Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Xbox 360 Demo Roundup

I haven't done this in a while, so I figured I'd give my brief thoughts on all of the demos I've downloaded on Xbox Live over the past few months or so. In order of how they appear in my Xbox games library:

Aban Hawkins & the 1000 Spikes
If you're an old school gamer or just into retro titles, download this game. It's in the style of an old Atari game like Pitfall, with slightly updating graphics, but not by much. It's charming, funny, and literally the hardest game I've ever played. It's insanely difficult, which is why they start you out with 99 lives! Check it out. Good fun.

Apehlion 2
An indie game in the style of a Japanese RPG, only with mediocre graphics, awkward control, and boring battles. If you love RPGs, check it out, but I didn't think it was all that great. Good music though.

Arkedo Series - 01 Jump!
Weird title, fun game. Another Indie title done in the style of an old school Atari/NES game. This one is a puzzle type platformer kind of like the original Mario Bros. It's well done and worth checking out.

This is an awesome, intense, over the top first person shooter. You're some kind of space pirate who... uh... shoots people. If you like action games, check this out. It's a lot of fun and has some awesome kills.

Call of Duty: Black Ops
This was pretty good, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. It's a Call of Duty game, which means it's a great first person shooter, but they're all kind of the same. This one has lots of gadgets and stuff that I didn't get into. I prefer the older games, but this is pretty good if you're into shooters.

Castlevania: Lord of Shadow
After however many decades, somebody finally made a 3D Castlevania game that doesn't suck. This game is gorgeous and a lot of fun... but I'm not sure why it's called Castlevania, since it doesn't really feel like one. But it's good game.

Clash of Heroes
I don't know why I down load demos for RPG games, since they're never fun. RPGs are complicated games that often take a while to get into, so demos rarely show off a game's full potential. Anyway, this is ok. It's a Might and Magic game with cute graphics, but I didn't love it.

Costume Quest
Now this is a good RPG demo! This is a cute, fun game about two kids who go trick or treating and discover a bunch of aliens who landed on earth in order to steal candy... or something. This game is hilarious, has great graphics, and a neat, original battle system. It looks like a kid's game, but it's actually really deep and lots of fun. Check it out.

Divinity II
Another RPG, and it's a pretty good one. Pretty graphics, full control, and what seems like it would be an epic, sprawling quest. I didn't buy it though, so I guess I didn't love it. But if you like RPGs in the vein of Oblivion, check this out.

Duke Forever
Oh man. You've probably already heard the awful reviews for this one... and they're all right. This game looks, feels, and controls like a game for the original Xbox... and a bad one at that. It's just a standard FPS with bad graphics, awkward control, and "jokes" that are just not funny at all. The demo actually starts with the character peeing, and you have to control the stream. No thanks.

Fable III
If you liked the first two Fable games, you'll like this, since it's just more of the same. I liked Fable II ok, but I never finished it because I got bored. The story was lame and it was so linear it bored on being insulting (you actually follow a glowing trail to get to mission objectives), but the graphics were nice and the battles were fun. This game has better graphics and battles that are just as fun. So... check it out, but I don't need to buy it.

Fancy Pants Adventure
Neat little platformer where you control a stick figure. Worth a look.

Full House Poker
An ok Texas Hold 'Em game where your avatar plays poker. If you want to play online, you have to buy the game. Lame.

Halo: Reach
Awesome demo for what is probably an awesome game. I need to buy this already. Anyway, this demo has some FPS shooter levels and a level where you control a spaceship in orbit around the planet. It's all awesome. Check it out.

Hard Corps: Uprising
This is Konami's update to the Contra series, and it's a lot of fun. Like Contra, it's super hard and frustrating, but it's worth it. Great graphics and intense action. Check it out.

Cute, clever puzzle game. If that sounds good, check it out. I liked it.

Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean
Traveller's Tales have been cranking out these Lego games for the past few years, and they're all pretty much the same, only with different characters and locations. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however, since they're all pretty fun, so they seem to have hit on a winning formula so why mess with that? This one is maybe the best yet though, since the graphics are gorgeous and it's just funny and ridiculous. It's worth downloading just to check out how they animated Jack Sparrow's foppish walk.

Great premise, boring game. You control a little spaceship in somebody's bloodstream, blowing up bad guys and blood cells and stuff. It's just boring and looks bland.

OutRun Arcade
It's OutRun! Remember that game? Well... it's back, with updated graphics. If you liked the game back in the day, check out this update. I liked it.

Pac-Man CE DX
I guess I like old school games. Anyway, this is an updated version of Pac-Man, and not just in the graphics department, but in almost every way. I know that sounds like blasphemy, but it's great fun. Check it out for sure.

Rainbow Runner
Somebody else download this demo and tell me how to play it. I literally have no idea what is happening or what I'm supposed to die. I keep dying in two seconds. It looks neat though.

Sonic Generations
Updated 2D version of Sonic. Great fun, awesome graphics, although I find it very hard to see the characters since there's a weird blur effect when you go really fast so I keep dying. But if you liked Sonic back in the day, check it out.

An adventure game starring a family of Russian Nesting dolls. If that sounds weird, that's only because it is. It's also a lot of fun, however, and well worth checking out if you like silly, charming adventure games. This was made by the same people who did Costume Quest.

Top Spin 4
If you love Tennis, you might love this. However, I thought it was boring and hard to play. I prefer more arcade style sports games, and this was too realistic and sim-like for my tastes.

WWE All Stars
A neat wrestling game featuring a mix of old school and new school stars. Too bad it's no fun to play.

Remember that old X-Men arcade game? Well, here it is. It doesn't hold up, but it's still fun.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

Wow. There are a ton of these. I need to check some of them out.

Remember when they first began hyping the original Fable and were pretty much saying that it would be open-ended like no other game had ever been? That you'd be able to make vast changes to the world based upon your actions. Etc. Then it came out and it was just a linear action RPG that didn't really feel innovative at all.

Donald said...

I download everything. I'll sometimes queue up a few to download when I'm at work or whatever. Sometimes I'll only play about one or two minutes of them, but still... they're free.

Not sure if they work as intended, however, since I can't remember if I've ever played a demo and then gone out and bought it. No wait... that latest Splinter Cell game. I never cared much for the series, but the demo was so awesome that I went out and bought the game eventually.