From the Stick of Joy
CES 2008: Lode Runner coming to XBLA
22 Comments by Christopher Grant Jan 7th 2008 1:45PM
Filed under: Retro, Microsoft Xbox 360, CES
In an early morning meeting with Microsoft, we got a sneak peak of a title that's been a long-time coming to Xbox Live Arcade. Some of you may remember our nearly year-and-a-half old interview with former Xbox Live Arcade Portfolio Manager Ross Erickson, who professed Lode Runner to be his "favorite game of all time" and, it seemed like a natural conclusion that he would be working on bringing that title to the service. Though Erickson's moved on, the proto-platformer is finally making its way to XBLA.
Totally updated for XBLA by developer Tozai (purportedly the original developer and license holder), the version showed off was apparently "incredibly early." Nevertheless, the 3D graphics were sharp and the original Lode Runner gameplay is so immediately infectious it bleeds through every layer of paint thrown on it. But it's not all original gameplay, as the developer is adding in several multiplayer modes like "Hang-On," which supports four players, and "Journey," which supports two.
One of our favorite touches was the history timeline of the game, which aims to educate gamers on Lode Runner's long history and role in the history of video games. A very classy touch, and one we'd love to see more of in our games, along with the original game variant while they're at it. Understandably, there's no word on price or release, but we were told "2008" was a good estimate.
But that's still not the biggest question we've got. No, what we really want to know is whether or not the XBLA version will share the series' iconic level editor functionality. The answer was that while nothing has been announced, the developer is obviously aware of the game's history. Is it too much to hope that we'd be allowed to share user-created levels, perhaps enjoying a LittleBigPlanet-esque community angle? We hope not.