Xbox Live Thumbs Up: Worth a Taste

One of the underrated parts about online-connected consoles with easy demo access are the 10-15 minute tastes of games that wouldn’t be otherwise worth the purchase.  Sure, it might miss out on a few of the weapons or last bosses, but most B-movie action games just don’t justify the $60 entry fee.  Here are a bunch of games with fun demos.

Outrun Online Arcade (Arcade)

Like putting a few quarters into an arcade cabinet, this demo has some fun racing and cool stuff to see.  Great frame rate, good controls, nice visuals.  If you get suckered in, you might find yourself dropping the $10 for the full game.  Definitely feels like a perfect arcade throwback with the music, menus, and sound effects.  I like the “girlfriend” character that rides along in the car, her dialog makes the game feel so retro.

Wheelman (Retail)

Vin Diesel stars in this great GTA-style mission demo.  I’m sure the rest of the game doesn’t have this much polish, but this tutorial-as-epic-getaway is packed with awesome action and corny lines.  Get VD on your Xbox!

Space Invaders Extreme (Arcade)

Another one of those retro remakes biting off a piece of the Geometry Wars style.  Takes the (now somewhat dull) classic SI gameplay and makes you many times more powerful and encourages combos, while also keeping up the heat for dodging bullets and watching where you move.  Definitely worth playing a few times and possibly worth the cash.

Wolverine (Retail)

We had fun watching Wolverine get ripped up and then regenerate his flesh in combat.  He’s finally as deadly as he should be after so many games where his slashes were slaps.  The Lunge power is also fun to use.  Demo quits just before the magma boss or else this would be a perfect cheesy demo!

Afro Samurai (Retail)

Like Wolverine, but with Afro Samurai!

Crystal Defenders (Arcade)

Final Fantasy Tower Defense.  Anyone with a soft spot for Square characters should enjoy this cutesy demo.  It’s hard to believe that this game is worth the money, given the handheld-looking graphics and price point twice what it was for iPod, but the taste of gameplay here is nice!

Red Faction (Retail)

Some mediocre 3rd person shooting and then OMG I AM IN A MECH AND I AM THRASHING WHOLE BUILDINGS WITH MY ROBOT ARMS OF DESTRUCTION!  Then I’m shooting a gun from the back of a truck.  Well, for 30 seconds this is one of the most awesomely destructive game I’ve ever played.  I wish it wasn’t padded with 10 minutes of poo!