Sunday, February 3, 2008

More Misc Trial Versions

I quickly bolted through a bunch of XBLA trial versions. Here are some thoughts:

  • Omega Five: Fun for a Japanese old-school arcade game. The flow was nice, but the default difficulty might have been a little high. It was hard for me to tell how difficult the achievement points were to gain -- many of them seemed a little hard core, but there also seemed to be some interesting and achievable ones. If it was the only game out there for XBLA I'd probably pick it up for $5. Unfortunately there's too much great content for me to pick this one up.
  • Chessmaster Live: It's chess. I'm not a big player either in analog or digital. It's a shame that this version doesn't seem to have been optimized for console play. I found the in-game UI to be unnecessarily confusing. It was hard to tell which unit I had selected; it let me attempt to move to invalid locations; it was hard to tell whether my move was accepted; it was hard to tell whose turn it is; etc. I did check out the "puzzles" section and it looks like there are a variety of puzzles designed to help you improve your thinking and skills as a player. Sadly, they also suffered from a lack of attention to UI design. If I were more into chess I would consider paying a couple of bucks for it -- but, honestly, chess should pretty much be free unless it has some serious hardcore features for pros or a great teaching and matchmaking system for newbs like me.

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