It’s hot out there and barbecues are overrated. Stay indoors and play video games. Every summer, Microsoft releases a cadre of downloadable titles for their Xbox Live platform. We check out two of the five games that make up the “Summer of Arcade.”
Ever since “Populous” graced PCs in the late 80s, titles where we role-play as God have entertained gamers the world over. There’s just something cool about guiding those simple tribal folk to enlightenment. Enter “From Dust,” one of the more unique God games on the block.
First of all, you are not omniscient. You only control the land. This means you’ll be spending time protecting your citizens from floods, fires and whatever else plagued our silly ancestors. The game also wisely places emphasis on cultivation. The more vegetation you spread across a map, the more wildlife and skills your villagers acquire. Watch out, though. Later levels are harder than inventing the wheel.
Publisher: Warner Bros.
“Bastion” is very nearly the world’s most perfect action RPG. There are so many weapons and items to upgrade it’ll make even the most OCD-stricken among us jump for joy. The controls are tight and fluid, feeling more like a 2-D Zelda title than your traditional hack-and-slash.
The game features an omnipresent narrator, who comments on just about everything. The world can seem a mite claustrophobic, however. It would benefit from a few more branching paths. Still — for RPG fans, there’s no better place to drop 15 bucks.