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The Five Turds of Xbox Live Arcade

Article: Five XBLA games to dodge like the plague

Xbox Live is awesome, let's get that straight right from the off. Geometry Wars, Portal, Braid, Duke Nukem, Bionic Commando - the list is almost endless. Almost...

But Xbox Live Arcade - which boasts over 170 arcade titles - is also cluttered with a lot of run-of-the-mill games and some that are just plain old crap.

Microsoft pretty much acknowledged it earlier this year when it said that Xbox Live members were having difficulties finding the good stuff among the service's 15,000 pieces of content.

Back then it said it would be introducing new XBLA policies that would focus "on quality over quantity" and remove underperforming and poorly rated games from its online store. The official line was that six month old games with a "Metacritic score below 65 and a conversion rate below 6%" would be de-listed from the service.

But that doesn't mean you can't still find some really, really bad arcade games on Xbox Live though. Consider this a warning. Here are the five worst games as listed by Metacritic.

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Coffeetime Crosswords, Metascore: 39
Released this summer by Konami, developer Voltex's title features 150 crosswords and a co-op mode meaning you can solve the word puzzles with a friend. However, the game's lack of personality, awkward controls, and puzzles, described by one reviewer as "mediocre at best (and repetitive at worst)", mean its "difficult to recommend Coffeetime Crosswords to anyone but the super bored crossword obsessive who desperately needs those extra gamer points and achievements". We can think of better ways to spend the £6.80 the game costs too.

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Rocky and Bullwinkle, Metascore: 37
Based on the big in the 60s animated comedy series of the same name, developer Zen Studios' Rocky and Bullwinkle really should have been left in the past. The collection of over 100 mini-games, starring flying squirrel Rocky and his best mate Bullwinkle, a dim moose, failed to impress reviewers. The joke's definitely on the title, which critics labelled a "flash-based experiment in pure tedium" and "an under-developed, under-performing mess of a game". Ouch.

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Frogger 2, Metascore: 37
Konami and Voltex's second game on the list, critics said they wished this frog jumping title had hopped out of sight or sunk back to the bottom of the pond. Featuring "no redeeming features at all", Frogger 2 boasts "crummy gameplay combined with... deceiving graphics... and jab-a-screwdriver-into-your-ear music" that make it "one of the worst titles available on XBLA". Alternatively, "it is playable, but only just for a few minutes."

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Double D Dodgeball, Metascore: 36
This sporting title from Yuke's is based on the US and Canadian sport Dodgeball which, if you haven't seen the comedy film of the same name, is a bit like what we called Red Ass (or cannon ball) at school (basically you pelt other players with a ball).

Critics bemoaned the game's "hobbled online multiplayer mode, lacklustre graphics and boring gameplay", adding, "when you can't even find another single player on Live to pit your skills against, you know there's some serious suckage going on".

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Yaris, Metascore: 17
Backbone Entertainment's Yaris, a free "advergame" starring a bullet and fireball shooting Toyota Yaris, easily picks up the award for the worst title ever to appear on Xbox 360. Widely criticised, the game was labelled "a festering turd" that should be avoided at all costs, with one reviewer suggesting they still felt ripped off despite paying nothing for the title. Not even worth the 17.5 seconds it took to download, Yaris is no longer available from Xbox Live. Good riddance.

Feel free to name and shame your worst XBLA experiences below.

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