XBox games sitting on my shelf

Just want a list of the games I own, since I'm starting Toulose LauTrack of them.

List items

  • Many neat features, but overshadowed by its successor in just about every way. And don't get me started on that fucking last level unless you want to see my veins burst out my forehead.

  • A game which has cool design ideas and an earnest attempt to blend movie and animated series that suffers from cruel save points and restart conditions, and wonky platforming that could learn a lot from the elegance of Sands of Time (a game to which it owes a lot). Still, for a problematic platformer and movie tie-in game, this is more enjoyable than one might expect. It's just too bad that they didn't just go all the way to the animation side of things and let poor Charlize go free.

    Not done yet, but the draconian save system is wearing me thin.

  • Just look at that list! Roadblasters! I finally get to tool around on that game without spending money (or feeling guilty).

    Still, this and all the other arcade collections I've bought remind me that arcade games are there to suck quarters out of your pocket and keep you wanting more, instead of providing a steady narrative experience.

    Maybe I'll profile the specific games that I like in this comment bar later. And a note to me in the future if I don't: don't worry, this sure as hell isn't the first project you've let fall by the wayside. Don't feel bad.

  • Xybots, APB, and Xenophobe, three of my favorite arcade games. Not to mention some Mortal Kombat (although the code system is futzed up because of poorly thought-out controls).

    Same problem with other arcade game compilations, the arcade is made to make kids and grown-ups alike wonder where it all went, training them for the inevitable disappointment of trips to Reno and Vegas.

  • Not gotten too far in this yet. The beat-em-up system is wonky, but I like its attempt at urban Prince of Persia and customizing a graffiti tag set...

  • Great storytelling, great new features that improve on the good system of its predecessor. Not as good as people give it credit for in my opinion, at least with regard to the magnitude of love it gets. Maybe this comes from the versatility of the multiplayer? I haven't really tried that.

    The change-up in the main characters seems to be criticized by some people? I don't understand why, I loved it. I don't think it makes the enemy any more sympathetic, but it sure as hell makes them believable and a lot more interesting, not to mention cutting the monotony down to almost nil.

    If you're curious as to why monotony might be a problem, cf the first game.

  • I have not even cracked this one yet. Gimme a Firefly/Serenity game, or a Dr. Horrible maybe. I dunno. Maybe I'll say more when I give it a go...

  • I really like this game, I just wish the dungeons were deeper. I mean, OK, Daggerfall went a bit ape dookie with its pits of endless doom, but I think they swung a bit too far in the other direction with this one. Still, the free exploration is exactly the kind of thing I like, and the character customization is fun, if it still seems silly to me to jump around like a House of Pain to boost up Jump, for example (and I miss wall climbing).

    Got the two expansions for this in a game of the year edition, but haven't gotten TOO much mileage out of those yet. Didn't realize I got close to beating the main mission until I saw a bit too much of a really fast run through on the internets... Sorta broke the illusion for me and I didn't come back to it. That, I felt the slave freeing subplot didn't seem to have enough meat for me, even though I was grateful for its existence.

    I don't doubt I'll pick it up some day again, assuming my XBox doesn't a'splode.

  • I actually bought this for its inclusion of the old Doom games. Silly, huh? I haven't beaten 3 yet, but I ran through 1, 2, and the arduous and largely unrewarding Ultimate.

    With stuff like ZDoom out there, though, it's hard to not feel like I threw my money away.

    Ah well, I don't regret it really. I enjoyed playing through those old games again.

  • Sometimes I'm easily influenced by my peers. I played this game to a certain point, and enjoyed it. Then some guy I know said it was the worst game for the XBox, and I stopped playing. It unhinged something in me and I gave up, and haven't gone back. I actually thought it was OK, although where I left off felt a little strange, and the terrifying aspect of the monster in Carpenter's film (one of my favorite horror films because of its ability to scare the fuck out of me) is diminished here because the creatures can touch you and you don't... don't... augh, the movie is starting to creep me out again. Well done, Carpenter!

  • I guess I don't really consider this a real thief game because it never had the impact the other games had. I felt like they'd taken a franchise and done something with it, but that it wasn't the creepy one I loved so much. Still, there were some fun additions to the lore in this one, so it's not like I hated it.

    I really didn't like what they did with the pagans, they made them sort of pathetic instead of behind-the-scenes creepy weirdos. The hammers are sorta hard to get wrong, and the Keepers became a bit too naive for me to accept that they were the same dudes any more.

    The fan service ending brought a smile to my face, though.

    This game was OK, but it made me miss Looking Glass Studios all the more.

  • Damn good game, with some weird oversights which lead to exploits for the unscrupulous. Tactical RPG with an original setting and fun customization. One of my favorite Xbox games. Not done yet.

  • Yeah, the combat is a bit frustrating, but I tell you what: this is my favorite game for the XBox, and one of my favorite all-around game experiences ever.

    The story hit the right fairytale note, blending modern sensibilities with the ancient storytelling tradition, great puzzles, great rewind mechanic that made reloads less painful (until you ran out of sand), beautiful scenery, good use of space and movement (it was 3D but kept with the classic Prince of Persia by making the hero's movement logical and easy to intuit on the fly).

    It is the ONLY XBox game that I have repeatedly wanted to pick up and play, and this is YEARS after I first got the game. Just recently i learned that Jordan Mechner had a huge influence on the game's development, despite his initial willingness to stop at an advisory role. I would say that this makes it only more clear why I feel this is a classic game, but really, what it shows me is how much Mechner's sensibilities have improved over his already classic game designs.

  • Spawn's not as cool as Link, at least in the way he was implemented. Necro-whatever and Spawn feel too similar, and I guess it's obvious why, but at least McFarlane has three basic archetypes he works from. Why not have one of his half naked sadomasochistic girls (um, I guess 3 sorta worked on the objectification angle a bit more), or one his pitiful, fat guys?

    Anyway, got that out of my system. Mitsurugi got the most build time from me, and I spent most of my time on the XBox version in the adventure mode. I really like the battle system, I like how you can practice moves, earn weapons, pull off nice combos even if you're not a master and still win. It's also pretty satisfying to hack into somebody with a weapon, even if it doesn't really show what weapons do when the hit flesh.

    I had someone to play with on my old Gamecube version, though, and not so much with the XBox version. Maybe that's why it hasn't gotten as much use out of me as my old Gamecube one, which was fully unlocked if I remember correctly.

  • Man, what a mess. I'm not just bothered by this obviously incomplete and buggy product that still manages to end and not explode in your face yet feel like an empty shell, I'm also bothered by the many reviewers who were talking positive about this game like they hadn't played past the solid first third. Gaps, nonsensically placed cutscenes, dead ends, bugs, oversights, and an endgame that felt like machine-created freeware made me feel like I'd wasted my damned time investing in the game only to have it shrug its shoulders on me and close its own coffin door.

    I derived some enjoyment from it, but this is the kind of game making that should be on the outs by now, whether it was the producer that forced the designers to finish too early, or the designers themselves just giving up and resting on the original KOTOR's laurels. Blech.

  • People keep evoking this game when they talk about the modern Gauntletoids, but I have to say even this made me feel a bit empty. I think there's still room for improvement in the side-by-side co-op hack and slash. I hope people don't give up making these, because I feel like they're eventually going to break out and do something really entertaining.

    Some of the most fun I ever had in cooperative dungeon crawl was in the Gamecube's version of Phantasy Star Online. We had a blast leveling up, trading items, and watching each other's back . PSO's essentially a similar sort of game with less of an emphasis on dungeons, and more on loot, from a 3D perspective. But you know what, split screen lets you split up. One of the big problems Dark Alliance and other top down dungeon crawls have is the fight over the camera.

    I liked this one all right, enough so I'd rather play this again than buy Seven Sorrows or the Dungeons and Dragons one, but I'm actually waiting for this sort of gameplay to evolve. There's a market for it, everybody! Get on it!

  • The adventure mode was all right in this, though at times it was tedious and a bit too intent on training me when all I wanted to do was explore. I always, always liked the mythology in this game series, though, so I felt like I was learning a bit too much about the world. When I was allowed to fill in the blanks a bit, I think it was more interesting and I could come up with less cliche ideas than what they eventually started depicting.

    The fighting is fun, brutal, and best of all accessible. I'm not much for memorizing key presses, though, so I don't think I've managed to do a single move-based fatality in this game. Yet, getting someone squished or impaled is kinda fun, the different move sets are neat, the exotic characters and locations are interesting. MK will always appeal to me, but I guess I'm a bit sick inside.

  • The dark city of The Warriors is almost an alternate reality, but it never steps outside the bounds of plausibility. It does touch upon myths and archetypes though, so the cheese of the haircuts, clothing stytes, and manner of speech is sort of refreshing instead of being embarrassing.

    Though the beat-em-up parts can sometimes feel a bit arduous, this game encourages exploration, has some interesting unlockables, and some time-wasting side modes that I actually still like to play once in a while (I get my choice team of random female citizens to throw brutes off the roof in one of its battle royale modes. Always fun).

    The story is great, and I was surprise how much deeper it felt than the movie it was based on. The movie and the game COMPLEMENT each other instead of getting in each other's way, which I find remarkable.

    Along with Prince of Persia, Gladius, and Jade Empire, this is probably one of my favorite games for my XBox.

  • I have a soft spot in my heart for Chinese culture (and to some extent Japanese). So, for all the strange routes Jade Empire takes, I forgive every one of them, or even embrace them. This is one of the few games I've LOVED and one of the few games that engaged me emotionally (the orphanage scenes and the last big choice you make).

    One of the major problems I overlooked was the exploitable difficulty level. I dumped most of my stat increases into Focus, and wound up absolutely dominating the battlefield. But I like the game so much that on my second playthrough I decided to limit myself in one of the three statistic increases you get in the game: skills, amulet gems, or stat increases. I suggest those who don't like it even when it's on hard try that. To me it just makes me feel more like a kung fu master to be able to kick ass without using the system to its full potential, even though I shouldn't have had to do that in order to enjoy the combat more.

    I also wish there were some repetition in monsters, just so you could try out new powers on them and see their powers used on you. I think I fought a total of three ogres in the whole game. Really guys? I appreciate your willingness to put all that energy into character design for things that are rarely used, but I don't mind you being a bit proud of these creatures.

    There were parts that didn't feel as well-developed as they could have been, but it wasn't like the lumbering shell that was KOTOR II. Still, if they put out a Jade Empire II, I hope they work harder to make this series really shine, artistically speaking.

  • There were a lot of nice elements in this game, but after I've read reviews of Fable II I feel like I payed for a development demo. For all the freedom that Fable gives you, I think the good/evil dynamic only makes me feel how much such a simplistic view of ethics is lacking. It makes me want to see something even more dynamic, where the focus is more on the consequences rather than a sliding scale. Since I tend to play what these people think are good guys, it means I'm basically railroaded. I don't get a kick out of cruelty unless I can justify it somehow. I reserve random acts of evil for a low stress period in the afternoon playing Grand Theft Auto, not a game that keeps score... Though I wouldn't mind if there were more consequences in GTA than there are. Still, Fable... I dunno. I ran out of stuff to spend experience points on rather early, which was disappointing. I still haven't beat the damned thing, and I wonder if that's why. At least with level caps you feel like you've made strategic choices, in this I'd picked everything and still had a game to beat.

  • I like split screen adventures, so I like this game, but I'll be damned if Koei seems to like experimenting with their franchise more than perfecting it. The cool random bonuses of the prior game's weapons are gone, replaced by an irritating, linear leveling system. You can't pick Japanese language any more, making the cool cheese factor of strange dubbing turn into the embarrassing cheese of bad and repetitive voice acting. It's fun to level heroes, fun to see the battles from their perspective, and I think there's still some ways Koei could pimp out the system and make it better. But they don't seem to want to do that...

  • Single player dungeon hack with some of the funniest loot I've ever seen in a game. I only wish this had more depth and willingness to take risks with the genre than it does. It left me feeling better than I did with Dark Alliance despite its lack of multiplayer and weak ending, I think because the main character was a lot more interesting and the humor was genuinely satirical. I have a fondness for this game, although it manages not to be as close to a classic as it could have been. Still, barrels...

  • Haven't beaten this yet. I got to a point where I think the game was trying to teach me the enjoyment of hearing old Vin Diesel's dying screams. Fun, visceral gameplay and brutal aesthetics, though some of the controls are a bit hedgy and non-intuitive (I have to keep looking things up). If I beat it maybe I'll have a higher appreciation for it.

  • I managed to play the original arcade Bionic Commando with this, and it made me realize just why it should be forever forgotten. Street Fighter II is on here, which is neat, if a bit drab. Ghouls and Ghosts is as hard as I remember. Like with the Midway series a lot of these games are interesting history and fun in their own limited way (arcade games have a way of sapping your soul, though, the way they're designed to sap money in arcades). Forgotten Worlds is batshit crazy, Gusmoke is sadistic... I can't say I enjoyed this collection nearly enough as I did the Midway ones, but I guess for me the Midway games sorta herald what I consider to be the classic era of arcade games. This collection spans a wider timeline and so it has some largely pointless early games and Street Fighter II at the other end. So it hasn't gotten nearly as much game time from me as the two others had.