While Puzzle Quest may be the instant pick of this week's Xbox Live Arcade offerings—what with its charming and unique mix of puzzle and RPG elements served with some nice high-definition graphics and Xbox Live multiplayer—I sincerely suggest that you go ahead and download the Toyota-sponsored alternate of this week's line up, Yaris. The game is free and only a modest 25MB, but the download is worth it just to see how completely ridiculous this game is.
Most of you should remember the sections of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 where the game shifted into 3D and Sonic runs "into" the screen in a half pipe, collecting rings and jumping over obstacles. Now, imagine that, but with a Yaris as Sonic, and a mechanical arm with a gun coming out of the car's hood which you can use to shoot down the various enemies that come in your way. That's pretty much what Yaris is.
Surprisingly, the game is actually pretty action-packed, fast, and easy to play. Control is simple: the left analog stick manipulates direction and speed, the right stick controls your aim, the right trigger fires, and the shoulder buttons change weapons. That's pretty much it. The game includes a bevy of courses on which you'll race against time, use a limited selection of weapons to best enemies, and collect coins to buy new cars or upgrade your vehicle with new weapon slots, speed boosts, paint jobs, or new rims.
The single player mode takes you through a bunch of different courses that all look pretty much the same, and your goal is to finish the race while accumulating as many points as possible. Online versus mode essentially works the same way, only you race alongside your opponent who is trying to steal as many of your kills as possible. It's simple, it's small, and it's fun. Go download it; I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised. You'll get your money's worth, in any event; though I think I'll be keeping my Civic.
After talking to Frank about Yaris I gave it a download. It's ugly, clunky, and I have piles of games that need my attention more. I don't know if he's in a good mood or what today, but man, this game doesn't do much for me. Maybe my kids will like it… but that's as far as I'm willing to go.