4 thread. Developer explains why the PS3 material is behind the curve, and all GAF does is whine that said developer should STFU and figure out how to match up releases on both consoles. All that over COD4, one of the best multi-plat releases yet.

Sigh.
 

Psychotext

Member
Jun 15, 2007
35,928
0
1,175
kmfdmpig said:
It's funny. They come off as trying so desperate to seem cool, above it all and superior.
Have you seen their launch party interview? They're a little eccentric anyway. :lol
 

Zoc

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Aug 13, 2007
2,675
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I hope these guys get on PSN soon, I want to hear more detail about why it's shit, too.
 

Owzers

Member
Mar 10, 2005
25,345
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eXxy said:
It's no different than the typical GAF, kneejerk response. If they had trashed less sacred cows (i.e. focused their hate on "Yaris"), this thread would have been one page.

A developer should be championed for brazen honesty, and yet they're shit on. This happened in the last Call of Duty 4 thread. Developer explains why the PS3 material is behind the curve, and all GAF does is whine that said developer should STFU and figure out how to match up releases on both consoles. All that over COD4, one of the best multi-plat releases yet.

Sigh.

They didnt' trash sacred cows, they trashed every cow except their own, as it's the sacred cow. All these XBLA games are ****, except ours. That type of idiocy shouldn't be championed.
 

sneaky77

Member
Jan 15, 2008
8,245
1
0
Chrange said:
What I STILL don't understand is how developers make these wild claims about the shadow conspiracy at Microsoft and we're supposed to buy it - though other companies evade those same pitfalls.

Epic claims they can't release things for free, while other - FAR LESS POWERFUL - developers manage to do just that. These guys say they can't do cheap or free themes and pics - but other developers manage it just fine.

There's this total disconnect between what one group, who is ALWAYS explaining why they're charging for something, says and what the other group is doing.

I think that in the games published and marketed by Microsoft, MS has the final say on those things...
 

WickedLaharl

Member
Sep 30, 2006
13,569
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Troy Baker's dumpster
eXxy said:
It's no different than the typical GAF, kneejerk response.
give me a break. these guys are basically trolling xbla in their responses. the whole "those games are shit, but our game RULES" attitude is completely unnecessary and childish.

If they had trashed less sacred cows (i.e. focused their hate on "Yaris"), this thread would have been one page.

yeah, it would have been a short thread had they been more specific in their hate. but oh no they have to come of as elitist jackasses and hate on everything because the current state of xbla is just so far beneath them.

A developer should be championed for brazen honesty, and yet they're shit on. This happened in the last Call of Duty 4 thread. Developer explains why the PS3 material is behind the curve, and all GAF does is whine that said developer should STFU and figure out how to match up releases on both consoles. All that over COD4, one of the best multi-plat releases yet.

Sigh.

at least rayme wasn't an asshole when he explained why the cod4 maps where behind in development. these n plus dudes are free to be douches if they want and call a lot of peoples taste trash, but they should be prepared for the fallout.
 

Brashnir

Member
Dec 31, 2005
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If NSMB, Halo1 and 2, and SSHD are crap, it's no wonder it took so long for N+ to get through the cert process. MS must have had to hire archaeologists to dig through layer after layer of crap civilization before they got anywhere near the N+ code.
 

SapientWolf

Trucker Sexologist
Jul 4, 2004
35,710
0
0
Shard said:
Seems they are starting early there.
I can't believe they picked SSD:HD to represent the shitty state of downloadable games.

Now that I think about it, if someone came by to make a thread about how shitty all dl-able games are (with the exception of N+) they would have been banned.
 

aku:jiki

Member
Jun 7, 2004
11,076
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0
So, apparently, this whole ordeal isn't over yet. Metanet just won't shut up. Apparently, insertcredit says that Metanet posted a blog with capsule reviews of every XBLA game, but immediately removed it and replaced it with a post bitching and whining about the royalties again.

Did anybody catch the review list? I'd love to see that.
 

Shard

XBLAnnoyance
Dec 20, 2004
73,272
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41
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msp.starshipmoonhawk.com
aku:jiki said:
So, apparently, this whole ordeal isn't over yet. Metanet just won't shut up. Apparently, insertcredit says that Metanet posted a blog with capsule reviews of every XBLA game, but immediately removed it and replaced it with a post bitching and whining about the royalties again.

Did anybody catch the review list? I'd love to see that.

I too would like to see this, it will not be long before Metanet goes the full way of Jeff Minter.
 

Polari

Member
Jan 20, 2005
11,044
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aku:jiki said:
So, apparently, this whole ordeal isn't over yet. Metanet just won't shut up. Apparently, insertcredit says that Metanet posted a blog with capsule reviews of every XBLA game, but immediately removed it and replaced it with a post bitching and whining about the royalties again.

Did anybody catch the review list? I'd love to see that.

XBLA Shotgun Reviews
This is something we talked about doing a year ago, but never got around to.
Maybe it was just an excuse for procrastinating and playing everything on PartnerNet anyway.

Reviews are from memory, with refresher sessions as needed.

(list via wikipedia, it's somewhat incomplete, but good enough)



Aegis Wing The least garish 3D-in-2D shooter I tried. Sadly, I haven't been the biggest fan of shooters since the SNES era. Aside from the best (Ikaruga, Bangai-o), what's the point really?

Alien Hominid HD Awesome game (have the Gamecube version, which was worth it for the PDA/mini games alone). Looks nice in HD.. but we still haven't beaten the gamecube version ;)

Arkadian Warriors A nice low-key, clean, minimal loading bar.
A worthwhile idea, but Egoboo does it better: faster, smoother, and without the casual hand-holding tedium.

Assault Heroes "with the Rogue Cyborg destroyed, the world once again seemed safe" -- not used ironically as far as we can tell!
At least tries to be a bit different. But do we need yet another shooter?
(Other than Ikaruga, Bangai-o, Everyday Shooter, Parsec47, or Noiz2sa obviously)

Battlestar Galactica Do we need another version of the disappointing Wing Commander game!? Especially one with a lame license?
..then again, I'm a Star Wars person myself.. or was, until the prequels. Thanks George!

Bomberman Live One of the more worthy retro/remake games. Falls prey to that most glaring of pet peeves, the "totally needless use of 3D in a 2D game". With only a silver account, not as much fun.

Boom Boom Rocket A pretty cool idea, but ended up fairly "meh". Boom Boom Boring?
The beat/timing detection seems pretty off, I could swear I'm pressing things on time!

Cloning Clyde Not our cup of tea, but tries to do something new/different/interesting, which deserves heaps of praise.
Sadly, more "3D in 2D".. or is it "2D in 3D"? Regardless, it just all ends up looking same-y.

Doom Finally I can play 4-player Doom!! ..if only we didn't have a silver account. AAAAAAAAARRGGHHHH!!!! :(
Also, Doom 2 would have been even better. Or is that coming later?

Every Extend Extra Extreme Incomprehensibly bad game -- not that it's terrible, just that it _should_ be great and _is_ bad, which is hard to understand. Basically it's random dice rolling (i.e "will it send enough sheild-dropping enemies to let me survive long enough to collect the entire random allotment of point pickups, or will I miss some?"), with 5 minutes of particle orgy in between rolls. Even more heavily "bad early 90s"-design style than EEE, which was already pretty garish. EE was amazing, EEE was pretty good, EEEE is basically "how long can you sit in front of your TV before dying on purpose in order to FINALLY end the game?". For me it was about 5-6 hours.. with no end in sight, quitting was a sweet, sweet relief.
As with Lumines: if your game can last for several hours, it NEEDS A SAVE SYSTEM. Mizuguchi owes me a day.
Pretty awesome for the first half hour though. Apparently Omega doesn't like it that much. Can't blame him.

Feeding Frenzy Much more fun than we'd like to admit.
Sadly, as with sooooo many games on this list, made by PopCap, against whom I have a personal vendetta ;)
(the reasons behind the vendetta will have to wait for a future blog post.. let's just say: casual games)

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved Awesome! ..except for the fact that the office internet was down when i got my 700k highscore.
That kind of sucked -- I assumed it would update/sync when I got online later, but no, I'm screwed.
Should have set a standard for fun-ness, instead it was more of a seldom-passed high water mark.

Geon: Emotions A pretty neat idea, marred by a slightly-less-condescending-than-Princess-Peach approachable "family" design.
Didn't need the "emotion" fluff at all, the marketing people must have decided that it made the game more family-friendly.

Heavy Weapon One of the ugliest menus on XBLA. Overall, meh.
Low-budget-cheesy clip-art-style graphics/particle effects.. compare this with Eets, and it looks even worse.
Plus it's PopCap, thus instant dislike. And, yet another shooter.

Marble Blast Ultra Fun. Would be better if it had come out 5 years ago before the deluge of "giant-rolling-ball-physics games" had made me sort of tired of this genre. Apparently multiplayer is fun, but again.. silver account.

Marathon: Durandal Nowhere near as much fun as when I used to play it on my friend's cousin's work's LAN.
Also, I grew up with a PC, hence not as desireable as Doom.

Mutant Storm Empire Really fun, good style; played through more than half of it. I wish they had brought Space Tripper over instead though!

Mutant Storm Reloaded Didn't like this even close to as much as MSE.. why did they get rid of the various powerups?!

N+ Well, we like it. Contrary to popular belief, we don't think it's "the best game on XBLA".

Omega Five Another shooter. Incredibly high production values. Sadly, they went for garish-in-your-face-3D rather than Aegis Wing's more reserved 3D -- neither of which fit shooters as well as sprites. Or Parsec47-style.
The lady in a bustier and stockings is CLASSY and wouldn't make me embarassed to be seen playing this AT ALL.

Pac-Man Championship Edition Probbably the best game on XBLA. Takes what Ms. Pac-Man did for Pac-Man, and multiplies it by a kabillion.
Sadly, also makes those other two versions of Pac-Man on XBLA totally useless.
Also: would have been so much better if the 360 controller's D-pad wasn't stupidly disfunctional, to the point of rivalling the PSP's analog-stick-pad-thing for unuseability. Do they not test the hell out of these things?

RoboBlitz Explain how a game which uses Unreal3 is in the IGF?
You know what physics-based robot game would have been a way better choice, for both XBLA and IGF? Mobiloid!

Screwjumper! Not fun. The biggest problem is how your character plays the exact same huge-stride running animation regardless of how fast you're moving/how far the thumbstick is pressed.. that just looks totally stupid.

Small Arms Fun, but I really wish the levels were 8x as big, zoomed out, with smaller characters and less busy graphics.
I guess, I wish it was Soldat.

Space Giraffe Would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't felt so disappointed/lied to by the "it's not Tempest" talk. Yes, it's not literally Tempest, but if you had to choose an existing game most similar to Space Giraffe, it would be Tempest!
Still, it has WAY more heart, personality, and soul than 95% of these other games.
But, burnt my retinas and made my ears bleed.
But: Jon Blow likes it, and he's smart.

Switchball Awesome. Puzzly and physicsy is never a bad combination.

TotemBall Haven't tried it, don't have whatever the 360 EyeToy thing is called..

Undertow I would have liked this if I had never been addicted to Soldat for 3 years.
As it is, it's just a flashier, busier, less-physics-y, ragdoll-less, not-as-fun Soldat.

Wik and the Fable of Souls Awesome idea.. not so big on the actual result. Would have been great with free-movement rather than the casual-friendly hand-holding. By this I mean: Umihara Kawase would have been much better.
Also, WHY do simple 2d games need to have lavish, epic stories tacked on?
This pervasive narrative crutch syndrome is really, really annoying.
Plus they could have halved their budget if they had picked a less ornate style/story.

Wing Commander Arena 2D Wing Commander? I was excited!! Could have been sooooo good.. but wasn't. Or isn't.. not sure about what tense to use. Or to have used? Anyway, WHY WHY WHY do 2D games these days all need to use 3D geometry?
Other than everyone's locked into a tools/engine pipeline that's 3D-only, of course.
Seems like they spent a lot of time making the menus ultra-next-gen with tons of animated, shader-ed 3D, and failed to notice that the game itself wasn't near as much fun as Subspace/Star Control 2/Battleships Forever/Transcendence/etc. Plus the menus in D.I.R.T. are a billion times more next-gen.

Bankshot Billiards 2 Does the world need another virtual pool game? I say no. (note: I once thought this about Arkanoid clones, UNTIL BreakQuest came out, so I might be proven wrong about this in the future. But not yet.)

Pinball FX VERY well-made, slick game. However, see above, but with "pinball" instead of "pool". Also, the "gangsta" level is a bit lame. Plus, the name is embarassing.. why not "Extreme Pinball 3000, to the MAXX Yo!"?

Carcassonne Awesome game.
We own a physical version, which has the benefit of not disappearing whenever our internet connection is down (thanks DRM+RRoDx2!). Add a silver account, and it's useless. But, it was free.

Catan see Carcasonne

Chessmaster Live Hmm.. well, I do like Chessmaster. But.. we've already got Chessmaster on DS -- just as good, except I can play it wherever I want. Which, with chess, is usually when something boring is happening, like commuting.
Plus, see Bankshot Billiards, but replace "pool" with "chess". Plus, do we need _two_ chess titles?!
At least the other one came with mancala and whatever.

Hardwood Backgammon Does anything scream "antithesis of video games in general" more than that most glorious of wastes of an XBLA slot, the virtual board/card game?

Hardwood Hearts see Backgammon/Billiards

Hardwood Spades see above

Soltrio Solitaire see above
 

Polari

Member
Jan 20, 2005
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Spyglass Board Games see above

Texas Hold'em see above, plus I've had it with the "poker is hip and marketable" bandwagon.

UNO SEE ABOVE * 95432 BILLION

Asteroids/Asteroids Deluxe A single review covers almost all of the retro/arcade titles: disappointing.
I won't bother getting into how lame/lazy the remade graphics tend to be.

Centipede/Millipede see above

Contra Now that we've all played SNES Contra, it's very hard to go back to the good old days.

Cyberball 2072 meh.

Defender see generic retro review above

Dig Dug see above

Discs of Tron see above

Double Dragon One of my biggest retro disappointments.. I played a lot of this in arcades and PC, but it just sucks now.
20 years of improvements to the genre have made it horribly obsolete/awkward/frustrating/boring.
Would have considered it if it was all the Double Dragons together.

Fatal Fury Special see generic retro review above

Frogger see above

Galaga see above

Gauntlet see above

Golden Axe see above

Gyruss see above

Jetpac Refuelled Not sure why everyone loves this game so much. You know what old 4-colour game would have been way better to remake? Sopwith. _THAT_ would be crazy. Compared to that, these retro titles all seem like wastes of a slot.

Joust see above

Metal Slug 3 Decent. But.. why not an anthology? Are we going to be paying for 5 more Metal Slugs, one at a time?

Missile Command see generic retro review

Ms. Pac-Man WAS one of the only worth-buying/still-good retro titles.. until Pac-Man CE came out.
ALSO: all versions of Pac-Man, CE included, suffer terribly from the utter lack of non-crap d-pad.

New Rally-X see generic retro review

Pac-Man why, WHY would you ever buy this when there's Ms. PacMan?!
The fact that this game has sold much better than Pac-Man CE is a crime against humanity.

Paperboy see generic retro review. This would have been an AWESOME remake a-la Bionic Commando Rearmed.
Only.. use cute iso pixel art instead of bland-ass 3D!! (see Extrajetzt's Tag Der Arbeit for inspiration)

Robotron: 2084 see generic retro review

Root Beer Tapper see generic retro review, plus as an ancestor to those horrible Diner-Dash casual games, we are in dire need of a time-travelling cyborg to go back and remove this game from history.

Rush 'n Attack see generic retro review

Scramble see generic retro review

Smash TV see generic retro review. Do we need this AND Robotron? It's as redundant as Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man!
Plus Geometry Wars is the Pac-Man CE of this sort of game anyway. Moot.

Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting Loved SF2 a _lot_ back in the day.
Have had more than enough of the endless ports. Except maybe for that HD one. Maybe. Curse them!

Super Contra see Contra review above.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Played this a lot in the arcades. One of the only retro titles that maybe, maybe deserves to be there.. _maybe_

Tempest see generic retro review, plus this and Space Giraffe is yet another Pac-Man/Pac-Man-CE redundancy situation.

Time Pilot see generic retro review. A Kenta-Cho-ified remake of this would have been awesome.
I hereby copyright the concept of Kenta-Cho-ification.

Track & Field see generic retro review. Plus this game sort of sucked to start with.

Tron see generic retro review. I am partial to light-cycles though..

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 see generic retro review, plus MK is one of the ugliest, worst-playing series' ever made.
We'll need two time-travelling cyborgs for this one, just to make sure.

Xevious see generic retro review

Yie Ar Kung-Fu see generic retro review. Another game which just didn't age all that well, but which would have made an awesome remake (with modern smooth movement/etc).. Ikiki could have done it!

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Awesome game. I do sort of prefer the two DS sequels though..

Ecco the Dolphin What's this, Virtual Console scraps?! When it came out, I thought this game was so cool.. until i played it.

Prince of Persia Classic One of the better retro titles, but still pretty damn clunky.
If we're doing retro PC, Flashback/Out of this World would have been 86426x better.
XBLA Flashback would be THE shit.

Sonic the Hedgehog I have never, ever enjoyed any of the Sonic games. How some people prefer these run-so-fast-you-can't-see-what's-coming-up-and-miss-most-of-the-level more-a-thons to Mario, I'll never understand.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Okay, Sonic games aren't as bad as the previous review made
them seem.
But still.. they're just nowhere near as good as Mario. Just.. so much more awkward-feeling, and you're either moving too fast or too slow, or randomly being bounced around.
Also: do we need two? No. Just bundle all 3 or 4 or however many of them all up in a single anthology, and maybe it's worth a slot. MAYBE. SMW would still be better in a second.

Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe see generic retro review

Streets of Rage 2 Was okay on Genesis. Has aged better than Double Dragon, but not anywhere near well enough.

Shrek N' Roll Has there ever been a good movie/TV-game-licence game?
X-Wing/Tie Fighter of course, but they're not really the same sort of beast.
Ducktales for Gameboy was sometimes okay, maybe. Maybe not though.
Krusty's Super Funhouse on Genesis was decent, but got stupid at the end.
The recent Simpsons games LOOK amazing, but aren't actually that fun, which sucks.
The Simpsons arcade game was pretty fun at the time.
SpongeBob SquarePants see Shrek N' Roll.

AstroPop How many PopCap games are there on XBLA??!? More than there should be, which is -infinity.. 0 at the _most_

Bejeweled 2 see above

Bliss Island Played it for half an hour, hoping that there would be more than ridiculous, completely diluted, dumbed-down-to-the-point-of-uselessness pinball. It was a long half-hour.

Boogie Bunnies Yes, just what we need more of -- there wasn't enough PopCap, so let's make some PopCap derivatives!
I can hardly wait until it finishes loading!

Eets: Chowdown It's really sad that this game didn't take off. I would have preferred more Incredible Machine and less Lemmings.
Definitely one of the most genuine, stylish, deserving-of-praise games on XBLA. Plus, a 2D game.. IN 2D?!?! With an amazing art style?!? Unheard of in these parts.

Exit Puzzle-platformers are awesome. Incredibly slow, awkward puzzle-platformers which have inherited the horrible "player loses control while character is playing back one of the many cumbersome animations" style of movement/control (which completely sucks) from crappy-gameplay 3D games, not so awesome.

Hexic HD Apparently this was a freebie, but it wasn't on Metanet's (used) retail 360 when we got it, and I can't find it in the store. Anyway, I guess for free, it's probably okay, assuming it's mostly like the sequel.

Hexic 2 Very slick. Still, 30 PopCap games, plus how many PopCap-wannabe games? Better style than PopCap at least.

Jewel Quest Wow.. almost more faux-PopCap than retro titles! Awesome!!

Lumines Live! One of the few games we own; would have been terrific if EVERYTHING had been $10-15.
We spent way too much on this (bought everything).
Plus.. TOTALLY UNPLAYABLE THANKS TO THE CRIMINALLY AWFUL D-PAD ON 360 CONTROLLERS!!!
(translation: we're in the top 100 but not the top 10)

Luxor 2 Zuma wasn't enough for Puzzloop-clones? I guess technically this is a Puzzloop-clone-clone..

Poker Smash A pretty decent, if casual, game.. better than yet another PopCap title. The poker fad is grating. I would have preferred Tetris Attack by far. The voice guy is cringeworthily embarassing, straight from a men's deodorant/razor commercial. Also: bullet time in a puzzle game?!?! Come on!

Puzzle Quest I've been purposefully avoiding this game so as to not become addicted to my sworn enemy, the casual match-3.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo etc Unfortunately I prefer some of the more recent singleplayer casual clones of this mechanic.
Still, one of the better games for both puzzle and retro categories. And at least it's not PopCap.

Tetris Splash Tetris DS has sadly made all other versions of Tetris useless. I call this "Pac-Man-CE-itis"

Word Puzzle Xbox word search? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?!
Portable electronic versions of newspaper games: maybe. MAYBE.
Non-portable versions? Beyond useless. Can't wait for the inevitable jumble/crossword/sudoku sequels.

Zuma More PopCrap. If only whoever owns Puzzloop would sue them out of existance.. if only.

GripShift Okay racing, I guess.. the physics feel wayyyy off to me. Is the car full of helium?
The weird 3D-graffiti menu icons are cool! If only the whole game had that level of style.
Nowhere near as good as a remake of the DOS game "Stunts" would have been. THAT would have been awesome.

Mad Tracks A totally decent racing game, with some cool multiplayer modes and
interesting weapons (the ice-block-ifier is my fave), and a disappointingly obnoxious "trying to appeal to adolescents" generic feel.
Not as good as Revolt, or MicroMachines 2, or GeneRally.
Novadrome It's Twisted Metal: Chuggy and Garish! Just makes me wish for Revolt, MicroMachines 2, Crash Team Racing, or Mario Kart.. i.e GOOD RACING GAMES.

Street Trace NYC The worst of design-by-comittee, lowest-common-denominator gaming. I feel genuinely bad about everything I've said concerning this game, since obviously no human would purposefully want or try to make the game the way it is. It probably just happened somehow. However it ended up like this, it's sad and frustrating.

Yaris Even free, probably the worst game on XBLA. Kudos!
MicroMachines 2 would have been sooooo much better.
Also, sets a disturbing and nauseating precedent.. more like adver-laming! Zing!

Crystal Quest Hey look, it's Geometry Wars, but with a certified family-friendly focus-grouped twist sure to appeal to tweens and whoever else is playing all those PopCap games! Yay!!

Rez HD The best game on XBLA, except it's a port, while PacManCE is an original title.. which has to count for something.
Maybe it's a tie then? Still, awesome.
My inner cheapass makes me wish we hadn't bought the PS2 version as well :(
Would probably look better as geometry-only, no textures -- I'm looking at you, incongruous hieroglyphics!

Trigger Heart Exelica Crashes the testkit when we try to start it.
Also, yet another shooter that's not Ikaruga or Bangai-o? Not really necessary.

3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures Minigolf games _can_ avoid the "we don't need another one" stigma associated with pinball and pool, if they're stylish and simple and quick and fun. There have been a few good freeware/shareware stabs in this direction.
This one, not so much.

Sensible World of Soccer A thoroughly smashing, corking game. It's tops. Grab a couple of mates, and Bob's your uncle!
FINALLY I get to play this! The depth with such a simple control scheme is brilliant, the graphics are gorgeous. Toodle-pip!

Band of Bugs As with Undertow, this is a game I may have otherwise enjoyed had I not already been obsessed with a version I much prefer (in this case, Advance Wars/Fire Emblem). Also, as with most XBLA games, regrettably goes for same-old-3D when sprites can look SO much better/less generic (see the GBA Advance Wars/Fire Emblems! =)

Outpost Kaloki X Decent style, but sadly I haven't enjoyed building/management games since SimCity2000.
Even then it was a bit tired.

Worms As with Street Fighter 2, a game I loved to death, but of whose ports I am now sick to death.

Rocketbowl The best casual game on XBLA, hands down. Tons of fun.

Some thoughts/suggestions:

* Where is all the good racing? Where is ANY good racing? I've already mentioned some decent titles in the above reviews.
How about some Wipeout? Some multiplayer Stunts? Multiplayer 2D GTAs? Driver?

* As noted above, there are tons of shooters which actually have a bit of style to them.
Beyond Kenta Cho, off the top of my head, there's Gamma Bros and Warning Forever -- either would have been AMAZING!!!

* Casual-friendly games which would have been awesome, instead of all the PopCap garbage:
Any of the various Fizzwizzles, any of Lexaloffle's puzzlers, Lux, Armadillo Run, Samorost, BreakQuest, Crypts of Despair, Tryptich, Blast Miner, Bang Howdy.. how about a room-escape anthology? Anything from jayisgames might be good too.

* Retro-style indie games which would have been awesome, instead of all the tired retro garbage: ANY!
How about PuppyGames -- retro gameplay, mind-blowing style!
Fallen Angel Industries _alone_ have a roster of retro-style goodness that absolutely puts the current retro titles to shame.

* A genuine retro game that would have been amazing, especially live multiplayer: RAMPART! Where is it?!?!?

* All these retro games and no Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble?!?!
What's up with that, it's one of the only worth-playing-each-port retro games! Well.. some ports at least.

* Another missed retro opportunity: River City Ransom.. my god that would have been amazing!
4-player co-op, or have your gang of 4 fight someone else's!
Silhouette Mirage would also have been nice: a Rez-like "not enough people played this", plus it's a shooter! XBLA loves those!

* Non-hackneyed puzzle/family games which would have been incredible: Colorful Notes, Dialhex, Coloris, Digidrive, Tetris Attack.
Squarez would have been LEGENDARY -- and it's retro too!
The puzzle/family genre is yet another place where any Lexaloffle game would have been great.

* More retro in the vein of Sensible Soccer would be stellar -- retro that STILL PLAYS GREAT, and which many may have missed -- rather than "big old marquee retro titles which are horribly awkward and nowhere near as fun as you remember".
Skool Daze anyone? Incredible Machine? Gobliiins? Syndicate? Do I need to mention MicroMachines 2 or Flashback again?!

* If there must be retro, why not some of the better shareware oldies?
Sopwith and Capture the Flag are two amazing games that no one's doing anything with.. and they're both multiplayer-friendly!
How about a Commander Keen Anthology? THAT would be worth buying.

* Where is Chase Ace? Awesome, stylish, AND a good fit for XBLA: multiplayer quasi-retro quasi-shooter!

* Where are the Introversion games? How long does that take? Those would be great to expose mainstream gamers to.
Other big-name indies like Aquaria should be equally no-brainers.. where are they exactly? Not on XBLA.

* Where is Soldat? How many years does it take for people to get a clue?! That game was MADE for Live!
It's a 2D Halo killer, seriously -- I'd consider giving in and getting a gold account!

* Where is Gish? Where is Gish2? A Gish2 XBLA exclusive would be INCREDIBLE!
I would pre-order it somehow, even if it meant infiltrating Redmond with Dan Akroyd and Robert Redford, to hack into XBLA and add pre-ordering to the payment system.

* While we're discussing hypothetical-indies-on-XBLA.. how about a little Cortex Command action?

* Some other indie games that might fit: Eschalon Book 1, Boundless Planet, Gibbage, Golf?, Bonesaw, Bloody Zombies, FLaiL..
at this point I'm just listing games I like. There are literally hundreds -- though you wouldn't know it from the above reviews!
Isn't that sad? Frustrating? Maybe a bit enraging?

* Three words: Off-Road Velociraptor Safari. Maybe that's four words. Anyway, it's three concepts.
(P.S - two words: Jetpack Brontosaurus)

* Anthologies of various indie groups -- FAIND/Cactus/Knytt/Bernie/Ikiki/Hello World Project/Iteration Games/Binary Zoo/Kenta Cho -- would all have been mind-blowingly awesome. The latter three could also show off all the 360s next-gen graphics power!
$5-10 for a handful of someone's amazing, quirky games? SOLD!

* WHERE IS CAVE STORY? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL YEARS. GET _ON_ THAT!!!



Conclusion

We're really greatful that Ross Erickson liked N so much that he found us and gave us an incredible opportunity to expose more gamers to something different.

It would be really great, for everyone involved, to see more advocates in the industry with the initiative, courage and passion to champion quirky alternative titles that gamers deserve to know about.



I guess it may be stupid to expect Microsoft to be hunting down good games to bring into their service, when so many developers are clamouring to get on XBLA.. but if the majority of the ones clamouring are just looking to churn out lifeless crap and make a quick buck, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea?

Are there no "A&R"-type people in the games industry? It seems like a bit of an oversight considering how many brilliant, creative people are out there making games, but not super business-savvy or connected to the mainstream industry.. _those_ are the people we should be looking to, not retail developers!



Finally (for those keeping score), games we have bought:

* Carcasonne (free)
* Doom
* Geometry Wars
* Lumines
* N+ (free)
* Pac-Man CE

We've bought 4 games. Carcasonne is nice, but when you have the board version and a silver account, there really isn't much point.


Games we would consider buying, if we didn't have access to them on PartnerNet and/or didn't already own them in a different format (i.e were less cheap-ass):

* Alien Hominid
* Bomberman Live
* Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
* Eets
* Rez
* Sensible World of Soccer
* Switchball
* Rocketbowl



So, it looks like -- if you're very pedantic and have a calculator handy -- some of my statements could be considered a touch hyperbolic.
Then again, my usual style of rhetoric is "heavy hyperbole", so perhaps I should be commended for my restraint.


Of course, these are simply my opinions; since these opinions are apparently offensive to some, I felt it was only fair to present them more fully, so that they could perhaps be better understood. Plus I was feeling really procrastinate-y.

Refute away!
 

pilonv1

Member
Jun 7, 2004
22,668
0
0
Someone should buy them a gold account so they can enjoy some of these good games that they hate because they are poor silver people.
 

aku:jiki

Member
Jun 7, 2004
11,076
0
0
Wow, that's fucking pathetic. Using "do we really need [Game X]" is a lame fucking argument. How about judging the game on it's own merits as opposed to just sticking to some retarded principle? Yes, we needed Omega Five, because it was awesome! Yes, we needed Pinball FX for the same reason! And there isn't even a "gangsta" table in PFX.

What's most pathetic is how they just can't let up. Whenever they find themselves praising a game, they absolutely have to squeeze in some kind of complaint. Even if it's something as absolutely retarded as complaining about not having a gold account, as if that's somehow the game's fault.

I'm starting to really wish that I never paid for N+. :(

An idiot said:
Puzzle Quest I've been purposefully avoiding this game so as to not become addicted to my sworn enemy, the casual match-3.
How can you possibly avoid feeling like an idiot when writing something like this? I don't get it.
 
Jun 25, 2006
7,508
1
0
I support the notion of porting Cortex Command to XBLA.



 

sneaky77

Member
Jan 15, 2008
8,245
1
0
Business Lesson #1: If you're lucky enough to build your dream about working for yourself do not become a jackass when you finally make some cash and piss the people that put you in that position off. And also look like idiots in the eyes of other developers
 

besada

Banned
Feb 16, 2007
27,360
6
0
These guys seem to have the idea that what they like is what should be on XBLA. Guess what, a bunch of us love the board and card games. Some of us like 3D and aren't obsessed with 2D. Some of us are capable of saying a game isn't to our taste without calling it shit.

I totally agree with some of their reviews. The issue is that their original statement DOESN'T agree with their shotgun reviews. The vast majority of titles they said were good to okay to meh. That's a bit different than "shit". And even then entirely overlooks that the audience is larger than he supposes, and those card games and board games and shitty movie games are for different people.
 

Sean

Banned
Jun 14, 2004
14,673
2
0
Metanet review said:
Heavy Weapon One of the ugliest menus on XBLA. Overall, meh.



80% of their reviews go like this:

- I hear multiplayer is awesome but I've only got a silver account!
- Does the world need another *insert genre here*?
- 'We fucking hate PopCap games kick them off the service, rawr!!'
 

Shard

XBLAnnoyance
Dec 20, 2004
73,272
0
0
41
Tampa Bay, FL
msp.starshipmoonhawk.com
Okay, I personally take offense at the slagging of the XBLA Wikipedia Page, I know that some of us herehave toiled over that page to be a paragon of accuracy.

Also, I have to stop at thier review of Assault Heros since they know NOTHING about that game. This is the biggest pile of collective stupid I have seen in a long while.
 

SapientWolf

Trucker Sexologist
Jul 4, 2004
35,710
0
0
Sean said:


80% of their reviews go like this:

- I hear multiplayer is awesome but I've only got a silver account!
- Does the world need another *insert genre here*?
- 'We fucking hate PopCap games kick them off the service, rawr!!'
I agree. He makes a few good points, but the reviews are kind of loaded. Like the 1 star music reviews you see that are only about how good another band is. He's clearly pushing to get some of his favorite games released to the network, even though he complains about ports. And he seems to have a personal agenda against 3D graphics (even though games like Undertow and Rez look phenomenal).
 

Psychotext

Member
Jun 15, 2007
35,928
0
1,175
I was kinda amused by the gripshift "review". Bad physics? Yeah, umm... it's a car in a fantasy setting which can turn and handbrake in midair. You know, like a floaty robot in a fantasy setting.
 

Shard

XBLAnnoyance
Dec 20, 2004
73,272
0
0
41
Tampa Bay, FL
msp.starshipmoonhawk.com
Another thing that is grinding my gears is their bitching about games that are available elsewhere being on the XBLA. I am sorry Metanet but not everybody bought the Gamecube version of Alien Hominid HD and it is kind of nice to have a place where the game is readily available.
 

aku:jiki

Member
Jun 7, 2004
11,076
0
0
SapientWolf said:
I agree. He makes a few good points, but the reviews are kind of loaded. Like the 1 star music reviews you see that are only about how good another band is. He's clearly pushing to get some of his favorite games released to the network, even though he complains about ports. And he seems to have a personal agenda against 3D graphics (even though games like Undertow and Rez look phenomenal).
Yeah, the man is quite clearly incredibly boxed-into the world of PC indie gaming. Nothing's good if it wasn't featured at TIGSource, it seems.
 

Shard

XBLAnnoyance
Dec 20, 2004
73,272
0
0
41
Tampa Bay, FL
msp.starshipmoonhawk.com
Just randomly glanced at their Crsytal Quest "review" Oh ye gods if they were using the Wikipedia list they could have clicked a few links, yea it is a sub-pat game, but this isn't a family focused take on Geometry Wars, it is a revival of an obscure mac game made in the late 1980s. RAAAAAGGGGAHHH!
 

kmfdmpig

Member
Aug 19, 2007
4,571
0
1,265
Arizona
aku:jiki said:
Yeah, the man is quite clearly incredibly boxed-into the world of PC indie gaming. Nothing's good if it wasn't featured at TIGSource, it seems.

They really do come across as incredibly annoying. I think their chance at success is inversely linked to how often they feel the need to share their opinions so publicly. I'm sure MS and all of the other developers just love being raked over the coals and ridiculed by the new kid on the block. It's the equivalent of a freshman in high school throwing down on everything and everyone in high school on their first day. Everyone would look at the person like they were stupid and think STFU!
 

soldat7

Member
Sep 12, 2007
11,951
0
815
www.backloggery.com
Shard said:
Another thing that is grinding my gears is their bitching about games that are available elsewhere being on the XBLA. I am sorry Metanet but not everybody bought the Gamecube version of Alien Hominid HD and it is kind of nice to have a place where the game is readily available.

And in HD. And with Leaderboards. And Achievements. And additional DLC. Just sayin'.
 

SapientWolf

Trucker Sexologist
Jul 4, 2004
35,710
0
0
I think I see the motivation for his rant. There are tons of great indie games out there that no one knows about, and aren't selling because of this. He's probably bitter because on the PC all those awesome, original games are in the shadow of bland, unoriginal titles, many of which are from PopCap. His biggest fear is to see that trend repeated on XBLA.

So he's blasting commercial titles to help promote the underground. You see this happen in the entertainment industry all the time.
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Jun 7, 2004
19,552
1
0
47
Space is the Place
That list eats stupid and poops fail for dissing Pinball FX /as if there was a deluge of super well made pinball games/ with table designs so awesome you'd imagine they'd restart the pinball biz if made as actual tables.
 

aku:jiki

Member
Jun 7, 2004
11,076
0
0
I'm pretty bored, waiting for a phone call. Decided to read all of the reviews and couldn't help but respond for my own amusement.

Metalol said:
Hexic 2 Very slick. Still, 30 PopCap games, plus how many PopCap-wannabe games? Better style than PopCap at least.
What? How is it Hexic's fault that PopCap exists? This one has to be some kind of unfunny joke, right?

Wrongnet said:
Prince of Persia Classic One of the better retro titles, but still pretty damn clunky.
It isn't clunky at all, if you bother to learn how to play it. If you realize that you don't have to wait for an animation to finish before linking into your next move, it becomes one of the smoothest games I've ever played.

Factchecknet said:
Bliss Island Played it for half an hour, hoping that there would be more than ridiculous, completely diluted, dumbed-down-to-the-point-of-uselessness pinball. It was a long half-hour.
There are something like 8 minigames in Bliss Island. Not that the game is good, but you could at least hit up Google before typing down some whine!

Okwhat? said:
Zuma More PopCrap. If only whoever owns Puzzloop would sue them out of existance.. if only.
Contradictionnet said:
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo etc Unfortunately I prefer some of the more recent singleplayer casual clones of this mechanic.
Still, one of the better games for both puzzle and retro categories. And at least it's not PopCap.
So, let me get this straight. PopCap and clones suck, but you prefer clones of SPF2T? What?

Dictionarynet said:
Band of Bugs As with Undertow, this is a game I may have otherwise enjoyed had I not already been obsessed with a version I much prefer (in this case, Advance Wars/Fire Emblem). Also, as with most XBLA games, regrettably goes for same-old-3D when sprites can look SO much better/less generic (see the GBA Advance Wars/Fire Emblems! =)
Did he really just call a game based on fantasy bugs generic compared to bog-standard fantasy game Fire Emblem? Somebody needs a dictionary.

Factchecknetstrikesback said:
Marble Blast Ultra Fun. Would be better if it had come out 5 years ago before the deluge of "giant-rolling-ball-physics games" had made me sort of tired of this genre. Apparently multiplayer is fun, but again.. silver account.
It did come out 5 years ago, on the PC indie scene you love so much!

Thereturnoffactchecknet said:
Mutant Storm Empire Really fun, good style; played through more than half of it. I wish they had brought Space Tripper over instead though!

Mutant Storm Reloaded Didn't like this even close to as much as MSE.. why did they get rid of the various powerups?!
Way to mix up the games, dude. (He's talking about MSE when he thinks he's talking about MSR and vice versa.)

Saywhatnet said:
RoboBlitz Explain how a game which uses Unreal3 is in the IGF?
Explain what that has to do with XBLA?

Actually, also explain how the fact that they could afford a licensed engine somehow makes them less independent?

Wrongnet said:
Wik and the Fable of Souls Awesome idea.. not so big on the actual result. Would have been great with free-movement rather than the casual-friendly hand-holding. By this I mean: Umihara Kawase would have been much better.
This is a confusing thing to say. Umihara Kawase is the better game, yes, but it's quite clearly much more "casual-friendly" (which I assume means "easy to play" in this case, not sure what else he could mean) than Wik is. In Umi, you have full freedom of movement and you can jump around to compensate for the fishing hook. In Wik, you can only move via "grappling hook" (Wik's tongue, actually). It's clearly much more difficulty to play, and since it refuses the player free movement, it actually uses the grappling-hook manouver in slightly more interesting ways. (But, yeah, Umi is still a bit more fun.)

Cluelessnet said:
How about some Wipeout?
Yes, Metanet, the mind boggles. Why isn't a Sony-owned property on a Microsoft-owned marketplace?

Supercluelessnet said:
Aside from the best (Ikaruga, Bangai-o), what's the point really?
The world doesn't need more shmups, but it needs more platformers? Because there aren't a billion of those? Using the above logic, why bother making N+ when Super Mario World exists?

We've covered that their bullshit opinions on shmups are annoying, but as a shmupper they really piss me off. :(

insertcredit.com said:
It's unusual for developers to review other developers' games. Some people think that's bad practice, but who knows games better than developers?
Now that's some funny shit, Brandon.