XBLA Archive

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Magrunner: Dark Pulse releasing this October


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According to a Facebook post by 3 AM Games, Magrunner: Dark Pulse will launch on consoles in October. The game is set to launch on Xbox Live (Worldwide) on October 25. PSN gamers will receive the game two days earlier on October 23. 3 AM Games describes Magrunner: Dark Pulse as a “first-person action puzzle game in a cyberpunk reimagining of Cthulhu Mythos.” This game has been available for PC gamers since June of 2013. According to Metacritic, the game currently has a critic score of 69 (out of 100) and a user score of 8.1 (out of 10). No information about pricing has been confirmed yet. However, the game does sell for $19.99 on Steam.

Source: Facebook via @lifeLower

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Average XBLA price has doubled since platform launch


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XBLA

When Xbox Live Arcade first launched, much of the attention given by publishers and developers was to releasing ports or updates of classic games, and the prices largely reflected this.  Part of this resulted from stepping into the uncharted territory that was digital distribution. In addition, size limitations (50 MB at first which eventually was raised to 150 MB) made it difficult to push beyond basic graphics or to experiment with gameplay systems that would take up too much of the already restricted space.

However, the parameters for what is expected (and allowed) changed, and with that, the bar for digital games was gradually raised over time. And with this increase in quality and money spent on development came a hike in the average price for XBLA releases. X360 Magazine reports that Live Arcade portfolio head, Chris Charla, revealed that the price for XBLA games has indeed been escalating over time and has effectively doubled since Xbox Live Arcade first stepped on the scene.

For some, the near extinction of cheap downloadable titles may seem discouraging, but if anything, a new world of possibilities is currently being explored. The line between XBLA and full retail release will continue to blur, especially since the Xbox One will have retail releases available for day one digital download. This might provide the incentive and flexibility for more games to launch with appropriate prices tailored for that specific game, instead of settling for the traditional $10, $15, or $60 marks just because they are the status quo. What is to stop some games from launching at $35 or any other price a publisher believes their game warrants? Perhaps there will be a resurgence of $5 games if the market supports this decision; the possibility is certainly out there for a great many things to occur. Naturally, only time will tell if this digital future will lead to abusive pricing structures or one influenced by consumer choice, but it is at least sure to provide an interesting ride.

Source: X360 Magazine

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Bound by Flame pushed back to early 2014


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Before E3 2013, Spider Studios, whom are previously known for developing Mars: War Logs, announced their latest game in development, Bound by Flame. Published by Focus Home Interactive, Bound by Flame was set to be released on XBLA, PSN, and Steam by the end of 2013. However, based on a press release yesterday, the title has been delayed to early 2014. One possible reason for the delay is that Spider Studios announced that Bound by Flame is now coming to the Playstation 4. As of this press release, Focus Home Interactive is only confirming that Bound by Flame is coming to XBLA on the Xbox 360. There is no news about this title coming to the Xbox One.

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Ducktales: Remastered review (XBLA)


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DuckTales: Remastered was developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Capcom. It will be released September 11, 2013 for 1200 MSP or $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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In 1989, Capcom, much to the delight of gamers young & old, released the critically acclaimed Disney DuckTales. Many viewed this game as one of the best games, ever, on the NES. The game sold so well it was later ported over to the Gameboy. Sales combined between both platforms were over the 2 million mark.

Thus, fans were overjoyed when at PAX East 2013, Capcom announced that they would be releasing a DuckTales: Remastered in the summer of 2013. WayForward Technologies has been working on this title since 2011. Ducktales: Remastered has already launched for PC, PS3 and WiiU but the Xbox 360 version will not be released till September 11, 2013.

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Mars: War Logs review (XBLA)

Mars: War Logs was developed by Spiders Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive. It was released July 26, 2013 for 1,200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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Mars: War Logs is a sci-fi/action RPG that is unmistakably, unabashedly cut from the same basic template used for Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect. The main character is a war veteran with a dark, mysterious, or troubled past. He or she travels with a few companions who provide assistance, special abilities, additional information, and so on. The villain is either an oppressive fascist regime or someone who harbors deep personal resentment for the hero. Throughout the journey, the party is faced with moral dilemmas as they seek to resolve primary tasks and sub-quests, with decision options usually broken down into a binary GOOD or EVIL choice and little in-between. There is an equipment upgrade system, where the player uses spare materials to enhance weapons and armor. The party gains experience points to level up, and skill points can be applied to unlock advanced abilities, feats, and class perks. There are romance options available, depending on the hero’s gender, demeanor, and rapport with his or her companions. This game format is very familiar to anyone who has played any high-profile console RPGs in the past ten years, and even more so for those running the original Baldur’s Gate on PC in the late 1990’s.

So let’s just get this out of the way, rather than meandering around it: if someone is interested in playing a sci-fi/action/open-ended WRPG, they have a ton of options available from half a dozen extremely prolific developers, some of whom started the genre. Many of those options are incredible adventures, spanning entire galaxies, with memorable characters, brilliant dialogue, breathtaking landscapes, and a few of them have dramatically pushed the genre forward in big ways. The market is immensely crowded, and Mars: War Logs is placed in a very tough spot because of that. Priced between $15 and $20, it is clearly aimed to be a mid-priced alternative to mega-funded RPGs from the likes of BioWare and Obsidian, and wants to be a Mass Effect that doesn’t cost $60 at launch. But the size of the budget and price of the game are but small parts of a much larger picture, so how does Mars: War Logs measure up?

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New trailer for Contrast released

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Contrast, the upcoming XBLA game by Compulsion Games, just received a new trailer, and it looks phenomenal. The film noir aesthetic and jazz music tie in very well to the trailer’s usage of light and shadow, the game’s main mechanic. It also hints at a bit of the plot, focused around Didi and her imaginary friend Dawn, who possesses the ability to blend into and out of shadows, which usually means switching from 3D gameplay to 2D platforming across a variety of shadows cast by environmental objects.

The trailer opens with Didi alone in her bed, presumably narrating over her own story.  Didi’s imagination is as rampant as ever, as she discusses fairy tales where the little girl (read: herself) is really a princess, and her parents aren’t really her parents.  Once the trailer picks up, it shows some more cinematic angles of the build many of us saw at E3.  The upbeat musical score was a highlight of the game at E3, and the trailer here features an excellent musical accompaniment as well.  To some, the music may come across as contrasting with the somber plot about a girl’s relationship with her family, but this dissonance creates interest in the plot, not unlike the cabaret scene Nick recently wrote about in his feature preview of Contrast.

The trailer was coupled with the announcement that there will be a new build of Contrast available at PAX Prime, so we will get a deeper look into Didi’s world in a few weeks.  For now, enjoy the new trailer — what does everyone think of it?

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Below is only a timed Xbox One exclusive *updated*

Update: We reached out to Capybara Games for more information on whether Super Time Force could follow in the footsteps of Below, targeting a multiplatform release at some point in the future. President and Co-Founder Nathan Vella couldn’t confirm or deny Capy’s intentions for Super Time Force, and reiterated that its primary focus, right now, are the games. “We posted a response to a super-often-asked fan question,” Vella explained in email. “Now we want to get back to ‘makin the games’.”

Original Story: At E3, Below debuted on the Microsoft Xbox One stage. Many thought that since they took the time to unviel the game that this would be an exclusive for Xbox One. Last week, Capybara Games announced on their blog that Below will be a limited time exclusive with Xbox One. “Like many games on stage at E3, Below will be available on the Xbox One first. Then, after a period of time, Capy can bring it elsewhere,” the developer said.

On their blog post, signed by Nathan Vella & Kris Piotrowski, they went out of their way to say how important and meaningful it has been for Microsoft to be in their corner. This is probably a good step for Microsoft, as their relationships with Indie developers has taken quite the hit, as the Xbox 360 console cycle ends.

Capy had this to say about their relationship with Microsoft, “We’ve said it many times before, but it is worth repeating: working with Microsoft Studios has been great, and they deserve real kudos for putting our dreamy roguelike-inspired game of exploration and discovery in the spotlight at E3… and we are certain they’ll continue to do more of that going forward. This clarification is about answering our fans, and shouldn’t reflect negatively on Microsoft or Xbox One – they’ve been the biggest CAPY supporters out there.”

Capybara, which is already known for games such as Sword & Sworcery and Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, is also working on Super Time Force. With the news that Below was to go multiplatform in the future, Capy also hinted that Super Time Force may be going multiplatform as well.

For more information on Below, pleae read our past coverage here.

And for more information on Super Time Force, check out our past coverage here.

Source: Capybara Games

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Flashback remake ready for Summer of Arcade


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The Summer of Arcade on Xbox 360 continues this week with Flashback HD, a high-def remake of the side-scrolling action-adventure game from the ’90s, also called Flashback. This past week, Ubisoft released a new story trailer that gives viewers a quick glimpse of the main character, Conrad, and the predicament he finds himself in. For more info about Flashback and its back story, read our article from July.

Flashback releases on August 21 on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 MS points or $9.99. The game will also be released in the fall for PC and PS3.

Source: Destructoid

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Runner 2 now with The Good Friends

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On Wednesday of this past week, Bit.Trip released The Good Friends Character pack DLC for the Xbox 360 version of Runner 2. In atypical fashion, Xbox 360 users received this piece of content after PS3 and PC users. It was also released for the Wii U, this past Thursday.

For the price tag of $3, The Good Friends Character Pack features Josef (Machinarium), Spelunky Guy (Spelunky), Razputin (Psychonauts), Dr. Fetus (Super Meat Boy), Quote (Cave Story), and Invisible CommanderVideo. According to Bit.Tip, this DLC is “perhaps the first-ever piece of DLC that’s capable of ending every war in the world and inspiring people everywhere to hold hands and whistle some sweet tuneage.”

Source: @BitTrip via Destructoid

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Castle of Illusion coming to XBLA on September 4


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Castle of Illusion

Publisher Sega has confirmed on its blog that Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse will be launching on Xbox Live Arcade on September 4 for 1200 Microsoft Points. This reimagining of the Sega Genesis classic is built from the ground-up with voiceover and tweaked content to modernize an old favorite. The creators were very clear to say this is not a kid’s game, but a love letter to classic gaming.

To learn more about Castle of Illusion, check out our full preview.

Source: Sega blog

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