It's only September, but I'm ready to call it...
Is September too early to give out the best and worst value awards for the XBox 360?
Usually yes, but this year is special.
[Ed - note this list is limited to games only, no DLC, costome packs, or avatar clothing]
Best Value Award - The best value of this year is undoubtedly the Shadow Complex. For only 1200 MS points ($15 USD) you get a great looking, Metroid-style adventure-shooter game that will take you about 6-8 hours to finish the first time (if you're big on finding all the items, 4-6 if not). You will play it again too, either to get 100%, or to finish with under 13% (for an achievement), or to finish in the fastest time (ranked online), or to play the challenge maps (again, ranked online). It's an amazing amount of fun to watch your character build up his arsenal, and use that to destroy enemies that used to be hard in one hit, or be invincible... Seriously, it's 15 bucks, just play it, you won't be dissapointed.
Worst Value Award - Sorry to Microsoft and all the fanboys I'm about to piss off, but Halo 3: ODST is a terrible value for the money. (Goukijones' amazing deal at Toys R Us notwithstanding.) There's the Halo 3 multiplayer experience included, but few people who would buy ODST are without the original Halo 3 and probably some of the expansion maps already and the three maps exclusive to this version include a remake of Midship from Halo 2. I'd value that part at around 5 bucks. ODST itself consists of a campaign (either solo or co-op) and a firefight (aka horde, aka survival) mode. Goukijones, GorrilaWarBear, and I raped the co-op campaign on legendary in about 4.5 hours. There is a scoring mini-game in the co-op, but with no achievments or leaderboards tied to it, who gives a fuck to play it again? Also, the co-op mode makes no sense with the story as all the cut scenes show you are by yourself. The campaign should be about 15 bucks, especially in light of great games like Shadow Complex. The firefight mode could be fun, and there are several achievments tied into that, so you will come back and play that, but it kind of feels tacked on, but given Halo fans clammoring for something similar to Gears of War's horde mode, this does have some value. 10 bucks, maybe 15 for some people. Total value 30-35 bucks. Asking price $60.
Before you flame me, let me clarify that I'm not saying ODST is not fun (it is), just that it in no way justified it's $60 price tag (to me anyway).