Retro Round-up for May 15


posted 5/15/2009 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
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The Argument Over Xbox Live Arcade
Now that you've had your fill of the Virtual Console, maybe it's time to check out This Week in Xbox Live Arcade. This is the part of our show where we take a look at the brand new Xbox Live Arcade titles, and then review them using our unique POINT/COUNTERPOINT style. In these reviews I will make a solid point about a game, and then I will argue the other side just to confuse everything. What do I really think about this week's Xbox Live Arcade game? I guess you'll never know. Instead you get what has to be the single least useful review ever posted on this website. Join us as we catch up on the last two weeks of Xbox Live Arcade by reviewing FOUR games. That's right, four. See what they are below.

Arkanoid Live! (Taito)
I liked this game the first time I played it ... when it was called Breakout. Seriously, how is Arkanoid not a huge Breakout rip-off? This Xbox Live Arcade "update" takes the basic concept and adds a fun multiplayer mode. But is that enough? The core gameplay is the same and, outside of a few additions, the game doesn't feel very updated. Worst of all, the controls just aren't precise enough to hold my interesting. This game just isn't very good, especially when you put it up against Taito's other game this week, Space Invaders Extreme.

You're right about this not being as good as Space Invaders Extreme, but I think you're underselling the excitement of Arkanoid Live. Sure it's just another version of Breakout, but is that a bad thing? Breakout is one of the best games of all time, and this update isn't bad either. You say you had problems with the controls, but I found them to work about as well as I expected. It would have been better with a different control, but you make do with what you have.


Space Invaders Extreme (Taito)
This is the second of the two Taito releases, and boy is it a doozey. Not only is it a great reboot to an aging shooter, but it's also the first time I actually cared about a Space Invaders game. I love the way this game is set up, you fight through these crazy psychedelic levels one at a time, and then you get to take on a boss ... just like a real shooter. Gone are the boring days of the original game, Space Invaders Extreme is a fast and exciting update to one of the most influential games of all time.

Boring original? You seriously need to have your head examined. The original Space Invaders was anything but boring. Sure the sequels weren't much to talk about, but that doesn't mean that you should make fun of one of the greatest arcade games ever made. Besides, this Space Invaders Extreme isn't as good as you say it is. The game is only five levels long, you can go through it in an afternoon. And this Xbox Live Arcade port didn't exactly add anything new, so PSP owners shouldn't even think about buying this game. I'm sorry, but you're just wrong on this one.


Star Trek D-A-C (Naked Sky)
How can you not be excited about this game? You saw the movie (EVERYBODY saw the movie), it's full of exciting space battles, hand to hand (to sword) combat and enough Spock to make us completely forget about Star Trek: Enterprise. This Xbox Live Arcade game takes these incredible space battles and turns them into multiplayer fragfests. Resistance is futile!

Are you daft? Yes, the movie was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. And yes, I wouldn't mind seeing an incredible multiplayer Star Trek action game. But man, D-A-C is not that game. This is a 2D overhead shooter with some multiplayer support tacked on for good measure. It's hard to control, hard to look at and never once do we find out what D-A-C means. Beam me out of this mess of a game.


Texas Cheat'em (D3)
Now here's an interesting concept. At first glance you might think this is just another boring Texas Hold'em game, but it's so much more than that. This is a game about cheating. That means that you can steal chips, bring out new cards and even see what your opponents are rocking. Things get even more exciting when you take it online and play with friends. Combine the cheats to really confuse (and amaze) your friends. This really is an exciting take on Texas Hold'em, well worth checking out.

I can't believe you're recommending this. For one thing, the "new" rules don't really make this game better. Texas Hold'em is a game a game about luck and skill, while this game just feels like it's about luck. I liked some of the ideas, but this felt more like a bonus mode for a more established poker game. I would like to recommend this, but this game has too many problems to be fun.


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