Shut-In Adventures – Vidjagame Apocalypse 411

This week marks one full year since the first shelter-in-place orders went into effect in the US. To mark this dubious occasion, we invited PNB‘s TL Foster on to talk about five of the best games ever to take place within a single house. Then it’s on to the return of Stubbs the Zombie, the even-more-zombielike sort-of return of Toys ‘R’ Us, and your fondest Mario memories.

Question of the Week: What game or series that was exclusive to the original Xbox should make a comeback?


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Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break song is Flowers on the Wall by The Statler Brothers.


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4 thoughts on “Shut-In Adventures – Vidjagame Apocalypse 411

  1. QOTW: When the topic of the original Xbox comes up inevitably some jerk claims that the only exclusive it had worth playing is Halo. To that end I’ve always got to give a mention to the little known debut from Southend Interactive that is 2002’s Deathrow.

    The game is a futuristic bloodsport that combines the fast pace of basketball, the violence of hockey, the play calling of football and even parts fictional sports like Discs of Tron and Rollerball. You’re actively rewarded with more money and higher ratings not only for throwing the disc into the opposing team’s goal but also if you throw into their heads knocking them unconscious. Or just run down the court and jump kick them in the chest if punches and tackles are more your speed. The game had a full 3D combat engine that at times felt like NFL Blitz as a prototype of the Arkham games. Strikes could combo into each other and between whatever thugs, ninjas or demons you were playing against. Throws are an easy way to take somebody out of the game for a few seconds but following it up by stomping them until they’re injured works even better. In fact just like Mutant League Football you can win by simply incapacitating the entire opposing team.

    Between matches in campaign mode there’s a management sim element where you can sign free agents, pump them full of dangerous PEDs, make bets on the point spread of your next game and get text messages about the debauchery your star players get up to. Challenges to beat unlockable teams or help another team win a big game allow you a mid-season preview of other play styles. It’s also just really fun to find out that the reason your franchise’s taxes are higher is because the convict in a gimp mask you’ve been shooting full of roids got caught having sex with the mayor’s twin daughters.

    Unfortunately the game’s once revolutionary use of black and white bump maps combined with low texture resolutions has made it age terribly. You kids don’t know how good you have it with your full RGB normal maps that allow pixel shaders to look like anything other than chipped paint. While Southend Interactive is no more I’d love to see what a modern online multiplayer take on such a fast paced feature rich arcade sports game could be.

  2. I’d love to see Star Wars: Obi-wan get a re-release. It was an X-Box exclusive with no backward compatibility with the 360. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but a few years back when I was playing and/or collecting lots of Star Wars games, it was weirdly inaccessible. There were several moments where I considered purchasing an original X-Box just to play it.

  3. QotW: Brute For-, Wait…. Nope… that SHOULD stay locked to the original Xbox.

    A game locked to the original Xbox that needs a comeback has to be “Breakdown”. For those not in the know, imagine Half-Life had a baby with Tekken and you’d get Breakdown. The story has some major twists that focus on time travel and alternate timelines. Not to mention, fighting in first person isn’t in that many videogames. The game is backwards compatible on Xbox One because it probably doesn’t cost that much to re-license the song “Take it All” by TRUST company that played during the credits of the game. It was also recently a “Games with Gold” game so if you pick those up every month, go play this game; there has been nothing like it since.

  4. QOTW: Super Monkey Ball Deluxe! It’s a compilation of stages from the Gamecube’s Super Monkey Ball and Super Monkey Ball 2, put together into a really great package, and then left to rot on the original Xbox. No release in the series has matched the first Super Monkey Ball game’s excellent stage design, but they haven’t ported those stages to anything newer than the Xbox!

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