Meanwhile, in the XBox Arcade.
Geometry Wars. A threshold has been crossed. Over the course of a day or two, I jumped from “500,000 points is a big time fluke” to “500,000 points is an average score.” My new 840k+ high score has put me in second place on my friends list. That’s nowhere near the overall leader, but I don’t care. I just want to be number one on my friends list and that’s what keeps me playing. To me, being able to have a leaderboard amongst only your friends is one of the best features of XBox Live. It fosters more competition.
The one thing that might be relevant to this new high score is that when I achieved it, Aphex Twin was playing in the background. I don’t listen to AFX that often so this might not be a coincidence. The music fits the game.
Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting. Before this came out, I expected three things that I would forgive so long as the arcade port was solid.
- XBox controller wouldn’t be so great for this.
- There would be lag online, as with every other 2D fighter I’ve ever touched.
- I would know the moves and the characters, but I would be terribly rusty.
They were all true. Sort of. The first two were there but weren’t as terrible as I expected and the third was true but, well, this game is hard. A lot harder than I ever remember it being.
- The d-pad isn’t horrible. Right now, it might seem a lot worse than it is because it is incredibly hot and humid so the moisture tends to make my finger slip a bit on the d-pad (crosses are so much better for this. Damn you Nintendo patent!) I try to go for a fireball and instead I jump forward and into the waiting fists of the opponent. Also, because this d-pad is slightly touchy with the diagonals I’m having an inconsistent time pulling off the “charge” moves. This is frustrating and it doesn’t help make the game any less difficult.
- The lag isn’t bad, for the most part. I’ve had the occassional laggy slowdown when playing a quick match, but when playing with friends or playing a ranked game (you can choose the game based on ping and I always go for the green ones), everything has performed smoothly. A little bit of latency might screw up your timing, but unless you are hardcore frame counting it won’t be much of an issue.
- While this was somewhat true, I managed to get back to form rather quick. That, however, didn’t prevent me from getting my ass handed to me by the computer. Even at the default difficulty, this game is hard. Really hard. Perhaps it’s because I was weaned on the SNES version rather than the arcade game, but I really don’t remember it ever being this difficult. Playing against human opponents, though, is far more rewarding (and less cheap–unless you run into one of those lame E.Honda thousand punch losers.)
Galaga. Honestly, I don’t even know why I bothered. Galaga is available in twenty different forms already, so why spend the money on yet another edition? Well, leaderboards, I guess; and achievement points (thankfully they were easy here). But mostly because I am a game whore.
However, I swear that I will not buy Pac-Man this week. Really. I have to draw the line somewhere.