Xbox Live offers satisfying challenges

Billings Gazette writes: " I spent large chunks of last year playing the same AAA video games everyone else played: "BioShock," "Rock Band," "Super Mario Galaxy" and so on. But if I actually kept track of my gaming hours, I wouldn't be surprised to find that I spent just as much time enjoying the simpler delights of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade.

For most of the year, I couldn't go to sleep without a nightly session of "Catan," Big Huge Games' translation of the "Settlers of Catan" board game. I got hopelessly addicted to "Puzzle Quest" (for the second time) when D3 Publisher moved it from handheld devices to the Xbox Arcade. I even got hooked on "Pac-Man" again after all these years, thanks to Namco Bandai's swell "Championship Edition."

Over the holiday season, Xbox Live was jammed with new subscribers who'd gotten Microsoft consoles for Christmas. The technical problems kept a lot of us regulars away from Arcade for a while, but Microsoft seems to have resolved the issue. So if you're a new member of the Xbox Nation, it's a good time to get acquainted with Xbox Live Arcade. It really does have something for everyone, from chess buffs to action junkies, and almost everything costs $10 or less."

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