Welcome to part two of our analysis of the quality in the top 20 Xbox 360 games according to Metacritic. Come in, pull up a chair and reminisce about those earlier days of the 360’s lifespan. If you haven’t the foggiest what’s going on here, may I suggest you look at part one first before you saunter on with part two. It’s time to look at games 14 through 8 today, and we’ve got some more blockbusters to bust! So without further ado, let’s begin.
14. Rock Band 2 (92)
Capitalizing on the explosive Rock Band, Harmonix delivered on the original Rock Band by making minimalist improvements and maximum tunes. The result is to be heard all across the world at 3am in the morning after drunken nights out. Hey, who said a rock band had to be timely? Guns ‘n’ Roses are certainly not. Reviewers loved the new and improved track list… but I’m one of the few who doesn’t. Yet the ability to integrate the tracks from Rock Band to its sequel for less than $5 is just superb. Guitar Hero eat your heart out?
What we said: “An amazingly fun game to get together with your friends in person or online. For party games, Rock Band 2 simply can’t be beat!” 9.0 out of 10.
Does it deserve top twenty status? Yes. Improving upon a sequel may be seen as an easy thing to do, but you must be careful not to alienate your fans. Rock Band 2 does no such thing as everything it changes makes a positive difference. It may not be a “sequel” as such, but it’s the better of the two Rock Band experiences and is a fun experience for all.
13. Rock Band (92)
Hmm. Writing about both Rock Band games in sequence… thanks Metacritic! Pre-RB, Harmonix were hot property. MTV saw the potential and snapped them up. There was no surprise when the rival to Guitar Hero was revealed. The only talking point was how Harmonix would now be a rival against its original smash hit. Undeterred by the change, Harmonix went out there and performed its ass off to the millions of 360 lovers with brand new innovation and hardware, in the shape of drums and microphones, taking centre stage. Not to mention a kick ass soundtrack. Rock Band showed up Guitar Hero III (the first installment under Neversoft) with the whole band experience and prompted a battle of the bands between the two that will no doubt continue on until the public are fed up of playing plastic guitars.
What we said: “This is an awesome and spectacular game. You can play it over and over again without getting tired of it, mentally, but it can wear you out physically.” 8.8 out of 10.
Does it deserve top twenty status? I’m afraid not. With the option to transfer your Rock Band songs over to Rock Band 2 for a small fee of $5, the relevance of Rock Band these days is literally as some sort of disc of DLC that would compliment your purchase of Rock Band 2. That’s not to say it wasn’t once top twenty material, but Rock Band is in the past and Rock Band 2 is the now. They’re just too similar
What we said: “Overall Guitar Hero II is a must buy even for those who play the real guitar. I recommend you go out and buy it as soon as possible if you have not already.” 9.4 out of 10
Does it deserve top twenty status? …no. Despite being a port of a PS2 game, GHII is different from the Neversoft games in the series which makes it worth playing for those who jumped on the bandwagon late. But then again, these days it’s out-of-date compared to the rest of the series and plays quite differently to its sequels. You’re better off with Guitar Hero III. The score seems too high for this port as well.
What we said: “Easily a contender for Game of the Year, and likely to be remembered for quite a long time. The few flaws to be found here are easily outweighed by all the things the game does right.” 9.5 out of 10
Does it deserve top twenty status? Yes. With Fallout 3, Bethesda – despite not being the original series developer – manages to update and stay true to the Fallout formula. While it does have its issues, the payoff is still wonderful. Original and fun.
What we said: “I feel like Braid should be in the top 3 on this list, and that it’s one of the best games of all time.” Eddie Inzauto, TGR Features Director.
Does it deserve top twenty status? Of course it does. The fact that it is an XBLA game shouldn’t detract from its beauty. If you’re going to download anything, then make it Braid. You’re supporting an independent developer and supporting innovation, as well as receiving some interactive art.
Does it deserve top twenty status? Hell yes. It does enough to differentiate itself from the first game and provides some memorable moments. Horde mode was a pleasure to play through with friends as we battled our way to Wave 50 and even multiplayer has its moments, but the multiplayer feels like the weakest part of the package. Despite that minor blip, it’s sadistically satisfying to saw another human player in half… but this time after you’ve won a chainsaw dual. Even more satisfying.
What we said: “Simply the best fighter in a long while, and takes back its crown of Fighting Game champion.” 9.5 out of 10
What the fans said: “It can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it. All it takes is practice to become a better player. While making alternate outfits DLC did make a lot of fans mad, they will still be playing this game for years to come.” Cody Lev, TGR forum user.
Does it deserve top twenty status? Yes. The strongest of a genre that has been faltering over the years. Despite the release of Soulcalibur IV, the Street Fighter name was needed to revive big interest in the beat ‘em up way of life. The art style is unique and beautiful.
Join us next time for the final part as we dissect Halo 3, CoD4: Modern Warfare, Oblivion, Gears of War, The Orange Box, Bioshock and Grand Theft Auto IV.