Seven great Xbox 360 Community Games you need to get

Buy these NOW or never complain about soulless corporate games again

Microsoft's Community Games service was designed to deliver amateur-developed Xbox 360 games cheaply to the masses. The problem is, most amateur-developed games suck.

Most %26hellip; but not all. There are some great games here %26ndash; and we%26rsquo;re here to help you find them. We gloved up, sifted through the whole bowl of almost 200 titles available at post time, and plucked seven kernels of pure gaming corn from the crap. Each offers something unique, is bargain priced between $2.50 and $10, and stomps the giblets out of a more expensive XBLA game.

You can get all seven for $42.50 total, so buy them immediately. Then download demos for any other games that catch your eye (or ear, in the case of the intriguingly audio-only In the Pit). If you find anything else you like, BUY IT. This is how indie developers get started, and unless you%26rsquo;re content playing Skateboard Shooter Licensed Music Game 20XX every year, you%26rsquo;ll want these eager upstarts to succeed.


Colosseum

Price: $10

What is it?
Colosseum is medieval arena fighter with snazzy cel-shaded visuals and local four-player competitive play. The single-player campaign is loaded with corny dialogue and waves of A.I. drones, but various challenges give players something extra to strive for, plus you can create your own character using a variety of body types, helmets, shoulder pads, and weapons.


Why does it rock?
Despite some drab menu screens, Colosseum looks fairly awesome in motion, with well-animated characters and solid cel-shading for a downloadable game. The combat sort of cribs the right-analog control scheme from Too Human, and while the single-player campaign is fairly repetitive, the customization options and local multiplayer modes make this a good party pick for all the amateur pit fighters out there.

XBLA Games it's better than: Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball, Happy Tree Friends False Alarm


Weapon of Choice

Price: $5

What is it?
Contra-cribbing run-and-gun sci-fi shooter packed with heavy metal, crazy firepower, wicked aliens, and auto-grappling, mecha-tentacled backpacks that enable whichever character you%26rsquo;ve chosen to crawl all over the place like a very heavily armed Doctor Octopus. And it%26rsquo;s all gloriously over-the-top %26ndash; some enemies are the size of buildings, and one of the default characters carries a flame-vomiting jet engine as his main weapon.

Why does it rock?
You read the part about jet engine gun and grappling backpacks and ginormous bosses, right? We didn't even mention the sharp, highly animated 2D/3D visuals, the crazy, mutant art style, the death-brushing feature (which gives you a slow-motion moment to avoid being killed), or the multiple paths. Weapon of Choice is very much a hardcore, challenging shooter, but what it lacks in finesse it makes up for in spades with a surprisingly successful kitchen sink approach to over-the-top action. We%26rsquo;d recommendWeapon of Choiceeven if it was$15, so the fact that it costs a mere $5 makesthis a ridiculous bargain.

XBLA Games it's better than: War World, Rush'n Attack


Biology Battle

Price: $10

What is it?
Primarily a Geometry Wars clone, so much so that it even follows the same naming conventions (subject you hated in high school plus generic combat term). However, it also features 11 multiplayer games that are pretty well executed, including the aptly titled giant worm-evading game, Worms, as well as distinct Life and Death variations on five other concepts.

Why does it rock?
Biology Battle lacks the polish and pure unadulterated awesomeness of Geometry Wars 2, but it does a few things very well. The single player Global Challenge mode is thrillingly tough, often packing the screen with a hundred or more enemies, including much larger boss foes. And though the lack of online play is a drag, the numerous four-player games offer a lot of variety. The $10 price tag is a little off-putting, but Biology Battle is one of the rare Community Games that potentially justifies such an investment.

XBLA Games it's better than: Wing Commander Arena, Battlestar Galactica

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Freelance writer for GamesRadar and several other gaming and tech publications, including Official Xbox Magazine, Nintendo Power, Mac|Life, @Gamer, and PlayStation: The Official Magazine. Visit my work blog at http://andrewhayward.org.

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