9 - Space Giraffe (XBLA)
The first of two Xbox Live Arcade games to make it onto my top ten list, Space Giraffe is a remake of the Jaguar game Tempest 2000. Being a Llamasoft title, from the mind of the wacky Jeff Minter, I knew exactly what to expect from the game - a psychedelic music-driven shmup with rather bizarre in-jokes.
And the exact same things are what turned off many of the people that downloaded the trial version. It's a Marmite game - you either love it or loathe it and the result was poor sales and an unfortunate internet outburst from Jeff himself.
But that didn't stop me loving the game. This is my favourite XBLA dual-stick shooter by far, and there are a lot of them up there. I think maybe you have to have been there back in the day and enjoyed a previous Llamasoft title (for me, Llamatron) to really understand just what the hell Jeff is getting at.
I imagine he's learnt from his mistakes and will tone down the craziness somewhat for his next Arcade title, an update of Gridrunner. Let's hope it performs better than Giraffe did, eh?