The hits just keep on coming on Xbox Live Arcade. The latest coin-op classic to hit the service is a touching tale of a boy, his bicycle, and an unrelenting urge to smash all things breakable with tightly-rolled wads of tree byproducts. Paperboy was - and still is - an awesome game. At least, if you’re looking for a short diversion... say, something you might spend $0.25 a pop for.
Paperboy on the 360 is an authentic recreation of the mid-80s arcade machine, save for the absence of the original's bike handlebar-style controller. And that means that this latest console iteration of Paperboy suffers from the same problem that’s been plaguing the remakes since they first started appearing on the NES: imprecise control.
Trying to weave your way down the ever-more difficult street each day will potentially have you flinging your wireless controller at the nearest wall. Especially when your paperboy is moving at top speed, since he’s the most difficult to steer at that point.
The only other real problem with Paperboy is that it’s a product of a bygone era - when games didn’t need endless amounts of levels or a wide variety of challenge to be successful. So while Paperboy is still fun today, it’s lacking any real staying power, unless you’re a high-score junkie.
The developers have added an online mode to Paperboy on Live Arcade, though it’s really just a scoring competition. You won’t see anything of your opponent (or partner, depending on the mode you choose) outside of their score. The match ends and the scores are tallied or compared to decide a winner.
For around five bucks, Paperboy is a worthwhile purchase. It’s still loads of fun. But like the newspapers our paperboy is tasked with delivering, the game has lost some of its appeal.