Harmonix working on new XBLA game

A designer’s resume, exposed earlier today via Twitter, has made public the fact that developer Harmonix is working on a previously unannounced title. The game is referred to in the LinkedIn resume of one Brian Chan simply as “unannounced title,” but Chan did reveal the platforms it is coming to: XBLA, PSN and, rather peculiarly, Facebook.

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Anomaly Warzone Earth strikes in March for 800 MSP

A runaway hit on PC and iOS, Anomaly Warzone Earth is looking to shake things up in the tower defense world on XBLA. In a preview from Joystiq, we learn more details regarding how it plays, release date and price.

An element that was originally in the PC version was playing a foot-soldier commander in battles. They’re returning in the XBLA version and will help distract enemy units while you put down more units for destruction. It adds a bit more playability then just regular RTS play style, it’s been called “tower defense in reverse” by some. It’ll be releasing sometime in March for 800 MSP so keep this on your look-out tower defense fans.


Digital Reality discusses Bang Bang Racing’s features and design choices

Racing games on XBLA are constantly struggling for uniqueness. These racers, many of which are top-down, have to find a way to stand out and really pull ahead of the pack. Some games go with zany weaponry, some go with a fun and light nature, and some are very competitive. Bang Bang Racing, the upcoming product of a collaboration between well-known XBLA developer and publisher Digital Reality and Playbox, is out to make a name for itself and we just have to find out how they plan to do it! Hit the jump for a Q & A with Bang Bang Racing‘s Digital Reality-side Lead Designer, András “Amper” Timár-Geng. Read the rest of this entry »


Haunt review (XBLA)

Haunt was developed by developed by NanaOn-Sha and Zoë Mode and was published by Microsoft Studios. It was released January 18, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.

Haunt is the latest Kinect enabled game to hit XBLA, and with PaRappa the Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura at the reins we know we’re in for something a bit different. You play as a “kid” who wakes up in an old mansion when a mysterious painting calls you over. It turns out to be the mansion’s owner, Benjamin Muldoon who has been trapped there by ghosts. He asks you to explore the haunted mansion and collect “Phantaflaks” (regular orange soda just won’t cut it) that can be used to free him once and for all.

If you’re expecting something along the lines of Silent Hill then you’re going to be disappointed. The scares in Haunt are more on the campy Ghostbusters level. Playing like a cross between an old school point-and-click game and a Haunted House amusement ride, there’s about as much frights as there is rapping but that doesn’t stop us being thoroughly entertained.

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Trials Evolution leaked online

Trials Evolution, the long-awaited sequel to XBLA hit Trials HD was last night leaked on a number of file-sharing websites. Gameplay videos of the leaked version were also being uploaded to Youtube but have since been removed. Developers RedLynx responded on the game’s official forums:

Unfortunately there has been some unofficial information coming out ahead of the development process. We assure you we are aware of these and will be tackling the issue with our partners.

Here is an important thing for you to know: the leaked version does not have any online functionality, which is crucial to the Trials experience. Lead boards, friend challenges, online multiplayer and global track sharing are all fundamental features of the game which cannot be fully experience ahead of launch. Even single player uses an asynchronous multiplayer feature in a new way. Without these core online features, the game cannot be experience properly before launch.

We’re continuing to polish and finish up the game, and we’ll have a new trailer coming soon which will give people a much better look into everything the game will hold and when they can expect to see it.

Along these lines, please keep in mind these policies:
• Do not post links to illegal copies of games, movies or other copyright material.
• That includes links to videos from leaked versions of our games

Thank you for your patience and your support. We assure you the wait will be worth it.

The PC version of Trials 2 SE was also “leaked” onto torrent sites before its official release however this later turned out to be instigated by RedLynx themselves as a viral marketing tool. Trials Evolution is set to hit XBLA later this year.

Source: Eurogamer


Mini-Editorial: Ending the FIFA 12 hacks

The following is the opinion of one editor, and does not represent the opinions of XBLAFans as a whole.

“Gamertag was last signed in on another console.” That’s what my 360 said as I signed in just before Christmas. I immediately checked the family bank account. Sure enough, the hacker had nearly drained our money, meaning that for the next five or six days we’d be living off what was in the fridge. Now the fridge wasn’t empty, but we always do our shopping throughout the week, so things that we needed to make our normal meals we couldn’t get. The family survived with no major issues, but the annoyance and utter frustration others had felt suddenly became very real. They weren’t just stealing my Microsoft Points, it could affect the way we ran our family.

Every big entity gets hacked, though. I get that. I’ve seen Twitter and Facebook accounts hacked, bank accounts, all sorts of things in my time as an IT guy. Even though I was annoyed with Microsoft, they weren’t any less secure than anyone else, it’s just that the frequency of attacks increased since the release of FIFA 12. How much? Well let’s put it into perspective: we now have roughly 20 active members on our staff. Of those 20, four have been victims of the FIFA hack. That’s a 1-in-5 ratio. That’s what’s called rampancy, folks.

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What we are playing: January 29

What we are playing is a weekly column that appears each weekend. Various staff members let the world know what games had them hooked the past week and which ones they look forward to.

Christine Mitchell – I played some Batman: Arkham City, finally got through the demon trials! Also got to play the new Kinect game Haunt for review and had a great time shouting at ghosts. Finally I got addicted to the Quarrel trial this weekend. I feel a purchase coming on

Mark Seymour – Exchanged firepower for word-power this week. Can’t get enough of Quarrel.

Todd Pantier – I put a lot of time into Modern Warfare 3 this week with the new Liberation and Piazza maps but don’t see myself sticking with the game for too long. In addition to MW3, I played a lot of Gears of War 3, finished what I wanted to in Trine 2, and played some cool games of Hero Academy. This week is going to be awesome with the launch of the new Iron Brigade DLC, Rise of the Martian Bear, and the launch of Final Fantasy XIII-2.

John Drawdy – This week I have been working on a few backlogged games, finally finishing
up all the Single Player achievements in Golf: Tee It Up!. I also decided to start on the Peggle Nights DLC, slowly losing my mind as I make my way through some of these challenges.

Nick Santangelo – Being sick for a couple days kept me from getting too much gaming in this week, but I was able to sink several hours into Deus Ex on Saturday. As usual, Halo: Reach also found its way into my 360 a few times.

Matt Liparota – I jumped back into Skyward Sword in a big way this week, logging something like five hours over the course of two nights (which doesn’t seem like much, but when you’ve got a full-time job it’s huge). I also found a reason to play some L.A. Noire late in the week thanks to the DLC sale on Xbox Live – $2 USD apiece for the downloadable cases was all the excuse I needed.

Ryan Reynolds – I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play much of anything this week but when I have, I’ve been playing Gears of War 3 and Modern Warfare 3 online. Also reading Halo: Primordium when I can.


XBLA brings in record revenue in 2011

Xbox Live Arcade brought in $144 million in 2011, making it the best year for the service yet. Leading the charts in 2011 were Castle Crashers and From Dust, as they grossed around $4.6 million each, and were both among the best selling XBLA games of the year. For the full list of best selling XBLA games of 2011 read the full article.  Read the rest of this entry »


Scarygirl review (XBLA)

Scarygirl was developed by TikGames and published by Square Enix. It was released January 18, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.

Everyone has bad dreams but some have deeper meanings than others. Scarygirl keeps having dreams where something or someone is haunting her. She decides to go on a journey to discover what her dreams really mean. Along the way, she’ll discover octopus shops, a man looking for his wife’s bones and some of the creepiest owls you’ll see.

Scarygirl‘s universe is based on the mind of Nathan Jurevicius who wrote the graphic novel and the story will be an animated film also. A whimsical tale about a girl with a tentacle arm in a 2D style platformer similar to Tomba! or classic PS1 style platformers. Ones that relied more on camera angle tricks rather than a 3D camera. Does it offer us a treat or is it a scare to play? Read on to find out.

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XBLA’s Most Wanted: Blood Wake

Back in the winter of 2001 eager gamers stood in the cold overnight in anticipation of getting their hands on Microsoft’s first console, the Xbox. They took their new console home along with their selection of about a dozen launch titles. About a month later a second wave of games were released, among them was Stormfront Studios’ Blood Wake. It was an innovative title that focused on combat on the open waters. Like many titles from that time the plot had a certain amount of cheese factor, but somehow was still incredibly satisfying. But the real gem was the water physics, something ahead of its time.

Funny thing is, without Blood Wake we wouldn’t have Hydro Thunder Hurricane. See, Stormfront housed the brains and brawn behind Vector Unit, Hurricane‘s developer. Ralf Knoesel and Matt Small both worked on Blood Wake as a programmer and artist, respectively. Knoesel designed the water simulation which became one of the building blocks for the system in Hurricane. These guys have a special place in their heart for this little gem, and there are a lot of good reasons why.

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