For anyone that isn't already familiar with Tron, it's beyond your time and it's hard to suggest picking it up now. The sad fact is that this game will very likely find little, if any, support amongst the younger generation. And by younger I mean anyone who never played this in the arcades, as you'll find this edition to be one of the worst games ever added to Xbox Live Arcade.
Tron has not aged well. Much of what would be considered old-school charm is lost on a game that hasn't been changed one iota since it was released twenty six years ago into the arcades. Being ported to XBLA in 2008 this is the exact same game, complete with tinny sound effects, with its already stone age graphics marred by an ugly border. It's kind of sad that relatively newer games like Rez are given these HD facelifts but a game that needs it desperately, like this one, is left to languish in its archaic graphic and gameplay glory.
When you begin the game you are taken to a pseudo-map screen. From this you can pick one of four game quadrants, one to each cardinal direction. Other than the different colors there are no differences between them and you can never tell what game you are going to play until you choose it. In retrospect this is a really bad idea since you may find yourself playing your worst game, and dying, with a free life just a few hundred points away. It happened to me a number of times and is one of the most frustrating things I've experienced lately. We're talking almost flinging my controller frustrating.
Gameplay is broken up into four mini-games, each its own special flavor of frustration. The Light Cycle game is the most well known and the most fun. In this one you must out maneuver your opponents and make them run into one of the light trails emitted from the back of your cycle. Think of it as a multiplayer game of Snake. Then there is the MCP Cone where you must destroy moving blocks that slowly descend on you as you try to reach the cone at the top. While it starts off fun enough it rapidly degenerates into pure annoyance at the higher levels.
Next is the I/O Tower where you are trying to get to the circular area in the middle of the screen while dodging, or destroying, grid spiders that will kill you with a touch. Much like the MCP Cone this starts off simple enough and rapidly degenerates into a "what the heck were the developers thinking" situation. The last, and most obnoxious, is the battle tank section where you must avoid being hit by the enemy tanks bullets, or being rammed by them, while shooting them to death. They can hit you with perfect accuracy, one shot killing you, while hitting them can be an exercise in frustration.
Honestly the aiming is the worst offender here. When aiming you might press left to start making your arm / turret go down along the left side only to find it going upward. So you try right, up and down to no avail. At times, you'll find the controls completely unresponsive, which usually ends in death at no fault of your own. There is a certain amount of massaging of the controls required that, frankly, kills the game. It leaves no room for error and considering how frantic some of the levels are it makes them borderline unplayable.
While this game was once top of the line it hasn't aged well nor has it been given a new coat of paint to make it more visually appealing. The game looks and sounds its age and most assuredly plays like it. There is no way that this game could possibly ever be recommended to others. I can thank Xbox Live for shattering one of my childhood memories and tainting it with this reminder of what the Tron arcade game truly was.