Tag Archives: Thank You For Reading

Thanks For Everything, XBLIG!

Today marks the end of an era. Today is the day we say goodbye to Xbox Live Indie Games. In a certain sense of the word (see below for an update!).

Today is the last day to purchase any XBLIGs on the marketplace. After that, you can still download and / or play any game that you own. For now. What happens beyond that, and when the Xbox 360 itself is retired, is still up in the air, though there is plenty of promising stuff happening on the preservation front.

Of course, all of this has been known for some time. Two years, in fact. And for about a year before that, general interest in the service and its games had fallen off considerably. Many developers have long since moved on to other endeavors, and many of us that used to play the games and new releases quasi-religiously have also done the same. Still, it’s important to note this date in your own personal history calendar and remember an indie game service that was instrumental in paving the way for all the indie games we currently enjoy. It will not be forgotten.

This site (not a blog!) here played a small role by reviewing a portion of those indie games, covering some the greatest successes on the marketplace, and, unfortunately, some of the worst of the worst on the service (read: the other 70% of the reviews posted here; I’m only partially kidding when I say that). More importantly, though, it became something other than just a review site; it became a gathering place for gamers excited about indie games, a small corner of the internet some came to talk about them, to share their own thoughts, and to hang out and chat with others. Real friends were made here. And that, even more than the games themselves, is what I’ll remember.

So, personal review opinions (and a few tears) aside, I want this to be my final ‘Thank You’ to XBLIG in general, and to all the developers, gamers, and readers (that’d be you reading this) who made all of this possible. I won’t forget that, I can’t ever forget that, and I hope you enjoyed this place as much as I did.

With Love,

Tim


UPDATE (9/29): Well, so much for an emotional article and fond farewell! Today is not the end, it seems, as the official shutdown date has been pushed back to October 7th. So… yeah, it’s still sad, just not for another week. Save all your emotions and tears for that date, and go ahead and check out some more games! 😉

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Year Four of theXBLIG

Today marks four years(!) that theXBLIG has been online. Things have been slow, with gaps in-between posts (mostly my fault, partly due to a lack of releases), but the site is still going. That has to count for something, and I am damn proud to be able to say that much. Unfortunately, these ‘birthday’ celebrations have taken on an air of solemnity the past two years, as the Xbox Live Indie Games service has wound down and been given its official ‘sunsetting’ countdown (fast approaching its September 9th sell-by deadline, by the way).

It’s a sad event to have on your calendar, but as I’m often told by people with smiles too big to be natural, ‘all good things must come to an end’. Just as XBLIG will soon reach its conclusion, so too must ‘theXBLIG’. Time marches on. It’s a natural progression. It’s not all going to end in tears, of course. Indie developers have multiple avenues for publishing their games now, and the pastures beyond XBLIG are undeniably greener. If nothing else, XBLIG can stand proud knowing that it was the ‘starting off point’ for dozens of indie game careers, and maybe even the first time any of us had heard of or played ‘indie games’. Its place in history is secure.

As for theXBLIG, I will finish out reviewing new games as they come. I promised you that much, and I promised myself the same. After that, I have plans to do a limited run of must-play XBLIG games, probably starting at the end of the year and running through the first part of 2017. I’m not sure of the format, but with no new games to write about, that will probably be my personal ‘send off’ to the service, and the site. This should give anyone looking for a few good games to play before the final shutdown a short list to go by.

Regardless of the inexorable future, I want to once again thank each and every one of you for visiting this site. Whether you’ve been coming here for years, or just once in a great while to check for free codes, whether you’ve left a comment or just lurked in the shadows, it’s been an absolute pleasure for me to play these videogames and write about them for you. So, Thank You.

With much love and much(er) appreciation,

Tim

Year Three of theXBLIG

Whoa… Three years online for theXBLIG… I mean, that’s…

Oh, right. It’s been awhile since I’ve written something down here. Excuse me for a moment while I dust off the articles and clear out the cobwebs from the corners of this site.

(clears throat) Ahem. Okay, that’s better.

Wow, three years of reviewing XBLIGs on this very page. Er… pages. I never thought I’d get this far. I know it’s not an eternity by any means, but it’s still a good chunk of time, particularly in internet-time, where sites rise and fall on a daily basis. Over that span, the site has amassed over 315,000+ views and published almost 400 reviews and articles, spawning 5,100+ comments and countless discussions that were only slightly-related to videogames.

To me, that’s an incredible thing. Not because I sometimes have a short attention span and a tendency to move onto different things before I finish the first, or because I feel like congratulating myself1, but rather because in those three years, the service known as ‘Xbox Live Indie Games’ (or as ‘XBLIG’ to its close friends) has provided us with so many great games2 and proved to be such an amazing experience for myself and plenty of others.

That experience hasn’t come without its share of downsides, of course. There’s been no shortage of duds to suffer through, and it’s no secret and no mystery that XBLIG isn’t what it once was. At this point, new releases of any quality are a luxury, and the future of the service (and this site) is anything but guaranteed. I can’t make any promises either, but I know I’ll be around until the very end.

That said, there’s always the very real chance I won’t get another online ‘birthday’ to celebrate, so I might as well offer up a huge ‘thank you’ to all my fellow indie journalistic types, to the great indie developers I’ve been privileged to meet and chat with, and, last and certainly not least, all of YOU guys for stopping by and willingly subjecting yourselves to my brand of rambling. Keep playing games, everyone, and thanks again for three fantastic years!

With much love and appreciation,

Tim

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  1. Well, maybe a little. Yay! 
  2. There’s occasionally-updated leaderboards for that. 

Year One of theXBLIG

Today, theXBLIG officially turns one year old! Pay no attention to the fact that the first post on this site was a review for Birth Order, on May 26th, 2012. Officially, the site went ‘public’ on the 19th of June last year, with the review of Apple Jack 2. Between then and today, there’s been 175 reviews / articles posted, totaling 75,000+ views, with 1,243 comments (438 of which are mine, as I really love to hear / see myself talk). The most popular review, by far, has been for the original White Noise. The least-read post is the review for Guppy: Collects! 2, which to me is surprising, given some of the clunkers I’ve reviewed since starting the site.

It’s been a hell of a run so far! Had you told me a year ago the site would be where it sits today, I’d have said you were in need of a medical evaluation. My thoughts then on the future of this site were as follows— 20 to 30 views a day, and maybe Alan (from The Indie Ocean) would stop by and comment on a review here and there. I am beyond pleased to say that those prophecies went unfulfilled, as I’m pretty sure Alan would have tired from humoring me by now.

More important than the numbers though, is You, the person reading this. All the words I can throw on a page mean nothing if no one’s around to read them. So thank you, You, for coming back to this corner of the web and continuing to peruse my completely-unqualified opinions and suffer my long-winded rants. The comments section of this site has usually transitioned into a lukewarm cauldron of pop culture, movie quotes, and the like, but it’s honestly been the best part of the job, just kicking back and talking about games and life in general. Thanks for making it fun.

And though it goes without saying, I need to thank the community of writers and fellow review sites around me, not just for their help they’ve given me in the past, but for being incredibly awesome people that I remain truly honored to know and have the chance to interact with. I started up with Gear-Fish, working with some incredibly gifted gentlemen (Nate, Jason, and Zach) that wanted to change the world, or just take a stab at Gaming Journalism. Sadly, the site has gone into a deep slumber, but I owe theXBLIG and everything else to them. I will never forget that. A heartfelt thanks to my friends who remain in the field, including Catherine and the crew at Indie Gamer Chick, Alan from The Indie Ocean, Brandon (and crew) from The Indie Mine, and last but most certainly not least, Tristan (and crew) from Clearance Bin Review. I may be the only idiot dedicated solely to XBLIGs, but we’re all in this one together.

Another set of ‘Thanks’, a much larger set, goes out to all of the Xbox Live Indie Game Developers that I’ve corresponded with and talked to, mostly about their games, yes, but especially those that have kept in touch beyond the game. There’s too many to name (this is a good thing), and I’m sure I’d forget some in the process, so I won’t even try. Just know that I’m grateful for the conversations, your advice / encouragement, and the friendship. You are a talented bunch that deserve all the respect and success that is possible. Regardless of how this whole XBLIG thing pans out, it’s been a real pleasure knowing you all. I thank you, sincerely.

Ah, yes, time to wrap this up. I did want to keep it short. To tell you the truth, I went back and forth on how to start this, where to take it, and how to end it, the culmination of theXBLIG’s first year of internet life. This article was originally a much darker, negative piece. I’m glad the optimist side of me won out. Sure, there’s plenty of cause for concern (XBLIG slowly dying, being neglected on the Xbox One, itself an unmitigated disaster coming out of E3), and sure, there’s a very good chance that theXBLIG doesn’t live to see a second birthday (long story short: I preordered a PS4, not an Xbox One), but what the hell— it’s my party, and I say we celebrate. Today, we put aside all the future trouble and unanswered questions, and we do exactly what it is we all love to do; play videogames.

So consider me your fairy godfather (Marlon Brando with a wand and pink wings, if you insist on an image), gifting you the gift of game. Old-ish games, to be exact, as these are all the leftover codes from previous reviews that I have in my possession. No guarantees on their condition, however, as some may have already be claimed. I did my best to sort the good from the bad. Feel free to take any and all that you’d like, just be kind enough to leave a comment below, letting everyone else know which games are still in play. Enjoy, and thank you again for reading.

Keep Calm and Play XBLIGs

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Monster King (RPG)

  • V4YMG-F2636-9JXFJ-6X4X2-B8XVT

Star Wings (Shooter)

  • HR4Q7-K8VFK-2WQGQ-D3JMW-DXKKJ

Star Wings 2 (Shooter)

  • JWP7G-QYW7H-R4277-JFJGJ-67P7M

Null Battles (FPS)

  • MYB2V-DFK37-J7TBW-D6B9G-PV2K3

Pester (Shooter)

  • GD96G-JWFDX-CVYQQ-6BC4G-4D3WG

STRACO: Episode One (Shooter)

  • HQT3W-KV9DG-X8YR6-FPRVY-V868J
  • CT6HK-QVYP9-THFX8-HCKHC-CBMRY
  • T9HFF-39Q4F-M8FM2-6F8JV-XXGCD
  • T4C4B-FYKJP-HCH4H-T84JY-BTTCG
  • KKCTP-9MCGW-KRXBM-GW6H6-JQ2PJ