Friday, June 29, 2012

Xbox Live Summer of Arcade

Every year Xbox Live does a line up of a arcade games for the summer, but this year isn't quite as exciting as last year. Last year we saw the releases of the fantastic action adventure game Bastion, the delightful From Dust, the co-op centric ARPG Crimson Alliance, the impressive tower defense game Toy Soldiers: Cold War and Fruit Ninja Kinect. Who cares about Fruit Ninja Kinect, but the rest of those games had some great qualities. This year we have a more questionable line-up with, which could turn out to be great, but at a glance it's a lot less exciting. This year we have: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, Wreckateer, Deadlight, Hybrid and Dust: An Elysian Tail. Let's take a look a short look at each game and see what they have to offer.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD 
Release Date: July 18th
Developer: Robomodo 
Price Tag: $15/1200 Microsoft Points

This is a bit of a remake of the previous Ton Hawk's Pro Skater games, specifically the first two. It has many of the same maps as the original, but all graphically improved, and gameplay mechanics taken from the later entries in the series. It will have online modes and leaderboards, plus many of the original game modes that fans will recognize. Unlike many other HD remakes I've seen, this one actually looks significantly better than the original game.The controls have been toned up and there will be new achievements added to the game. If you've been missing the flare of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games then this might be a worthy purchase, but we will see how it fares when it comes out and are able to try trial version ourselves.

Release Date: July 25th
Developer: Iron Galaxy 
Price Tag: $10/ 800 Microsoft Points

Wreckateer is basically a 3d version of Angry Birds of Crush The Castle, except you also have to use Kinect. You take control of a medieval ballista that lets you fire magical projectiles into the unsuspecting castles of goblins. It has a full physics system that makes destroying castles a bit interesting to watch and I would actually be quite interested in this game if it wasn't Kinect only. It does look decent in action, but I have a feeling most people are going to skip this one. Take a look.

Release Date: August 1st
Developer: Tequila Works
Price Tag: $15/ 1200 Microsoft Points

We saw Deadlight in action at E3 and I am quite excited about it. It is a side scrolling zombie platformer that puts the focus on surviving, not action. You run through this post apocalyptic world and are constantly being chased by zombies, usually with no conventional way to fight them. It also helps that the game looks to be fairly challenging and I'm only really basing that on how many times I died and watched other people die in the E3 demo. Watch our video of the E3 demo below.

Release Date: August 8th
Developer: 5th Cell
Price Tag: $15/ 1200 Microsoft Points

Hybrid is a futuristic multiplayer third person shooter that uses the source engine. It has a strategic portion of the game that involves a giant world war, which you participate in. Each match is 3vs3 and it mixes air and ground combat. You will be able to battle across 10 different maps and on several different modes. Like most multiplayer orientated games these days it features a great detail of player customization when ti comes to weapons, gadgets and abilities. It is also one of the few console games that is actually running at sixty frames per second. I could see this one going either way, but it would be nice to have a shooter worth playing on Xbox Live other than Max Payne 3 or Call of Duty. Take a look at their trailer.

Dust: An Elysian Tail
Release Date: August 15th
Developer: Humble Hearts
Price Tag: $15/ 1200 Microsoft Points

Here we have a 2d side scrolling RPG developed by one person. It looks a lot like the PS2 game Odin Sphere, which was a pretty good game, and it features many different enemies, towns, a good variety of environments and a decent length. The developer has built it to be enjoyable no matter your playstyle, so you can happily button mash your way through the game without being punished. There are plenty of combos and strategy in the game if you are looking for something beyond button mashing. I didn't get to see this one in action at E3, but check out this video and see the developer talk about it a bit.

That's the full line-up for this summer's XBLA Summer of Arcade. It will all be starting on July 18th with Tony Hawk and ending on August 15th with Dust: An Elysian Tail. Thanks for checking these all out and I hope some of these games turn out to be great, like last year. Thanks to Kotaku for the pricing and release dates. 

-Written by Sean Cargle


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