Before last week, it had been about 9 months since I had been on the Xbox Live Marketplace. I thought it would be a joyous, tearful reunion but it was much more subdued. Not to say it was awkward or anything, it's just to say that very little has changed. The level of intrusive advertising has increased, the amount of content available has inevitably increased and there are a few new (seemingly) useless menus to wade through before I can find my game library.
With my initial feelings falling short of the expected high, I found consolation in some Xbox Live Arcade titles which were not previously available the last time I had custody of a 360: Trials HD and Perfect Dark.
I have had some experience with the Trials series before, having purchased Redlynx Trials 2: Second Edition via Steam. The experience on the 360 has been refined considerably. Sure the graphics are better and there are new tracks, but where Trials HD differs siginificantly from its PC counterpart is the physics engine which is, thankfully, more forgiving and less jumpy. With the laws of physics now in favor of the player, Trials HD is just as addictive as its predecessor only less frustrating.
Perfect Dark was loaded in the Damen family Nintendo 64 for months on end. As I had read that an XBLA remake was in the works, the urge to purchase a 360 started to increase much to my chagrin. Now that I have downloaded the game and I have spent some time trawling through the various modes, I've come to realise what value it represented on the N64 and what a great deal it is when compared to other XBLA titles. You get a full single-player campaign with dynamic mission objectives depending on the difficulty setting, a full multiplayer suite and a challenge mode which starts off slow but then quickly ramps up in difficulty. I had a few lols shooting goons and having them repeatedly slur "Why me?" The graphics have also been given a new coat of paint but for me it takes away from the sense of nostalgia. I would never say that Perfect Dark (XBLA) is a reason to own a 360, but it is definitely a perk.
While I am always a little trigger happy with the "Confirm Purchase," button when on the Xbox Live Marketplace, this weekend I came away with two winners. Do you guys buy many downloadable games on the PSN/XBLA? Are you happy with the quality of games on offer?