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XBLA Roundup: Xbox Originals DOTW & Perfect Dark Micro Review

Jonathan Lester
Fable, Games deals, Max Payne, Perfect Dark, XBLA roundup, Xbox 360 games
Xbox 360

XBLA Roundup: Xbox Originals DOTW & Perfect Dark Micro Review

Welcome, Xbox fans, to another roundup of this week's exciting occurences on Xbox Live Marketplace. Since we specialise in saving you money, let's leap directly into Major Nelson's latest Deal of the Week: a 33% saving on three classic original Xbox titles. Max Payne 2, Fable and GTA: San Andreas have been reduced from 1200 to 800 Microsoft Points- though as usual, only Microsoft Gold Customers will be able to benefit from the savings. After a couple of weeks of truly shocking XBLA deals (Gears of War avatar armour, anyone?!) it's great to see a deal that'll save us some decent money on some decent titles.

Microsoft's official exchange rate is 1000MSP=£8.50, essentially meaning that you'll be able to pick these up these titles for £6.80 each. Whilst it's possible to buy a physical copy for less if you shop around, most people will prefer the convenience of a simple one-click download to trawling through bargain bins. Also, as every savvy XBLA veteran knows, it's possible to get a lot more points for a lot less money through third party stockists. Why not check out our latest deals on Microsoft Points and save yourself even more money?

Perfect Dark: Micro Review

XBLA Roundup: Xbox Originals DOTW & Perfect Dark Micro Review

Any avid gamer worth his gamerscore knows the importance of Rare's contribution to the console FPS genre. Goldeneye proved that first person shooters could work on a console without a mouse and keyboard, but its spiritual successor refined it into a much tighter package. After a lacklustre prequel, Perfect Dark is back and shinier than ever. But does it still hold up after all these years?

Basically, everything's the same as it always was... for better and for worse. The core gameplay and missions are completely intact (and will make Rare fans convulse into paroxysms of ecstasy), but the awkward and poorly-explained mission objectives and complex maps constantly remind you of its age. The graphics are a lot shinier (since the textures and aspect ratio have been enhanced to work on widescreen HDTVs), but the clunky animations and deformed character models still provide a few unintentional laughs. Perfect Dark's singleplayer lacks over a decade of FPS refinements that we've grown accustomed to, but its legion of fans and legendary status are testament to the original's exceptional quality. It was a great game then and it's a great game now.

The local multiplayer was always the jewel in Perfect Dark's crown, and I'm delighted to report that it's been revamped in all the right ways. Customizable old-school local and system link multiplayer is back in force (boasting more features and game modes than many current titles)- and it's as smooth, raucous and accessible as it ever was. The addition of 8 player Xbox Live multiplayer also brings a whole new slew of opponents into your living room if you don't have any mates.


  • It's Perfect Dark....
  • ...just as you remember it...
  • ...but Multiplayer's even better.


  • Clunky mission objectives
  • Hilarious voice acting
  • Constantly shows its age

The very short version: Dark? Yes. Perfect? Not quite, but it's still a fantastic value package that beats the tight leather pants off its full-price prequel. Fans of the original game and local multiplayer fanatics should drop the points right now and invest in some quality nostalgia, but younger players probably won't understand why we made such a big deal about Perfect Dark in the first place.

Dealspwn Rating: 8/10

DLC Highlights

It's been a slow week for DLC, but the real highlight the release of Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" for Rock Band. As well as being an embarrassing guilty pleasure of mine, the real flavour comes with Eric Cartman's hilarious South Park version. It's funny as hell, folks- and deserves a place on your hard drive more than the original!

Check back with us next week for more deals and a look at Microsoft's new Game Room!

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