Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shadow Complex, 1200 Microsoft Points

Shadow Complex is an Xbox Live Arcade title published by Epic Games. This game is a side-scrolling shooter that makes great use of the popular Unreal Engine to differentiate itself from all of the other content available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Is it worth your Microsoft Points though?

This Metroid-esque action adventure game has won prizes and stayed as one of the best and highest rated Xbox Live Arcade titles for quite some time. This game manages to pay homange to many of the video gaming greats such as Metroid, pitfall and some of the other games that helped pave the way for video games of today. The game has a fairly large amount of content to offer the gamers, most likely a reason why it has been selling so well.

Shadow Complex has a fairly interesting story, although it is nothing too intricate or jaw-dropping, it does enough to keep you interested. You start off the game in a forest with your girlfriend. It appears as if she wandered off and you begin to search for her. You stumble upon a "secret" base where some suited men yoke your girlfriend up and take her in for questioning. You, being the manly man that you are, go in after her. Little do you know, you will become entangled in a scheme bigger than just your relationship. Without going into too much detail, I can say that there will be some plot twists that may get some reaction out of you, however little it may be. Needless to say, the story should not be the primary reason that you are purchasing this game.

You can only move left and right, the game is two-dimensional in that sense. Even so, you can aim a full 360 degrees, which is what makes this game sort of interesting. You will have instances where you find yourself shooting in front of you and then having to shoot into the background to get enemies that are just entering the map. This adds to the cinematic sense that is provoked by the fire fights, and does enough to impress the gamer.

You can find power ups and armor pieces through heavy exploration of the large map. You are not required to acquire every piece of the armor in order to beat the game, which gives the gamer an option to complete the game 100% or not. This sense of exploration and back tracking should give Metroid fans goosebumps, because this adds a bit of replay-ability into the mix.

At a price of 1200 Microsoft Points, Shadow Complex is nothing short of a bargain. The game offers the player an immense amount of content to enjoy all for less than $20. This game will last at least 5 hours, and probably exceed that if you decide to beat this game 100%. If you have played the game and have any personal input you would like to include in this review, be sure to leave a comment.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Great Xbox Live Content

If you have a lot of Microsoft Points left over from a recent purchase or some that just accumulated over the months, consider taking a look into the Xbox Live Marketplace for some of the hot content that Microsoft has to offer.

To start off, I would recommend taking a look into the Xbox Live Arcade video games. These video games are priced at 1600 points ($20) or less, which is more than affordable. These games tend to offer you a great experience at the expense of longevity. For the more retro gamer, it is recommended that they look at some of the classic titles available in the marketplace, such as Sonic the Hedgehog or Duke Nukem. Even some of the modern gamers should take a look at those games, so they can understand the roots of the video game industry, and what games paved the way for what they are playing today.

For the more action oriented gamer, Geometry Wars or Shadow Complex should suffice. Both of these games have been best sellers at one point, and they are probably amongst the highest rated titles on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Shadow Complex is a side-scrolling shooting game that offers a surprising amount of replay-ability. It is made after games like Metroid which would require players to back-track in order to find new power ups and abilities, which is exactly what this game does. Developed by Epic Games, one should expect a game of high caliber given their track record. Geometry Wars is an intense space action game that has been simplified to represent a couple of shapes. Confusing? Yes. Go check out the trial game to understand why this game is so amazing.

After you have taken a look at the Xbox Live Arcade titles, your Microsoft Points should be pretty depleted. For those of you who have an inhumane resistance towards those titles, though, you may find some entertainment in download-able content. DLC is released for existing games in order to add replay-ability or to increase the longevity of a given game. These downloads can reach up to 1600 Microsoft Points each, which disappoints many gamers. Donwload-able content often comes in the form of extra multiplayer map packs or an added single player campaign. If you have a game that you cannot get enough of, I would recommend dishing out your Microsoft Points on something that can increase the longevity of said game.

Lastly, if you do not wish to purchase neither Xbox Live Arcade titles nor DLC, you may want to look at premium Avatar items. These items do not give you anything but the satisfaction of looking unique and separating you from your friends in style. If that is what you must spend your Microsoft Points on in order to feel accomplished, I guess you should go for it.

Those of you who do not have any points, you may wish to look into doing surveys or downloading a free Microsoft Points generator in order to get your fix.