Lara Croft Archive

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Friday Top Five: Best Bang for your buck!

Look after the pennies, and the pounds (or dollars, euros, pesos or whatever) will take care of themselves. Or at least, that’s what our parents used to tell us, right?

That may be sensible where traditional currency is concerned, but it’s not a strategy that converts well into MSP. Waiting for sales and bargains may be the cheapest way of buying XBLA games – but what if the game you want never goes on sale? What if everyone else has moved on and you lose out on the best bit of a fantastic co-op game like Lara Croft: GOL or a community-focused game like Section 8: Prejudice? What if you think you’re buying something you want, but actually you just bought it because it was cheap and you end up wasting MSP anyway?

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August Sets XBLA Sales Record

xbox live summer of arcade logo

Even the casual observer has probably noticed by now that August is a special month for Xbox Live Arcade Games (XBLA). This year saw the third annual Summer of Arcade promotion with titles such as Limbo, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Castlevania Harmony of Despair, Monday Night Combat and Lara Croft: Guardian of Light. All of which, we highly recommended.

This lineup not only brought in critical acclaim but strong sales success, as market research group FADE reports that XBLA generated approximately $ 17.5 million in revenue. That number is a 6% increase over last year’s August, breaking all records for the service.

Nine downloadable games are estimated to have passed the half a million mark in sales, with Monday Night Combat the overall leader at $2.8 million and 187,000 in unit sales for August. Limbo led the lineup for overall sales numbers.

Clearly the XBLA platform is growing. We can’t wait to see what happens in the coming months. Now to go buy more points for Microsoft’s Game Feast Promotion.

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GameStop to Offer DLC in Stores

For anyone who owns or has ever owned a Xbox, it is a fact that Microsoft Points can be extremely frustrating. A 1600 MS points is equivalent to $20 and 4000 MS points equals $50. Buying that new XBLA game will cost you 1200 MS points, which will leave you with an excess of 400 points. What happens if you don’t want those 400 points? Why can’t you simply purchase the 1200 MS points that you need?

Videogame retailer GameStop recently debuted “Downloadable Content Centers” in more than 4,000 of its stores. These DLC centers allows customers to purchase full XBLA games without the need of Microsoft Points. The company announced two days ago (8/19/10) that the first full digital game that will be offered is the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade title Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. In addition to XBLA games, the DLC centers will also users to download add-on content, maps, and levels.

The process will look something like this: GameStop customers will walk into the store and will be shown a list of available digital content. They will then choose and purchase their chosen content using any form of payment GameStop accepts, including cash, credit, and trade credits. The customer will then receive a receipt containing the code along with instructions on how to redeem their purchase on their Xbox 360.

“The beauty of our DLC Centers is in the convenience and options it offers our customers when they are looking to purchase add-on packs or full-length DLC content of top-selling titles for console games or popular Xbox Live games,” said GameStop President Tony Bartel in a statement.

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Free DLC pack coming for Lara Croft on the Xbox 360


Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light arrives this Wednesday, August 18th on Xbox LIVE Arcade for only 1200 Microsoft Points and is sure to be an instant hit. The only draw back on the Xbox 360 launch could be the absence of Xbox Live Co-op at the start for some people though. Perhaps this is the reason that the Square Enix publisher has decided to sweeten the deal a bit for Xbox Live gamers.

So not only do you have a little over a full month to play the game on the Xbox 360, before its release on the PlayStation ® 3 PlayStation ® Network and the PC (via Steam) on September 28th, but now you will also have 30 days to download the first DLC pack for FREE on the Xbox 360 only. That is in addition to the full title update that will include Xbox Live Co-op, Voice Chat, and full leaderboards in September when the game finally releases on the other platforms.

”We believe we have delivered a game which opens up new types of gameplay that will excite not only Tomb Raider fans, but all fans of digital gaming. The launch of Guardian of Light is just the beginning, we have a lot of additional content planned and we will be offering the first DLC pack for free for the first 30 days, exclusively on the Xbox 360, so that gamers can get a taste of some of the exciting extras we have in store,” continued Gallagher.

I can’t help but think that this first DLC pack might even show up before the launch of the other platforms and the Xbox 360 title update. So get into the action from the start and grab this game tomorrow on Xbox Live. Don’t look at it as not being able to play on Live with friends, but look at it as playing early before the full release happens. Invite a friend on over to play along through the whole experience or simply start up an Xbox Live Party and then chat with your friends while everyone plays through the solo campaign. Then watch here later for news on the Free DLC pack becoming available and before you know it, the title update will be available as well.

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Summer of Arcade with confirmed Castlevania in July

Along with all of the new Kinect games and slim 360, Microsoft unveiled its list of games for their annual Summer of Arcade event. Summer of Arcade began the tradition of spotlighting five games, one each week, back in 2008 and continues next month.

Starting out the list is a game that has been rumored for a while now and one that I will be buying as soon as humanly possible, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. In subsequent weeks we will see the arrivals of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Limbo, and Monday Night Combat. We’re a bit disappointed about the lack of Hydrophobia, but all in all it’s a solid looking group of games set for release starting in July. Stay tuned for hands-on impressions of the aforementioned games in the coming days.

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