Are you afraid of the dark? If you are, grab a candle or light up your cell phone and let’s peak through our eyes at this retro re-made for XBLA. The original on the Atari 2600 consisted of a pair of eyes that traveled through a labyrinth inhabited by “haunted” creatures such as bats, spiders, and ghosts. The object was to find pieces of a mystical urn and bring it to a location in the game. The new version takes that basic concept and adds more gameplay elements to it. While it is more entertaining than the original, it’s still a basic game of unlocking doors.
Dream Chronicles was developed by KatGames and published by Hudson Soft for XBLA on October 20th, 2010. Retails for 800 Microsoft Points. The publisher provided a copy of the game for reviewing purposes.
You'd be forgiven for having not heard of Dream Chronicles, a port of a 2007 PC game released with little fanfair on the same day as Super Meat Boy and Costume Quest. Dream Chronicles is a hidden object game for the most part with some puzzle and adventure elements thrown in for good measure, with a style very reminiscent of Myst and similar games.
You play as Faye an occupant of the Village of Wish which has had a spell cast over it causing all humans to fall asleep. Faye's husband (Fidget who we discover is actually a fairy) managed to awaken Faye before being captured by the Fairy Queen of Dreams, Lilith. It is Lilith who is responsible for Wish's current slumber. You must find your way to Fidget but Lilith uses her magic to slow you down at every opportunity.
Hydro Thunder: Hurricane was developed by Vector Unit and published by Microsoft. The full game retails for 1200 Microsoft Points. The Tempest DLC pack retails for 400 Microsoft points. A copy of the DLC was provided to us for review purposes.
Back in August, we reviewed Hydro Thunder: Hurricane for XBLA and gave it a Try rating. This wasn’t to say the game suffered from significant flaws, but we questioned if the game could hold attention long enough to match its $15 value for the majority of players. Clearly it could, as two months later, the game's online community is still thriving and Vector Unit has released their first piece of DLC.
The Tempest Pack for Hydro Thunder: Hurricane contains three brand new original maps (Atlantis, Castle Von Boom and Bermuda), two new, original Boats (the super agile Whiplash and the slip-slidery Psyclone), one new skin for every boat in the game, six X-Boats (upgraded to expert versions of current boats) and of course 50 additional Gamerscore.
Fluid was released on XBLIG on October 22, 2010 for 80 Microsoft Points.
Fluid is a game that boggles the mind, and will keep you occupied for hours. I call is a 2D puzzle racer, because the object of the game is to find the quickest line around the level without getting killed in the process. I was calling it a 2D version of Super Meat Boy! Click read more for everything about the game and what I thought of it.
Sonic4: Episode 1 was developed by Sonic Team and published by SEGA. It was released for XBLA on October 7th, 2010. Retails for 1200 Microsoft Points.
The long awaited sequel to the platforming goodness that was Sonic the Hedgehog has been released on XBLA! Sonic 4 Episode 1 is sure to bring back some fond memories for us older gamers that cherished our Sega Genesis (Mega drive for those of you outside of the States) as well as bring new memories for those that haven’t had the pleasure of playing the originals. Will Sonic come back out on top beating out the plumber, or will we be left wanting once again.
Super Meat Boy was developed by Team Meat and published by Newgrounds. It will be released for XBLA on October 20, 2010. As a gift to its fans, Super Meat Boy will launch on sale for just 800 Microsoft Points, before increasing to its regular retail price of 1200 MSP.
Very rarely does a game come along that is so fun and so hard that you alternate laughing with hurling profanities… that you insist you'll give it "just one more try" and yet play until your hands are a crippled, arthritic mess… that you realize as you're playing it that you are experiencing one of the finest games of our generation… that you fall in love with a squishy blob. Such a game is Super Meat Boy.
You control the titular character: a red, squarish boy made of meat, whose sunshiney disposition has earned him the hatred of arch villain Dr. Fetus, a cruel, tuxedo-clad fetus in a jar that abducts Super Meat Boy's adorable girlfriend, Bandage Girl. SMB is a 2D platformer like Mega Man on steroids: part of the game is figuring out how to avoid the plethora of pitfalls, while the rest is making your hands actually do what your brain figures out.
Explosionade, while causing a stir within the XBLIG developers community, is another release from Mommy’s Best Games. See if I keep reviewing Mommy’s Best Games, or schmups, you are going to start things that I either A. work for Mommy’s Best Games (I don’t) and B. Play nothing but schmups. Though, I am playing this XBLIG title until my xbox screams for me to stop, I might as well tell you why it’s worth the 80 Microsoft Points ($1).
All your friends are storming the Horronym Fortress but Colonel Bouche left you to guard the supply depot. Disregarding orders to clean the toilets, you open the depot to find a gigantic, prototype mech! You jump into the mech, and you head down into the sewers for a little fun shooting things, only to find the Horrornym right at your back door.
Shoot 1Up is an XBLIG title by Mommy’s Best Games that I think many people might have missed, because it is an XBLIG title. Mommy’s Best Games are known for their retro style sticking more to 2D style games. Shoot 1Up is a shoot’em up that has that great retro feel with some added bonuses that make the genre feel fresh and new.
Alien Breed 2: Assault is the second of three downloadable games on XBLA by Team17 Software. You don’t have to know about the first game, Alien Breed Evolution to enjoy the newest installment. All you need is the will to survive and a deep-seated hatred for space bugs. You will also need to put down Halo: Reach for like 5 seconds…I’ll wait.
In a seemingly deserted ghost ship, enemies can burst from any wall or hole in the ground, forcing you to constantly be on guard. Running and gunning will serve no purpose except a quick demise. Alien Breed is a game of ammo conservation and cautious exploration. The entire ship is falling apart and infested with critters, so in addition to squashing bugs, you need to avoid fires, explosions, radiation, gun turrets, and other mechanical hazards.
The game draws from an earlier genre of top-down shooters, with the additional ability to switch viewing angles and smooth graphics. While the theme may be a bit retro, the challenge is as current as can be. It’s not breaking any new ground, but Alien Breed is giving you the bang for your buck.
Comic Jumper was developed by Twisted Pixel and published by Microsoft Game Studios for XBLA on October 6th, 2010. Retails for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). The publisher provided a copy of the game for reviewing purposes.
Captain Smiley and his sidekick Star aren't the greatest heroes ever created, and they damn well know it. After having their ongoing comic series canceled, the duo become guest stars for hire in other comics in order to make enough money and gain enough popularity to reclaim the spotlight that was lost to them. Comic Jumper has a lot to live up to with Twisted Pixels past two games being rather successful. They deliver an adventure that is a comedic and aesthetic hit, but has fundamental issues with pacing and level design, ultimately falling short of greatness.
Bringing their own brand of justice to each crossover, Smiley and Star will earn money by means of fan-set challenges and "righting" wrongs. Twisted Pixel themselves also play a large role in the game, even outside of creating the adventure. By destroying the fourth wall the development house provides the funding and technology to make comic jumping possible. In each new world Captain Smiley is confronted by a quirky rogue's gallery consisting of a Duke Nukem stand-in, a feminist bondage-loving villainess, and a maniacal mini golfer. With the money earned, upgrades can be purchased at the home base to increase slide time, health, and damage.