Game Room came out for the old Xbox, and shockingly enough, I knew bog-all about it. I remember hearing that you could pay for shots on old-school games but that was about it.
So off I went and downloaded it – which took long enough with my slow connection, not even mentioning the fact that the phone-lines were down for 5 hours – then just as I booted it up, more downloads. Great.
But when I started playing it, or exploring it would be the more appropriate term, I was quite impressed. The design is nice with some great retro-flavoured themes, but the games themselves? Well, they are nostalgic, capturing the look and difficulty perfectly, but a lot of them are rubbish. Really, really, poor.
This is coming from someone who did not experience most of these titles in my childhood, so maybe that has something to do with it. But even so, 240 points for a game that will probably only be played occasionally is still a lot. At least you actually get the machine that you can place in your own little arcade, which is cool, in a rather sad way.
Microsoft have tried to make this more friendly though, with credits allowing you a single play of a game. If you don’t have credits then you can pay 40 MP for a shot which is not too bad, but I doubt I will personally be forking out the points.
The one thing that really impressed is so trivial, so simple, yet so brilliant: when you’re playing a game the screen is reflective, like a proper arcade machine, meaning you see other random avatars walking around behind you, playing different machines. I know, I know, I’m a sucker for little touches like this.
Although it may sound like I have complained about Games Room, I’m a possible fan. If they bring out other game packs that are more suited to my knowledge – maybe even allowing you to play pre-purchased classics like Sonic, Frogger, Digdug and Gauntlet – then I will jump at the chance to play them in this extravagant, kitsch gaming wonderland.