The XBLA Experiment – Am I Broken?…


A couple more weeks down and so far im still going strong, and i’ve even been off the Live titles over the past week. It may have something to do with a certain PS3 adventure title. More on that in a little.

A lot of factors have conspired to my shift back to my (freshly dusted) PlayStation. The biggest wasn’t that PS3 big hitter, more that after a strong few weeks of XBLA releases there was a real lapse in the release schedule. Panzer General (turn based tank game) has no appeal to me at all, and I can’t bring myself to pay   for a 59p iPhone game in Tower Bloxx Deluxe. Even Indie Games has had something of a shortage on real originality of late. Coming into this project following the Summer of Arcade i was a bit spoilt for choice, and i worry that going on into the year can XBLA consistently keep up a level of quality that i want from the service.

That said i have finished Shadow Complex, and can say it’s a top 10 game of the year for me. definitely the highlight so far of the XBLA Experiment. I haven’t gone back for a second play through, or really hit the challenge rooms. i think that if i had someone to compete against it would encourage me to go back to it. Now Shadow Complex is over ive had to find something else to fill my Nolan North void and thats where Uncharted 2 fits in.

Now, on paper Uncharted 2 is an AMAZING title. It moves from incredible set piece to set piece and features some of the best performances from a cast of actors in a game i have ever come across. BUT, the Internet has been hailing UC2 as the Holy Grail of PS3 gaming and i couldn’t help but disagree. I cant put my finger on what it is either, when i break it down in my head there are very few things i can come up with that pull me out. One is the constant repetition of jumping for a ledge only to have it break or just fall short and be grabbed by the NPC at the last possible moment. I’m sure it happened at least ever other level. Another, is how Drake has moved away from his ‘everyman’ persona established in Uncharted. He is a lot more action hero this time around and i think it makes the character less interesting. When Drake picks up a mini gun and wanders round the jungle wiping out soldiers like Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura in Predator i was officially checked out. Let’s not mention the Yetis.

Have weeks of not playing Ps3 and delving so deep into the Live service has changed my perception of Video games as whole. It’s the only explanation i can think of to explain why i thought it was good, but never once found myself falling in love with it. What does this mean for the rest of the years titles? Will i feel the same about Assassins Creed or heaven forbid Modern Warfare 2?

Finishing off the Indie Top Ten this week got me replaying some of the titles i shortlisted. I really cant recommend those games enough. Maybe the originality found in these games is what has taken the shine from Uncharted 2. Everything Uncharted 2 does is done to a spectacular level, but everything it does has been done before.

A little originality really does go a long way!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Wayne Shayler says:

    I must say, all Shadow Complex got me to do was go back and play Super Metroid. I still haven’t finished SC and don’t think I will although I do agree it is an awesome game. I especially love the challange rooms, and that’s where I spend most of my time.

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