Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Archive

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Summer of Arcade titles to be announced at E3

Summer of Arcade

Microsoft will announce the game lineup for this year’s Summer of Arcade promotion, Phil Spencer has confirmed via Twitter. “SoA announce is a highlight for me at E3,” the Microsoft Studios corporate vice president tweeted. “We’ll do it again this year. I’ll see if I can sneak into the announce again.”

Summer of Arcade is Microsoft’s biggest Xbox Live Arcade promotion. Five Microsoft Studios-published Arcade games release one a week for a five-week period that usually spans through late July and August. Last year’s Summer of Arcade releases were Deadlight, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Hybrid, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD and Wreckateer.

Microsoft’s pre-E3 press conference, when the console holder is most likely to announce the Summer of Arcade lineup, will take place on Monday, June 10 at 9:30 am PDT.

Source: @XboxP3 via @lifelower

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Deal of the Week: Everything but the kitchen sink

Deal_of_the_Week_Logo

The titular deal of the week, this week, offers a splash of something for just about everyone out there. Whether you’re into platformers, action and adventure, sports, racers, arcade throwbacks, beat-em-ups or dungeon crawlers — you’ll find something to blow a few bucks on and have some fun in the process. The deep discounts are exclusive to Xbox Live Gold Members, who can reap the savings starting today, through Monday, May 6. Hit the images below to check out each individual sale.

Zombie Driver HD gets things started this week, cleaving its price tag in half at 400 MSP. The classic co-op beat-em-up The Simpsons Arcade Game also enters the list at a paltry 400 MSP. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD follows the half-price trend, grinding costs down to 600 MSP, from 1200 MSP. Rounding out the top-row is the action-movie action game, Joe Danger 2: The Movie. It’s the most expensive of the bunch this time around, but can still be snagged for the discounted price of 800 MSP, down from the original 1200 MSP.

ZombieDriverHD_Art     SimpsonsAG_Art     TonyHawkPSHD_Art     JoeDanger2_Art

Continuing right along we’ve got Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale and Scott Pilgrim The Game each available for 320 MSP, down from 800 MSP. Complimenting the latter offering, Scott Pilgrim The Game downloadable content, Knives Chau Add-On Pack, can be snatched for the pocket change price of 80 MSP. Checking off the “throwback” box, both PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX and X-Men are yours to keep at 400 MSP, half off their original 800 MSP tags.

Daggerdale_art     ScottPilgrim_Art     PacManCEDX_Art     XMen_Art

Another retro platforming classic, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is up for grabs at a meager 320 MSP. Finally, closing shop on this week’s deals are sports-arcade favorites NFL Blitz and NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, priced to move at 600 MSP, originally 1200 MSP.

Castlevania_Art   Blitz_Art   NBAJamOFE_Art

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XBLA sets new revenue record, doubles last year’s figures

XBLAlogo

While physical retail software sales appear to have trailed off at this stage in the  Xbox 360′s life cycle, XBLA has reportedly experienced its strongest year yet in 2012. According to the Research and Analysis division of Forecasting & Analyzing Digital Entertainment, LLC (FADE), the XBLA marketplace saw revenues of $290 million, doubling its reported revenue from the previous year.

Three games in particular were clearly behind this strong performance. It’s perhaps no surprise that Minecraft leads the pack, agonizingly close to the 5 million sales mark with 4,997,000 unit sales, translating to a gross revenue of $97,388,000.

In second place, Trials Evolution shifted 1,002,000 units for a gross revenue of $14,298,000. Similarly, the XBLA version of Telltale’s The Walking Dead generated $10,277,000 in gross revenue from 2,615,000 unit sales.

The remaining seven games in FADE’s top 10 don’t quite reach the lofty heights of the aforementioned, all of them posting between 300,000 and 200,000 unit sales. It’s interesting to note, however, older games like 2008′s Castle Crashers and 2009′s Trials HD continue to enjoy relatively strong sales.

FADE’s top 10 XBLA titles in 2012 are as follows, ordered by gross revenues:

  1. Minecraft (4J Studios) – 4,997,000 units/$97,388,000
  2. Trials Evolution (RedLynx, LTD) – 1,002,000 units/$14,298,000
  3. The Walking Dead (Telltale Games) – 2,615,000 units/$10,277,000
  4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve) – 273,000/$3,973,000
  5. Castle Crashers (The Behemoth) – 252,000 units/$3,778,000
  6. Gotham City Impostors (Monolith Productions) – 258,000 units/$3,698,000
  7. I Am Alive (Ubisoft) – 245,000 units/$3,609,000
  8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD (Robomodo) – 226,000 units/$3,261,000
  9. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Remedy Entertainment) – 206,000 units/$2,903,000
  10. Trials HD (RedLynx, LTD) – 203,000/$2,799,000
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Top-selling XBLA games of 2012

XboxLiveArcade_BlackNow that the year 2012 has been set firmly in the books, the boys back at the lab have poured over the raw data to bring you the top arcade titles of the year. The figures, based on full versions sold, were tallied from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012, and made public thanks to Xbox Live’s Larry Hyrb.

No surprise to anyone was Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition topping the list this year. Having launched in May, the massive Minecraft community helped propel the title to well over 5 million downloads by year’s end. More impressively, the arcade adaptation outsold its robust PC cousin by nearly a million copies, securing Xbox Live Arcade as the fastest (legally) growing Minecraft community of 2012.

Trials Evolution rode into the second spot of the year’s most-purchased title on XBLA, and despite the staggering difference between first and second place, did very well for itself. Our Game of the YearThe Walking Dead wrapped up the third spot thanks to critical acclaim and its infectious word-of-mouth campaign. Pinball FX2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rounded out the top five, in that order.

Amazingly, the never-say-die mantra of Castle Crashers has proven itself again; moving the sixth most number of copies nearly half a decade after its initial release. Filling out the top 10, in order, are: Gotham City ImpostorsI Am AliveFruit Ninja Kinect, and finally, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD.

You can check out these titles in list form, along with the rest of the top 20, after the jump.

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Weekly Roundup: January 5 – Controllers, Clouds and Crimson Dragons

Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews and features from the week into one handy post on the weekends.

XBLAFan-WeeklyRoundup1With the shadow of the holidays firmly behind for us another year, we can get back to focusing on the other thing that brings us all together, Xbox Live Arcade. A lot of work behind the scenes this week, as several existing XBLA games got some tinkering under the hood. We outline some strategies for guarding Middle-earth, talk DLC for our ‘Best HD Remake of 2012′ and dish on the many flavors of our favorite peripheral. Here’s to another great year of Xbox Live Arcade.

Here’s our week in review:

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Revert Pack review (XBLA DLC)

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD Revert Pack DLC

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is a bit of a mixed bag. For the casual player it provides nostalgia with enhanced visuals. The bugs seem minor. For the hardcore it leaves feelings of imprecision in control, and the in-game glitches become like a giant white headed pimple–no matter how much you try to look away it steals your focus. The community and media at large are torn on whether the game is amazing or abysmal. The Revert Pack DLC is more of the same. In the end it comes down to whether you enjoy the core game or hate it. That being said, let’s keep this short and not beat around the bush.

Here’s what we liked:

More to love – For fans of the game the Revert Pack is a must buy. The three greatest levels from Pro Skater 3 (Canada, L.A., and Airport) along with one new music track, Metallica’s “All Nightmare Long”. Also included are four new skaters: pros Steve Caballero and Geoff Rawley and Metallica members James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo. The four new skaters provide decent balance in the game’s starting selection, and the levels are faithfully recreated. The Metallica track is, well, Metallica. You’ll either love it or hate it.

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Weekly Roundup: December 8 – Middle-earth, Minecraft and modifications

Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews and features from the week into one handy post on the weekends.

A solid week for Xbox Live Arcade. We’ve got some big releases and DLC to pour over, a lot of great games on the horizon and a few impressive milestones for XBLA favorites. What did you pick up this week? Are you battling for Middle-earth? Hitting monster combos in Tony Hawk, or pitting historic figures against each other in fantasy duels to the death?

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Weekly Roundup: December 2 – The future’s so bright

Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews and features from the week into one handy post on the weekends.

Another week of Xbox Live Arcade brought to a close. It’s been a relatively quiet one, compared to the mad dash of last week’s seasonal sales. Though there isn’t much to write home about in terms of marquee XBLA titles, there’s quite a bit to look forward to in the coming weeks and months on Xbox Live Arcade. With so many big games coming down the pipe, what are you looking forward to getting your hands on?

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New XBLA games incoming

In case you’re not bogged down by the many fantastic games out this year, here are some new XBLA games coming up in the next seven days. While we anxiously wait for Guardians of Middle Earth, you can relive some classic Sega fighting games. If that’s too boring, you can always discover if Red Bull actually gives you wings. More downloadable content for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD and Magic: The Gathering is nice, too.

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Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD gets revert for all levels, plays better with transforming d-pad

With the new Revert Pack (aka Pro Skater 3 pack) looming only days away, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD developer Robomodo has released a title update which reportedly adds the ability to revert in all levels. This is a change from the initial decision made to only allow reverts on the new levels. We have not booted up the game since the update went live, so we cannot yet confirm this information, though several users have reported this new functionality.

The change may come with both welcoming arms and an angry mob with pitchforks. On the one hand those who play the game simply for the fun of it will enjoy being able to string combos into larger numbers. On the other, purists may be upset at the fact that they can no longer play the original levels as the gaming gods intended. Leaderboard junkies will also have to replay levels to attain higher scores as it’ll be much easier to hold a combo.

On a different and more personal note, I took it upon myself to challenge those who are naysayers to the game. While not all of the complaints can be addressed, I wondered if many of the complaints regarding controls weren’t actually the fault of the 360 controller itself — analog sticks are never as precise for performing combos, and the default d-pad is too loose to feel accurate. I had recently purchased the outer shell of the silver transforming d-pad controller, so I set to work disassembling my plain white controller and installing its internals into the transforming d-pad shell. Once assembled I took my avatar for a little skate through the mall.

Now I’m not the most talented gamer out there. I’ll never be in the top 100 on any leaderboards (unless there are only 100 players). That being said, using the transforming d-pad in its “up” position I found that my scores improved by a 15-20% margin. So while it may not be a fix-all for everyone, it does lend a bit of evidence to the idea that not all of the game’s faults lie in software issues. In fact I was so pleasantly surprised I started to look for a way to buy modified shells for my other controllers. I found some really terrible hackjob tutorials on YouTube for installing a transforming d-pad in a stock shell, but I wanted a quality job done on my controllers. I found only one professional outlet that did such, QuickdrawMods. I sent in the front halves of my white, red and black controllers for d-pad conversion. Expect a full review of these soon.

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