Sega of America has released new screenshots and an extended version of a trailer teased earlier this month for Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. The game, described as a “complete re-imagining” of the original released in 1990 on the Sega Genesis, will join the already announced Ducktales Remastered for a summer 2013 launch on digital platforms, including XBLA. With any luck, this trend of Sega and Disney teaming up will continue and bring even more classics out of the vault.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is the rare platformer in today’s world that is simultaneously incredibly demanding and very satisfying. The game, ported to XBLA from the first batch of Steam Greenlight games, was originally part of a successful Kickstarter project. The game’s protagonist, Giana, derives her name from the original Great Giana Sisters of the 1980s which was most well known for being successfully sued by Nintendo for its close similarities to Super Mario Bros. The new game maintains the charm of an older era while demonstrating a keen awareness of how graphics and sound have improved in 25 years between the original and Twisted Dreams.
The game’s main mechanic involves Giana’s ability to shift between two different forms, which shifts the entire world’s graphics and music accordingly. Players will find themselves shifting back and forth between worlds extremely rapidly at times — it recalls the shifting of Ikaruga and Outcast, though with substantial changes to the environment also, not just the main character.
Terraria was originally developed by Re-Logic; 505 Games developed and published the Xbox 360 port. It was released March 27, 2013 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
At its heart, Terraria is a 2D side scrolling platform game which features a range of RPG, mining, crafting and world building mechanics. With such a unique mixture of gameplay styles and influences, one could be forgiven for thinking that Terraria should lack depth or substance. The reality is quite contrary however, and Terraria may actually be one of the deepest and most engaging titles within the Xbox Live Arcade catalog.
Terraria presents the player with such a huge range of activities to participate in, at such a variable pace, that it really is the ultimate sandbox game. Unlike Minecraft or Spelunky which respectively allow players to wander aimlessly in relative safety or punish them brutally along an increasingly difficult path, Terraria presents both options as slowly or as quickly as you can manage.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Wizards of the Coast about the next iteration of the annualized Duels of the Planeswalkers franchise: Magic the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014. It was pretty clear the bigger reveal will be happening later this year (likely at E3); however, Wizard did shed light on a few interesting tidbits. At this time, there are still no plans to provide a full deck editor: a highly requested feature. The Duels franchise is intended to give players an interesting cross section of the Magic the Gathering Multiverse. As such, decks are prebuilt and can be customized within that context with unlockable cards. Duels is the gateway drug that moves players to Wizards other Magic the Gathering Properties when they want a more in-depth experience.
This year, Duels will feature another new mode, along with the standard battles and challenges. Players will get a sneak peak at cards from the 2014 Core Set along with an assortment of cards from previous blocks. Dragon’s Maze and the rest of the Ravnica block will not be featured. Wizard wasn’t willing to divulge any secrets as to new card mechanics we could expect to see with the game. As usual, the cards will all be labeled D14 to avoid confusion among new players, instead of different icons highlighting the blocks they come from in the Magic Multiverse.
The game’s menu interface looks to have seen a nice facelift but that’s about all we can comment on for now. The game looks to be shaping up nicely. In a sense, it has turned into the Madden of XBLA. We know to expect it with a full new roster, some nice cosmetic tweaks, and a highly rabid fan base each year.
Duels is perfect for the newcomer to the Magic Multiverse and especially perfect for someone who wants to try multiple types of decks without having to spend hundreds of dollars procuring the cards. It simplifies the rulesets by automating it and letting you see exactly what is allowed. Expect Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 to launch sometime this summer prior to the 2014 Core Set.
The original NES Ducktales game was one of the gems of the era, an incredible platformer designed by the creator of Megaman, Keiji Inafune. It contained one of the most memorable chiptune soundtracks of all time in addition to sporting some of the tightest platforming on the platform.
At PAX East today, Capcom and WayForward announced Ducktales Remastered, a remake of the original NES classic. The reveal trailer looks amazing, featuring Disney hand-drawn animation that remains faithful to the original animations of the video game. Though the trailer doesn’t feature any voiced characters, the Capcom-Unity newspost about the announcement of the game reveals that the team behind the game managed to get the entire original cast back to record the game, 30 years after the release of the original. If that weren’t fantastic enough, WayForward has an extremely strong pedigree with regard to rereleases of older titles — composer Jake Kaufman’s work on both Double Dragon Neon and Contra 4 (for the Nintendo DS) was absolutely outstanding, and his arrangement and homage to Ducktales will very likely be just as impressive. The game is set to launch this summer.
We hope to have more details in the coming days — for now, watch the trailer on YouTube and sing along!
The original Dungeon Defenders was an extremely popular XBLA title, and many players have been looking forward to the inevitable sequel for some time. The sequel is looking very promising — it features an all new competitive mode in addition to the original’s co-op gameplay and will be free to play! Unfortunately, it won’t be coming to either XBLA or PS3, though next-gen console plans are not out of the question. The official website for the game currently lists only “PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Web” for its platforms.
In an interview by IGN with the developers of the game, marketing director Philip Asher reveals the reason why the current generation of consoles is being excluded: “The bit of sad news in all of the talk about platforms is that Dungeon Defenders II won’t be releasing on PSN or Xbox Live. “When starting to develop Dungeon Defenders II, we wanted to focus on platforms that would allow consistent updates and cross-platform play. Because of this, we decided to not release Dungeon Defenders II on current-generation consoles,” said Asher. The good news for console players in all of this is that there’s still hope, as Asher added the following caveat, “However, if the next generation consoles fit this bill, we would consider releasing Dungeon Defenders II there as well.”
Hopefully the next generation of consoles accommodates cross-platform play, because if Dungeon Defenders II follows in the footsteps of the original, Microsoft and Sony will both be missing out on a great game. Look forward to continued coverage on the game from our sister site SteamGameFans for now…
The Happy Wars continue with Toylogic announcing the release of Title Update 4. The highlight of this update is Special Match mode where new game types will be offered, with the first of these being “Save the KING.” The object in this mode is to escort your team’s King into the opposing team’s castle. Players chosen as the King will have a scepter which allows them to knock enemy players away.
In addition to entirely novel rule sets, Special Match mode also allows for unlocking unique rewards that will not be available in the game’s standard multiplayer modes.
A re-mastered port of A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda, currently available on Steam, was recently announced for XBLA to be published by Aksys. The original game is an action-platformer set in the near-future, casting players in the role of the robot Ares, navigating and shooting his way through a variety of environments that bring to mind memories of Capcom’s Megaman X series. The “EX” in the console version’s title refers to a variety of enhancements made to the game specifically for the new port.
These enhancements are extensive — the game should feel more like a remake than a port by the time everything is said and done. Ares is receiving new upgrades to help him fight completely new enemies in brand new areas. Additionally, the XBLA port adds a second playable character named Taurus, who will be stronger and more tank-y than Ares at the expense of some mobility.
The game will also feature completely redone graphics — both new high-resolution textures added for the EX edition, and all-new animated cutscenes. In addition to the excellent soundtrack by Hyperduck Soundworks, the EX edition will come with a second soundtrack composed by Charlie Parra Del Riego, whose metal stylings will fit the new Taurus character.
The game looks to be following in Spelunky’s footsteps, another PC game that had an excellent conversion to the XBLA platform. More great games on XBLA are always welcome — look forward to more news regarding A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda EX in the coming months!