Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Bananas #2 - The Top Ten XBLA Titles.

Well hello there fellow gamers.

*Turns head towards audience*

Looks like you caught me enjoying a good book.

*Puts book down and smiles like a dirty old man*

Now that you're here, why don't we get started?

*Lights pipe and sucks it; long and hard*

That was damn good.

*Eyes narrow at audience*

Now follow me on a journey into wonder, past joy, and possibly via my pants.


"It's in the game." - Oh... Wait...

With that out of the way... Let's get down to business. XBLA (that's XBoxLiveArcade to everyone who is a dumbass) is in my opinion one of the best things to come out of this generation, and perhaps even the most bestestest thing ever. Yes PSN fans, the Playstation also has downloadable arcade titles, but since I don't own a Playstation - nothing to do with brand loyalty, I just don't own one - I can't really discuss them. Sorry, but this article (heh - article) will focus only on XBLA games.

How the hell did this get here?
XBLA titles have given us gamers a taste of yesteryear with a sprinkling of solid new ideas, and a dusting of downright innovation. There are some true masterpieces, some delightful games, a few retro beauties, and many fantastic gaming experiences. Of course there have been some shite games; I'm looking directly at you Amy. Yes, you. No, you are not a misunderstood gem, you are a terrible game. Now go away. Hang on a minute: From Dust, you suck too. Get out of here, go chill with Amy in the bad game room. These bad games; however, are few and far between, unlike the XBL Indie game section, which is a mass of steaming turds with the occasional great game, the XBL Arcade game section is full of quality, and good games outnumber bad games more than 150,802:27.1. 

And so it is that it comes to this... This Top Bananas... This weekly (uh... Weeklyish) top ten countdown of excellence... It comes to Top Bananas to attempt to filter the truly great games on XBLA down to ten; ONLY TEN! It is no easy task, and is sure to be more subjective than a coke versus pepsi discussion (we all know they taste the same. BOOM! :P). So, read on if you will, but at your own peril, as the contents of this top ten may (will) infuriate, anger, boil, insult and disgust your feeble mind... Here it is folks, the top ten bestestest XBLA titles EVAR.

10. Trouble Witches Neo. (Adventure Planning Service)

Shut up... This game is awesome.

I'm sure the inclusion of this gem will result in a few scowling readers, and perhaps those scowls are justified. (But still, fuck you.) However, I will say this: I have had many hours of pure enjoyment from TWN, and it is a game that I keep returning to. It may be that it isn't the most difficult shmup ever; it is n00bie friendly. It may be that it is a beautiful game. It may even be the massive character list, which offers a vastly different experience for each character (well possibly not each character, but some of them are very different). It may be the short game time - the game can be finished in under an hour. It may be a combination of all of those things, but I adore this game. It is the perfect 'pick up and play after a hard day' game. Sure, it is cheesy as hell and can lead to blinding headaches if played continuously, but it is great fun and one of the most action-packed experiences in gaming. It is one of my most played Arcade titles and that is why it has made this list. If you don't like it, well, the best punishment would be to donate £100 to me. I would then buy the game that you think betters this one... What better punishment could there be?

9. Mark of the Ninja. (Klei Entertainment)

1st rule of stealth: Buy an insanely oversized sword.

Mark of the Ninja is an excellent game; however, it is a game that I have yet to finish and that is why it isn't as high as it perhaps could be. I haven't finished it because I don't have a lot of free time these days (too much pimpin'). I do have a huge desire to finish it - I think about it from time to time, which to me is the sign of a good game - one that gets in your head. The stealth mechanics are a lot of fun, and the gameplay is very tight. One of the highlights of MotN is that it came at a time when bigger budget stealth games were disappointing people left, right, center and all over your face. It outshone those bigger budget titles, and became the go to stealth game for many an xboxer. It is a beautiful game that offers a lot of customisation and allows for some truly innovative stealthing.

8. Bastion. (Supergiant Games)

The Kid ponders: 'Why? Why?'

Bastion has a lot going for it; in some ways it is innovative and in others it is building on what has been done before; the end result is a fun, engaging and at times moving game. It is also a game that will make you want to punch the narrator - even more than you wanted to punch that douche from Fable that kept telling you to restore health, or that ass bandit from Zelda that just wanted you to listen:


Or I'll slice your fairy cock off.
Here is an actual excerpt from Bastion:
"The Kid puts his left foot in front of his right foot, then looks to the sky. The Kid blinks as the sun is quite strong. He then stops to sniff a daisy before sticking his finger up his nose and poking around for a few minutes. The Kid then smiles, looks left real quick before looking right even quicker. The Kid slowly opens his mouth and deposits the contents of his nose. He chews. He rages for a minute. The Kid farts, and looks at you, because it was really you wasn't it? He wrinkles his nose. The Kid is a kid and he is really nice, but at times he is nasty, at the end of the day though he is in fact a kid."

It is a cracking wee game though, provided you are in the mood for the narrator, and the way the levels build themselves around you as you progress is just plain neat.

7. Limbo.  (PLAYDEAD)

Pictured: The most annoying part of the game.

Ah yes, Limbo, or as the French say Limbes, but who trusts the French anyway? So, Limbo - a fantastic game, although one that is really lacking in replayability (as any puzzle based game is). It makes this list mostly as a result of the impact it had; and the way it brought Indie developers to people's attention. It is a great game, a solid and very difficult puzzler that utilises innovative mechanics, but where Limbo shines is in the atmosphere. Playing this game for the first time was one of the best gaming experiences I have had. It is a beautiful game, very well paced and full of spine tingling moments, not unlike that time you accidentally touched that old bum's naked penis on the subway.

6. Trials HD/Evolution. (Redlynx, Ubisoft)

Is that Bane in the background?

Before going on any further I do have one thing to say. I fucking hate Trials HD. That game can go suck Snoop Dogg's member for all I care (a fate much worse than death by the way). Never before has a game had me in more painful fits of frustration than Trials HD - I salute every person who has the full 'cheevs for it. Not that I tried for the 'cheevs, I only tried to finish the game... Something I couldn't do. It is great though, the physics are perfect and the mistakes are those of the player (never the game). Evolution added a cracking multiplayer element and refined the gameplay. They are both brilliantly addictive and highly entertaining games that seduce quietly despite being forgotten for months - they are still in the back of my mind, and always produce new thrills when booted up. In fact I think it's about time for another attempt at HD.

5. I Am Alive. (Ubisoft Shanghai)

Are you? Are you sure? Ask The Kid - he will ponder it for you.

This one will once again divide the opinions of the few good men who read this (and the others). A game that disappointed many, and tends to receive a lot of abuse by the internet. To me this is a great little game. In a vein similar to Limbo one of the best aspects of this game is the atmosphere; you always feel isolated, and there is a constant fear of danger around every corner. The shooting mechanics add a lot to the tension and the lack of bullets adds to the immersion. This is one of the best representations of a post-apocalyptic world, and one that immerses the player very well. The climbing mechanics are enjoyable and make for some exciting exploration. On the whole this game is a cracker, and with a little more polish could have been one of the all time greats. If you haven't played it, or have been swayed by online comments, I would recommend you to try it. Or try it again.

4. Shadow Complex. (Chair Entertainment)

Aww hell yeah!

Shouldn't be many complaints about this one. Side scrolling shooting action at it's absolute best. This gem surprised me, and was one of the first Arcade games to open my eyes to the possibilities of Indie gaming. Exploration, shooting, explosions, huge battles, stunning vistas; IT'S JUST BRILLIANT. You should have played it already, I'm pretty sure that everyone has played this - I mean it's been out for freaking ages. If you haven't played it - go play it now. NOW. NAO YOU FUCK.

3. Spelunky. (Derek Yu)

Fuck you Tunnel Bastard.

When I said earlier that I hate Trials HD, I meant I love it. To that list of games I hate (LOVE) for frustrating the balls of my cold dead (sexy) corpse I would like to add Spelunky (that makes a list of 2 games). Spelunky is a game that frustrates to no end, although if I had more time to devote to it, and the reflexes of a much younger man I'm sure I could get through it. So far I have yet to make it past the Jungle (level 2! despite once getting to 2-4 with 6 lives!!!) Yet, I love it. With the exception of the dark levels - I just plain hate those. Spelunky offers a unique game every time and preparation is essential. Care is needed to navigate the many pitfalls within, and any achievement (actual achievement, not 'cheevs) leads to an explosion of sex juice.

2. Portal: Still Alive. (Valve Software)

That hole is almost big enough for my dick.

This game is just insane. One of the standout games ever in terms of innovation, and quite possibly the best game ever. So well designed, clever, and very entertaining; Portal is a game that has been heaped with praise - all of it deserved. There really isn't much for me to say except it fucking rules, and if you haven't played it you are a dick. A stupid dick.

1. The Walking Dead. (Telltale Games)


I couldn't choose anything else. If you are one of the many who doesn't believe The Walking Dead is as good as some say it is then... Well, I accept your opinion but very much disagree with it. The best part of playing TWD was that it was episodic - waiting for a new episode heightened tensions and kept the player thinking about what was coming. It was the most immersive experience I have had with a video game, and it is number 1 for that reason. I was bed-wettingly excited for each installment and fully engrossed in every episode from start to finish. I'm sure that future replays will not be as good as the first, but since the first was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good it doesn't matter. The story is fantastic and really keeps this game interesting. There are few faults with this game - and that is not something I say lightly; I tend to find faults with every single thing.

So, there you go - a top ten rundown of the best XBLA has to offer. Disagree? I'm sure you do. Why not slap your disagreement in the comments section? Just push it in there, don't worry it will fit.

Notable mentions: Dust: An Elysian Tail, Radiant Silvergun, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, Sine Mora, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Meat Boy, Torchlight, Defense Grid, Ilomilo, Ikaruga, Deadlight, Orcs Must Die, Monkey Island: SE, Street Fighter 2 HF, Splosion Man, Monday Night Combat, Doom, Harm's Way, Daytona USA, Toy Soldiers, Toy Soldiers: Cold War, Comic Jumper, Castle Crashers, Worms, Rock Band Blitz, Lara Croft: Guardian of Light... Oh shit, there are so many awesome games... Must stop thinking about great games... If you don't own all of these games... Go and buy them all now. NAO.


  1. Spelunky is my number 1. And Trouble Witches should be waaaaay higher based on the voice acting alone.

    1. Haha...

      Agreed - any game that puts voice acting like that out there deserves credit alone for having such massive balls...

      And Spelunky is such a great game - It ranks lower for me since I haven't managed to get to most of it yet!

  2. Banana_Dumbass_ManaApril 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Holy crap...


    What a dick.

  3. Gorilla With Cookies Stacked On HeadApril 11, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Interesting choices. I haven't played No Navi yet so I'll give that one a shot

  4. Ladies Love Cool FamirusApril 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM