Of the previous generation of game consoles, the Xbox earned the least of my attention. I'm not a fan of first-person shooters or of sports games, so its appeal was sorely limited. I enjoyed the few exclusives I tried, such as Shenmue 2 or Panzer Dragoon Orta, but in my book, two games generally do not warrant the purchase of an entire console.
It's been easy for me to exclude the Xbox's successor from my current entertainment setup, as my main criteria was that I would only purchase an Xbox 360 that came with a hard drive, and I would not spend over $300. But now, the current and limited availability of the discontinued 20 GB Xbox Premium 360 meets those minimums, which has me reassessing my purchasing decisions.
Considering that my library still has unopened or unfinished Wii and PS2 games, buying an Xbox 360 does not make a logistical sense, as it will not add hours to my day. But I'm becoming unable to deny that it has enough games to justify wishing my day had more hours — especially since many of them are RPGs, which we previously discussed the 360 is prime for. Here are the retail titles that I'd be first to try:
- Lost Odyssey — an RPG from the creator of Final Fantasy and with old-school gameplay mechanics.
- Blue Dragon — the last RPG to consume 80+ hours of my time was the eighth installment of Dragon Quest, a franchise I've supported for 20 years. Blue Dragon uses the same visual designer as Dragon Quest, and the same composer (Nobou Uematsu) as Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. Sounds like a winning combo to me.
- Silent Hill 5 — another entry in a series I've always enjoyed letting me scare me crapless.
- BioShock — as noted earlier, I'm not a fan of FPS, but the environment and mechanics of this game sound intriguing.
- Fable II — I always wanted to play Peter Molyneux's first game in this series, but never got the chance.
- Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2 — the first DOAXBV was just silly, and the sequel sells for only $10.
Even more so than the above big-budget titles, the downloadable content for the Xbox 360 draws me in. My time is limited, and the short, fun games offered by the Xbox Live Arcade are reminiscent of a simpler time in gaming history.
- Bionic Commando Rearmed — I have fond memories of Capcom's NES original, and the Game Boy Color remake. As with Mega Man 9, I'm interested to see what they do when revisiting this classic.
- Lode Runner — I grew up playing the original on my Apple II, which was one of the first games I bought for the Virtual Console.
- Portal: Still Alive — I bought the "Still Alive" single and am eager to try the game to which it originally lent itself.
- Braid — both the ChatterBox and Major Nelson podcasts have spoken highly of this game, saying it's a puzzle in a platformer as much as Portal is a puzzler in a first-person shooter. As much as I enjoy classic games, I'm also all for new experiences, and Braid sounds like it could be one.
Other arcade-style games I'm eager to try include Crystal Quest, Tron, Discs of Tron, Jetpac Refuelled, Marble Blast Ultra, Space Giraffe, and Pac-Man Championship Edition.
I've done my part to convince myself to buy an Xbox 360; now it's your turn. What games best represent this generation of gaming and can't be found anywhere but on the 360?