Fez And Skullgirls Top The Charts, Despite XBLA's Useless Interface!

Last week was quite the week for Xbox LIVE Arcade, with the release of Fez and Skullgirls, and this week isn't too shabby either with Trials Evolution. Last week appears to have been a good week for the service, with both Fez and Skullgirls making into positions one and two respectively.

It's good to see new (quality) titles at the top of the chart, but it's probably worth noting that these games were successful in spite of the truly terrible Xbox 360 user interface system. I've heard stories of people going onto LIVE and spending a fair amount of time just trying to find games like Fez and Skullgirls. For some bizarre reason it seems as though Microsoft wants to make it way more difficult for gamers to find cool Indie games, but way, way easier to use 'Bing'.

I just don't get it. Well, I get it, but I find the whole thing a little frustrating. Xbox LIVE used to be a great place to find new independent games, but with each firmware update they move further away from that strategy, and closer to a weird interface bustling with advertising and Microsoft services I have no interest in.

Rant over!


    Yeah, I definitely think the current UI is a step backwards from the one before. (I actually liked the classic blades design too, except for the navigating Xbox Live part but we're basically back to that struggle now any way.) I went hunting for the demo for Fez the other day and it wasn't on the new release demos section. Found it eventually, but good luck getting impulse buyers if they can't find it... :S

    I would like to have bought Skullgirls (even if it was intentionally named that to sound similar to Schoolgirls) but the game wasn't designed with a controller in mind.

    I've never had any trouble finding new releases in the "new releases" section...

      Which you get to by right bumpering 4 times to get to "Games", then "Game Marketplace", then "New Releases". Easy once you know what you're looking for.

      I'd be very interested to hear from indie devs whether this new design is affecting their sales on XBL. I'm sure it would have to, because only people actively looking for stuff will find it now - e.g. you won't use bing to search for "Fez" if you don't know it exists!

      I know that MS won't release actual sales figures, but maybe you can ask around Mark?

        You have to do a little extra finger work though if you only want the XBLA new releases, that page shows all releases across all categories.

      Same, this is where I usually look.

    I dislike the new interface as well. It's noisy and cluttered and very unintuitive. I'm glad to see that Skullgirls is doing well, hopefully we'll see more fighters done by smaller studios in future.

    It really is a useless discrace of a UI. I mean, it looks nice enough, but for the gamer who feels like buying a new title by browsing what XBLA games are out (new or old) it's utterly hopeless.

    The menu layout, the Marketplace structure, the SINGLE LINE KEYBOARD. All of these things are a huge backward step for Microsoft. I just don't understand why?


    Rant over.

      ...faces. Shoving them in our faces.

        I was going to point out that your rant was not actually over when you claimed that it was but, well, that was part of the appeal of the rant :)

    I do find it absolutely amazing that Microsoft have just released their two (or possibly 3) best exclusives of the year and have chosen not to advertise them ANYWHERE on the dashboard. It's...

    I agree that the new user interface isn't as good as the previous one, but the thought of someone giving up on buying a game because it's too hard to find is equivalent to walking into a department store for a DVD but giving up because the entertainment section isn't immediately visible from the entrance.

    If my 5 year old can find new games on the dashboard there's no reason an intelligent adult couldn't.

      I get that. But the only way you're going to find Fez is if you specifically go on your Xbox with the specific intention of looking for it, then buying it.

      That's not ideal.

        That's the only way I found it, knowing it was there... somewhere?

      True, but there's a reason why they also put a bunch of new and cheap DVDs right where you walk in/out.

        Not to mention the fact that XBLA games policy is almost designed for the impulse buyer too, requiring a demo for all games and the like. Their position in the store doesn't seem to reflect that. I agree, though, if you know what you're looking for bad design won't get in your way of finding it eventually. Though considering it's the third (I think?) iteration of the dashboard, you think it'd have been thought about already...

          Unfortunately, it has become very obvious by their recent marketing movements where their priorities lie with the xbox now: Kinect, Watching media, and social networking. The new dashboard design and selection of featured items reflects this.

          I guess people who purchase traditional games are an established market, who do all their own work to research what they want, then find it in the UI. We'll stick around anyway, so they should try to push other aspects that will grow their overall market further?

          Requiring a demo for downloadable titles is one of the best things to happen to gaming in years, its saved me heaps of money on games that turned out to be shite & got me to buy games I never would have tried otherwise (fez is a perfect example)

    Oh man, want Skullgirls so bad. If only it were retail.

      Oh man, I want all 3 of these so bad. If only they were on PC . Arghh

    It's not just the dashboard either. Which is, as everybody's correctly stated, horrid.

    It's Xbox.com too. I used to purchase games on there, and queue them for download just as often as I'd sift through the Marketplace on the actual system. And Xbox.com suffers the exact same problems. It's horrible. Games are hard to find, buried under pages of useless drivel. Ironically, after I was just about to close the site off, a pop-up window appeared asking me to complete a survey on what I thought of Xbox.com. Needless to say, I ticked a 'WHOLE HEAP' of Very Dissatisfied columns...

    I don't understand the focus on Kinect, Social networking and all the other filler they seem to be focusing on. Despite the fact Kinect is an apparent success, I only know one person who owns one out of the countless people I personally know with Xbox 360's. None of us use Facebook, Twitter, Netflix or any of that stuff either.

    Besides, who the hell goes out and buys and Xbox if they're not a gamer? The casual market as I see it now either still goes out to buy a Wii, or is happy gaming on Facebook or their smartphone - occasionally breaking out Singstar on the PS2 at parties. I know that when my parents and grandparents hear the word 'Xbox', they immediately roll their eyes, knowing full well that it's a games system first and foremost. Or rather, it is in the eyes of pretty much everybody except Microsoft...

    correction * None of us use Facebook, Twitter, Netflix or any of that stuff either ON THE XBOX

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