Top 5 Xbox Live Arcade Titles
5. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix - Seriously Capcom needs to work on shortening the name on some of these damn Street Fighter related games, don't they? Anyway, this game is the very epitome of video game crack for me. Take a Dr. Mario style drop down brick-breaking game and add some cutesy super-deformed Street Fighter flavor, and Mr. Bones is a happy gamer. Played a ridiculous amount of this game on my Playstation, then again on my PSP years later, and finally began my addiction all over again on my Xbox 360. The game can be punishingly difficult at times, but it's just so damn fun that you won't mind playing against Chun-Li over and over. Or at least I don't.
4. Shadow Complex - This one is awesome for many reasons, one of which being that it shows just how good a 2-D game can still be. It takes the exploration formula from games like Super Metroid, and every GOOD Castlevania game from the last 10 years, forcing you to revisit areas after you've found the appropriate upgrade for your armor suit, and throws in lots of guns, explosions, and giant mech bosses! I believe I read somewhere that this story has something to do with Orson Scott Card's writing, but I don't care enough to actually research that particular little tid bit. I'm not a Card fan, and not knowing anything about his work didn't detract from my enjoyment of this game or the story.
3. Zombie Apocalypse - Go ahead and pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes, I put Zombie Apocalypse above Shadown Complex in the list. The reason is simple, what do you get when you take Smash TV and mix it together with Left 4 Dead? One bad ass mother-effer of a game, that's what. I absolutely love this game. Is it repetitive? Sure, it's kinda supposed to be though. This is as old school as you can get, with a high score being more of a point than actually playing from start to finish. Blood, gore, and limbs fly around as you gun down wave after wave of the undead through 55 days worth of 7 different locations. There are several weapons at your disposal including zombie game mainstays the chainsaw and shotgun, and even more fun stuff like a rocket launcher and chaingun. It's mindless fun that easy to pick up and play, and if you're like me, a couple of hours will pass before you realize it.
2. Castlevania Symphony of the Night - Ah the old PS1 classic, I broke my first Playstation controller over this one. Good times. The first Castlevania to make use of the aforementioned "Super Metroid" game type, you play as Alucard instead of a member of series mainstays the Belmont Clan. You transform into mist, bat, or wolf forms, and explore Dracula's Castle from top to bottom (and eventually bottom to top) before finally confronting the king of all bloodsuckers himself. It doesn't matter how many versions are released, or how many consoles I have to buy it for, this game will always be worth the money for me. While it's not my all-time favorite Castlevania game, it's definitely my favorite PS1 game, and anybody with an Xbox and 800 points should play it.
1. Battlefield 1943 - Battlefield is the shit. There's just something about jumping in a game with 23 other people and "playing army" together that I can't get enough of. Battlefield 2: Modern Combat was my first Battlefield experience and I've been hooked ever since. 1943 is a bit light on content, with only 4 maps and 3 solider classes, but you'll hardly notice because you're having so much fun driving tanks, jeeps, and boats, or piloting fighter planes overhead. The one and only complaint that I see most people have is the lack of a single player component, but honestly other than maybe bot matches there really isn't a need for one in my opinion. This is without a doubt the best that the XBLA has to offer so far, and I'd love to see more downloadable Battlefield in the future.
As you can see, the bar has certainly been raised for the Arcade here lately. It's definitely come a long way since things like Dig Dug getting released got me excited. I didn't even mention some other really great games like Castle Crashers, Galaga Legions, Metal Slug 3, and Puzzle Quest. I never would've guessed that I'd be so into the downloadable games, but I love 'em. Being that I've also got a PS3 with it's own outlet for them, I think a Top 5 PSN games post may be coming in the near future, stay tuned.