Our replacement discussion just got in today after the original was struck with the Red Ring of Death last week.
Let’s talk about our favorite five games from each video game platform. List your favorite five (or more) titles from the Xbox 360, released in 2005!
What 360 (or at least 360-era) games would you like to see turned into handheld majesties by being ported to Switch?
Which if any of the pre-Kinect attempts at new Rare series would you like to see return?
As we fully enter the period where I’m best qualified for commenting on console libraries, I’ll be pre-writing my personal Five in anticipation of not consistently waking up at 7 AM my time.
Bones’ Five Fingers:
Mass Effect 1 – There are RPGs better at polish, or sense of grandeur, or engaging and exciting combat, or effective narrative branching, or even character writing. But Mass Effect was the first time a game had, for my young inexperienced mind, succeeded in evoking cinematic style, or even started to come close to the moving and complex narratives I had known through advanced reading. Through the first Noveria sequence, it thrilled and startled me through the revelation of progress through politicking and dialogue and not the end of a gun.
Mirror’s Edge – Before I was fully experiencing all the different forms of movement at its most essential and exciting through Mario, Bloodborne, and many more, Mirror’s Edge reached me first by taking the first-person camera I had grown so accustomed to through the FPS market growing up and using it to hone in on mastering the sheer thrill of incredibly fluid and precise forward momentum through its beautifully stark urban dystopia.
Viva Piñata – My family got a 360 for Christmas 2006. Gears of War for my brother, Viva Piñata for me. (I also proceeded to play a lot of Gears.) VP was one of the first in a long line of experiences with Rare games throughout my adolescence and it’s still the best.1 Its innuendos and Britishisms are inconsistently charming and its backstory about a family’s disintegration is out of place. But the core gameplay of gradually developing and caring for a garden and menagerie is impeccably intricate and satisfying, with so much opportunity to decide for yourself what they will look like alongside a well paced progress loop. I keep my Xbox out of storage mostly to play this for hours and hours every single year.
Limbo – This is the first 2D game I ever liked. The first one! Through accessible puzzle design and powerful atmosphere, it helped me to begin to surmount the massive gap of not knowing or understanding 2D environments and gameplay, and that was one of the most important and beneficial changes to my relationship with games.
Halo Reach – A far greater evocation of the chaotic horror and gravitas of a war story within mainstream action, more effective and tonally ambitious than even the most novel Call of Duty.
Honorable Mentions: New Vegas (Fuck Chris Avellone), Halo ODST, ME2 and 3, Dragon Age trilogy (Fuck releasing previous-gen versions but screwing me over on DLC), Saint’s Row 2, Portal/Portal 2, Spec Ops The Line, Left 4 Dead 2, Banjo-Kazooie XBLA, Walking Dead Season 1, The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom, CarneyVale, Castle Crashers.
Get ready for banana controllers created over trademark disputes and a box stuffed with way too much random expensive shit. It’s the 599 wunderkind, next week is the PS3!
And Super Mario Misadventures 64 finally jumps in on July 27th!