Something that bothers me about XBLIG is that too few good games get the spotlight. For some reason, some really good games get passed over in favor of games like "Z0MBIES" (which anyone who knows me knows I'm not a huge fan of) and "Missile Escape." The front channel even advertises crap games like "Try Not To Fart." And this angers me. These games aren't interesting. In many cases, they're one off jokes, and they don't interest me in the slightest.
So, I'm going to quickly go over some XBLIG games that I have enjoyed a lot and have been passed over in Top Rated and in the news.
Lumi is actually the reason I'm writing this post, as I feel as it's being completely overlooked and underrated. The first thing that stuck me about Lumi is that it's really pretty. The second thing that struck me is that it has a really interesting movement mechanic which makes up most (not all) of the gameplay. You move by attaching yourself to spinning disks, and then launching yourself out. You're attracted to disks by using the same color (one of the triggers) and repelled by using the opposite. You move around like this, collecting fireflies to relight the world, attacking evil bosses along the way.
The only reason that I feel that Lumi is anything short of a 5 star game (it's certainly better than "Missile Escape") is that people are rating it low because it has the highest price point available on XBLIG. But I've played Arcade games less pretty, less polished, and more frustrating than Lumi. I feel like it deserves a bit more recognition.
Ninja Bros was recommended to me by friend and former colleague Darius, and it's actually really awesome. The gameplay is simple: you have a ninja that you can move around, and he jumps with a given button. Get him to the exit. What makes the game interesting is when you're controlling multiple ninjas. Each of them is controlled by the same thumbstick, but each has a separate jump button. In harder levels, you have to coordinate each ninja, when they jump and when they move, to try to get everyone to the exit in a reasonable about of time.
The game is surprisingly complex for something so simple, and it gets to be very hard. It's definitely worth paying for and playing through.
Both of these games are on the Top Rated, so I won't take too much time going over them.
Miner Dig Deep isn't that interesting except in its polish. The game is the definition of grind, but it does it very well, and thus deserves a mention.
Soul Caster is an interesting twist on the RPG / Tower Defense genre. I hate tower defense games, but I enjoyed Soul Caster, which is saying something.
What to others think? What XBLIG games aren't getting their fare share? Have I missed something I actually might enjoy?