Unlockable demos of all all three titles are available on Xbox Live, if you want to try these out for yourself.
NB. You aren't able to install to the hard disk from this disk, probably because these are intended to be downloadable Xbox Live "arcade" titles.
OUTLAND is a good-looking, nicely animated, 2D platformer with some problem-solving. Clicked the start button expecting to get bored of it within minutes - bought the collection for one of the other titles - but soon found myself thinking, "just one more go".
The player starts off just able to run, jump and hit but progressively acquires more useful, and interesting, skills. Some of these acquired skills can be used to access parts of earlier maps, which you are able to return to. I'm playing this solo, but there is a co-op option, and some maps are only available for co-op play.
5 / 5 (unexpectedly)
FROM DUST is the reason I actually bought this collection. This is a very well-presented God-game. You, and your worshippers, versus the environment. The player uses their terraforming powers to help a tribe re-establish their lost civilisation. This takes the form of establishing villages at totems, which then give the player additional powers or augment those already present. Once each totem has been taken the tribe is able to move onto the next map via a portal.
The controls are nice and straightforward, largely consisting of grab with the left trigger and drop with the right, with slight variation when using some of the learned powers or augments.
Unfortunately, there is a problem which has marred the playability and my enjoyment of this excellent game.
At time of writing I've just completed the "High Tides" map and the following one, which I forget the name of, which are about the tenth and eleventh maps in.
Both maps - possibly because of the increasing complexity of the maps; lots of water and lava movement - made my Xbox freeze up and I had to power-off and restart from my last save several times.
As I bought the disk rather than downloading the title from Xbox Live - as it worked out cheaper to buy the collection than unlock the individual demo - I don't know whether an update to resolve this glitch would have been applied to an HD installed copy. Even so, as frustrating as the glitch is, I'm persisting with this game - just saving more frequently - which is a mark of how enjoyable it is when it does work.
4.5 / 5 (would easily be 5 but for for the glitch)
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL HD looks good, too, in a stylised cartoon strip way, but, for me, this is the weakest title. It's a graphic adventure, which I believe is a re-release of an older game and to me it feels like it. You are Jade, who has been tasked with taking snaps of animals on a, possibly, doomed planet. If I were a sub-teenager I think I might enjoy it, but I'm not, and it's a little too family-friendly for me. I can't really say too much more about this game, as I only played it for about 15 minutes, if that.
2.5 / 5