If you read XBLA Fans with any regularity — or even any irregularity, for that matter — then you’ve probably noticed something about us: we cover indie games. A lot. …
Hawaii Shakedown, the 16-bit sequel to XBLA’s Retro City Rampage, isn’t coming to Xbox One — at least not at launch. Announced on the PlayStation Blog yesterday, Hawaii Shakedown is …
If you scroll to the Games page on your dashboard, you can find a panel for “Microsoft Studios Sale” that includes a plethora of big XBLA Games. Some of our favorites like Dust: An Elysian Tale and Mark of the Ninja can both be picked up 600 MSP (50% off). You might also want to jump on the Trials bandwagon, because both the original Trials HD and Trials: Evolution can be picked up for 400 MSP and 800 MSP respectively.
The sale will be available until April 8th Here is the complete list of games, including a few extras that you won’t find in the dashboard (like Retro City Rampage). Here is the full list of what’s on sale:
Xbox LIVE Arcade is a sort of safe haven for gamers who just want to enjoy their games. It’s a place where microtransactional games are minimal, and rarely pay-and-pay-to-play. It’s a place where pre-order bonuses do not exist, and one that doesn’t artificially lengthen a game with pointless quests. Here we can play a game that’s free of the adult content that feels so forced in retail titles. Here we can play without having political and religious agendas pushed on us. Here we can simply be gamers.
I love digital titles. I love that I don’t have to clutter my cabinet with discs. I love that I can have access to them at any time, and that the stereotypical moocher friend can’t borrow my digital games. I love how pick-up-and-play they are. I never feel forced to devote an hour or more to one play session. If I only have 10 minutes, I’ve got time for XBLA. It’s freeing. Here’s a list of problems that plague retail titles that remain (relatively) free from Xbox LIVE Arcade games.
Major Nelson has announced on his blog some new titles and valuable sales coming up in the next few weeks, some of which start now! The Walking Dead is among the deals, …
In recent interviews with Edge and Eurogamer, the makers of Braid and Super Meat Boy expressed their frustration with developing for Xbox Live Arcade. As independent developers, taking on the heated business of console development on top of development costs is more stress than its worth, say the developers.
“The overhead cost of just developing for those consoles is insane,” explained Tommy Refenes from Team Meat. “It costs zero dollars to develop on Steam if you already have a computer. When you look at PlayStation and Xbox and Nintendo, you have to buy thousand dollar dev kits and pay for certification and pay for testing and pay for localisation – you have to do all these things and at the end of the day it’s like, ‘I could have developed for other platforms and it would’ve been easier.'”
On top of development costs, there are lawyers, fees and ambiguity to sort through that cause an equally overwhelming headache. Ed McMillen from Team Meat said that to bring his studio’s games to consoles, his team would need “some magical middleman who would just appear and do all of our business for us… We went in and found out what it was like to develop for a console and the reality is there’s no loyalty on either side and it’s a business. And when you step in to that business arena it goes from us making art and it turns into business.”
Brian Provinciano, the developer of Retro City Rampage, made an interesting revelation on Twitter recently: the PlayStation Vita version of his game sold more copies than its XBLA and PSN counterparts.
Indies should definitely jump onto the PS Vita. RCR's sold much more on PSN than XBLA and more on PS Vita than even PS3.
— Brian Provinciano (@BriProv) February 26, 2013
In surprisingly singing the praises of the struggling handheld as a viable platform for indie developers, he also took the opportunity to fire a few passive-aggressive potshots at XBLA.
Retro City Rampage was developed by VBlank Entertainment and published by D3 Publisher. It was released January 2, 2013 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
One of the great genres of modern gaming is the open-world game. While quite common nowadays, this modern gaming staple is something that was virtually unseen in the days of 8-bit gaming. But what if there were open-world games in the 80’s? That’s where Retro City Rampage comes in. The game follows a character known simply as The Player, the henchman of an evil villain who is accidentally transported back in time. With the help of time traveler (and obvious Back to the Future) reference Doc Choc, The Player must explore the city of Theftropolis to find parts for a new time machine. Created by Brian Provinciano, this Grand Theft Auto-inspired game faithfully re-imagines the genre in 8-bit form, and parodies everything along the way.
XBLA players will be able to ring in the New Year next week by partying like it’s 1999…or 1989…or any other year from the ’80s or ’90s, for that matter: developer Vblank Entertainment Inc. has revealed that Retro City Rampage will finally release on Xbox Live Arcade on January 2. The game first released on PSN and PC in October, but the announced XBLA and WiiWare versions were pushed back indefinitely.
Brian Provinciano, the man “almost entirely” responsible for developing Retro City Rampage, announced last month that an improved XBLA version was complete and had entered certification, but he was unable to provide a concrete release date at the time. Provinciano used the time between the October release on PSN/PC and the game’s November certification bid to tinker away on the XBLA version, ensuring it would be what he calls “a better experience.”
The retro-tinged open world game was designed from the beginning to require players “to stop and strategize” while playing. Unfortunately, he received player feedback following the October release that the game was frustrating when players entered into certain missions with “just fists and guns.” Additional tutorials and tip screens that show after a player has failed a mission a certain number of times have been added to the XBLA release in an attempt to smooth out the experience. Further softening the difficulty are additional checkpoints sprinkled throughout the game.