I recently wrote about the Wii Ware retro sequels that appeal to me but there are even more on Xbox Live. Unlike goddamn Wii Ware, Xbox Live has DEMOS so I’ve actually played all of the games on this list that have been released. This list ONLY contains games that I have determined to be good and possibly worthwhile. This means that Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix will not be listed – it’s a good game but barely an update and probably worth $7, not $15. At the bottom of the list are some upcoming releases that interest me.
On several, previous occasions I claimed that one must have a paid membership to Xbox Live to buy download games. NOT TRUE. A free account membership gives one access to both paid games AND demos.
Prince of Persia Classic
I bought the full game and it’s great. It’s a remake (in the true sense) of the original PoP. The story is the same, the levels are similar but everything’s been made from scratch, with very different control mechanics. The graphics are full 3D and based on the designs from the 2003-2005 PoP games. I really recommend this one and it’s definitely worth the $10.
Bionic Commando Rearmed
Another one that I bought – it’s sort of a remake of the NES Bionic Commando, but the levels are (mostly) different, there are many new features, bonus areas, the bosses are really wild, and the dialogue is hilarious. The price is nice!
Pac-Man Championship Edition
$10, Namco Bandai
This game kinda started the recent trend of taking an old-ass game, keeping the old, pixellated sprites and enveloping it in neon effects and techno music. This game is highly recommended for fans of the old Pac-Man games. It has the same gameplay but somewhat more complicated and with many different modes. A worthy release but at $10 it’s definitely overpriced.
Mega Man 9
$10, Inti Creates/Capcom
Just like the Wii version (which I’ve been playing lately). It’s just like the NES Mega Mans but with some new – but not drastic – elements. At $10 it’s a bit overpriced but it is long and challenging.
1942 Joint Strike
I’ve only played the demo, which is fairly long, but it seems to be pretty tight. It has a lot more variety than the original 1942 and has great boss fight action and a chase sequence. I might buy it someday.
Space Invaders Extreme
This is actually a conversion of a DS and PSP release from 2008. The Xbox Live version has improved visuals that might give you a seizure. This game shows how effectively a really old formula can become fresh. The action is much more intense than in the original with waves appearing right after the other and crazy boss fights. Compared to $30 for the DS version, $10 isn’t too bad.
$10, Namco Bandai
Every Galaga sequel has some twist to bring the old fans back in and this is no exception. Now you have 2 auto turrets that you can position and reposition to your heart’s delight all over the play field. The action is non-stop. Another one I may get someday.
The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition
Announced at E3, this game is a remake-from-scratch of the original Monkey Island. It will have brand new graphics and full voiceover work with a complete overhaul of the command system.
Tales of Monkey Island
On the heels of the Monkey Island remake comes a new episodic release developed by a team of former LucasArts adventure game folks. It sounds interesting but I’m only tentatively excited mainly due to Telltale’s modus operandi: 1) they seem to be really hit or miss and 2) the game will be released in 5 installments, likely at $10 apiece. God!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled
And now we have a 3D remake of the 1991 arcade hit, originally by Konami. Not much is known but it seems interesting.
Metal Slug 7
Wow, I’m glad I didn’t waste $30 to buy this on DS last year! It’ll probably only be $10 from Xbox Live. Sweet.