If you can’t wait to get your hands on The Behemoth’s long-awaited platformer Battleblock Theater, now’s your chance to give it a try. Announced today by The Behemoth on their Development Blog, they are looking for 10,000 players to participate in a closed beta test beginning in February or March. In order to participate you must be at least 13 years old, have a gamertag with Xbox Live Gold, and an account on the Behemoth forums. Registration has already begun and will remain open until all the beta codes are distributed. Interested? Sign up for the Battleblock Theater beta here.
The Behemoth Archive
Here we are once again at the start of what’s sure to be another fantastic year of XBLA releases. Each day this week XBLAFans will be rolling out a list of eight of our most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases of 2013. While we can’t possibly cover every single XBLA game planned for this year, we’ll be giving you a varied list of 40 of the most promising titles we expect to release on XBLA in 2013. Once it’s all done, be sure to check back in next Monday when each staff member makes his/her picks for the game he/she is most looking forward to.
Developer: City Interactive
Alien Fear is an Unreal Engine 3-powered sci-fi first person shooter headed to XBLA, presumably at some point in 2013. Though we’re assuming that the above image is a target screen rather than an actual in-game image, developer City Interactive is promising that the use of Epic Games’ ubiquitous engine is allowing them to create an Xbox Live Arcade title that boasts “visually stunning, large-scale environments with impressive long-range vistas and expressionistic lighting.” The co-op shooter has yet to be shown in action, but XBLAFans is looking forward to finding out if the game lives up to the promise shown in the above image whenever we get our first real look at it.
In a recent interview with Xbox 360 Magazine, John Baez from The Behemoth praised Xbox Live Arcade, saying, “I think without a doubt the indie console community would not exist as it does today if Xbox Live Arcade had been dropped after the original Xbox iteration.” The spotlight of Xbox Live Arcade coupled with Microsoft’s “Summer of Arcade” program introduced games like Castle Crashers to the entire Xbox 360 install base, complete with a free trial. After becoming a best-selling classic, Castle Crashers promoted The Behemoth from basic flash development to indie game legends. Since then, we have seen a renaissance of independent game development with experiences like Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Braid and many more.
His statements echo those from an earlier XBLA Fansinterview with Dan Paladin, co-founder of The Behemoth. He remarked, “We really like working with Microsoft… They treat you properly, and if you have a problem you just say to them, ‘Hey, I don’t like this.’ And they work with you.” For us fans of Xbox Live Arcade, this is a very good thing.
Source: Xbox 360 Magazine
What’s better than new Minecraft skins? Halloween-themed Minecraft skins, of course. Oh, better than that? Halloween-themed Minecraft skins for charity? No? Halloween-themed Minecraft skins for FOUR charities?
That’s exactly what’s on the table in this, the final week, of Crafting for a Cause — the Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition event where all proceeds of the limited edition Halloween Skin Pack go directly to charity. Our friends over at PlayXBLA want you to know that Microsoft, 4J Studios and Mojang have selected four great causes, to which they’ll donate the full 160 MSP ($2) value of every pack sold.
In an amazing show of support, the Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition community has already purchased over $700,000 worth of the Halloween Skin Pack in the three short weeks this event has been running, but there’s still time to donate/get-your-hands-on-these-exclusive-skins. Each skin was handcrafted by the hardworking folks at some of the best development studios around, including: 343 Industries, Twisted Pixel, The Behemoth, Climax Studios, Rare, Tequila Works, Mojang and 4J Studios themselves.
In order to whet your appetite, XBLA Fans has lovingly compiled all 55 skins into easy to digest, alphabetically ordered slides for you to peruse at your leisure. Hit the jump for the goods. If even one of these great skins catches your eye, please consider purchasing the pack for 160 MSP before it’s too late! Crafting for a cause will continue to collect contributions until Monday, November 26. You really can make a difference!
- Three mid-90s Sega fighters – Virtua Fighter 2, Sonic the Fighters, and Fighting Vipers – were recently rated for release on the Xbox 360 by German software regulator USK, Joystiq reports. While this indicates the games will see a re-release for Microsoft’s system in the near future, what form they will take – XBLA or retail disc collection, for example – is anyone’s guess, but given Sega’s recent paring down and increased focus on digital rereleases, an XBLA release seems like a probability.
- Pid developer Might and Delight have announced their upcoming puzzle-platformer will include a hard mode when it releases on XBLA later this month. According to a press release, the mode will unlock after players have finished the normal difficulty, which morphs the game “into a tough-as-nails, altogether different ‘adventure’” that focuses on memorizing enemy patterns over their surroundings.
- The Behemoth reports the first batch of Trials Evolution DLC features a character customization option that will be familiar to fans of the developer’s mega-hit Castle Crashers – a blue knight helmet. The developer collaborated with RedLynx (the team behind Trials Evolution) to get the item into the Origins of Pain DLC pack, which is 400 MSP on the XBLA Marketplace.
Launched in 2008, The Behemoth’s Castle Crashers went on to become one of the most popular co-op experiences on XBLA, with it just recently having crossed over the 3 million player threshold on its leaderboards. More than just inspiring gamers to fight with and against each other for the right to make out with princesses, though, the title also put the development community in a scramble to get their own take on the genre onto the platform. While none have enjoyed the same runaway success that Crashers has, certainly their collective presence has made the platform a modern haven for games of its ilk.
If PAX Prime was any indication, the rush isn’t going to be slowing down any time soon. The show floor was full of promising (and not-so-promising) 2D side-scrolling action games, and our team played just about every single one of them. On the second day of the show, XBLA Fans caught up with one of the men responsible for kicking off the craze, The Behemoth co-founder and Art Director Dan Paladin. He was open to talking about everything from the state of the beat-em-up to the studio’s past projects to its current one, BattleBlock Theater, to developing for XBLA. In fact, about the whole thing Paladin declined to discuss was BattleBlock‘s release date. It’s a subject he says the studio hasn’t talked about since it announced a 2010 release that it was unable to meet, a strategy that he claims hasn’t stopped the press or the public from announcing dates on their own. Read on for the full details.
The Behemoth have unveiled a new level editor for BattleBlock Theater. The editor, which has been kept secret throughout development, will allow players to create their own levels and upload them for others to download and rate. They have also revelead that the editor is the exact same one that the developers used to create all story mode levels and official arena levels. In keeping with the theatrical theme, The Behemoth are so proud they’ve even written a nice little poem to tell you all about it:
“It’s super easy to use! Easier than putting on your own two shoes!
Create all kinds of twists and bends!
You can create & edit levels with friends!
Test it while you build it! See if you’ve killed it!
Upload and share! Download and rate! What will you do with the each playlist’s fate?
Make it simple! Make it complex! A click of a button to amaze and perplex!”
BattleBlock Theatre is showing at PAX Prime right now so if you’re in the area pop along and let us know what you think.
Source: The Behemoth Blog
Battleblock Theater is a terrible place, forcing prisoners to perform deadly plays for the entertainment of giant cats. That isn’t to say it’s all bad, at least the prisoners have access to the gift shop.
The Behemoth felt the hero’s back-stabbing greed-driven friend Hatty needed more of a presence in the game, as he only appeared in cutscenes and at certain point during gameplay. Hatty originally ran the Gift Shop’s cash register, but that would make him an easy target for the players. This is why Hatty is currently positioned in an out-of-reach balcony, where he sits in peace surrounded by his wealth as he watches tourists buy all his overpriced merchandise. A video was put together showing Co-Founder and artist Dan Paladin drawing a few iterations of Hatty’s balcony, including one with a bearded cat, before settling on the final design.
It was important to have Hatty in the Gift Shop because it will be the location players visit most frequently. There, players will be able to buy new faces with the gems they collected in story mode. Every purchase gives you a random prisoner, and The Behemoth felt the best way to communicate this idea was to throw all the prisoners into giant gumball machines. Just drop your jewels in the slot, turn the crank, and watch a new character get spit out!
There’s no telling when Battleblock Theater will be released, but at least this list of features tells us what to expect when the game finally launches.
Source: The Behemoth Development Blog
BattleBlock Theater has been in development for what seems like forever, but the game is now fast approaching the finishing line. While we hold our breaths for the holy grail of release date announcements, The Behemoth have handily put together a list of features to expect when you finally get your mitts on the finished product:
- 200 + characters to unlock
- 200 + levels to navigate and conquer
- 10 + unique weapontools
- Variety of interactive block types
- Online Multiplayer Campaign/Arena modes
- 30 Achievements
- Avatar Awards
- Soundtrack created by well known artists, and members of our community!
The Behemoth have also put together a fun video of Co-founder, Dan Paladin, animating some elements of the game which we expect you to watch again and again in some sort of protest until the game is released.
Source: The Behemoth Blog
We know, we know, where is the Behemoth’s follow-up game to their 2008 smash hit Castle Crashers? We’ve seen Battleblock Theater countless times from this year’s PAX East to showing the game off with their booth at San Diego Comic-Con. But just before they brought the game to that convention, Project Manager Emil Ayoubkhan told Joystiq that the game is now code complete. This means the foundation of the game and everything in it is now finished and going through a polishing stage after changing a few things. Does this mean we’ll see it sooner than later? The Behemoth aren’t saying a release date but they’re getting closer and closer to finally finishing the game as every day approaches. Maybe we’ll hear even more details at PAX Prime this year? Let’s cross our fingers since we need to get our grieve on.