Ever since the Playstation was released and 3D graphics were made possible, it seems that most developers have left 2D gaming in the dust. That's a shame because there are a lot of things that 2D games can do that 3D games cannot. Well, I'm proud to proclaim that 2D gaming is back! At least on the Xbox Live Arcade. Ever since the inception of the XBLA, it has been home to some of the finest 2D games available on home consoles today. And today, with the release of Shadow Complex, the bar has been raised.
Shadow Complex will likely to go down as one of the finest 2D action/adventure games on the 360. Iíve decided to celebrate this by highlighting some of the often over looked 2D games on XBLA. These are games in my collection that I feel are not getting the attention they deserve. So once youíre tired of Shadow Compelx, give these other games a shot:
I love Trials, itís no secret
. Although itís part of the Summer of XBLA í09, it is undoubtedly the least popular of the lineup and for no good reason: MVC2 is a straight port and TMNT is a mediocre remake. Meanwhile, Trials HD is one of the best sequels in years. Sure it has the awesome ĎSplosion man and the amazing Shadow Complex to contend with, but neither of those games should get in the way of at least checking out the demo of Trials HD. It takes the addictive gameplay of Trials 2 and combines it with the best level design yet seen in the series. Iím serious; just take a look at Letís Get Physical
, one of the earliest and best examples of the gameís physics engine and awesome level design. Things get even crazier as the game progresses. Seriously folks, donít miss this one.
The Worms series has enjoyed cult classic status for far too long now. The first Worms game on XBLA did a little to attract mainstream attention, but the shallow weapon list and easy achievements meant people didnít stick around long. Itís a shame this wasnít the game to come out way back when because this is the game that will knock peopleís socks off. Its main attraction is the much improved weapons list, which brings back old favorites such as the holy hand grenade and super sheep. Also included is a much longer single player campaign and more robust multiplayer options. If you were at all interested in the first Worms game on XBLA or any of the classic PC worms games, you owe it to yourself to check this game out.
The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai
The Dishwasher has the most old school mentality of all the games on my list. There was some hype for it pre-release but that fire was stamped out by average reviews and weak sales. The game is awesome, despite what some of the critics think. I suspect they are upset at the game for its punishing difficulty level. It essentially forces you to play through it once on the easiest difficulty; because you can carry your experience and items from play through to play through. Trying to start out on normal with no upgrades is basically suicide. Donít let this turn you off from the game though, the combo system is deep and new weapons that are unlocked throughout the game only make it deeper. Combine that with a long story mode with interesting comic book style cut-scenes and we have a winner. Multiple modes beyond the Campaign will keep you playing for a long time to come and oh yeah: You can turn on your Guitar Hero or Rock Band guitar and have a friend riff on it to help you kill enemies. That alone makes it worth purchasing. Mr. Driller Online
Going from dark and gory to cartoony and light hearted, here we have the XBLA version of Mr. Driller. Since first discovering this puzzle game on the Playstation Iíve been utterly addicted to it, buying new versions as they came out. And I can say without hesitation that the XBLA version is one of my favorites. It has a large cast of characters, online leader boards and of course, achievements. Naturally, the block busting/platforming/puzzle based gameplay is intact and as fun as ever. If youíve never played a Mr. Driller game, this is the perfect place to start.
These are just four of my favorite 2D games that have been released on XBLA. I know there a lot more out there, so tell me in the comments what your favorites are.