Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Xbox Live Indifest - Day Four  


Games: So, tonight is the fourth night of my week-long XBL Indiefest. Before we get started, here's...

a recap for those that missed it:

I've got over three hundred XBLI demos saved up.

(cue dramatic music.)

To clear out my hard drive, I've decided to go through at least three games per night. I'll play the free trial period of each Indie that catches my eye, and at the end of that period, I'm going to give a quick one or two paragraph description of what I saw and then decide on one of three verdicts:

I Bought It, I Deleted It, or Needs Further Investigation.

Also, there are a number of really good games that I've already played, so I'm going to save up mention of those until the end of this Indiefest. The ones I will be covering daily will be titles I've never played before.

So, here's what was on tap for Day Four…


Crossfire 2 by Radiangames – 80 MS Points ($1.00)

Kind of like a cross between Space Invaders and Geometry Wars, this game has the player controlling a small little ship that moves from left to right while shooting down waves of enemies. The graphics are clean, colorful and attractive, and it only takes a half-second to grasp how to play.

There’s a nice little suite of options to power up and the production values are clearly higher than most of the competition, but the real hook is the ability to warp from the floor to the ceiling. Certain enemies are only vulnerable from one direction or the other, so tactical use of jumping between surfaces is key.

It's a great little title and a steal at such a low price, but to be perfectly honest, this isn't the sort of thing that I would play again. Nothing wrong with it, it's just not my kind of jam. However, if this formula looks like fun to you, it's a can't-miss.

Verdict: I Deleted It (although it's definitely a quality title.)


Oozi: Earth Adventure, Episode 1 by AwesomeGames Studio - 80 MS Points ($1.00)

I like platformers and there are a fairly healthy number of them available on XBLI, but very few of them do enough or change up their formulas in order to be interesting past the first few minutes. That is the case here, as well.

The bug-eyed, frozen-smile main character doesn't exactly radiate charisma to me, and jumping through a simple series of platforms while collecting stars made my eyes start to glaze over. The physics of jumping feel little touchy, but the graphics are crisp and nice. I may revisit this one when my son comes back for the summer. It seems like it might be of more interest to kids or younger players, but it's not for me.

Verdict: I Deleted It.


Curse of the Crescent Isle by AdamTheOtaku - 80 MS Points ($1.00)

Speaking of underwhelming platformers, here's another one, although its charm factor is initially high thanks to a visual style and music that hearken back to the early, very rough days of the NES. Anyone old enough to remember Nintendo's debut will likely recall the utterly random sorts of games we got back then, and this one would have very easily fit into that category.

Once my brief wave of faux-nostalgia wore off, I didn't see much to keep my interest. The player takes the main character and basically jumps a lot while picking up enemies and tossing them into other enemies. I didn't see more complexity than that during the free trial period, and none of it was engaging enough to convince me to pony up a dollar.

Verdict: I Deleted It.


Streets of Fury by Cyrille Lagarigue – 240 MS Points ($3.00)

Now this game... this game had my attention. Another mash-up like the first one I wrote about in today's post, Streets of Fury is like the low-budget love child of Final Fight and Mortal Kombat. The graphics are digitized pictures of real people and the animation is every bit as good as what Boon and Tobias gave us in the early days.

However, incredibly hilarious graphics aside (and I mean that in the best possible sense) there is an actual fighting engine here, and it's much more sophisticated than the vast majority of what you can find on the Indie channel. There are several planes of depth on the playfield, each character has different combo strings, and when a Rage meter fills up, the super-powered moves are both screen-clearing and LOL-inducing.

It's a little on the janky side, but the people behind this game clearly had the right idea about what they were doing and were going about it the right way. Shockingly, it even supports four-player co-op, and if you ask me, this game is the perfect recipe for an instant good time.

Verdict: I Bought It.


That's it for Day Four of my Indiefest. Check back tomorrow for the next round of games, and I’ll also do a recap of my favorites (both old and new) at the end of the series.


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