Alien Hominid? Blargh

That is not our plan going forward," Greenberg assured. "We are excited to bring Alien Hominid out next week; we are excited to make up for lost time."

What's Wrong with Xbox Live Arcade? news from

I'm not a fan of Alien Hominid. Frankly? I think it's a game custom-designed to make game designers drool over their childhoods. I haven't played it since the flash game was the buzz, but I really didn't dig it then. It's a complete throwback to arcade shooters of the 80's - single hit kills, memorizing AI movement patterns. But I'm not 12 anymore, I don't have hours to replay level 1 endlessly until it's ingrained in muscle memory. That's not a interactive game experience, it's a meditative hobby. There was a place in my childhood for such, but not anymore and if we're going to go dig "Things from the past I no longer have the patience for" up I'd really much rather dig up pencil & paper RPG's than arcade shooters.

I'll admit I actually bought Root Beer Tapper and I'm vaguely obsessed with the achievement of getting 7,000 points on level one without dying (much harder than it sounds!) I don't mind the arcade titles, but the steady diet of them from XBLA in 2007 is boring. And as everyone notes, the Wii Virtual Console is just making them look sad in terms of number of titles. Now, that's really not fair - the Wii games don't have custom soundtracks, they don't have integrated voice chat, friends list, achievements and leaderboards so it's really apples and oranges. But XBLA could be (and should be) so much more than Sherman's Wayback machine permanently set for the local Starcade.

Here's the part that I REALLY, REALLY, truly do not understand. 360 is just as predictable for shelf dates as any other console. When is GRAW 2 shipping? 3/6/2007. We've known that for months now, and it's almost certainly accurate. For all that a XBLA game may be complex, it's LESS complex than a Ubisoft Tom Clancy shooter. Why can the commercial disc releases be predicted months ahead of time, but not the download titles? I release part of that answer is the manufacturing process locks people in, but that's really a lame excuse. Pretend that the XBLA titles have the same manufacturing lead time and put them on the shelf that long. This stupid "Well, we have ten titles for the next 16 weeks and we have no idea what the hell is going on more precise than that" is sloppy and it's' unprofessional.

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