Jan 10, 2008
Guaranteed to make those who remember playing the original arcade game feel really old (26 years…yikes), Tron is one of those rare gems - a super-popular, classic arcade game that hasn’t seen a release on every home console known to man. And as we’ve come to expect from the classics on Live Arcade, it's almost pixel perfect in the way it looks and plays.
The “almost” is the upsetting part, however. The upright Tron arcade cabinet was controlled using a flight stick for movement and a trigger for firing. It also featured a spinning disc, which was used to rotate the character’s aim, whether he was running around or in a tank.
The 360 controller emulates this at about 60%, which is to say movement and firing/throttle are all fine. The aiming bit, though, has been mapped to the right analog stick, and can only be adjusted in sloooooow, rotating movements that are anything but precise. And because the difficulty ratchets up quickly in Tron, it makes later levels an exercise in frustration as you suffer kill after kill because your stupid turret wouldn’t rotate quickly enough or turned the wrong way.
Otherwise, the game feels perfect. The light cycles, the tanks, the deadly discs and derezzing... it’s all here and it all feels authentic. Even the “enhanced” graphics look decent, as Backbone didn’t go overboard with the new look. And on top of all that, you get multiplayer modes - both online and offline - that are half-decent, despite the original game being a strictly single-player affair.
But none of that really matters if the connecting point between player and game is this broken. We suspect that control scheme would work better if it emulated that found in games like Robotron 2084 or Geometry Wars - though that wouldn't be as authentic, it could make Tron a fantastic Live Arcade game. But as it is, this just doesn't work.