Published by forahobby on Monday, February 01, 2021
Tagged: Gaming, Xbox One,
In the early days of video games, developers had to contend with the small amounts of storage which were possible on game cartridges. The original Nintendo Game Boy had cartridges ranging from just 32 KB up to 8 MB while the Super Nintendo Entertainment System could (in theory) support cartridges of up to 128 MB in size. However, in practice only 117.75 MB was available, and most games could only use around 32-48 MB.
When you compare that to modern games, which can take up dozens or even hundreds of
gigabytes, you can see how little developers used to have to work with.
With so little storage space, video games had to be optimised over and over again, removing any unnecessary code, compressing images, and using other coding tricks to minimise their size. There was no room for anything other than the core game files, extra features, or bonus content.
That was until consoles started supporting optical media like CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray, and the quirky proprietary GD-ROM that was used in the Sega Dreamcast. CDs came with 700 MB of storage, DVDs had more than 4 GB, and the Blu-Ray could store up to 50 GB.
The extra storage let developers for consoles like the Xbox create larger games and accompany them with minigames - smaller applications that used the same game assets but were separate from the main storyline.
These minigames are a fun way to take a break from the main missions or levels and add variety to the playing experience. Although they’re intended to be a side dish to accompany the game’s main course, some have been so popular that they’ve stolen the show.Here are some of the best minigames made for Xbox consoles.
Driv3r - Survival
Driv3r was, by almost all objective measurements, a terrible game. It was rushed to market, contained more bugs than an episode of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, and had drifted too far away from the previous two titles in the series.
It was the first Driver game to feature guns, yet it had a terrible aiming system and Tanner struggled to move around on foot, which made firing weapons a little tricky.
For all its problems, Driv3r did retain its fun minigames. Aptly named “Driving Games”, these games all involved you driving a car to achieve certain objectives. Although most of these minigames were great, the craziest and most-fun was Survival.
This game was a spin on the traditional “cops and robbers” format, where instead of being chased by one cop car, you were swarmed by dozens. These cars would mercilessly ram you, often so hard your car would be thrown Herculean distances. Surviving more than just a couple of seconds was an immense achievement, yet it continued to be incredibly fun.
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas - Casino Games
All of the Grand Theft Auto titles are packed with fun minigames, side missions, Easter egg hunts, and bizarre tasks. Even the early PlayStation releases were packed with them, though not all of them made sense. In one of the oddest minigames, players would receive a bonus for mowing down a group of Elvis impersonators, for some reason.
But in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Rockstar took the minigames to a whole new level. In CJ’s house, you’d find a games console where you could play a Tetris-like game, creating a sort of video game inception. Other minigames included dance contests, street racing, burglaries, and spraying graffiti on random buildings.
In Las Venturas, the third city in the game, players could enter the large casinos and wager their in-game money on popular casino games like roulette and blackjack. There are even video poker machines in some casinos, though these games are played against the house, unlike most other variants of poker that are played against others at the table.
The San Andreas casino games were so popular that Rockstar brought them back in the GTA Online portion of Grand Theft Auto V.
Call of Duty: Zombies
Each November, like clockwork, a new Call of Duty title is released. Each new game gets some minor graphics upgrades, a new single-player campaign mode, and new maps for multiplayer games.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to justify buying the new title as little will have changed from one to the other. However, this wasn’t the case when Treyarch released Call of Duty: World at War. This release featured a minigame known as “Zombies”.
This minigame was different from other CoD modes in that, instead of fighting other soldiers, you were attacked by waves and waves of zombies. Your mission was not to have the highest number of kills but to survive. As well as attacking the zombies, players can also repair barriers by boarding windows to help keep them outside. The game was so popular it saw a spinoff mobile version and has been included in several other versions of the game since, including the most recent release.