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XBox (Games)

Casual Play on 360 Live Arcade 48

Posted by Zonk
from the uno-and-fish-and-geometry-oh-my dept.
twoallbeefpatties writes "Columnist Chris Suellentrop writes an article for Slate describing how his desire for casual gaming is fulfilled more by the 360 than the Wii due to the presence of simpler games available over Live Arcade. The availability of oldschool Nintendo games on the Wii network fulfills his nostalgic hardcore gaming side, but when he really wants to just relax, he'd rather be trying to top his Live high score on Root Beer Tapper. Says Suellentrop: 'The Nintendo Wii will transform the way we play games at home. But the Xbox 360, through its Xbox Live service, is building something equally compelling: a celestial arcade, where casual and hard-core gamers alike can connect over the Internet and find like-minded souls. For an old-timer like me, the celestial arcade also lets me feel like I still have some of my old gaming mojo.'"
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Casual Play on 360 Live Arcade

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  • Playing Catch Up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @07:00PM (#18187738) Homepage Journal
    In all fairness, the 360 has had a full year head start over the Wii. Which means that the Live! service is well developed to meet the needs of the (rather massive) casual gaming market. However, I do expect that to change in the near future. For one, Nintendo has already stated that they'll be hosting "Wii Ware" downloadable games that can be purchased from the Wii Store. Rumors are already circulating that Super Paper Mario could be the first.

    For another, tons of gaming sites have popped up to fill the "casual" needs through the Opera Web Browser. In fact, the most popular [wiicade.com] of these sites just announced a new API [digg.com] that lets game programmers make use of *all* of the Wiimote's buttons. If they get multiplayer gaming up and going (e.g. poker, battleship, hearts, etc.), they could end up being an impressive force for casual gaming on the Wii.
    • by Aaron England (681534) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @07:14PM (#18187934)
      In all fairness, why does one need to be fair to Nintendo? If Microsoft had a year head start, then would that not also imply that Nintendo had an additional year to plan? Both companies made trade offs, and we are now seeing the results of their works. An 80% solution today is often more desirable than a 100% solution tomorrow.
      • by Falladir (1026636)
        You're right that no "handicapping" based on the age of system is in order. But the ages are currently quite disproportionate, sixteen months is a lot more than three. If the Wii is behind now, it still has plenty of time to catch up before this generation's systems have matured.
        • by trdrstv (986999)
          You're right that no "handicapping" based on the age of system is in order. But the ages are currently quite disproportionate, sixteen months is a lot more than three. If the Wii is behind now, it still has plenty of time to catch up before this generation's systems have matured.

          Also of note, in that 3 month period they have published more VC titles than XBLA to date (something like 59 to 53). The issue currently isn't the lack of games, it's a lack of certain types. If you want card games on the Wii

          • by Hades- (16878)
            except the xbla has quite a few original games, where the VC are just doing a COPY C:\roms\kidicarus.nes D:\VC\NES\ROMS and charging money. Granted some are shitty ports (I'm looking at you Namco.) but overall there's some pretty neat stuff. I hope Nintendo kicks it up a notch and puts some original content on there. :(
      • by KDR_11k (778916)
        An 80% solution today is often more desirable than a 100% solution tomorrow.

        Yes but a console will last for longer than just a few weeks so it's important to evaluate both the current offerings and the expected future development. I'm not saying I expect the Wii to become better than the 360 but I don't think a snapshot with such big differences in the system lifetime is a meaningful way to predict how the systems will behave a year or two from now.
    • Re:Playing Catch Up (Score:4, Informative)

      by stubear (130454) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @08:45PM (#18189022)
      Microsof actually has about 10 years of prior experience in this field, not just the one year head start for the XBOX360. Microsoft purchased a company with a single product, The Internet Game Zone, and turned it into a web-based game site. Initially there were a few card games (hearts, spades, bridge), backgammon, chess and checkers, or something like that. They started adding games like Luxor, Zuma, and Bejewelled not long after that. zone.msn.com now has hundreds of games, some flash based, some java based. A number of these are ripe for inclusion on XBOX Live Arcade and hopefully Zune 2.0.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kalriath (849904)
        I think they will be. In case you didn't know, the Microsoft Games Division just this week sent out invitations to join the Games for Windows Live (Xbox Live for Windows) beta to some people who registered interest, which will essentially merge their Windows online gaming division with their Xbox gaming division and have one platform - also allowing things like Halo PC players playing against Xbox Halo players in one environment. I presume we'll see the inclusion of all the arcade style Zone games into th
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MBraynard (653724)
        Something about the Zone. Maybe you can explain.

        There was a time when there were a lot of premium games on the Zone where you had to buy the PC game and the zone would be the matchmaking area. Age of Empires, Birth of the Federation, and other PC games like that. I even remember some of MS's subscription titles like Allegiance and Asheron's Call launched through the zone.

        I just checked the site out, and it's entirely these casual games. When did this change happen? I missed the old zone from a nostalgic p

  • "But the Xbox 360, through its Xbox Live service, is building something equally compelling: a celestial arcade, where casual and hard-core gamers alike can connect over the Internet and find like-minded souls."

    You don't even have to "find" people...and being an incredibly busy anti-socialite, I simply don't have the time or desire to make friends online for video games. I purchased "Small Arms" for $6.25 on XBLA...it's like Super Smash Bros., but with furries, guns and explosives (and no yiffing). I start
  • When O when... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by noz (253073)
    When did "columnists" and "journalists" begin writing about this shit? It's not news. It's not an editorial. It's an advertisement. Who cares?
  • If you enjoy online poker and are not a junkie running five or six tables at the same time with some kind of computer assist, XBL is a great environment.

    You can chat with others at the table, the pacing is just right. You can build a competitive bank roll so, by the time you get to the second level, people play like they actually have something at stake.

    And I got in on the game when it was available for free in the full version. But it's definitely worth the $6 or whatever it costs to purchase with point

  • by BrickM (178032) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @07:20PM (#18187994)
    Obviously both consoles have fun, short/small downloadable games for cheap prices. In the end, the article is more about personal preferences in games, than any sort of comparable quality. Especially since the 360 has an entire year head start over the Wii.

    Personally, I'd rather play Super Mario world and Legend of Zelda than most of the games on Live Arcade. One of the reasons is that they're known quantities, whereas many of the Live ports have been very dubious in quality (anyone who made the mistake of getting Contra knows what I'm talking about here). Everything from Nintendo has been incredibly well emulated, with the added bonus of being able to have a "save state" that means you can pause the game, turn off the console and come back to play later. Man, I wish my NES and SNES had that years ago.

    So while I'd come down on the side of the Wii in this debate, in the end it's totally personal preference on the games - just like it always is with this console debates.
    • Personally, I'd rather play Super Mario world and Legend of Zelda than most of the games on Live Arcade. One of the reasons is that they're known quantities, whereas many of the Live ports have been very dubious in quality (anyone who made the mistake of getting Contra knows what I'm talking about here). Everything from Nintendo has been incredibly well emulated, with the added bonus of being able to have a "save state" that means you can pause the game, turn off the console and come back to play later. M
  • for the record (Score:3, Informative)

    by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @07:34PM (#18188142) Homepage
    Geometry Wars is the best game ever for fans of old-school shooters like centipede, asteroids, & galaga
    • by Falladir (1026636)
      If information about casual shooters is topical here, I'll offer some.

      For a fun pc-based diversion, check out Binary Zoo's Mono [binaryzoo.com]: part Asteroids, part Robotron, part Paint Shop Pro. The Binary Zoo people are a great crowd. They're doing creative stuff, and in this decadent age, they still take the trouble to optimize their code.

      Also, google Kenta Cho and check out his games. Some are pretty generic shoot-'em-ups, but others are quite unique. He's writing in D, so again, it's great stuff for older m
  • Personally, I've enjoyed the Xbox Live Arcade features on the 360 ever I got mine back at its launch date. (Hexic being an all-time favorite.) However, there are a few areas I'd like to see more development in, particularly with titles you can quickly pick up and play for a few minutes (puzzle games) or titles that can be played with many people on the same system (board games or party games).

    While I'll admit some of the newer 3D titles are fun, they're often far more complicated and would require splitting
    • by sixpaw (648825)
      Hear, hear. As someone who picked up a 360 this past holiday largely on the basis of Live Arcade (okay, and the $100 rebate I got), I'd love to get more classic board-gamey stuff on the system. The impending release of Settlers of Catan [wikipedia.org] is a great sign, but it'd be good to get a lot more breadth in that particular marketplace, too -- and Scrabble would be a perfect place to start.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Preeminence (784375)
      XBLA is actually about to get a number of classic boardgames. No Monopoly or Scrabble (the licensing fees would probably be astronomical so as to not outstrip sales of the real thing), but games like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and Alhambra, all very involving strategy board games, should be here in the spring. There's a pretty nice interview with the lead developer of Settlers at http://www.joystiq.com/2007/02/22/off-the-grid-int erviews-brian-reynolds-of-big-huge-games/ [joystiq.com]
    • I definitely agree on the 'pick up and play' aspect of many of the XBLA games. If I've got a spare 30 minutes before I have to be somewhere, I'll sit down and play Lumines for a while, or maybe even try some of the other titles I've purchased. More puzzle games would be nice. I enjoyed Marble Blast Ultra, love Lumines (though the standard 360 controller isn't the best for playing) and would like to see some other classics. A simple, cheap Tetris clone never goes astray.
  • 360 arcade== Whee! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CedhedCO (1067416)
    One of the bigger surprises when I bought my 360 was the arcade. I got it with Dead Rising and Chrome Hounds. After getting thoroughly frustrated or bored with both titles one night I started looking for something to do with my $400 investment. $30 later in the arcade and now I have a collection of games I can pick up and play whenever. Some of them are pretty inventive. Wik is very strange but good. Not to mention they have DOOM! Quite a few of them have multiplayer built in too.

    Naturally these won't suppl
  • One columnist finds himself playing XBLA more than Wii for his 'casual gaming fix', so he writes a column branching his feelings as the reality of the marketplace? Why is Zonk posting this 'column' anyway? It is all 100% of one person's feelings.

    Here is some real information. Most casual games and gamers are on the PC. Most casual gamers are females. XBLA was not originally intended for what it became which is why the model for game releases cannot be met (there are weeks where there have been no releases o
    • by xtracto (837672)
      Wow, you want to push an agenda dont you?

      I do not know about Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 but I have not played Wii for more than two weeks now, after I finished Red Steel. Because there are no fucking games available.


      Have a look at the Wii VC, what games do you have? not too much games for your so called "Casual Gamer" uh?, Mario Bros an dother NES games were not for the casual gamer 15 years ago and are not now. I havent bought any of those games because they are too damn expensive [in UK at least] for what
      • One person's opinion is not a news story. Don't attack me, the messenger, (i.e. accusing me with some agenda) by pointing out there was no reason for this column to be linked to at all as it was just one person's feelings (with no facts behind it). What is next? Is Slashdot going to link to blog entries?

        My agenda is high quality at Slashdot. There are PLENTY of gaming news going on each and everyday without wasting a link to a column about one person's feelings. If your feelings 'align' with his, that doesn
  • I'm waiting for all the arcade ports to come to the Wii. The games I'm thinking of just can't come to the other consoles without extra effort. I'm thinking of games that are more physically involving. We already have somewhat similar instances. For example, there is this silly samurai game that is played with a foam sword in a sensor cage at the real life arcade. Red Steel has this aspect to some degree. But honestly, I wish it was "on rails" like the arcade game. I know some people hate games on rai
    • I've no interest in the Wii at all right now, but if they ever really get the lightgun functionality worked out (and maybe release a proper gun for it) and then release some stuff like House of the Dead, Time Crisis, Confidential Mission, or Virtua Cop, or even that Konami series from the Genesis whose name I can't remember, I'll get one in a heartbeat.

      I've been seriously missing that stuff, and Dreamcast lightguns won't work with my TV since it deinterlaces frames (seems to mess them up somehow).

      Also, on L
      • by trdrstv (986999)
        I've no interest in the Wii at all right now, but if they ever really get the lightgun functionality worked out...

        The pointer works amazingly well. Some games have poor implementations of it, but using it in the Wii menu or Nintendo 1st party games it works great, so I wouldn't fault the hardware. I WANT some light gun games (Rayman RR had a great Arcade type Light gun game), and the 'Zapper shell' looks pimp. I'd be all aboard for that.

    • I'm waiting for all the arcade ports to come to the Wii.

      Same here.

      While some of the NES versions are OK, it just seems lazy for Nintendo to put them on the VC instead of the original arcade versions. (Presumably they are reusing the Gamecube NES emulator code...)

  • I think the writer makes a good point. Why play old Nintendo game when you can find simple, as much as addicting, and multiplayer games on Live? I myself have not signed up for the Gold membership, and didn't think much about those games on Live. However, after seeing this point, I have to ask myself why would I want to play Mario brothers again? I have already been there and done that. Still want a Wii though, and love my 360.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @12:35PM (#18195296)
    As an aging racist, I get a little tired of the hectic pace of FPS's like Halo 2 on Live. Sure, it's still rewarding to yell out "The Holocaust never happened!" in Halo 2, but everyone is running around so fast that no one really even notices. I long for a more laid-back gaming experience, one where I'm not judged soley on my twitch-quick reflexes. I want a game that requires strategy and thinking, to complement my diatribes about how Mexicans are filthy thieves. When I interact with others, I want them to be more than just the guy that goes running past me before I can even get the chance to call him a nigger. I want some time to get to KNOW the other players before I blast them with racial epithets.

    I really think this casual games movement could be a great thing. Whether you're a racist like me, a teenager who's looking to teabag his opponents in a more relaxed atmosphere, or just a griefer looking to annoy people without having to be constantly moving; casual games are the future.

    -Eric

  • I'll never buy a 360... ...but I've never even SEEN a Wii. Not even a demo unit. And I've been looking because back when they launched, I really wanted one. Now my interest is waning, but it's still (as far as I'M concerned,) as good as vaporware. No stores have them locally, and none even know a ballpark figure of when they'll have them on shelves.

    *goes back to PS2 DC and GC*
    • by Jarlsberg (643324)
      In Norway, Wiis are plentiful, and I've seen it on sale in Denmark (at almost 20% off). The PS3 is due out on the 23rd, but I can't imagine it will be sold out due to the extreme pricing.

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