Our 48-hour marathon gaming session with the Xbox 360 has come to a close, and it's time for us to announce our pick for the best Xbox 360 launch title. If you've been reading our coverage all weekend, you'd know that we had a blast with Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (1, 2, 3) by Bizarre Creations, so it should come as no surprise that we've selected the Xbox Live Arcade game as our pick of the lot for best Xbox 360 launch title.
It's not that we expect our readers to be as universally thrilled with Geometry Wars as we were. It's a genre that some folks just don't dig. But we feel that the game has more than earned this accolade because—in addition to the game being downright fun:
We want to promote good games, and there's no other launch title we played that was as complete or perfect as Geometry Wars. Bugs are lame. Really poorly designed boss fights make us want to bludgeon someone (or something! or anything!) with a game controller. So what if the game is tiny in scope? It's perfect in execution, and that's what's important. Life's too short to play shoddy games.
We believe that this iteration of the Xbox Live service is lifting console gaming out of the gaming ghetto by bringing the most important element of all games—human interaction—to the forefront of the experience. Whether it's chess, basketball, dodgeball, Halo 2 or Horizontal Hanky-Panky, games are best when another human is involved. Everything else is just solitaire.
While there are some fantastic games in the Xbox 360 launch line-up, we relish the opportunity to take a contrarian view of things now and then. In this case, we think the hype around some of these launch titles is overblown. We therefore encourage all gamers to be more critical of the products on offer. Fifty clams is a lot of money, and time is immeasurably precious, so take a moment to read reviews and reflect on the quality of a product before buying it. If all gamers did their due diligence prior to buying games, we'd all be better off for it.
There are lots of good titles available with the launch of the Xbox 360, no doubt. We'd recommend the purchase of several. But the real next-gen experience here snuck in quietly through the back door, while nobody was watching.