Week in Arcade: Meat Boy, Costumes, Dreams

A triple dose of Live Arcade titles this week, $35 worth in all.

Costume Quest

From Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions comes this lively, imaginative RPG, taking from the basic turn-based style of play and adding some casual elements like QTE’s to liven up the combat. All of that is well enough, but the real charm is in the characters, establishing a true sense of Halloween from a child’s perspective. Who didn’t dream they really were what they were dressed up as? That’s what Costume Quest does, along with the mountain of laugh-riot inducing chat bubbles.

Super Meat Boy

The intro to this sadistic platformer is brilliant, not only in story but parody as it takes hold of Street Fighter lore and sends it up wonderfully. Once into the game, it doesn’t play nice, utilizing its beautifully smooth mechanics to send this animated meat to his bloody death. It’s fast and tense, requiring some precise movements to navigate and succeed, the latter a term you won’t hear much of while playing. It enjoys its brutality, and so will players who love to test their skills. Everyone else needs to stay away or risk popping some veins from frustration.

Dream Chronicles

The second hidden object game on the service, and we didn’t need the first one either. To be fair, this is more of a mixture of Myst and hidden object, finding items the key to solving the puzzles each room introduces. However, the compressed visuals are too muddy to spot many of the items, and the shining help spots seem to be there to alleviate this issue. The sluggish pointing mechanics are as slow as they come, and the story hardly worth taking this adventure.