Original Xbox games: Xbox Live support for titles made for Microsoft’s giant black box ends Thursday, so this is your last weekend to play titles like “Halo 2,” “Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge,” “Star Wars Battlefront 2” and “Phantom Dust.” If you’re one of the fortunate few with those 40-button, $200 “Steel Battalion” controllers, this is probably your last chance to get in a round of “Steel Battalion: Line of Contact,” the Xbox Live-enabled sequel. If you own backward compatible single-player games with downloadable content, such as “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” or “Ninja Gaiden,” you might want to grab that stuff, too, and copy it to a memory unit for backup. The offline components of these games, of course, will continue to function as normal. If you really need to get your original Xbox online, you can always try a service like XBConnect.
“Geometry Wars 2” (rated E, on sale for $5 on Xbox 360): This little twin-stick shooter (video above) has been out for well over a year, but if you held off picking it up on release, you get get it now for half off, as it’s the deal of the week on Xbox Live.
“Borderlands” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, $50 on PC): If you haven’t picked up “Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot” or “The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned,” the first two add-ons for this game, they’re available for $20, together on a retail disc for Xbox 360 and PC. What’s more, Amazon currently has the game itself on sale. It’s going for $40 on consoles, $30 on PC as I type this.
“Mass Effect 2” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360 or $50 on PC): The “Kasumi – Stolen Memory” add-on went on sale this week for $7. I previewed it here.
What I’ll be playing this weekend: I’ll be pretty busy with newsroom duties and writing about video games, but when I get time, I’ll be sneaking in short sessions of “Final Fantasy XIII.” If my wife has left the 360 on when I get home, I might play a game or two of “Geometry Wars 2,” which I bought earlier in the week at the sale price. I also snapped up the “Mass Effect 2” DLC but have no idea when I’ll get to it. Sometime before Thursday, I hope to squeeze in some “Halo 2” and “Crimson Skies,” assuming I can find a game of the latter. I would play “MVP Baseball 2005,” but Electronic Arts shut down the servers for that one long ago. And I’ll mope for never having bought “Phantom Dust,” which sounds like it would’ve been right up my alley.