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TA Top Five: XBLA Titles

  • Clod StriferClod Strifer240,294
    Posted on 06 October 14 at 22:42, Edited on 06 October 14 at 22:49 by Clod StriferPermalink
    Hm, less Fez and Castle Crashers, more Dust: An Elysian Tail and Dishwasher, Dead Samurai or Vampire Smile. Probably would have placed Ms. Splosion Man over the original as well. The first was great, of course, but the second was so much funnier.
    No, Luke. I killed Mufasa!
  • JMJimmyJMJimmy453,448
    Posted on 06 October 14 at 22:43, Edited on 06 October 14 at 22:50 by JMJimmyPermalink
    Harbringernight said:JMJimmy said:#1 Orcs Must Die (released first on XBLA then PC 6 days later)
    #2 Shadow Complex
    #3 Iron Brigade (released first on XBLA then later on GFWL)
    #4 Battlefield 1943 //As much as I hate to admit it, I really enjoyed this (released first on XBLA, PS3 1 day later)
    #5 Deathspank technically released on PS3 first... so instead: Section 8: Prejudice (released first on XBLA then a couple weeks later on GFWL)
    Much better list IMO.
    Thanks!

    Anubseth said:To OP: what is the criterion for such choices? Each one seems to be chosen at random. ... The easiest way to make a more universal Top 5 list is to use more specific conditions, such as "best gameplay in XBLA games". It's easier, but not final.I'd be curious about this too.

    I can't speak to the OPs criteria but for my list (which, in all honesty, I didn't spend a lot of time on Edit: spent 10 times more writing this post lol) I used these criteria (in no particular order):

    0) Was the game released on XBLA first? (OPs criteria)
    1) Was the game relatively popular?
    2) Was the game well reviewed?
    3) Are there "worse" games from my perspective in the same vein that could objectively be considered "better"?
    4) Does the game satisfy multiple types of gameplay desires and give flexibility to use them?
    5) Does the game's mechanics overly limit the players ability?
    6) Does the story add to the game or is it just because there has to be one for the gameplay elements to occur?

    A title would need extra justification to be on the list if it wasn't popular/well reviewed/etc. I paid particular attention to the 4th criteria. A game that focuses solely on niche gameplay/limited game mechanics has to really excel to be considered superior to a broader experience. The broader experience is only lessened when it fails to implement those niches well or uses them in a way that detracts from the overall experience.

    Orcs Must Die has elements of FPS or 3rd person, survival & puzzle elements from Tower Defense, resource management, general strategy, classic and deep points system, light RPG elements. It was linked by a simple but effective story that felt well tailored to the gameplay without being needlessly complex. It wasn't the most popular game at #300 on TA, though it is #63 on the top rated XBLA titles. It was fun and as challenging as you could want it to be without ever feeling impossibly hard. It's ability to span all those elements and remain flexible enough to allow different styles of play was unmatched by any other game I looked at. If you wanted to do pure FPS, you could do that; if you wanted to do 3rd person, you could; if you wanted to do pure TD, you could; or anything in between.

    Shadow Complex is a more niche game in terms of gameplay, it's popularity and being #12 in the ratings bumped it up for sure. It truly excelled above any other game of its type and achieved a rare balance of pace and challenge. It had a solid story that unfolded well, though could have been slightly more engaging. Most importantly though, it had a more genuine feel to it than most games of its ilk (which often feel comical, implausible, or inconsistent to the point of disengagement). It also managed to balance player ability with game mechanics fairly well, the odd time it felt a little sluggish but smooth overall.

    Iron Brigade has many of the same elements/reasons as Orcs Must Die (OMD). I rated it lower because the story was... eccentric, the enemies/engagements not quite as interesting as OMD though still very solid. It also wasn't as flexible as OMD - overall a solid/broad experience that had multiple ways of engaging with the game that's what ultimately drove it down to #3 and might have made it off the list if it weren't for coop. Coop made all the difference with this game, it made it more fun, it made feel more balanced, and gave a great scaled challenge.

    Battlefield 1943 I am not actually a huge fan of personally. It was odd to seemingly have two very different games bundled together in separate modes. Aircraft controls were horrible imo but others mastered them and pulled off things I never could so I'll put it down to me. The map selection was way way too limited. There was no story, period. All that said though - it was a lot of fun most of the time. Gameplay was solid, well balanced, and even playing those same maps over and over each game felt unique with all the different strategies unfolding. It was simple to pick up yet hard to master, fast paced, often interesting, always varied, and ultimately addictive/enjoyable despite some otherwise serious shortcomings. The popularity and rating reflect it.

    Section 8: Prejudice to this day I do not understand why this was released via XBLA - probably a money thing. It was a full fledged retail title packed into an XBLA package. Decent SP story, though not very engaging it instead focused on creating a world for engagements to occur on. Huge maps were balanced with fast run/vehicles/balanced user selected deployment (vs the typical random spawn point), characters were customizable to the strategy and could be easily swapped both at the spawn screen and in game. Ammo was limited so resource strategy was important yet unlimited refill drop pods kept the game going when you were on a roll. The various different MP modes with excellent bot AI so the game never feels empty. Sadly, Timegate went bankrupt fighting South Peak for the rights to the Section 8 world. For an MP/Bot game I would take Section 8: Prejudice over any Halo/COD MP game - the lackluster/average SP experience (again, likely due to lack of funds) ultimately held it back from being a potential blockbuster title.

    Criteria #4 is also why I don't understand half the games on the OPs list. They're all fairly niche games with little flexibility/limited appeal. They're also all side scrollers with the exception of MNC/1v100 honourable mentions. My list is unintentionally more FPS/3rd person even though those are not my favourite types - I would have loved to include Torchlight or Deathspank if they qualified for the OPs criteria. My personal top 5 would have included Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 but a lot of people do not appreciate the depth of CCGs.
    Life, it's funny that way.
  • RedDeadKBIIRedDeadKBII307,847
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 00:55Permalink
    Limbo and Mark of the Ninja were incredible games, both deserving of a mention.
  • Posted on 07 October 14 at 01:36Permalink
    You are never going to make a list of XBLA games, or any list for that matter, that is universally accepted. For example, by every quantifiable measure (money, players, sales popularity) COD is the best series. However, if you put that on the top of a list of 'best series ever' you will have a multitude of gamers who scoff and claim their favorites are the best...and there is nothing wrong with that.

    I explained my criteria at the beginning of the list and stuck to it. There are certainly other ways to break it down, perhaps better ways, but that is what I chose because my aim was to present a list of games that were not simply ports from other platforms and/or the standard list that everyone makes when including every title on XBLA. Basically, I needed a way to not make a list with Minecraft, Trials and Walking Dead at 1,2, 3. Not that I dislike those games, in fact, I love them. But I saw no point in a list that was so generic and bland that it became totally useless. Thus the reason for my criteria and my list.

    Beyond the stated criteria, I then defaulted to games generally accepted by the community as excellent games.
  • Posted on 07 October 14 at 04:28Permalink
    Brothers
    Limbo
    Super Meat Boy
    Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
    Ms. Splosion Man
  • JMJimmyJMJimmy453,448
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 05:35Permalink
    TerraCottaGamer said:...
    Beyond the stated criteria, I then defaulted to games generally accepted by the community as excellent games.
    Fair enough. The only one I would question based on that is Splosion man - it was actually rated rather poorly by the community, comparatively speaking, ranking in the 72nd percentile (173 of 631) compared to the others that made the top 5, which are all rated in the top 25 XBLA games.

    Either way, it was a fun/interesting perspective :)
    Life, it's funny that way.
  • Posted on 07 October 14 at 06:13Permalink
    Am I the only one who noticed that he called it "Medal" Gear Solid? I was going to mark it as a typo but he did it twice. Really, doesn't make me think you know much about the games to compare them to if you don't know the title.....
  • LuckyKantLuckyKant481,929
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 06:19Permalink
    Mak Me A Samich said:Am I the only one who noticed that he called it "Medal" Gear Solid? I was going to mark it as a typo but he did it twice. Really, doesn't make me think you know much about the games to compare them to if you don't know the title.....Your GT is a bunch of errors. Doesn't make me think you know much about breaded food if you don't know the name of it...
    Hey Niko, its your cousin! Let's go bowling!
  • NomstuffNomstuff690,779
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 06:22Permalink
    Mak Me A Samich said:Am I the only one who noticed that he called it "Medal" Gear Solid? I was going to mark it as a typo but he did it twice. Really, doesn't make me think you know much about the games to compare them to if you don't know the title.....Got ya, One Mistake means he doesn't know a single thing about video games.
  • SashamorningSashamorning1,809,921
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 07:02Permalink
    Wait, MNC got a mention... and Braid got COMPLETELY left off the list?

    No respect for this list.
    Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Live like it's heaven on earth. Don't forget the [popcorn].
  • Posted on 07 October 14 at 12:01Permalink
    no blood dragon and fried phishs game number 1 what a joke
    sugar is sweet lemons are sour spread your legs and feel my power :D
  • Posted on 07 October 14 at 12:02Permalink
    spaceSuicide said:Fez is garbage and Phil Fish is a piece of shit. completely agree
    sugar is sweet lemons are sour spread your legs and feel my power :D
  • Posted on 07 October 14 at 13:11Permalink
    Ackter said:lifebringer23 said:Where was doom or duke nukem 3d? Super meat boy? State of decay? Sonic 3? This is the worst list ta had made in my opinion lolYou should probably read the bits before the list.As far as I can tell Super Meat Boy and State of Decay were both released one XBLA first, therefor fall in line with the list rules. Never played SMB but am also very surprised to not even see a mention of State of Decay.
  • Posted on 07 October 14 at 13:29Permalink
    Slaverty said:Ackter said:lifebringer23 said:Where was doom or duke nukem 3d? Super meat boy? State of decay? Sonic 3? This is the worst list ta had made in my opinion lolYou should probably read the bits before the list.As far as I can tell Super Meat Boy and State of Decay were both released one XBLA first, therefor fall in line with the list rules. Never played SMB but am also very surprised to not even see a mention of State of Decay.Super Meat Boy was a free web game long before it was released on XBLA.
  • Tasty PastryTasty Pastry322,332
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 13:51Permalink
    Very surprised Peggle didn't make it anywhere, but what can ya do.

    Good list, have many of these bean dove and haven't gone back yet. Maybe this will give me the incentive now...
    Use one of the quotes from that thread
  • AhayzoAhayzo660,917
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 14:07Permalink
    Tasty Pastry said:Very surprised Peggle didn't make it anywhere, but what can ya do.

    Good list, have many of these bean dove and haven't gone back yet. Maybe this will give me the incentive now...
    It doesn't meet the requirements in the article.
  • Tasty PastryTasty Pastry322,332
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 14:44Permalink
    alklein92201 said:Tasty Pastry said:Very surprised Peggle didn't make it anywhere, but what can ya do.

    Good list, have many of these bean dove and haven't gone back yet. Maybe this will give me the incentive now...
    It doesn't meet the requirements in the article.
    Ah all right.
    Use one of the quotes from that thread
  • ShinnizleShinnizle827,647
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 19:11Permalink
    Anubseth said:But isn't that a problem? I mean, if this is a personal list, isn't a TA Top 5, but a TerraCottaGamer Top 5. A TA Top 5 would consider everyone's opinions. Therefore, this is the crap of individuality. I don't see a problem with TA Top 5, but lists like this one is going to get a lot of different responses. Imagine one called "Best Xbox 360 games" (I don't know if this was one of the first ever made): I predict the Armageddon in this website.It is maybe a less accurate TA Top 5 if it doesn't take into account all the TA staff members' opinion, but the individuality of it makes it rather unique, and therefore sparks discussion, which I believe to be the main point of such articles.
  • Dresden N7Dresden N7417,703
    Posted on 07 October 14 at 22:09Permalink
    Mak Me A Samich said:Am I the only one who noticed that he called it "Medal" Gear Solid? I was going to mark it as a typo but he did it twice. Really, doesn't make me think you know much about the games to compare them to if you don't know the title.....No, I did earlier if you read the comments.
  • Legohead 1977Legohead 19771,019,550
    Posted on 08 October 14 at 14:30Permalink
    Just checked my top arcade games by my rating:

    4.5 Stars
    Wreckateer
    Fez
    Perfect Dark (N64 First)
    4 Stars
    Mark of the Ninja
    Guardians of Middle Earth (Dual release with PSN)
    Brothers
    Spelunky (PC First)
    Bejeweled 3 (Multi-Platform)
    Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
    Dungeon Defenders (Multi-Platform)

    Mine varies considerably from others, but 2 are still the same as the TA top 5.
    Legohead 1977
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