Goblin Commander: Unleash The Horde
Fans of real-time strategy games such as StarCraft and Command & Conquer likely assume they won't get any worthwhile titles outside PC, but that's just not so. Developed by folks who worked on Blizzard's WarCraft series, Goblin Commander is the best original RTS game ever to grace a console system. See, the problem that console strategy titles face is re-creating the mouse and keyboard PC interface on a controller. But Commander handles this issue better than any in the past by simplifying the commands so that each army type can be controlled by a single button and allowing you to take direct control over units when necessary. Streamlined resource management also ups the fun: It's easy to snag gold by simply busting up the environments. If Goblin Commander sounds like a dumbed-down RTS, that's probably an apt description, but it's still an extremely playable game with excellent level design. Sure, it lacks the depth of PC strategy games (and it has a few warts--which Scooter had more of a problem with than I did), but on consoles, it rules the roost.
These goblins stick to their stereotypes: They're good at destroying and pillaging, not so good at behaving strategically, and downright bad at communicating. Commander makes it easy to whip up a band of marauders and send them into the fray (the classic RTS build-attack-repeat pattern)--but forget about pulling your forces back from a losing battle or sussing out the enemy's positions without engaging them. Tactically, it's pretty boring, but if you can get into the goblins' expendable-offense mindset, it's a smashing time.
Allow me to play the role of the cranky, has-played-too-many-RTS-games-on-PC reviewer. There isn't much actual unit balance here (after researching the most expensive unit, there's no strategic reason to use earlier ones, besides cost), the A.I. is neither smart nor resourceful (I've never seen it gather resources or repair structures), and you can't make control groups (the bread and butter of any competent RTS player). I'll give the game credit for letting me directly control the units. Otherwise, it's just 'eh.'