Update: Autumn Games says that this is isn't the correct release date and aren't sure how official the date is. We'll keep you up to date on its release.
We totally missed January, but the Monthly Recap is back for February! Yaaay. There's an immense amount of news this month because for some reason February is XBLA month. There's roughly a million game announcements and DLC as well. I suggest hitting CTRL + F and searching for the copious news about your favorite game. Or games. Or just read all the news, because that's a good idea.
Beyond the "things that happened", there's also several Friday Top Fives and Most Wanted's this month as we continue to beef up our feature repertoire. Our chief feature, A Year In Review (2011) is definitely worth checking out for some insight into the fluctuations in XBLA cost versus review scores. Lastly, amongst the five podcasts is our Music Special which showcases some of the best XBLA soundtrack tunes since its inception.
Without further ado, welcome to February all over again!
Xbox Live Arcade could have a new release in the classic Frogger series coming its way. A listing for Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition surfaced on the Australian Classification Board today. The game received a G rating (no surprise there) from the board and is under development at Zombie Studios, and is to be published by Konami.
The listing only goes so far as to identify Frogger as "multiplatform," but a separate blog post by game developer Daniel Lee seemingly lets the tadpole out of the bag, so to speak. It seems that Lee is hard at work on a iOS "port from console versions" of, you guessed it, a Frogger title. He reveals the project in question to be under development at Zombie Studios and on its way to Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. Lee even went so far as to release a few screens, which can be seen below.
The Simpsons Arcade was developed by Konami and Backbone Entertainment and published by Konami. It was released February 3, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
The year was 1991, Bryan Adams' hit song "(Everything I Do) I Do it for You" was #1 on the charts and The Simpsons were slowly becoming a household name. Only premiering Christmas 1989 and now on Season 23, it shows no stopping in sight. But one of the best parts of when it first came out was the merchandising, and video games were part of that sweet donut. Most of them were NES and SNES games but one game that never came out on any other consoles was The Simpsons Arcade and now, it's finally upon us on XBLA.
The plot of the game involves Smithers and Mr. Burns stealing a diamond when they run into The Simpsons on the street, causing the diamond to fall out of Smithers' hand and into Maggie's mouth. They steal the baby and it's up to the rest of the Simpson family to get Maggie back. You'll punch, vacuum, jump rope and skateboard across 8 levels against Burns's goons. Does it stay true to its yellow roots or is it as bad as a Chutney Squishee?
Puddle was developed by Neko Entertainment and published by Konami. It was released January 25, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
We like to think of ourselves as glass half-full people. As game journalists, we have to be. Consider us surprised then to find that Puddle defends blind optimism as its core game mechanic, requiring the player to salvage a puddle of liquid (on most stages) against all types of elements (mainly hot stuff). The game may appear artsy and Braid or Limbo-esque, but it presents no philosophical argument against the dangers of protecting a pool of liquid without transparent reason, and you'll often find yourself wondering why you're playing the game to begin with (maybe that IS the philosophical theme? Har Har!).
There are only two buttons to concern yourself with: the left and right triggers. They'll tilt the screen in two directions and are the only means of getting your pool of liquid from one area to the next. If this sounds simple to you, then you're just like us. Unfortunately, once you get your hands on the controller you'll find that the combination of tilt and physics is much harder to control and that most deaths are cheap deaths, resulting in unwarranted frustration.