If there’s one thing that has gone under appreciated on Xbox Live throughout its life, it’s the Xbox Live Indies. Some could argue that it was under appreciated for a good reason, it was all crap. But believe it or not, there are some good ones out there. We here at Gaming Irresponsibly have decided to attempt to sift through the crap and find some hidden gold. With this edition, we failed you. I apologize.
Chronodash puts you in the shoes of a faceless, feetless human being as you have to navigate your way through an awful obstacle course that was designed by either the devil or a 12 year old. In the end I would lean toward the 12 year old option as the course looks absolutely atrocious, with textures looking like they were ripped out of a N64 game.
The bit of creativity Chronodash attempts to achieve boils down to simply trying to beat an ongoing timer which is just plain impossible. To beat the timer, you have to complete the entire course while collecting coins to increase your time along the way. This requires you to never die throughout the entire run. Again, seemingly impossible. It’s not impossible due to complex level design, it’s impossible because textures look so ugly that it’s hard to distinguish a moving platform from a normal block to step on. On top of that, the controls are dire. Moving feels floaty, which can kill you when you have to make a precise jump. In a game where moving is crucial to the experience, and the only part of the controls you have to get right, the creators failed at even accomplishing that.
You should avoid Chronodash at all costs.
I’ve always been a basketball fan so deciding to get Pro Basketball Shooter and try it out was a no brainer. What I got was a bit different than my expectations had led me to believe, it’s simply a three point shootout. In it you press A, attempt to make a filling meter hit a certain line, then hope the shot goes in. It’s simple but ultimately it works. There are a few different modes such as a mode that gives you a set amount of points to hit, then ups the difficulty (by increasing the required points) every time you hit the goal set for you.
Another option is a mode that changes the game from a three point shootout to a typical arcade basketball game where balls roll out to you; you pick them up, and hope to hit the hoop directly in front of you while it’s moving. Paying for this is a bit questionable although the price is only a dollar as there are a ton of free online games that will fulfill your basketball needs if this is all you want. But if you don’t pay, you won’t be able to beat my highscores on the game’s leaderboards. That’s right, folks, I’m the best Pro Basketball Shooter ever. I’m working on my own shirt as we speak.
The most interesting of these three games is without a doubt the unique point and click adventure game entitled About to Blow Up. Its premise is as ridiculous as the game, you are the head of the last independent hip-hop record company in town and the evil Mr. Sleez is trying to shut you down! Sleez being the aptly named head of a major hip-hop company that is currently ruling the market. Irresponsibly, you attempt to infiltrate Sleez’s location and things go bad as you find a large number of henchmen just dying to get in your way. Your mission is to distract them all by using items found throughout the world.
I’ll admit that up until the newest Walking Dead games I’ve never had a high interest in the genre. That being said, my thoughts on this game may be a bit different than the average gamer that enjoys being baffled beyond belief in these games. Thankfully, About to Blow Up never gets into Monkey Island territory of ridiculousness in its puzzle solutions but it definitely goes in some places you wouldn’t expect
It’s clear that About to Blow Up was trying hard to achieve some comedy and surprisingly, it succeeds at times. Using sound effects that were clearly found through Google searches (standard falling down whistle noise, getting hit in the head boink noise, etc.), it’s hard to tell if this was for comedic purposes or budgeting issues. Either way, it got a chuckle from me every once in a while.
Deciding if About to Blow Up is good or not was harder than I would have expected. Half way through the game I was all but ready to call it an atrocious experience but by the end there was a certain unexplainable charm that sunk its hooks into me. In no way am I saying About to Blow Up is a good game, but for one dollar, you could do so much worse.
My first go through with some indie games has put me in my place. To enjoy these more often, I’m going to have to go into them with some very low expectations. Let’s hope that improves the overall experience for everyone. I was pissed at Chronodash, bored by Pro Basketball Shooter, and confused by About to Blow Up. Is that a sign of things to come for these Indie games?