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Is XBLA's New Party Piece Worth The Points? Sam's avatar
 
It's time to Kid and Play!
As if any of us needed another reason to close the curtains, put a fresh set of batteries into the controller and spend entire days snuggling with our consoles, Microsoft has invited all XBox Live! members to join them on Wednesday for the start of a month long event called either 'House Party!' or 'Block Party!' depending on your locality. Much like last year's 'Summer Of Arcade', the event will involve the release of four titles, a selection of knick knacks for your avatar and a number of promotions designed to make you feel better about spending all your wages on Microsoft Points.

Doors to the party will officially open on the 3rd of March with the release of Toy Soldiers for 1200 points, followed by Scrap Metal on the 10th for the same amount and Perfect Dark a week later on the 17th for a reduced cost of 800 points. Closing the party out on the 24th will be the release of Game Room, which will act as a complimentary shopping mall for an array of classic arcade games, ranging from between 240 and 400 each or 40 points for a single play.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of content to be survey as part of this event, so instead of rushing through it and producing a Great Wall of Text running the length of the site, we will be providing previews of each game every Tuesday and a grind every Thursday, by which point I expect to see everyone passed out on a vomit covered pile of expired Gold Membership Cards.

Until then, we will have to make do with discussing whether the concept of XBox Live! events is purely to con people into parting with more points than they would normally, or whether the community spirit it engenders is worth every penny.

Editor Opinions
 
Sam's avatar

Call me a sucker, but for a reason I can't even justify to myself, I really buy into the XBLA events. I spent far more on last year's 'Summer Of Arcade' than I would have if the games had been marketed separately, purely because Microsoft make you feel like doing so means you are a part of a community.

As someone who loves to discuss the latest goings on in Gamersville, having events with a weekly release schedule provides excellent talking points, much as an evening soap opera leads to gossip the next day, or a football match brings people together to celebrate and commiserate.

This aside, the quality of the first three games to be released looks pretty high and I'm defintely looking forwards to getting my hands on them. I'm reserving judgement on the Games Room because I'm not all that interested in classic arcade games any more, seeing as I've played them on every platform under the sun. I'm also a little concerned that Microsoft are pricing the games a bit high considering their age and although the pay-per-play option is in line with the arcade theme, I hate seeing anything promoting such archaic pricing schemes.

My main hope is that the multiplayer aspects of the various releases comes through and does actually create that feeling of community I'm looking for. After all, it's not much of a party if you end up playing on your own while the cocktail sausages and cheese balls in the kitchen pass their best before date.

 
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