The Best Game Ever: Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Note: Best Game Ever is a series of posts I’ll be doing dedicated to the best games ever made. Each game I profile will be a game I’d accept as someone’s answer to the question, “what do you think the best game ever is?” So please, do not email me and tell me I’m stupid for posting about game X when game Y is clearly superior. And you never know, game Y might be the next game profiled. For more in the series, check out the “best game ever” category in the side bar.

Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Developed for the Xbox by FASA Interactive, Crimson Skies was one of the absolute gems of the Xbox library. There were a few air combat games released during that console cycle, but nothing came close to providing the crazy action, tight controls, and fun storyline elements that combined to make Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge tops in its genre.

The game takes place in an alternate history setting. It’s the 1930s and the sky is dominated by airplanes, zeppelins, and rival groups of sky pirates, smugglers, and all other sorts of fortune hunters on both sides of the law. You play as a somewhat scoundrel sort of hero (think Han Solo stuck in the early 20th century) and its not long before your somewhat innocent hijinx get you caught up into much larger plots and schemes. I won’t dwell on the story, but it is quite fun.

The game also supported Xbox Live, and multiplayer was extremely addictive. With several different types of planes to choose from, strategy played a bit part in how you dealt with enemies online. The maps were excellent, and finding a match was a piece of cake.

The game is pretty easy to find on disc if you decide to go hunting for it (and you should), but it’s also available on the Xbox Originals store on the Xbox Live Marketplace. I would suggest picking it up on disc, however, as it’s going to cost you $5 or less these days. This would be the perfect title to hold you over if you’re waiting for the next big release to hit and want something to keep you busy.

Below is the original trailer for the game. Give us a sequel, Microsoft!

Tim’s Custom Console Arcade Sticks

Every once in a while gamers have to take things into their own hands if they want to get the most out of their hobby. Timoe, of the BYOAC forums, is creating custom made arcade sticks for consoles, using only the highest quality authentic arcade hardware. In addition to quality components, Tim sports some solid construction and amazing style in his builds. You honestly aren’t going to find a better arcade stick out there.

You’ll have to contact Tim directly for a pricing quote as things are handled on a project by project basis. If you order more than one stick, I’m sure he’ll be willing to work out special pricing as well.

So far Tim has created sticks for the PC, PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. I personally am thinking of getting an Xbox 360 one built so I can finally stop screaming at my d-pad during Pac-Man: CE rounds. Also, a 360 compatible stick could be used on the PC via USB. See the pictures below for a look at his work:










To contact Tim, register at the BYOAC forums ( and shoot him a PM. He’s pretty quick at responding, and he’s easy to work with. I’ve worked with him in the past when building arcade control panels.

Three More Halo Novels Announced

Three more novels based in the Halo universe have been announced, including one that is titles Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. The first of the three novels will hit this November, while the other two will ship sometime during 2007.

I read the first three Halo novels around the time Halo 2 released for the Xbox and they were a pretty good read. The writing isn’t of the highest quality, but any Halo fan should be sucked into the storyline right from the beginning for the rich history and in-depth look at the characters of the franchise. In the meantime, fans of the series can check out the Halo Graphic Novel if they haven’t already.

The Halo novels are published by Tor and can be found in just about any bookstore in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section.