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Sidetracked by Trials HD

I had originally intended to write about Avalon Code tonight, but before I get to that I have to discuss Trials HD.

Anyway, never in a million years would I have predicted that I would have become as obsessed with this game as I have, but it's been dominating my life for the last few days.

Reminding me a lot of an updated Excitebike early on, I knocked out the first few clusters of levels pretty quickly. I didn't get gold medals on all of them, but I did well enough to satisfy my own personal sense of achievement. Moving up, the Hard level was indeed hard. When I got to Extreme, I couldn't believe it.

Trials HD Review

The best Excitebike since Excitebike

Trials HD Screenshot

HIGH Nailing a tricky series of jumps after trying a few hundred times.

LOW The Extreme level of difficulty is heartlessly punishing.

WTF Why limit the number of attempts or length of play on the hardest levels?

Trials HD and messed-up demos

I would never have guessed it, but I've been completely addicted to Trials HD on the Xbox 360 this week. One of the spotlight Summer Arcade releases, it's basically an updated version of the venerable NES classic Excitebike hopped up on stupidiculous amounts of steroids.

I'm not a fan of games that feature timed runs as a core part of gameplay, and I'm not usually a fan of games that emphasize an extremely high degree of technical precision, but in spite of those preferences, I got hooked immediately and I've been putting an unusual amount of time into it every night.

Infernal: Hell's Vengeance Review

Get thee behind me, Satan

Infernal: Hell's Vengeance Screenshot

HIGH It's got a great concept—playing for the evil side hasn't been done much.

LOW It doesn't deliver on the conceptit might as well be any random shootfest.

WTF Satan can't get past locked doors?

The Xbox 360's best Indie Games, Part One

The Xbox 360's best Indie Games, Part One

An expansion of Microsoft's XNA Creator's Club initiative, the Community Games area (now known as Indie Games) is a place for creative individuals, independent developers and small studios to have their work seen by the 360 audience at large. Anyone who thinks they've got a great idea can enter a submission through the Indie process and eventually have a game ready to be sold and downloaded to hard drives all across the world. It's a great opportunity, and the only program of its kind to be available on a home console. Unfortunately, Microsoft has given this area of Live very little attention, and despite being an incredibly exciting and innovative feature, very few players know the first thing about it.

With any luck, this article will help change that.

'Splosion Man Review

'Sploding with brilliance

'Splosion Man Screenshot

HIGH The game is elegance incarnate.

LOW Players might be fooled into thinking it's as amiable as The Maw.

WTF The ending is ridiculously (and I mean that literally) awesome.

Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta Review

Nevermind, Scotty... Don't bother beaming me up.

Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta Screenshot

HIGH Thawing out the anachronous survivors.

LOW The repetitive, needlessly bloated mission design.

WTF The amount of wasted potential on display here.

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