Thousands of gamers have finally gotten their wish. X-Men Arcade has been released on Xbox Live Arcade(and Playstation Network), and it is fantastic. The game plays exactly as you remember it.There have been no updates to the graphics or sound (the game has new voice over work, but I imagine this was done because of legal reasons and couldn’t be helped). After the mess that was Turtles in Time I am grateful that the graphics were left as they were back in 1992. I downloaded the game the day it was released and played it on-line immediately. It had horrible lag problems the day it was released, but the problem has since been fixed. The game plays flawlessly over Xbox Live. It is just like playing in the arcade with 5 other soda slurping’, bubble gum chewing strangers. The only gripe I have about the Live service for this game is that people are constantly popping in and out of games (but that is the case with most Xbox Live games). Another thing that is a little strange playing this game is how the strategy for playing has completely changed. When playing the game on-line you will notice that almost everyone uses their mutant ability over and over, dies, and then continues. In the arcade no one would have wanted to do this because it would cost a quarter to continue. I really hated the limited continues Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gave you during an online game, but now looking back, I think that approach makes the most sense. X-Men should have been handled this way as well, on-line games would play closer to the way they were played in the arcade in the 80’s. There are a few very strange glitches in this game as well, all effecting achievements (I don’t know if PS3s trophies are affected as well). Two of the achievements don’t seem to be triggered every time. I have tried to get each of these about ten times with no luck. These types of games are best played with friends in the same room, and that is exactly what I plan on doing this weekend. Getting a case of beer and sitting down with a few friends and playing X-Men. Now if we could just get Simpson’s Arcade released on the Live service I would be in heaven.
I know it may be a little late to be doing a review on Costume Quest, but I passed this game up when it was first released (I assume a lot of people probably did). Back when this game was released I played the demo and loved it, but for some reason I thought to myself, “self, you wouldn’t really enjoy such a childish game like this for more than a demos worth of time”. Crap was I wrong. I found myself going back to play the demo a couple of times after first downloading it. I finally caved and downloaded the full game and I have to say that I absolutely adore this game. The art is fantastic and the story is great. I’ve read my fair share of reviews on-line in which the reviewers have complained about the battle system but I think it’s perfect for a game like this. The battle system is reminiscent of the Paper Mario series. The battles are turn based, but the player will do much better if they can match simple button presses and commands that flash up on-screen. Gamers that enjoy collecting items will love this game. Candy (which is used as currency in the game) is everywhere. In mailboxes, trash cans, dumpsters, leaf piles and anywhere else you can think of. Of course the player also collects candy trick-or-treating at the various locations in the game. There are trading cards that the player collects called Creepy Cards that are similar in style to the Garbage Pail Kids cards of the 80’s, except the cards in the game depict disgusting candies. Another thing that can be collected in the game are costumes. Inside treasure chests are pieces of costumes. The game does a fantastic job making the player feel like a kid again. In the second level there is an arcade that most spawn of the 80’s will feel immediately familiar with, right down to the black carpet with sparkles and fluorescent splotches of color. The game also allows the player to re-live the feeling of trick-or-treating. When knocking at each and every door in the game an ominous drum roll begins to play as the player waits to find out if waiting behind the door is an adult ready to fill the players pumpkin pail with candy or a Grublin ready for battle. The game is simple, but some of the best games of all time have been simple. The quests in each level are a ton of fun. Some of them have you finding neighborhood kids who are playing hide and seek and others have you bobbing for apples. One in particular tasks the player with finding a pie filling that is not pumpkin nor’ apple (spoiler: its cherry) for your school principal. I really enjoyed this game. I have read a few other reviewers say that this game is about 5 hours long, it took me 7. The replay value is pretty low, unless like me, you plan on going back and playing it again next October (Don’t let that deter you, the price is definitely worth a single play through). If you’ve been struggling over whether or not to pick this game up like I had been, stop! Download this game today; it is one of the best RPGs on the X-box Live service.
Grublins on Ice DLC Review
I also picked up the Grublins on Ice DLC add-on after I completed Costume Quests main game. Grublins on Ice is more of the same (which is not a bad thing). I really enjoyed the Grublins on Ice side quest. The only problem I had with it is that it took me about an hour and a half to complete. It is very short. I do, however, hope that they release a few more DLC add-on quests. Double Fine has moved on to working on a game titled Stacking, so I doubt I’ll get my wish.
Overall this game is fantastic. I couldn’t justify giving it an A though because it has little to no replay value.