That being the games are developed and released using a budget and person power much less than that of the tens of millions of dollar heavy hitters people are seeing released today. Many of these big league games have teams of over a hundred working for four or more years to complete. Thanks to the internet and general word of mouth, much in the way that anything from fine art, films, and comics can catch on due to shameless self promotion, video games are now enjoying that same success.
X-Box Live Arcade has released a few games in the summer months that have totally blown me away. Two of which I have never mentioned, one of which, “On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness” was produced by Independent Vancouver based developer Hothead Games showed me a polish that I had was surprised to see. But the recent releases of “Braid” and “Castle Crashers” are truly something else. Both are completely different genres of gaming (a puzzle-platformer and a brawler respectively) but both show an incredible amount of dedication to making the game they really wanted to make.
What’s the difference between games like Braid and Castle Crashers when compared to games with massive budgets and huge development teams? Both of which are available on Live Arcade for 1,200 points ($15)! This amount of money, relatively speaking, is almost nothing for the amount of enjoyment and time you can spend with each of these titles. At a quarter of the cost of newly released console games, these seem like a smart buy, and when you break it down you’re supporting independent developers to keep putting out games that have a unique flair to them that you might not see elsewhere but from something that has passed through the hands of the few as opposed to the hands of the many.
Bottom line: Download Braid and Castle Crashers!