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The Triple Pack Review,
This review is from: Xbox Live Hits Collection with Limbo,Trials HD and Splosion Man (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
The triple pack is exactly what it says it is, a collection of three of the highest rated and most downloaded Xbox Live Arcade titles all on one disc.
The first is Trials HD, essentially one of those flash games everyone used to play during IT lessons where you guide a biker over obstacles by control his speed and the angle of his lean, but with a spiffy 2.5D HD overhaul. It has dozens of levels split into five categories by difficulty in which you try to achieve medals based on your finishing time and number of crashes. You're forced to start on the easiest tracks to get the hang of it but soon unlock harder levels, along with new bikes, using the medals you've earned. Each difficulty adds more mechanics like catapults and reverse sections as well as longer harder tracks. The great thing about this game is the lasting appeal; you need to master it over time, honing your skills so you can do harder levels. There are also tournaments (where you must complete a selection of levels in a set number of lives) and challenges like climbing as high up a hill as possible or breaking as many bones as you can in a bail-out. You can also customize the colour of the rider and bike, but that's merely superficial.
The second game is `Splosion Man, another 2.5D side scroller where you control a burning man through a labyrinth of test chambers using only your scientist given ability to `splode (that's explode to you and I) to solve the platforming puzzles, blow up enemies and even just jump and switch leavers. The game has 50 single-player and 50 coop levels (that can be played with 2 to 4 players). Whilst it can be fun in bursts and new elements are introduced over the duration it does suffer from quickly becoming repetitive. Another issue is that in coop it really does rely on all the players being competent, just one of you being less skilled can cause serious frustration.
The final game is my personal favourite. Limbo has you in one of the darkest worlds (both literally and metaphorically) I have ever seen in a game. You are a small, big-headed child searching for your sister in Limbo. You have to platform, puzzle solve and battle hellish creatures using only your ability to interact with specific objects and your puny jump to do so. When you add the distinct visual style it sounds a lot like Braid; but where Braid was vibrant and colourful with cute enemies and brilliant backdrops, Limbo is entirely black and white and terribly hostile. It also has very little sound, other than those of your broken body. I can't remember the last time I played a game where I couldn't hear anything but this perfectly suits the atmosphere of the game. Now, whilst I'm aware there are scarier games (condemned for example) no game has ever produced such a brilliantly inhospitable yet tranquil world t my knowledge. The first time I died I literally jumped about a foot in the air. The buzz saws are also particularly gruesome and the spider must be one of the all-time greatest enemies in a video game. What it lacks compared to the other two is re-playability, once your done that's it really. It's also very short, but in the good way, it never feels stale or tedious, just brilliantly creepy. Whilst the other two games can be played in short sittings this one has a style much suited to a couple of longer stints. It had me saying "I'll stop after this puzzle" over and over again until I was finished.
Sadly all three have a degree of trial and error to their gameplay which undermines the sense of achievement you get in their contemporaries. That said they will provide hours of entertainment, both challenging and fun all with a unique and enjoyable presentation.
The Final Word: A great deal for a great price, not sure that limbo quite fits the style of the other two but then I guess it appeals to all types.