Fusion: Genesis was developed by Starfire Studios and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released November 9, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Fusion: Genesis certainly isn’t the first game on XBLA to put you in control of a spaceship but it is definitely the most ambitious. While it may not have the scope or freedom of a game like EVE Online it comes closer than you might expect.
After a brief tutorial area in which you are given the basics on controls and combat you are dropped into the world and allowed to go at your own pace. This means taking on missions, joining factions, mining ore and of course buying bigger, better ships.
BurgerTime World Tour was developed by MonkeyPaw Games and produced by Konami Digital Entertainment. It was released November 2, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
BurgerTime World Tour is a remake of the classic 80’s platformer starring the lovable chef Peter Pepper. The simple concept of making a burger while platforming was intriguing and something no one had honestly really even thought of. In this remake all the classic features that made the original are back: building burgers, evil sausages, killer eggs, jumping pickles and more. As Peter Pepper (or your Xbox Live avatar) you must travel through several large 3D environments across several cities. Also included are boss battles and both local and online multiplayer.
Costume Quest: Grubbins on Ice was developed by Double Fine Productions and published by THQ. It was released on December 21st, 2010 and retails at 400 Microsoft Points.
When Double Fine Productions launched Costume Quest, their Halloween themed RPG last fall, it became an instant classic. With simple yet satisfying gameplay, superb writing, and the charm of a
children’s book, Costume Quest won the hearts of gamers around the world. A few months later, Double Fine followed up by releasing the Grubbins on Ice add-on. This time set during the winter season, Grubbins on Ice takes our group of heroes and puts them far away from home, in the monster’s world of Repugia. The result is a mixture of a very solid offering, and missed opportunities that left us wanting more.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: Shadow Hunters was developed by FuelCell and Gagne Int’l and published by Microsoft. It was released October 12, 2011 for 400 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
We loved Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet when it came out in August this year. Of the few criticisms we had, one the staff all agreed on was that it was over too quickly. The game had a really great self-contained campaign with a fun multiplayer mode but it could have had more. But now we have more in the form of DLC entitled Shadow Hunters.
The DLC continues right when the story left off as you leave the Shadow Planet and find out more planets have been infected with the Shadow monsters. Now it’s up to you and three co-op buddies to solve the mystery and destroy the rest of the creatures. Does it combine the best elements of campaign and multiplayer or does it feel forced?
War of the Worlds was developed by Other Ocean Interactive and published by Paramount Digital Entertainment. It was released October 12, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
You don’t see many book adaptations on Xbox Live Arcade if any at all. But Other Ocean Interactive decided to make a platformer based off one of the most famous novels and radio broadcasts ever with The War of the Worlds. Based off of the H.G. Wells book, you play as Arthur who’s coming home in early 50’s London when the alien apocalypse happens. As you rush through the chaotic streets of pedestrians running for their lives, you must race to find your wife and brother to make sure they’re safe.
The game is a rotoscope animated platformer similar to games like Out of This World or the original Prince of Persia. You must carefully run and jump off platformers at the right time in order to achieve the jump. Coincidentally enough, making precise jumps and movements is actually harder than the aliens themselves and sets us up for what we’ll have to deal with for the entire game.
Guardian Heroes was developed by Treasure and published by Sega. It was released October 12, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
It’s safe to assume most people who play XBLA games probably have never owned a Sega Saturn, and that’s just sad. It had a great array of titles in the 90’s from Burning Rangers to NIGHTS. Sega has been re-releasing some of its classic Saturn titles this year, like Treasure’s Radiant Silvergun, often with remixed graphics and online multiplayer. Now there’s one more Treasure game to add to the list: Guardian Heroes.
Guardian Heroes is a classic beat-em ‘up, but it had more depth than any regular brawler when it was originally released. Some might say you can see a lot of GH-inspired gameplay in The Behemoth’s Castle Crashers. Does this game live up to its retro accolade or was it better off staying in the past?
The Paranormal table for Pinball FX 2 was produced by Zen Studios. It was released October 26, 2011 for 0 MSP. The promotion ended November 2, 2011, and it now retails for 240 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Paranormal is in truth not exactly a new table. It’s been available for Zen Pinball on the PlayStation 3 for some time. The table may be showing its age, but it still has a lot to offer. The theme of the table is the investigation of paranormal activities in the area. Things like the Loch Ness Monster and the Jersey Devil make appearances amongst others. It’s one of the more complicated tables out there, but doesn’t play as smoothly as others. As solid as it is, it will struggle to gain traction with players as the more recently developed tables are so much better.
Daytona USA was developed and published by Sega. It was released October 26, 2011 and retails for 800 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Daytona USA is perhaps the most famous arcade racing game ever. Much of its fame is due to the massive eight and even sixteen player arcade setups featuring chairs, force feedback steering wheels, shifters, and foot pedals. The experience of playing with a group of your friends was an undeniably fun event. Sega is a modern master of not only creating fun games but also completely immersive experiences that seamlessly integrate physical and electronic media into one. Released back in 1993 we are almost 20 years removed from its beginnings. Though the graphics are laughable by today’s standards the game hasn’t lost any of its fun and atmosphere. The only question is whether or not Daytona USA can be a worthwhile experience outside of an arcade setting.
Costume Quest was developed by Double Fine Productions, and published by THQ. The game was released on October 19th, 2010.
In October of 2010, Double Fine Productions introduced the world to a colorful classic in the making known as Costume Quest. Players are introduced to the brother-sister duo of Reynold and Wren on the night of Halloween. The pair head out trick or treating but the night quickly spins out of control as monsters kidnap one of the two, and reveal a plot to steal all of the neighborhood’s candy. What is a kid to do when monsters take your sibling away and plan to ruin every youngster’s Halloween? Take on a quest to free your family member and stop the monsters from ruining everyone’s holiday that’s what!
Dungeon Defenders was developed by Trendy Entertainment and published by Reverb Publishing. It was released on October 19, 2011 for 1200 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Loot, levels, and fantasy creatures–the essence of most RPGs. Add hack and slash, also quite the staple, and spells, then four different classes, then add an array of towers to summon, four player coop, challenge levels, survival and tower-only modes, a player versus player mode, and plenty of customization. In a nutshell, or perhaps an empty watermelon? No, maybe a carved out star. Yeah. That’s Dungeon Defenders. This action RPG tower defense has an abundance of content, variety, and polish; what do you know, the three spices of life!
Dungeon Defenders takes a semi-new approach to the tower defense genre, employing traditional elements like loot, leveling up, classes and towers while also changing the mentality up, advocating use of blockades at choke points and giving each class a different set of towers to summon as well as abilities. Of the four classes are the Apprentice, magic user employing high damage dealing elemental towers; the Squire, who takes the hordes with a sword while being backed by meaty blockades; the Huntress, with ranged weapon in hand and powerful multi-use traps; and lastly the Monk, support class extraordinaire, able to use both ranged and melee attacks and summon auras which apply affects or damage over a wide area. Levels are long and allow for up to four players with drop in and out coop local or online. Each level also has a challenge mission which presents distinct gameplay variations that force players to change their tactics, foregoing entire elements of the game or sometimes making them more important. The loot system is robust, allowing for set bonuses, rewarding players for playing on higher difficulty levels and with more people in their party. Mana gained during levels can be used to upgrade weapons, armor and pets.
There’s just so much in this game, it’s mind boggling.