Being a xbox arcade fan is mostly a series of short highs and extremely long lows. You usually get periods for about a month (or if you are really lucky 2) where there is a ton of quality content eager to fill up your hard drive and empty your wallet. But for months at a time it is a virtual wasteland of overpriced garbage or disappointing rehashes of classics that were better left in yesteryear. But hey, Microsoft has decided that for at least several weeks starting in February, we should actually get real excited with it's Xbox Live Arcade House Party.
Admittedly a Bejeweled game and another card title hold absolutely no interest to me but everybody should be extremely excited about Beyond Good & Evil HD & Torchlight. BG&E was one of the best titles of the last generation no one played and word is this is sort of a litmus test to see if Ubisoft should make a proper sequel. If you haven't played BG&E before now (and odds are you haven't) it's arguably the best Zelda-esque title you will ever see on a non-Nintendo console, so do yourself a huge favor and download it so Ubisoft can see that there is in fact a great reason to make a sequel.
Torchlight is kind of a question mark. Yes its a fantastic game, especially if you love Diablo-style dungeon crawls, but it's been on the PC a long time already, often available for a mere $5 (at least through services such as Steam anyways). This sort of brings into question how much is it worth? Granted, if you never have played the game before the expected high price tag might be worth it, but if anyone has an even semi-decent computer available to them, there's little reason to buy it. Though $10 sounds like a sweet spot price point to me, if it comes out at that I might justify having it on my hard drive.
Of course this still doesn't solve the real issue-that ever since it's launch the Xbox Live Arcade service is pretty much the poster boy of inconsistency. We get a few noteworthy titles months apart, and for the most the release list is utter garbage no one in their right minds would pay for. Microsoft really needs to get a handle on this, if they really treated it as a serious channel for delivering content on par with brick & mortar retail (like the pc already has for years with digitial distribution), it could make real quality titles delivered on a consistent basis, and with hard drives getting bigger and bigger, a large project is getting a lot more feasible these days. Unlike previous hardware cycles (especially with Kinect selling so ridiculously well) the 360 still probably has quite a few years left so there's still time to correct before the next generation and have a system in place for when that does happen.
That's really all I got today, but I should be back Saturday with another post. Until then, here is your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Paul