Recently I've started looking up a few games on Xbox Live Indie Games. It's a much ignored part of XBLM, I find.
There is admittedly a lot of awful, terrible games on XBLIG, in fact the amount of horribly designed games clearly outrank the good games in number. But hey, it's always the case with anything, there's some great games up there. Especially addictive twinstick shooters I own about 5 games from the service.
This isn't the problem. The problem is XBLIG doesn't ACTUALLY work like normal indie games. You find a good indie game on PC, you buy and download that indie game, you OWN that indie game, play it whenever you want on the machine you got it on.
For some completely obscure reason, Microsoft don't seem to want you to own the game. XBLIG has terrible DRM and DRM that isn't seen on any other part of XBLM. I'm not sure if all that many people have noticed, but try booting up an XBLIG game when not signed in on XBL, or for example when you don't have your wireless adapter plugged in.
The game isn't playable. It does not load. You NEED to be connected onto XBL in ORDER to PLAY THE GAME, that you have BOUGHT and OWN and is taking up precious hard drive space.
There is completely NO REASON for a person to sign in online to play an offline game of which they've bought taking up precious harddrive space. This also crops up in the case games on the PS3 being unable to access the splitscreen mode of Warhawk offline and have a 2 player deathmatch and the recent Double Impact Capcom beat em up anthology, which Capcom decided to sneakily put stupid DRM in. It's also noticeable that Steam had this problem too at the start, but you can choose to boot up in offline mode these days. Ubisoft has a horrible DRM scheme these days on PC too.
Now, back to the subject; these are indie games on XBLIG and to be quite frank, MS is lessening the impact of these games being 'full games' and ironically taking away independence by having to sign on to XBL in order to use the product. These aren't indie games, because you need to be ONLINE on XBL in order to play a simple little offline arcade game.
It's incredibly frustrating to play a great little game suitable for coffee break sized gaps which is all the time, taking up room and without being signed in, you can't use it. Surely this is an annoyance to XBLIG developers too, MS isn't a publisher, MS is an constant agent which everyone has to seek permission to play the product. That isn't independent, that's like you knocking at someone's door when you were ten years old and asking if *insert name* can come out to play to their mum. That's how it feels to me and I have some stunning little games, some of Geometry Wars 2 quality taking up space which I can't always play if I take my console around to other people's houses if they don't have the internet. This is an honestly stupid situation for a game you have rightfully bought and rightfully paid the author for and unlike the big wig publishers I spoke of before, it's not the developers fault.
Seeking out further information about WHY exactly this happens on XBLIG, I found this page in the XBLIG FAQ; http://support.xbox.com/sup...
Let's breakdown thanks to quotation marks, folks.
You must be connected to Xbox LIVE to start an Xbox LIVE Indie Games title as part of our continued effort to provide family-safe content through the Indie Games site. When the game starts, the Xbox LIVE service determines whether content was removed and blocked from play because it was determined to be inappropriate. If a title is removed and blocked from play because of offensive content, Microsoft will contact users who purchased the content, and will issue these users a refund for the purchase."
My thoughts about this; Why? People bought the game. If the game was deemed inappropriate, well, MS should of never let it gone up. I haven't seen any worse violent or rude content on XBLIG than the game demos on XBLM which are blocked when the user who has signed on is under a certain age. Why is an indie game considered more dangerous?
"THINGS TO TRY
This message is by design. There is no workaround for this issue. To play Xbox LIVE Indie Games titles, you must be connected to Xbox LIVE to start the game title. After the game starts and loads, you can disconnect from Xbox LIVE if you want to."
So...you can connect to XBL one day for you to suddenly get a game you bought and possibly liked removed from your list of games, because the public may vote it deemed inappropriate and get the points back, brilliant. Where's the independence in that? This game isn't a rental that the game could be removed from the shelves any time because of being banned, it's a real game that you've bought to reward the author for making a good game that you enjoyed.
XBLIG and MS really needs to sort itself out. Because I'm pretty sure people like me buying games, not being online all the time and using up money and limited harddrive space, unable to play a game I rightfully own surely MUST be affecting sales.
Opinions below people!