XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) News, Announcements, Reviews, and Impressions Thread

Grabbing Lucidity at that price. Been wanting to play it but not for 800MSP, so yeah! Anyone who still doesn't have Trine 2 should grab it just because it's so pretty.

What's this dashboard update I just got when I went to buy it?
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
Today's demos:

Choplifter HD: I thought this was great, and I'm definitely going to buy it at some point. It's a 2.5d helicopter game where you fly across levels, pick up people to rescue, and fly back to base. You shoot at enemies on your plane, but also on a plane further in the foreground, so you rotate in pseudo-3d while moving in 2d. You need to balance quickly getting to, for example, injured people who need an evac while avoiding crashing your chopper, landing too hard, decapitating people trying to get on the chopper, etc. Really cool, and the up-sell screen mentions free DLC. Seemed like it had a lot of content.

Crazy Mouse: A single-screen 2d uh... platformer? Puzzle game? Mario Party clone? You're a mouse and you compete against other mice to get... uh.. cheese or something? It's really really slow, poorly explained. I'm told this is made by an independent chinese team and best of luck to them, but they really didn't make a good product here.

Crystal Quest: This is a remake of a classic(?) arcade game. It's a single screen 2d twin-stick shooter+avoider game where you pilot an orb and have to collect crystals before you can exit the screen. Really slick updated presentation, not as nice as Geometry Wars but much better than some of the other updates. I liked the risk-reward element; the longer you stay in a level, the more enemies spawn, but there's also an incentive to get all the crystals before going after bonus multiplier stuff. Definitely buying.

Domino Master: Surprisingly well presented domino game. I love that when you put your domino on the table there's a little shake all over the screen, like you're really slamming the domino down. Features 5 or 6 different modes. I'm not really into dominos, but this seemed pretty well made.

Double Dragon Neon: What. The. Hell. It's like double dragon, only re-imagined as this ultra 1980s camp thing. This has probably one of the strongest design visions I've ever seen in a game. Everything is 80s. You get cassette tapes that enhance your moves. Everything is neon pink and bright colours. There's a dedicated hi-5 button for when you play co-op. Very well animated. Pretty deep fighting system, they really worked to make the game justify existing in 2012. I'm not huge on beat-em-ups and I found it a little slow so I probably won't be buying, but I'm crazy impressed that they went through the trouble.

Dungeon Fighter Live: 2d side-scrolling beat-em-up based on some sort of web game or something? I had to skip through about a billion pages of story to actually play any game. There are three classes, and they seem to play pretty differently. I found the controls too complicated and the enemies took too many hits to die. I really wasn't digging the art style (although it was technically nice) or the story elements. Not buying.

Frogger Hyper Deluxe Edition: This is a Pac-Man CE style remake of Frogger, except they turned it into a party game with different modes. Only one mode is available in the demo and it's a multiplayer mode where you need to try to "paint" the road and river as you hop along and the person who paints the most wins. The presentation was nice, but the demo didn't give me enough to go on.

Frogger 2: This was a terrible, terrible "sequel" to Frogger. It features nice-enough but harmless 2D art and big, scrolling levels... but you're slow as hell, the sounds are infuriating, the level design wasn't very nice, and it's inexplicably rendered in very narrow tate with huge borders. Barf.

Gin Rummy: It's Gin Rummy. I found it a little slow and the presentation wasn't as lively as Uno, unfortunately. Also, you can sort the cards in your hand 4 different ways, but the game doesn't tell you what those ways are.

Gripshift: This seemed like a great little kart type game with a really cool "challenge" mode. The challenge mode gives you a little mini-course and forces you to a) beat a certain time limit, b) collect a bunch of junk, and c) go crazy-offroad to find a hidden token. Liked the grafitti kind of style. Liked the music. Loved the physics and being able to fly my car off crazy angles. I think Joy Ride Turbo is enough in the genre for me, but I really liked this.

Happy Tree Friends: Kind of like a Lemmings-type puzzle game in that there's a character you don't directly control and you intervene to clear obstacles for it as it moves through the level. Controls didn't feel very precise. I have no idea about the cartoon this is based on. The odd juxtaposition of bloody violence and cute characters was funny. Felt too slow.

Haunted House: A top-down exploration game that mostly takes place in the dark, really crummy production values. Feels like a movie license game it's pretty rough. I didn't play the Atari original.

Marathon: Durandal: One of Bungie's first games. Reminded me a lot of some of the weird mid-90s FPS games like Rise of the Triad and especially Star Wars: Dark Forces. Level design seemed kind of neat. Demo was short, only one level. I would consider buying this.

Matt Hazard BBB: 2d Contra-style shoot-em-up. The humour of the original game doesn't translate to this game. It was very busy, because enemies are constantly coming in from the background or foreground planes. Didn't like it.

MLB Stickball: This is very weird. You play baseball in an urban environment while holding a pool cue instead of a baseball bat. You get bases by hitting trees and cars or just hitting the ball, rather than running. Your team is made up of one MLB professional and a bunch of randoms. You have huge heads with, like, early-PS2 level face textures. The baseball itself felt decent, but I don't know much about baseball. Is this a thing people actually do in the real world? I don't think I'm going to buy this, but it was fun enough.

Mutant Storm Empire: Exploration based twin-stick shooter. Has a risk-reward element. Each enemy has a colour, you get more points if you kill enemies that are the same colour as the last enemies you killed. But if you try to only shoot enemies of a certain colour, more enemies will spawn, which makes it more dangerous to you. Seemed pretty primitive, I understand this was an early game. Wow there are a lot of twin-stick shooters.

Naughty Bear PiP: Very low framerate. My bear got killed about 10 seconds into the first level and then I got whisked to a stat customization page and store to buy costumes. Honestly the demo was pretty bad. I have no idea if the game is any different, I was hoping for something that felt more like Hitman?

Poker Smash: Poker meets Tetris meets Bejeweled. Very cool. Not sure if I'll buy it, but very cool.

Real Steel: More deep and less timing based than Punch-out, but holy shit are the robots ugly. I assume this is a movie license. Not really my thing.

Rush'n Attack: Ex-Patriot: This is a weird one. I liked it a lot. It's a 2d exploration platformer--doesn't seem to be a Metroidvania since there's no unlockable abilities really--with a stealth and melee focused combat system. You get more points for stealth killing enemies, which you can do in many ways. Demo felt great, lasted a while. And then I checked the reviews, and they're all uniformly negative. "Game's too short", "Totally buggy", "No variety"... I was just about ready to pull the trigger on a purchase before I saw that.

Scramble: Primitive arcade 2d shmup / avoider. You have a limited amount of gas which you need to replenish by bombing gas tanks on the ground. But you can't drop bombs straight, they move forward as the screen scrolls, so there's a timing element in terms of that. It's an enhanced port with a sort of fancy background but otherwise seems to be a straight old release. Felt late-70s.

Shred Nebula: Top-down 2d twin-stick shmup actually you shoot with a button instead of with a stick. The tutorial had tons of nonsense text and it seemed like there was a ton of stuff you needed to manage without any corresponding death. Font and text presentation was terrible. Pass.

Time Pilot: Primitve arcade 2d shmup. You can scroll the screen in both axes. The background is plain. Enemies spawn everywhere. You shoot them. You get points for running over or rescuing parachuters. I didn't get much out of it, felt late-70s.

Wits and Wagers: A trivia game. You get a question, you give a price is right "closest without going over" answer, then you see everyone else's answers and bet based on who you think got it right. The presentation was abysmal and I felt the game wasn't really all that engaging because of the basic mechanic.

Word Puzzle: Word search, egyptian themed

Xevious: top-down vertically scrolling shmup. I've played this before, but not on XBLA. The XBLA version doesn't have much of a presentation update. Like Scramble, you can shoot flying stuff or bomb the ground, but bombing is pretty hard to get the hang of because of the timing element. Pretty simple, I'm sure there's better examples of the genre on XBLA.

Yo-ho Kablammo: A 2d competitive pirate-themed multiplayer arcade game. You blow up the other ship and collect coins. Your guns are on either side of your boat so you need to sort of wheel around to aim at the other guy. Presentation sucked and I never got the hang of the controls, it just wasn't all that interesting with two players.

Sales+Specials isn't in Canada.
 
Scramble: Primitive arcade 2d shmup / avoider. You have a limited amount of gas which you need to replenish by bombing gas tanks on the ground. But you can't drop bombs straight, they move forward as the screen scrolls, so there's a timing element in terms of that. It's an enhanced port with a sort of fancy background but otherwise seems to be a straight old release. Felt late-70s.

Time Pilot: Primitve arcade 2d shmup. You can scroll the screen in both axes. The background is plain. Enemies spawn everywhere. You shoot them. You get points for running over or rescuing parachuters. I didn't get much out of it, felt late-70s.
Arcade games in the 70's didn't look anything like these two, really. Scramble is 1981 and Time Pilot is 1982.

For reference, Pac-Man is 1980. Multi-colored raster graphics really only appeared in the early 80's although Galaxian came out in 1979. Pinball peaked in the late 70's. Arcade videogames came into their own in the early 80's.
 
I'm sorry but Stump has the worst taste in this thread. Hating on Omega Five but praising Manhattan Project and Crystal Quest? That's bottom 10 worst games on XBLA stuff right there!

Also, I bought Lucidity and instantly regret it. I should've tried the demo again... The main menu song is nicely haunting but that's about the only good thing I can say about the game. :(

Edit: What the fuck, Lucidity sucks so bad. Am I doing it wrong or is it really just Lemmings retardedly mixed with Tetris? I need to build passageways for this little girl, but what piece I can place next is randomized and if I get 5 useless ones in a row I can't stop her and have to start the level over if I want her to reach another path... They've got to be kidding me.
 
Omega Five is the bomb, sorry Stump but that game is one great shooter. Awesome soundtrack also, and after you beat the game, you can play in 'retro' style which includes a ghetto-ass arcade soundtrack and scanlines and such that are just the best.

Omega Five. Don't sleep on it folks, it's great.
 
Also, I bought Lucidity and instantly regret it. I should've tried the demo again... The main menu song is nicely haunting but that's about the only good thing I can say about the game. :(
I quite enjoyed the demo, but I can tell I'll probably hate the second half of the game. It's really chilled and relaxing at first, trying to find fireflies and stuff without much pressure and a nice soundtrack.

Later it's probably going to get difficult and it doesn't seem the kind of game that'll be fun when difficult.
 
The Skyrim DLC not being on sale this week pisses me off also. I was really looking forward to picking it all up, now I have some extra money. Now the Deal of the Week this week looks pretty bad.
 
I really liked what I played of Omega Five round a friends house, quite like the larger sprites then again I've always liked horizontal shooters more than vertical.
Takes me back to my Gradius, UN Squadron, R-Type, Hellfire, Gynoug, Thunderforce, Pardoius days, ah man so many good ones.
Keep saying I will go back round and 200g Omega Five, so I won't need to buy it, ahem.
 
I quite enjoyed the demo, but I can tell I'll probably hate the second half of the game. It's really chilled and relaxing at first, trying to find fireflies and stuff without much pressure and a nice soundtrack.

Later it's probably going to get difficult and it doesn't seem the kind of game that'll be fun when difficult.
Really? I was stressing out on the first level! "No, not jumpy spring shoes...plank! Plank! PLANK! NO MORE SHO...aw fuck this game she fell off again."

I really liked what I played of Omega Five round a friends house, quite like the larger sprites then again I've always liked horizontal shooters more than vertical.
Takes me back to my Gradius, UN Squadron, R-Type, Hellfire, Gynoug, Thunderforce, Pardoius days, ah man so many good ones.
Keep saying I will go back round and 200g Omega Five, so I won't need to buy it, ahem.
I really don't understand why we don't have, say, a Gradius collection (minus 5, probably) on XBLA yet. They bother with stuff no one remembers like Scramble and mildly recognized stuff like Rocket Knight, but we can't get Gradius?
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
I'm sorry but Stump has the worst taste in this thread. Hating on Omega Five but praising Manhattan Project and Crystal Quest? That's bottom 10 worst games on XBLA stuff right there!
I'm totally amazed at how wrong I apparently am on Omega Five. I'll give it another try. But honestly all I got from it was "very busy", "very slow", "low production value horizontal shmup". I guess that's a problem with binging on all the stuff you've never tried, you sort of form a judgment pretty quickly.
 
Really? I was stressing out on the first level! "No, not jumpy spring shoes...plank! Plank! PLANK! NO MORE SHO...aw fuck this game she fell off again."
She goes slow enough for you to just dump stuff out of the way in the sky (or on the floor if you're walking up there). There's only two items on that level so it's not like you're ever far away from what you need!

That's why it'll probably be super frustrating later, though, I assume there's a lot more items to come.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
I bought Crystal Quest and played about an hour of it. No regrets, very fun, and if you jack the difficulty up it starts out pretty tricky so you don't need to have the usual start-up dead time that arcadey type games suffer from.

Zombie Driver HD: This is a top-down driving/shooting game (similar perspective to the early GTA games) where your objective is to kill zombies and get cash. The colours are very dingy, and the game itself seems fairly low budget--you can see corner cutting in the menu design and voice acting. I also noticed lots of screen tearing. That being said, running over zombies seems fun and the weapons are cool, it seemed like there was a lot of content and modes. I would definitely buy this, but I see that it's on PC so I probably have a better chance of catching it on an extreme sale there.

Planets Under Attack: This is basically a fleshed-out, mission-based version of Galcon. Both games play like a real-time Risk. You have planets that are constantly generating new troops, and you allocate portions of those troops to attack other planets. While the mechanics are definitely a good evolution on Galcon, I didn't feel like I really needed to play a whole full-length game built around it. I did like the character art though. At 1200 msp this is definitely too expensive, and with only 2500 people on the leaderboards for the first level, I suspect I'm not the only one who thought so. Also, mouse controls would probably benefit this game, so I'd be more likely to buy it on PC. Xbox.com lists this as the absolute last game if you list Xbox games by all-time best selling.

Voodoo Dice: I had a really good time with the demo of this. Basically you're a dice and you roll around a square grid world and solve puzzles predicated on having a certain side of the dice up at a certain time. If you've played the puzzles in Virtue' Last Reward, it's a lot like those. And near the end of the demo you get other mechanics, including teleporters, Sokoban-style corner puzzles, and puzzles where you expand to a 2x1 brick and roll oddly through the level (reminded me of PS3's Cuboid, which I own but haven't played much of). If I didn't already own Cuboid I think I would have bought this (at least if it was on sale), but I'd say my quota of block-type puzzle games is filled.
 
I hated every second I spend with Zombie Driver, pretty much. Just the worst kind of rubbish, it controls like shit, runs at about 12fps with ridiculous amounts of tearing, and the whole thing is just not fun to play. Also has a dumb progression mechanic where you can cripple yourself by not being able to afford upgrades for later missions, and if you replay missions, the money you win doesn't count towards your story mode total so you're figuratively fucked. Everything is the same colour and looks exactly the same which makes the city impossible to navigate, and the included map is hilarious because the game doesn't pause for you to look at it, it just overlays the screen. Then you have races where the track is so vague that you have no idea where you're meant to be going, whether you're going the right way, anything. It's just all-round dire.

Which is the same as can be said for the latter stages of Warp, which I'm clearing from my backlog at the moment. You ever play a game and you just cannot conceive how someone made this and thought "hey, that's fun," like, it's literally impossible for any person to find it fun? And then the developer goes "fuck it, let's put it in anyway." Everything in Warp where I am now is pitch black, completely pitch black. "Hey, solve these puzzles while you can't see a damn thing." I can light it up for about three seconds, which takes about five seconds to do. It's just bizarre. There's absolutely no need for it at all and yet here it is anyway. Idiots.

Other older stuff I've been playing...

Crazy Machines Elements, which I imagine is pretty niche but I really like it. The presentation is just about the worst on XBLA, it's so tacky, like amazingly tacky. And low-budget too, the title screen can't be any higher-resolution than 320x240 just blown up to HD. The game itself is great though, you just build contraptions and watch the physics. There are 100 puzzles, with half-built machines which you have to complete with a limited set of parts to achieve a goal, like burning something, or getting item x to area y, and a bunch more. There are loads of collectibles to get along the way too, so solving the level isn't enough, you have to solve it perfectly if you want to feel proud! It does suffer from the same issue all games of this type suffer from, placing an item one notch away from where you've got it currently can have a different effect on the machine, so you can have the solution right but one item a tiny bit out so the machine fails.

Outland everyone knows, I guess. I've tried to play it about three times and never got far, but I forced myself to and I'm glad I did. It's loads of fun, the platforming is super-awesome, and the bosses are fantastic. I can't really fault it aside from some dumb checkpointing at those bosses, the rest is just great. 200/200.

Yaris, lol. I kind of want to get some more achievements. I strive for at least 50% in all the games I play and I'm at 25%, but it's just so bad. Like, I know everyone said it was bad but if you actually play it for any period of times you'll realise it's worse than you even remember. It's just inept in about every single area. Anyone want to play co-op to get some achievements?

South Park: Tenorman's Revenge is better than people might think, too. It was pretty shit on release but a patch has made it loads more playable and it's pretty fun now. It's not the best platformer on XBLA, but there's loads and loads of stuff to do and you could do a lot worse.

Scott Pilgrim is on the list, I feel like I need a beginner's guide to that because I don't really know what I'm doing. Is levelling up just getting me moves? How do I get better stats? Do I eat? Are those effects permanent? I beat Patel, but yeah, I don't know what I'm doing yet!
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
I hated every second I spend with Zombie Driver, pretty much.
Yeah I was doubling back through this thread and the prior XBLA thread and saw that everyone here apparently hated the XBL port. Bummer.

South Park: Tenorman's Revenge is better than people might think, too. It was pretty shit on release but a patch has made it loads more playable and it's pretty fun now. It's not the best platformer on XBLA, but there's loads and loads of stuff to do and you could do a lot worse.
Tenorman's Revenge was immensely helped by the patch. I played the demo pre-patch and it was pretty rough.

Scott Pilgrim is on the list, I feel like I need a beginner's guide to that because I don't really know what I'm doing. Is levelling up just getting me moves? How do I get better stats? Do I eat? Are those effects permanent? I beat Patel, but yeah, I don't know what I'm doing yet!
I found the game very frustrating for this reason and ended up just reading a FAQ to figure out the best way to develop my character.
 
Just beat Dungeon Fighter Live, or well, got as close as humanly possible while playing solo. It's so lazily made that they didn't even bother to scale it to the amount of players at all and the final boss is literally completely impossible alone.

I have to say, I don't understand why this game doesn't get more shit. It's an even more shameless adver-game than the Doritos games - at least those are free! This game is nothing but an 800MSP commercial for Dungeon Fighter Online. It has all these features that are supposed to make me want more in DFO, because they're so uselessly implemented in DFL. The worst offender being the half-assed crafting system with...nothing to craft. There's like 20 "recipes" and only 2 of them are worth the time, and those items can easily be found in the wild anyway.

That's not even mentioning the stiff, terrible controls and animations and generally braindead gameplay. I hate this game so much that I'll pay anyone NOT to buy it.
 
Haha, I got that for free and yeah, it's bad. I found the worst part was the menu, which for some reason used about 12 of the 1,000,000 pixels that it could have used, and as a result was completely unusable.
 
Choplifter HD
Double Dragon Neon
on my "to buy on sale" list.
Frogger Hyper Deluxe Edition
Frogger 2
The original Frogger, like most of Konami's early work, is an amazing balance of risk and reward. And nearly everything to wear the name since has been awful crap.

Gripshift
is by a gaffer, and is also really awesome. For some reason I enjoyed it more on PSP, but if you haven't played it before you really need to try it. I like it better than Joy Ride Turbo, FWIW.

Scramble: Primitive arcade 2d shmup / avoider. You have a limited amount of gas which you need to replenish by bombing gas tanks on the ground. But you can't drop bombs straight, they move forward as the screen scrolls, so there's a timing element in terms of that. It's an enhanced port with a sort of fancy background but otherwise seems to be a straight old release. Felt late-70s.

Time Pilot: Primitve arcade 2d shmup. You can scroll the screen in both axes. The background is plain. Enemies spawn everywhere. You shoot them. You get points for running over or rescuing parachuters. I didn't get much out of it, felt late-70s.
These are two of my favorite old-school shooters, along with River Raid, and I enjoy them way more than Namco/Cave/etc. shmups. The graphic sensibility in both is superb.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
These are two of my favorite old-school shooters, along with River Raid, and I enjoy them way more than Namco/Cave/etc. shmups. The graphic sensibility in both is superb.
I think the trick with arcade games of the earlier eras is that you either "click" into the basic formula and thus compulsively want to improve your score, or you don't. For whatever reason of this batch of games I've tried, only Crystal Quest has actually jumped out at me as having a sort of addictive quality.
 
Released today,



Capcom Arcade Cabinet - 400msp, 1.19GB.
Black Dragon (free with demo, 1 credit per play), 1943 and Avengers.

Serious Sam DD XXL - 800msp, 152MB.


Jet Set Radio is also getting a release in Japan - 800msp

Also,

Guardians of Middle-earth
--Snaga - 160msp

Spelunky
--Arenas - 160msp
--Explorers - 160msp

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Decade Duels Plus
--Card pack 11 - 160msp
--Card pack 12 - 160msp
--Structure deck 001 - 240msp
--Super deck 001 - 320msp


Capcom Arcade Cabinet,
Feb 20th, Black Tiger (free with demo), 1943 and Avenger - 400msp
--1943 and Avengers won't be available separately.

Mar 6th, Ghosts ’n Goblins, Gunsmoke and Sector Z - 800msp
--Individual games available March 20th, 320msp each.

Mar 20th, Side Arms, The Speed Rumbler and Exed Exes (Savage Bees) - 800msp
--Individual games available April 3rd, 320msp each.

Apr 3rd, Commando, Legendary Wings and Trojan - 800msp
--Individual games available April 16th, 320msp each.

Apr 17th, 1942, Pirate Ship Higemaru and Sonson - 800msp
--Individual games available May 1st, 320msp each.

May 22nd, Complete pack - 2000msp
--You'll probably have to buy the first pack for 400msp on top of the complete pack to get everything. Wording on the capcom blog isn't 100% clear.

Buy all the individual games/packs and get two games free. Seems like they will be 1943 Kai and Vulgus.
 
something interesting about his release is that there are only 400 pts worth of achievements known so far and the only specific game related ones are for games in the initial pack.

unless more achievements are released, it looks like you wont need to buy all of the games to get 400 pts.

guess we'll see.
 

SAB CA

Sketchbook Picasso
Guys, in an odd twist with NO mention WHAT SO EVER...

Spelunky Has DLC now!

2 new sets, one of 8 new playable characters, and the other 24 new Arena DLC maps. 160 points (2 Dollars) each set.

Explorers DLC:



8 adventurous new souls have entered the caves seeking excitement and treasure! The Explorers DLC adds the Eskimo, the Robot, the Viking, the Round Girl, the Round Boy, the Cyclops, the Ninja, and the Golden Monk to Spelunky's lovable cast. These characters can be selected in both Adventure Mode and Deathmatch Mode.
Arenas DLC:



Can't get enough of Spelunky's fast-paced Deathmatch Mode? The Arenas DLC reveals 24 new arenas to battle your friends in! These chaotic death traps offer up all kinds of devious ways to kill or be killed, from sacrificial altars to perilous bee hives. Will anyone survive?
 
Guys, in an odd twist with NO mention WHAT SO EVER...

Spelunky Has DLC now!

2 new sets, one of 8 new playable characters, and the other 24 new Arena DLC maps. 160 points (2 Dollars) each set.

Explorers DLC:





Arenas DLC:

I have 210 points sitting in my account, so I'm definitely getting one of the two immediately. Decisions, decisions.

This has probably been answered, but has anyone confirmed who is doing the port work for the Capcom arcade-thing?