About Author: Matt Liparota

Matt Liparota is a reporter for XBLA Fans and professional journalist hoping to work his way up in the world of games journalism. He's been playing games his entire life and will play just about any kind of game at least once. Follow him on Twitter @mrliparota.

Posts by Matt Liparota


Skulls of the Shogun soundtrack available for download


Enjoying 17-BIT's samurai-themed real-time strategy title Skulls of the Shogun? If you've picked it up, odds are you are – the game currently sits on a kushy 80 rating on Metacritic, with many reviews lauding the game's handsome cel-shaded graphics and deep strategy elements (we quite liked it as well). Now fans can enjoy a bit of Shogun on the go – the game's soundtrack is available digitally.

17-BIT has made the soundtrack available through major digital music distribution channels. The tracks are a collaboration between musicians Makyo and Sam Bird, weaving music inspired by classic samurai films and dub into Skulls of the Shogun. "I usually work with Indian and middle-eastern instruments…so this was a nice chance to explore Japanese instrumentation for a change,” Makyo said in a press release. “Each season needed to have a different feel, so I made a point of using different instrumentation for every track, including shamisen, shakuhachi, and sanshin."

Skulls of the Shogun is available on XBLA for 1200 MSP; the soundtrack is available on Bandcamp, Amazon and iTunes.


Darkstalkers Resurrection hits XBLA on March 13


After a slight delay, Darkstalkers Resurrection is coming to XBLA on March 13, according to a Polygon report. The game presents two entries in Capcom's cartoony horror fighter series, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge and Darkstalkers 3, in one hi-def package. Capcom has said the game is a faithful recreation of the originals, but that it will also offer a variety of HD filters and viewing modes, including an over-the-shoulder arcade mode to replicate the original experience of playing the game in a cabinet.

The beloved 2D fighter series – set in an animated world of werewolves, yeti, succubi and other monters – was intensely popular in arcades in the 1990s; both games were also ported to the Sega Saturn and Darkstalkers 3 saw release on the original PlayStation. The re-release – which made both of our most-anticipated lists for this year – will set you back 1200 MSP when it hits next month.

Source: Polygon 


Terraria aims for March console release


Publisher 505 Games aims to release its long-awaited Terraria on consoles next month, according to Joystiq. First released on PC in 2011, 505 announced in September that its world-building platformer would hit consoles in February or March of this year. Joystiq's report puts that release on the latter end of that release window (The game's Xbox.com page lists the release date as March 27, but that hasn't always proven to be entirely reliable in the past).

Terraria – one of our most anticipated games of 2013 – allows players to create, craft and build in a randomly generated 2D world – think Minecraft meets Metroid. The PC version has been met with generally positive reviews, garnering an 83 on review aggregator Metacritic. The XBLA version is expected to cost 1200 MSP when it hits next month.

Source: Joystiq



CastleStorm crashes onto XBLA in April


Zen Studios' tower-defense title, CastleStorm, is set to release on XBLA in April after a year of development, Joystiq reports. The game is a 2D physics-based defense puzzler (think Angry Birds) with tower defense elements – Knights defend castles from raiding Vikings, who attack with ranged weapons. Online multiplayer and co-op will be available, and players will have the ability to create their own fortresses.

No pricing has yet be announced, although with such a short time before release it's likely that will change soon. CastleStorm is one of our most anticipated games of the year and we thought pretty highly of it when we played it at E3 last year.

Source: Joystiq


New Alien Spidy trailer highlights NPCs

The world is full of creatures big and small – but not all of them are nice or helpful. Luckily, Kalypso Digital Media and Enigma Software have provided this handy guide to help players tell the difference when they take control of their extraterrestrial arachnid later this year when Alien Spidy hits. The trailer shows of the friendly (ladybugs who lend a helping hand), the not-so-friendly (angry porcupines) and the just plain annoying (mosquitoes who can cut Spidy's web lines).

Alien Spidy is rated E by the ESRB and is scheduled for release this year. No pricing information is yet available.


New achievements may point to impending Scott Pilgrim DLC


Some may have noticed a few new entries pop up in the achievement list for Ubisoft's beat-em-up Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, which may point to the impending release of long-awaited and much-anticipated DLC for the popular title. Four achievements worth a total of 50 gamerscore have been added to the game and appear to be from the "Online Multiplayer and Wallace" pack.

A screenshot of the achievements, courtesy of @lifelower, outlines what you'll need to do to nab that gamerscore:

Read the rest of this entry »


Watch 17 minutes of Terraria gameplay

Looking forward to 505 Games' upcoming world-building platformer Terraria? If so, you're in luck, as GameSpot recently unveiled over 17 minutes of in-game footage for you to whet your whistle with. 505 has also announced pricing and release information for the game – it should hit XBLA in late February or early March for 1200 MSP.

Terraria, which originally hit PC in 2011, is an action platformer that allows players to create, craft and build in a randomly-generated 2D world (think of it as Minecraft meets Metroid).The game has been met with generally positive reviews and currently sits with a rating of 83/100 on Metacritic.


Mojang: Minecraft sold more on XBLA than PC in 2012


Call it a case of the student surpassing the teacher – Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition sold more copies in 2012 than its older, beefier PC counterpart, developer Mojang announced last week. According to a post over at EuroGamer, the XBLA edition of the world-building adventure goliath sold 5,002,370 copies last year, compared to 4,177,843 sold on PC; not bad, considering the game's been out for less than a year on XBLA.

That news caps what can easily be called a phenomenal first year (well, eight months) for Minecraft on XBLA. The game sold a staggering two million copies within the first month of release, and went on to hit five million served just before the end of the year (and becoming the best-selling XBLA title of all time). The game also made history by becoming the first XBLA title to knock Call of Duty from the top spot on the Xbox LIVE Activity Charts. And that momentum shows no signs of slowing down, with 4J and Mojang constantly refining the game and adding new (to XBLA) features with various title updates, including the upcoming Title Update 8 (which will add a lot to the game even if it won't be as big as originally anticipated).

If you aren't one of the millions of XBLA Minecraft adopters to date, the game is available for 1600 MSP (with add-ons and skin packs available for varying prices). Those on the fence can take a look at two differing opinions on the game right here at XBLAFans: Our original positive review and an editorial from a staffer who just doesn't "get" Minecraft.

Source: EuroGamer


Walking Dead season one saves may transfer to season two

Clementine in The Walking Dead XBLA

That Telltale Games plans to follow-up their wildly successful Walking Dead adventure game with a second season is no secret. What form that will take has been a bit less clear; primary among the questions still to be answered is whether it will be a direct sequel to the first season or if it will follow an entirely new cast of characters. This particular mystery may now be a little less mysterious – In a recent interview with Red Bull UK, Telltale CEO Dan Connors revealed the developer is working out how to carry season one save files over to season two.

"This all remains to be seen but we are definitely figuring out how to carry the saves over," Connors said. This definitely suggests that season two will pick up where the first left off in some way, whether that takes the form of surviving characters popping up for cameo appearances (as the comic's Glenn and Hershel did in the first episode of season one) or a direct continuation of Clementine's story. At the same time, Connors also points out that Telltale are "just starting to form the concept for season two," so at this point it's hard to say anything with certainty.

The Walking Dead's first season took the gaming industry by storm, earning accolades and awards like crazy – including more than a few game of the year awards (such as our own). The game, which is set in the same post-apocalyptic universe as Robert Kirkman's comic book series of the same name, puts players in the shoes of Lee Everett, a convicted felon on his way to prison when the zombie apocalypse strikes. As he looks to survive in a world gone bad he meets Clementine, a young girl separated from her parents. Together, the two traverse the world and carve out a living despite the best efforts of the walking undead and other survivors.

All five episodes of The Walking Dead's first season – "A New Day," "Starved for Help," "Long Road Ahead," "Around Every Corner" and "No Time Left" – are available on XBLA for 400 MSP apiece. No indication on when a second season might see release has yet been given.

Source: RedBull UK via Polygon


Minecraft ends 2012 with 5M served


At this point, it's safe to call Minecraft a legitimate phenomenon – especially the Xbox 360 Edition, where it's one of the best-selling games in XBLA history and spent the months since its early May release smashing records like crazy. Keeping with that tradition, 4J and Mojang Studios announced that the little game that could finished the year by hitting a staggering milestone: It passed five million sales Monday. Not bad for a game that released just a little over a third of the way into the year.

That achievement caps off an already impressive year for Minecraft: The world-building adventure game sold two million copies within its first month of release on XBLA (and at one point was averaging close to 20,000 sales a day), and a special Halloween-themed DLC skin pack raised over $500K for charity in just two weeks. The game also made history by knocking Call of Duty from the top of the Xbox LIVE Activity Charts, a first for an XBLA title. More recently, the game sold 453K copies on Christmas Day alone (although that was across all platforms, not just XBLA). To say Minecraft has been popular is a bit of an understatement; to say it's been a huge boost to the visibility of Xbox's digital platform even moreso.

Minecraft, originally released for PC in 2009, unleashed its highly-anticipated Xbox version in May to rave reviews (including our own, though not all our staffers agreed) and, obviously, smashing sales success. The game is currently available on XBLA for 1600 MSP, with numerous add-ons available at varying price points.

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