Downloadable games (DLG) have taken the gaming scene by storm over the past couple of years. With more and more people having internet access available to them, they are able to connect to the internet and download some of the best games on the market today. Another awesome perk about DLG’s is their pricing. You are able to get games that offer 6-10 hours of enjoyment for 5-15 dollars….that’s a steal. Now there are many different outlets to get these types of games. You have the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare and PC/Steam. Today I am going give you MY top 5 Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) games. Here we go.
5. Castle Crashers (1200 Microsoft Points)
The Guys over at Behemoth studios showed us that if you work hard and create one of the best flash games of all time (Alien Hominid) then you are on your way to bigger and better things. That is exactly what we got when they released “Castle Crashers.” An old school beat’ em up with that distinctive Behemoth art style.
This game is a joy to play solo but the real fun begins when you get three of your buddies and go through the campaign together. What also is great about this game is the replay value. Whether it is to level up and existing character (Blue Ice Knight all the way) or starting a new character (with his own unique set of special abilities) from scratch. With a lengthy campaign, fun co-op , and that signature Behemoth charm, “Castle Crashers” is an XBLA title everyone should own.
4. Costume Quest (1200 Microsoft Points)
When I heard that Tim Schafer and Double Fine productions were set to be releasing four downloadable XBLA games, I flipped. I have always been a fan of Tim Schafer’s work and “Grim Fandango” continues to be one of my favorite games of all time. So when I heard from a friend that their first DLG was going to be a RPG, I was even more excited.
Then, “Costume Quest” was released. I first want to tell you about the charm that this game possesses. My girlfriend hates video games. Well, she might not hate them but she sure doesn’t play any of them. It must be a rule at her sorority…no “Bioshock” in the house. So she doesn’t even know what an RPG is, but on Halloween after we got back from a party I downloaded “Costume Quest” and she fell in love with it.
Everything about this game is well done and just…damn….awesome. The story, the characters, the power ups are all amazing and as usual that Tim Schafer sense of humor shines through the whole way. Quick premise: You are a young boy/girl who has to rescue their sibling from goblins who mistake her as a giant candy corn.
Throughout the game you collect costumes that transform you into what that costume represents….reminds me of when I was young. They have a wide array of costumes, from a robot all the way to a unicorn…that kicks ass. “Costume Quest” is definitely the sleeper on this list and if you haven’t yet, you should go download it…you won’t be sorry.
3. Bastion (1200 Microsoft Points)
Although Bastion has just been released on XBLA it has already stolen a place in my heart. This is the first released from Super Giant Games. Super Giant Games includes Greg Kasavin, who I watched all the time back when he was on Gamepot.
I have tremendous respect for the man and when I found out he was releasing his own game, I knew I had to check it out. Bastion is a unique game. It features a narrator who narrates everything you do in the world. What was amazing to me is that in this 6-8 hour experience, I did not hear the same line repeated once.
The game plays very much like a top down action game with loot collecting, multiple weapons and spells. Another thing about Bastion that was awesome was the soundtrack. An amazing score was put together for this game. Bastion is an incredible game that everybody should pick up this summer. To see our full review of the game click HERE.
2. Shadow Complex (1200 Microsoft Points)
Back in the NES days there was a little game that came out that would define a genre. That game was Metroid. Gone were the days of just running from left to right and advancing to the next level. Metroid gave you a huge map to explore and tons of things to do/find. Castlevania would eventually adopt this formula and it brought them some of their most successful titles. Now, there is Shadow Complex. Shadow Complex was the first game put our by Chair Studios a subsidiary of Epic Games. (Chair went on to make the hit game “Infinity Blade” for the iPhone/iPad).
From the open world map, the hidden collectable power-ups to the backtracking to unlock new areas, Shadow Complex pays homage to everything that was great about the original Metroid. It doesn’t hurt the fact that this game feels like your playing a summer blockbuster. The mix between 2D and 3D action segments is great, there is just enough challenge for you to enjoy, and again there is great replay ability. Shadow Complex is an amazing XBLA game and if it is not apart of your library, go get it….now. This game would have been number one if it was not for….
1. Limbo (1200 Microsoft Points)
Limbo is in my definition a piece of art. Limbo is the first game to come out of Danish developer Play dead and boy did they hit it out of the park. Play Dead does not try to over complicate things with this game. They don’t give you a background story, they don’t give you voices, heck…they don’t even give you music for most of the game. All they so is drop you into this world and say “here…go.” One of the reasons why this game resonates with me is the art style. Never before has a game in black and white been so beautifully captured. Limbo won the award for “Best Visual Art” at the Game Developers Choice awards and it was well deserved. Another amazing thing about Limbo is the sense of tension you have while playing through it. I jumped multiple times throughout this game…not because it is scary but because of the connection you build with the main character…only to have it taken away by some of the most horrifying deaths seen in a game. There were moments in this game when I just yelled…”oh shit…this giant spider is coming to ge…oh crap, impaled right through the chest.” Limbo is a puzzle game at heart and the puzzles were just difficult enough to make you think but not make you throw your controller at the television. Limbo is in my opinion the best game that XBLA has to offer. There is no multilayer, replay value is minimalistic but the experience is like none you have ever played or will play again.
So there you have it, my top 5 Xbox Live Arcade downloadable games. Do you guys agree with the list? What are some of your favorite XBLA games? Leave your comments below.