Let’s face it. Many of the big game releases are often great, and usually worth the money, but the fact is that nowadays games are expensive. Also, a lot of what comes out for full prices isn’t worth the price of admission. So what can you do if you’re craving something new for your XBox 360, but just don’t have the cash to shell out for a brand new game?
So long as you’ve got an internet connection, you can get yourself some cheap, good games to keep yourself busy in the lean times between big releases like Gears of War or Halo. And when you just don’t have the cash to put toward one of the bigger games, going online is the way to go. If you’ve got an XBox 360, it’s foolish not to have it connected to the internet. The online strategy is one of Microsoft’s biggest strengths. For many, it’s the very reason you’d get an XBox 360 as opposed to a PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii.
The XBox Live Arcade has dozens of games available, of many differing styles. Sure, some of them aren’t exactly the best games. Then again, there’s plenty of full sized games, which cost as much as the biggest blockbuster release, that certainly aren’t very good.
There are, broadly speaking, two types of games available on the Live Arcade: Classic games like Sonic the Hedgehog (including remakes like Bionic Commando Rearmed), and new releases by smaller developers.
Obviously, there’s a lot of appeal in either category. It gives a new audience to the older games. It also lets older gamers relive that nostalgia without having to track down a rare, still-working copy of the game. On the other side of the coin, smaller developers get to put their work out there, where it might otherwise go unnoticed. Smaller developers also otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to put out a full release of a game.
Smaller developers are more likely to take some risks in game design. The bigger companies are usually more content to make minor updates on existing franchises, or to just keep releasing similar games right along side each other. You can find some fairly unique games on the online marketplace that would otherwise be unavailable.
Plus, as mentioned, they’re cheap. The average Live Arcade game costs between 400 and 1200 Microsoft Points. This roughly equates to $5-$15. You can find some real gems in there, like new release Shadow Complex, at a fraction of what you’d have to pay if it were released conventionally in stores.
It’s also considerably easier to simply download a game to your console’s hard drive than it is to go out to a video game store and track it down. Plus, the games are guaranteed to be available.
The XBox Live Arcade is a great way to find new games, or old classics. When you’re looking for a good game on a budget, or just want to relive an old classic, it’s the place to go.