Improving on greatness: things to better Xbox LIVE


Maybe we’re a little biased here, but we think Xbox LIVE is a great service. Sure, other services on other consoles and PC are offered for free, but so much is offered to LIVE members that it seems a small thing to pony up the equivalent of $5 USD each month for it. We get exclusive games, we often get earlier access to digital titles, and we have a plethora of other media outlets like Netflix, Hulu, UFC and YouTube. There’s always room for improvement, however, and there are a few things that for reasons that remain a mystery have not been touched on. We submit these as an official fan letter to Microsoft.

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XBLA Wednesday: January 25

We got two games that kind of rhyme this week with Quarrel and Puddle both wanting your points. First up, Quarrel has been described as “Risk meets Scrabble” where you must take over territories by spelling out words with the letters given. Check out the launch trailer here, the game will set you back 400 MSP. Last game on our list is Puddle, a physics-based platformer where you play a little puddle of rocket fuel and radioactive gas. You’ll have to maneuver through tight corners and objects that’ll cause the puddle to fizz, the game will set you back 800 MSP. Whether it’s spelling out words to take over land or dripping through cracks as a puddle, XBLA Wednesday has got you covered.


Quarrel launch trailer shows off quirky gameplay

Quarrel, a game about spelling things and earning points, has made the jump from iOS to Xbox Live Arcade this week complete with its own fancy trailer and apparently different scoring system. Scrabble rules says “QUARREL” is 16 points, but clearly that won’t stop Quarrel from being worth 26 points according to the developer’s screenshots, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Clearly Quarrel is out to do things that many people have only seen in one light differently, and that’s what XBLA is all about. Check out this familiar and yet strange take on word gaming as it’s out now for 400MSP. Apparently it’s Scrabble meets Risk. So. That’s awesome.

Stay tuned to XBLAFans for a review of Quarrel. Supercalifragelisticexpialidocious.


Scarygirl drops the price down to 800 MSP

Major Nelson initially wrote down last week that Scarygirl was going to be 800 MSP but it kept showing up at 1200 MSP. This confused many readers but apparently at the time, it was Major’s mistake and it was 1200 MSP instead. Just today, the price has gone down to its original 800 MSP so it wasn’t Major’s fault but the Marketplace’s fault. No word on what happens if you bought it at 1200 MSP but you can get Scarygirl right now for 800 MSP. Expect a review on the game coming soon on XBLAFans.


New Gotham City Impostors clip gives tips on handling shotgun toting roller skaters

Warner Brothers and Monolith Productions have released a new video of their upcoming Batman inspired shooter Gotham City Impostors that gives players tips on how to deal with the game’s speed skater class. The speed skater is all about moving quickly, getting up close and hitting hard. Naturally, one of the most effective tactics to use again a speedy class is to slow things down. Check out the video yourself for details, and a look at the speed skater class in action. Rumor has it that the we may be fighting for the streets of Gotham sooner rather than later, with word of a February 8th launch circulating the web. We’ll bring you more coverage of Gotham City Impostors including confirmation of its release date as soon as it becomes available.


Upcoming Sonic comic to feature Episode II prequel

Sonic the Hedgehog

Archie Comics' upcoming Sonic Super Special #3 will feature a prequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.

Between the recent release of Sonic Generations, the XBLA reissue of Sonic CD and the forthcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, Sega’s beleagured mascot may be in the midst of a bit of resurgence – and Archie Comics’ long-running Sonic comic book series looks to be capitalizing on it.

The upcoming Sonic Super Special #3 will feature a story that acts as a prologue to Episode II, set to release on XBLA and the PlayStation Network this year. A reprint of the series’ early adaptation of Sonic CD, which originally appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog #25, will also be included.

Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is the longest-running comic book adaptation of a video game, with more than 225 issues in the main series since 1993 as well as a number of mini-series and a short-lived monthly book starring the Blue Blur’s best frenemy, Knuckles. Sonic Super Special is a quarterly magazine with stories that spin out of the main franchise.


Zen Studios hosting Marvel Pinball contest

Zen Studios is looking for deaf, dumb and blind gamers with crazy flipper fingers — or anybody else with a copy of their game, for that matter — to participate in their Ghost Rider pinball contest. The studio is currently in the middle of hosting the tournament, which ends on Friday the 27, within its XBLA and PSN title, Marvel Pinball: Vengeance and Virtue. Simply play a match between now and this Friday in order to qualify to win one of the prizes being given away.

Each of the top three scorers on both platforms will take home prizes. Included in the prize pack is a chance to personally tell Marvel to stop making cheesy Ghost Rider movies Zen’s next table game and a Ghost Rider Vigilante tee shirt from merchandiser We Love Fine. Winners “will be notified via Gamertag,” which presumably means via an Xbox Live message.


XBLA sales analysis: December 2011

Gamasutra has published their XBLA sales analysis for December 2011. December was a slow month for XBLA games, but also very solid. The leader of the bunch was the re-release of Sonic CD, while Joe Danger wins the award for best review scores. Both Trine 2 and Scene it? had equally great reviews and sales. Voltron was the weakest of the month, having a strong first week, but ultimately had the lowest sales numbers and the lowest review scores by a large margin. All in all, the month was very steady with no huge successes or failures. You should check out every game on this list if you haven’t already.

Source: Gamasutra


Rhythm Party strikes the scene February 1

If you’re looking for a combination of Elite Beat Agents and Kinect, we’ve got a wacky combination for you in the form of Rhythm Party. Coming out February 1 for 800 MSP, players can expect hitting ripples in the beat making it in the style of rhythm-based games and less choreographed experiences. One thing to note was when this was reported on Major Nelson’s post was Happy Action Theater‘s February 1 release date was missing. Will we be getting 2 Kinect XBLA games in one week or not? We’ve contacted Double Fine for comment and will let you know any updates as it develops.


Candy’s sweet tooth wins Kingdom of Keflings DLC contest

We wanted it and it seems like you all wanted it too when the results came in at PlayXBLA for the A Kingdom of Keflings DLC voting and they were delicious results. While some wanted pirates and others wanted to toil in a graveyard, ultimately just like Bow Wow Wow’s song, we want candy. If you follow XBLAFans on Twitter, you would have seen our major campaign to get candy as the winner and we were so happy you all voted. Expect more sugar-coated results later on to find out the release of this DLC pack.

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