Ten 360 Games You Haven’t Played – Part 2
by AXIS of Reality
©2009 Alex Baldwin
Time for Part 2, finding ten 360 games you haven’t played but really should. It would be nice if there was no need to write articles like this and all great games got the attention they deserve, but a lot of the financial success of a game is reliant on their marketing budget.
This means if the game isn’t a sequel to an established franchise or isn’t being pimped at trade conventions (like the upcoming E3 for example) it will often be overlooked, so it shouldn’t be surprising that these last five games in the list are all original IPs.
To remind you, the 5 games in Part 1 were: • Infinite Undiscovery, • Overlord, • Eternal Sonata, • Banjo Kazooie: Nuts ‘n’ Bolts and • Condemned: Criminal Origins.
And without any further blabbing about, here’s the final 5 games you should be picking up in the mid-year sales dirt cheap, or trade any games you already own and get them delivered for free (for a timed period) from our affiliate Game Share.
Viking: Battle for Asgard
Now this one is confusing. Viking: Battle For Asgard has all the right ingredients for a commercial smash hit – a huge open world, some beautiful graphics, epic battles and a great setting. So where did it go wrong?
I have absolutely no idea. Recently I managed to get a copy for cheap, and have been loving it ever since.
The environments are often quite stunning, with stormy skies and fantastic lighting as they’re overrun with enemies before opening up to perfect skies once you’ve slaughtered every inhabitant in the most brutal ways possible.
Want to slice off both arms before tearing the torso off into a meaty chunk? Go for it – you’ll be rewarded with more mana.
Along with some Tomb Raider-esque platforming, Viking: Battle For Asgard will keep you entertained for a good long time with solid gameplay and a great world. For fans of God of War or Fable, it should be on your list to buy as you can find it between $25 and $50 now.
A word of warning for PS3 owners though – the PS3 version is unfortunately plagued by technical and framerate issues that get worse as the game goes on, so you might like to avoid this one unless you have a 360.
Well time to take another look, as after that disastrous showing the team at Saber Interactive went back to the drawing board and gave the game a good overhaul. The result? An enjoyable blaster with some very amusing time powers.
Using the usual time controls of pause, rewind and slow motion you’ll be able to run into one of the large-scale gunfights, pause and shotgun a few soldiers before unpausing and watching them all fly backwards simultaneously.
Then, you might need to quickly rewind to detach that grenade that got stuck to your helmet and watch it return to its sender.
While unashamedly ‘borrowing’ many ideas from Half-Life 2, Halo and any other successful FPS franchise you can name, the end result is a highly competent shooter well worth the $15-$30 you’ll find it for in sales now.
Digital Illusions’ current-gen debut Dark Sector was at one time, the most anticipated game on the planet. Why? Because it was the first game ever to be announced and shown off for the current generation of consoles.
You can still find the trailer on YouTube, looking like a cross between Unreal and Chronicles of Riddick. After the team realised that the space marine setting was pretty much full to the brim the game was reworked and in the end we got the new Dark Sector.
Well, the rest of the world got Dark Sector. It was banned in Australia due to the use of its signature weapon – the ‘glaive’, a three bladed shuriken-esque boomerang that had the capacity to sever people completely in half.
• Dark Sector D3 Publishing Video
But hey, not every game needs to reinvent the wheel. Some like Dark Sector play it safe but still provide a great experience.
After some censorship Dark Sector did get an Australian release with absolutely zero fanfare, so now’s a great time to pick it up for $25-50.
(ED: The “original Dark Sector concept was much deeper and tense than what we gotyy in the end. I would have preferred D3Publishing to contniue with the original style. Set in deep space which secondary characters and a great deal more depth. Idealy it may surface in another form, at some stage. One can only pray – check the vid out for an early squiz.)
• Original Dark Sector footage
Well, maybe not ignored – more all-out hated. After a massive development schedule covering 3 generations of consoles, when the final result didn’t turn out to be the second coming, it was ripped to shreds by gamers everywhere, whether they’d played it or not.
Critics were nicer – OXCGN’s own review gave it a respectable 7.9/10, indicating it’s a good game but it doesn’t push any boundaries. OXCGN even had a favourable comment from the man himself, Dennis Dyack. Which was a nice surprise.
If you’re looking for a good dungeon crawler with some epic scenery and an interesting twist of sci-fi and norse mythology, Too Human is well worth getting for the $25-50 it can be found at.
While there are some flaws (such as the well-known valkyrie cutscene problem when dying), it’s a lot of fun with a huge amount of armour and weapon customisation and even better in co-op with a friend.
While everyone was ooh-ing and aah-ing over Oblivion’s world and Dead of Alive 4‘s graphics, [eM] -eNCHANT arM- as it was originally known, snuck by under the radar but provided those who found it with a long and satisfying romp through several worlds with a great battle system.
It suffered from the usual launch-game problems of fairly empty environments and making every surface shiny (aaaah…back when shiny = next-gen), but made up for it with combat that played out like a cross between regular turn-based and chess.
You would slowly collect more monsters to fight for you on a grid board that required a fair bit of tactical thought.
The story was interesting and the characters, while overly stereotypical and with the worst fashion sense ever to befall the world of games, were memorable. Enchanted Arms is a great way to bide the time until Final Fantasy XIII and Blue Dragon 2 make their debut. Pick it up for $12-25 easily.
Once again got to warn that the later-ported PS3 version suffers from technical problems so try before you buy for PS3 owners.
Well, that completes the list.
Of course there are going to be more overlooked games than these, and I’m sure there are still some I’m yet to discover. These were the ones I felt most in need of some recognition however, and I hope you’ll give them a go when you next see them under a layer of dust in the pre-owned bins of game stores around Australia (and the world) or on Game Share .
You could pay $100 for a good new game OR you could get several of these for the same price and help the developers get what they deserved from the beginning.
After all, it’s pretty hard to regret an entire new game for nearly the price of a DLC pack on Live or PSN
Filed under: 1st Party Titles, 3rd Party Games, Console gaming, Editorial, Gaming Videos, Xbox 360 Tagged: | Axis of Reality, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts 'n' Bolts, battle for asgard, condemned: criminal origins, D3 Publishing, dark sector, DICE, Digital Illusions, enchanted arms, eternal sonata, Fable, Fable 2, Fable II, FPS, GEars Of War, Gears of War 2, God Of War, infinite undiscovery, overlord, OXCGN, PS3, Saber Interactive, Sierra Studios, timeshift, too human, viking, Viking: Battle For Asgard, Xbox 360