Inside Pulse 12

Top 10 Xbox Live Games Of 2003



The Top 10 Xbox Live Games of 2003!

10.) TOP SPIN
Tennis action hits X-Box Live with Top Spin! This excellent tennis game utilizes not only X-Box Live, but is a member of the XSN Sports team as well, allowing gamers to play tournaments online to see who’s the champion!

A really great thing about playing Top Spin on X-Box Live is that no two games are the same. Top Spin’s options are fully customizable on X-Box Live, which makes for quite a few modes of gameplay. You could play a one-set match against an opponent on a clay court in France, or a five-set marathon with six games per set on a grass court in England, or a three-set ladies match on concrete. Basically, if you can imagine it, you can play it online.

Another key to the X-Box Live experience with Top Spin is that custom players are very much playable. If your custom player has been honing his or her craft in one-player Career Mode, that player is more than welcome to take on the world’s best using X-Box Live. In fact, it actually increases the interactivity, as many people tend to model created players after themselves. In this way, you’re not only playing against someone online, you’re seeing them as well!

But the area where X-Box Live excels is a proving ground for Top Spin players everywhere. Take it from this writer – before going online, I won two tournaments while losing just one game total in the process. Figuring I had the game pretty well learned by that point, I went online. I got absolutely DESTROYED. If you want the best competition, you can find it on Live, along with the occasional piece of humble pie.

Like the other XSN Sports games, Top Spin is fun on its own, but is even better online. This Christmas, take the best tennis game since Virtua Tennis onto X-Box Live!

— Bryan Berg



The Top 10 Xbox Live Games of 2003!

9.) AMPED 2
Not only does Amped 2 feature the new XSN Sports tag, but also a rewarding online Live experience as well. Playing the game off and online go hand in hand, as your Career Mode boarder is also set to be your representative when you sign on to Xbox Live. The fact that your boarder’s skills increase when you play the offline mode, it gives those gamers that live for Live a reason to stay off the service and work on polishing the skills before they hit the Live of XSN circuit.

Once you’re ready to go Live, you have the option to free board or enter a competition with gamers from across the world. When on any particular mountain, you can board in any area you wish, and possibly even have the chance to have a certain area all to yourself, which makes running into other boarders stealing your slope a non-factor. Of course, you can always skate with your friends too, and verbally agree of where to meet up via the Communicator Headset.

XSN Sports is also represented, as you can join “Packs”, which are a certain number of other gamers who’s stats are tracked for the league. A certain number of mountains may be available, and any time you feel like boarding on live on the particular mountains, your stats are tracked for the XSN league, giving you freedom to compete on XSN without relying on other opponents.

Overall, Amped 2 is definitely one of the better online titles this season. The off and online interface keep the replay value rolling. Amped is the only snowboarding game available on Xbox Live right now, so fans of the slopes will definitely want to give this Xbox-exclusive title a try.

— Chris Pankonin



The Top 10 Xbox Live Games of 2003!

8.) DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION: ULTRAMIX
If you have Live, stop reading this, buy this game, and start playing it. NOW.

And no, I’m not saying this just because I’m so in love with this series that it borders on insanity.

The online DDR experience has transformed an already great game into one of the most addicting experiences I’ve ever been a part of. You don’t realize it when you’re playing, but you’re finally testing your skills against others from across the country. Whose got the better stamina? The better timing? The better knowledge of the step patterns? Well now, you get to find out.

The online scoreboards will keep you competitive for weeks and months on end. The main ones are for the online battles, Score and Point. The others are reserved for the best stage scores earned offline. And when I say itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a race to see who can get the highest score possible, believe me, it’s a RACE!

Add to the above that this is the most friendly atmosphere I’ve ever encountered in my time with Live. 90% of the people are friendly, easy to talk to, and willing to be nice, rather than trashtalk you into oblivion. Perhaps itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s the nature of the game that prompts such behavior. Niche game, niche players.

DDR online is one of the greatest things I’ve EVER been a part of. And you’ll agree with that too. Now excuse me as I teach that punk in Minnesota not to mess with the great Tuxedo Alex!

(NOTE: Alex Williams does not actually know anyone from Minnesota, nor is he making fun of Minnesotians in general. He is simply displaying his arrogance over the DDR game.)

(NOTE [2]: We apologize to all those in Minnesota who were recently referred to as “Minnesotians”. It was wrong, and will never happen again.)

— Alex Williams



The Top 10 Xbox Live Games of 2003!

7.) MAGIC THE GATHERING: BATTLEGROUNDS
Ever wanted to take your childhood geekiness and push it to the next level in an online environment? Well, Atari gives you the game, and Microsoft gives it the power! Magic The Gathering: Battleground puts your inner geek’s pride on the line as you have to outwit your opponent with your Magic: The Gathering know-how!

It’s not a card game, as most may think when they first hear about this game. Rather, it’s a real-time strategy game. And this thing was practically custom built to be played online. All the offline components merely prepare you for the experience, as you gain more spells, more characters, and more options to work with. But once you’re completely prepared, there is no excuse. You MUST go online.

All matches are one-on-one affairs. Just you against your opponent. Your custom spellbook against his. Do you know your strategy? Have you practiced enough with your spells to know what to cast and when? If you do, good. Because your opponent knows his book inside and out, and can probably decimate you if you’re not careful. Online battles are NOT for the unprepared.

Matches last for a set number of rounds (one, three, or five), and are EXTREMELY fast paced. In a matter of moments, creatures will be flying at you, spells will be tossed around like confetti, and you’re going to need to keep track of ALL of it! Once you get started, it’s one hell of an experience.

So let your inner geek shine! Grab this game, do some preparation, go online, and shove a Suntail Hawk where the sun don’t shine!

— Alex Williams


Top 10 Xbox Live Games Of 2003: Part 2