I haven’t touched my Xbox in months. As painful as it is to admit, my Xbox has come to represent my sex life. Old, barely functional and constantly coughing up dust, I really feel bad for my neglected junk; I mean my Xbox. There are plenty of reasons for my abandonment of a console that is near and dear to my heart. XBLA game prices are ridiculously scaled and never go on sale, I’m tired of paying for Xbox Live Gold services and my TV isn’t nearly as nice as my computer monitor.
Now that I have become a PC elitist monster, I would like to bring some of my most treasured XBLA games with me. For whatever reason, none of the following games have made it to PC, or more specifically, Steam.
(DISCLAIMER : Just so we’re clear, no one from Steam or Valve will ever pay attention to any of these batshit insane requests, but I figured someone else out there might share my opinions, however bold and unfounded they may be.)
Here are five XBLA games that should be made available on PC.
1 : ‘Splosion Man
If there’s one thing Twisted Pixel knows, its how to make a damn good game. The jump start studio has released five games since 2009, none more enjoyable than the surprise 2009 hit, ‘Splosion Man. You play the main character ‘Splosion Man, which has to be the most creative name for a main character since Jumpman. You run through 50 levels of increasingly ball busting difficulty, with humor and references to cake throughout.
With nearly half a million units sold through XBLA and the sequel making it onto Steam, you’d think ‘Splosion Man would be a no-brainer port to PC. At least I thought it would be. I played through ‘Splosion Man more times than I would care to remember, but I never got to experience four player mayhem on my xbox, mostly because my friends couldn’t pull Call of Duty out of their asses long enough to play a different game. Most gamers only see “couch co-op” as the only true form of co-operative multiplayer, but I wholeheartedly disagree. It’s all about the camaraderie and massive amounts of drugs. More often then not, its the experience you remember, not the gameplay. Steam would not only allow me to live out my dream of experiencing this game in all of its explody four player glory, but it would introduce the game to a host of new people. And lets not forget a shiny new update in the graphics department. Here’s hoping we get this game in a bundle with Ms. Splosion Man sometime before its fifth anniversary.
2 : Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Consistently hailed as one of the greatest XBLA games ever, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is one helluva addicting game. The battle of leader board supremacy has led to countless tales of heroism and a numerous amount of hilarious YouTube videos. So why hasn’t this classic made it onto Steam yet?
Is Valve seriously afraid of sequels? We have stumbled upon another case of one game of a series being left out. This time it’s inexcusable; how can you leave out the better game? That’s like forgetting Back To The Future Part 2 and going straight to Part 3. That shit doesn’t McFly with me. The original Geometry Wars was essential-it became a building block with which Bizarre Creations went completely apeshit with creativity-but to completely ignore Retro Evolved 2 is a slap in the face of Charles Darwin. You know,the guy who theorized about evolution? Fuck it, joke ruined. Steam, put Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 on your catalog, put it in a bundle with Geo Wars 1, and throw in the soundtrack for both games. That’s an award winning bundle right there.
(POP QUIZ : Which Bizarre Creations game featured Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved as a mini game?)
3 : Hybrid
Space marines and aliens-is there anything more played out in the gaming industry? Hybrid by no means reinvents the wheel when it comes to story or character development. There’s a mysterious element that has crashed into earth, two factions want it, you shoot stuff until it stops moving so your faction can control it. But 5th Cell, developers of Scribblenauts, took the ball and ran into a different dimension of creativity.
I’m completely biased writing this because I spent many nights stoned out of my mind playing this game. The thing that kept me coming back was the unique way the player’s movement was so restricted and how insane the point rewards were. A release on Steam would undoubtedly revive the community and allow for 5th Cell to receive more exposure; it’s a win-win-win. Additional win points if I manage to get my hands on some pot.
4 : Ikaruga
Okay, this is seriously a no-brainer. One of the greatest bullet hell shooters of all time definitely deserves a release on Steam. Just glance at any Ikaruga video on YouTube and prepare for your jaw to slam to the ground. An arcade classic, ported to the Dreamcast, Gamecube, and most recently XBLA in 2008, the game is definitely due for a re-release. Visually mesmerizing with punishing difficulty and a twitch happy soundtrack to boot-what more do you people want?
Plenty of gamers nowadays complain about the difficulty of games. More games should be as easy as Kirby’s Epic Yarn, they say. What the hell happened to the good old days when a game punished you for fucking up? Mario had the right idea, before he started making fruity sports games. Ikaruga wants you to cry angry bloody tears. It wants to remind you that games can be challenging and rewarding. For that, we should thank Ikaruga and beg for another.
5 : Any Bomberman Game
Let’s face facts: Bomberman kicks serious multiplayer ass, but the only two Bomberman games released on XBLA are nothing but ass. Bomberman Live and Bomberman Live: Battlefest do not live up to the legacy of suicidal men strapped with infinite bombs. So instead of making PC players suffer through either of those terrible games, why not revive the classics that helped define the series? Technically I’m breaking my own rule for not actually including a game released on XBLA, but if Microsoft actually took responsibility for porting good games properly I wouldn’t be in this situation.
The best case scenario would be a giant revamp of the Super Bomberman games released on the SNES during the early 90’s. Sharper graphics, the ability to create and modify Bomberman maps, and more kickass powerups-the sky is the limit with a game like this. So I look to you, Steam wizard; please give us some form of Bomberman to play on PC.
(Answer Key : Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved first breathed life in Project Gotham Racing 2 for the original Xbox. If you answered correctly, congratulations! You either cheated and scrolled down to the answer key like a true American, or you’re psychic. Either way, I’m astonished you finished the article.)