think outside the xbox?
August 28, 2009 6:51 AM   Subscribe

recommend an xbox game for me!

not a lifelong gamer, so i don't have the highly developed hand-eye coordination to enjoy a shooter (or the personality to enjoy one, either), but have enjoyed fable 2 and mass effect. definitely enjoy the rpg/puzzle aspect more than battles--they are an inevitable part of any game, but i lose interest after dying seven or eight times in a row.

what should i play?
posted by thinkingwoman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
From the games you mention, I figure you mean Xbox 360 rather than original Xbox?

Viva Pinata
posted by box at 6:57 AM on August 28, 2009

Since you liked Fable II and Mass Effect I would recommend The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I would also try out the original Fable which I'm pretty certain is available for download on xbox live or on Ebay for under $12.
posted by carefulmonkey at 6:59 AM on August 28, 2009

Fallout 3 is pretty awesome. I am a lifelong gamer though, and I just spent about 120 hours playing it. It can be played as a FPS RPG but it doesn't have to by any means. You can play it like a turn-based RPG, pausing the action to input commands not unlike how Mass Effect worked. It's not a big-time twitch game. I think if you put the difficulty on easy you'd have very little problem going through the game and enjoying the rich setting.
posted by Liver at 7:04 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Strongly seconding Fallout 3, though wait until the Game of the Year edition (with all five expansions) is released on October 13.

Consider Prince of Persia as well (the most recent one in the series, which is simply called "Prince of Persia"). There's platforming and fighting, but your character in the game can't die (some reviews actually dinged it for being too easy because of this), so you may find that much potential frustration is removed.
posted by Prospero at 7:21 AM on August 28, 2009

Portal! Love that game far too much....
Or elder scrolls oblivion? Oh, which has already been recommended. I second that and fallout 3.

I havent been a lifelong gamer either, but the hand-eye co-ordination still comes once you get used to the controller (after being used to a mouse, i spent so long going "aaaaaargh how do people aim with this thing!!!")
posted by stillnocturnal at 7:24 AM on August 28, 2009

I, like you, am not a serious gamer (though I was in my early teen years) and I second Fallout 3. That game is amazing. It reminded me of Fable because it was what Fable 2 claimed to be - an endless world to explore. Plus it is a LOT of fun. Character customization, different clothes change the character appearance, cool weapons, great story line and good voice acting.

I played it once, beat it, and immediately started a new game. There's so much to do it's impossible to get bored.
posted by caveat at 7:27 AM on August 28, 2009

A friend of mine's girlfriend, who wasn't at all interested in games involving shooting, picked up Fallout 3 after watching us playing it and has wound up putting in the 100 or so hours that we both did, and loved it. It's also gotten her into more shooter style games as well.
The fact that you don't have to shoot in real time to complete the game means it's well suited to new gamers.
But I'd recommend that over Oblivion, which I felt lacked so much imagination and freedom compared to the previous Elder Scrolls game. It was a far more boring world, and the main story line was pretty tedious too.

Apart from Fallout... There are a sea of JRPGs I can't really judge, although I am quite taken by Eternal Sonata (though need to put more time in), which is a relatively restful one.
posted by opsin at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2009

I definitely recommend Portal. It's first person, but there are no bad guys to shoot at. Just a series of very satisfying puzzles to solve and one of my favorite villains ever.
posted by cirrostratus at 7:57 AM on August 28, 2009

Maybe Puzzle Quest?

Nthing Fallout 3.

Also, Portal is cool.
posted by steadyflux at 8:02 AM on August 28, 2009

Agree with everyone that you should try Portal, although you may get to a couple points where you'll need an assistant to do the controlling (but only a few.)

Braid is another game a bit outside of your description but definitely worth a look.

Monkey Island just got rereleased. If you can deal with the nasty "updated" graphics it's a classic, and there are some decently reviewed new episodes as well.
posted by ecurtz at 8:20 AM on August 28, 2009

I agree about Braid... it's a little short if you're quick with puzzles, but the game mechanics are really fun.
Bioshock was really fun for me (not an FPS sort of person at all, really)--I have a specific interest in the time period in which it references, and I really loved the story.
And Viva Pinata has been a really nice "numb my brain after work" activity sometimes.
posted by so_gracefully at 9:54 AM on August 28, 2009

I liked the recent Ghostbusters game. You can play it on easy and still get the full story and puzzles out of it. Its major downside is that it's short - I'd recommend buying it used, renting it, or borrowing it from a friend.

Also, Batman: Arkham Asylum. Again, you can go through on Easy, get the full story, and not worry too much about dying. There are puzzles and Scarecrow.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:55 AM on August 28, 2009

the only game anyone needs for xbox is Castle Crashers
posted by Palerale at 9:57 AM on August 28, 2009

Braid is an awesome game and you don't even have to leave the house to buy it, since it's on XBox Live Arcade.
posted by mge at 9:58 AM on August 28, 2009

Mass Effect is from Bioware, the biggest badasses on the block when it comes to console RPGs with a strong story and lots of fun puzzles.

Since you dug their latest work, I'd recommend digging into their Xbox back catalog and picking up Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire for the original Xbox (far as I know, they're both backwards compatible) - these are both terrific titles with lots of tough moral decisions and temptations sprinkled throughout the stories. Better yet, there's a lot of great puzzles in both of them (some of these call for SCRATCH PAPER! Hells yes!) - KOTOR II has its moments, but I sadly must recommend you skip it, as it was rushed into production before being quite finished.

Regarding Oblivion & Fallout 3 from Bethesda, as well as Morrowind for the original Xbox - these are amazing, immersive games. As a lifelong gamer from the 8-bit era, I would be so bold as to declare Bethesda my favorite game developer - I've certainly sunk hundreds of hours into their all-consuming creations. I would absolutely encourage you to give them a try, but please be aware that there is a heavy combat element to their games. Oblivion's combat content is slightly higher than Fable's, I would say, but the potential for role-playing satisfaction and unique character customization is much higher as well. Fallout can be played in a sort of faux-turn based fashion, but make sure to load your character's starting stats in Agility heavily, so you'll have a lot of AP to use for the game mechanic that slows things down and lets you pick your targets.

In Bethesda's games, your level one characters will die a bunch until you get the hang of things - but you'll find that turns out to be part of the fun, in a perverse way. The point of level one weakness is to drive home what an ain't-shit chump you start out as in contrast to the lightning-spitting badass you shall become. It's kind of a cool feeling to return to an area you once barely scraped by in later in your character's "career," striding boldly through spots you once had to sneak through and openly doing business with merchants you once had to steal from.

Happy adventuring!
posted by EatTheWeek at 10:04 AM on August 28, 2009

2nding Braid and Castle Crashers, possibly even Shadow Complex. All on Live Arcade. Best of all, you can download demos to check out games before you buy!
posted by gnutron at 10:34 AM on August 28, 2009

Definitely download The Maw from the Live Arcade. It's short, but amusing.

Nthing Prince of Persia.

Also, if you're cool with XBox games instead of just 360 games, you can buy and download Psychonauts. It has amazing writing, great puzzles, and none of that pesky "You Are Dead" stuff.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:51 AM on August 28, 2009

xbox game you can also download for the 360: Psychonauts. Some unforgettable gaming moments, I kid you not.
posted by thisperon at 11:06 AM on August 28, 2009

Nthing Psychonauts. That's absolutely one of my favorite games of all time. I played it on a PC, but I can't imagine the X-Box version would be much different.

I have a PS3, but I also loved Portal and Eternal Sonata, which are both available on the X-Box 360. If you haven't tried Guitar Hero or Rock Band, you might want to give one of them a shot, since they're the quintessential non-gamer game; my boyfriend's 95-year old grandmother was totally into Rock Band when we brought it to a family vacation.
posted by Diagonalize at 11:10 AM on August 28, 2009

I'll second Psychonauts and the Prince of Persia series. I'll umpteenth Portal and Braid.

Dreamfall is another immersive adventure game. One of my friends absolutely hates all modern video-games but he always comes over for this one because he feels he loses himself in exploring the world and the story.

I know you said you're against dying a lot, but for a faster-paced puzzle game simialr to Prince of Persia I'd recommend Mirror's Edge. It's faster paced because there are moments where you have to run with little opportunity to plan ahead, but it's not balls-to-the-wall action either.

Sid Meier's Pirates!, the Xbox version, is another game you might enjoy if you don't mind the very thin veneer of story. I have the PC version myself, I don't know how the console port compares.

Sorry that these are mostly Xbox games as compared to 360 games, most of them are downloadable through Xbox Live, though.
posted by man why you even got to do a thing at 11:37 AM on August 28, 2009

Civilization Revolution for the 360 is seriously addicting. 5:00 in the morning, "just one more turn" addicting.

Catan is a downloadable strategy game that kept me occupied for months.
posted by thisperon at 12:35 PM on August 28, 2009

And for some chill-out type fun, I love Zuma (downloadable.)
posted by thisperon at 12:35 PM on August 28, 2009

I really enjoyed the LEGO games (Starwars, Indiana Jones, Batman) I was quite pleased that while it was challanging at times I couldn't really die. My guy would fall apart and then start right back up where I left off. I also liked the puzzle solving aspect of trying figure out what character to use to get to through certain parts of each level or to find special objects.

I second Oblivion or Morrowind I think Oblivion is a little bit easier because the enemies are tuned to your level, but there are way more to neat places explore and quests to do in Morrowind.

I thought Fallout 3 was kind of boring and way to big without much story. Walk arround and shoot stuff and collect stuff. Yeah!

You might like Knights of the Old Republic it reminds me more of Mass Effect but the controls might be a little confusing. Try to rent before you buy.
posted by thewalrusispaul at 2:51 PM on August 28, 2009

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