Thursday, 21 July 2011

Xbox Live Summer of Arcade 2011

Xbox Live's annual Summer of Arcade has begun. This years theme is the plainly named "Summer Fun Pack". Last years Summer of Arcade themed "Beat the Heat" featured some great games such as Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Lara Croft and the Guardian of the Light, Limbo, Monday Night Combat, and Hydro Thunder Hurricane. This year it seems like they are taking it up a notch, with a notable nod towards Kinect, by introducing 5 new titles as well as a FREE 6th title for those who purchase all 5 before August 23rd, 2011. The games have staggered releases, which fall on the next 4 following Wednesdays. For a  The titles are:

Bastion - 1200MP
- Available Now
- Supergiant Games

From Dust - 1200MP
- July 27th, 2011
- Ubisoft Montipellier 

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet - 1200MP
- August 3rd, 2011
- Shadow Planet Productions 

Fruit Ninja: Kinect 800MP
- August 10th, 2011
- Halfbrick 

Toy Soldiers: Cold War - 1200MP
- August 17th, 2011
- Signal Studios

And as a bonus for those who purchase all five games:

Crimson Alliance - Free
- Must buy all games before August 23rd, 2011
Certain Affinity

The total cost will run you a cool 5600 MP, which is roughly $70.00. Considering that most games now cost that much on their own, it seems like this is a fair deal. Granted, a lot of the games are casual, pick up and play games, but you're more likely to spend more hours playing these, than most single $70 games. Unless it's Fallout. Or Oblivion. After the break is a short description, details, a summary of the game, and a picture for each game to give you an idea of what to expect.

Bastion - 1200MP

Developer - Supergiant Games
Publisher - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform - Windows, Xbox Live Arcade
Release date - Xbox 360 (XBLA) July 20, 2011
Genre - Role-Playing
Metacritic Score - 88
User Score - 82

The game takes place in the aftermath of the Calamity, a catastrophic event that suddenly fractured the world as people knew it into many pieces and led to an infestation of hostile creatures. Players take control of the Kid, a silent protagonist who awakens on one of the few remaining pieces of the old world and sets off for the titular Bastion, where everyone agreed to go in troubled times. He finds almost nothing left upon arrival, but is told by a wise old man that together, they could build something special. The Kid then embarks on a quest to reconstruct the world the way it used to be, while the old man narrates his adventure and provides details on what exactly has happened.

From Dust - 1200MP

Developer - Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher - Ubisoft
Platform - Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 (XBLA), PlayStation 3 (PSN) OnLive
Release date - Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 (XBLA)- July 27, 2011
Genre - Puzzle

In From Dust, players assume a god-like first-person perspective from which they manipulate an archipelago environment in an effort to save, and enlighten, a nomadic tribe. With a spherical cursor, the user controls certain types of matter, namely soil, lava, water, and vegetation, in real time. Lava cools to form solid rock, vegetation propagates in soil, and moving water quickly erodes terrain. Physical changes to the world occur extremely rapidly, allowing players to restructure islands within minutes.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet - 1200MP

Developer - Shadow Planet Productions (Fuelcell Games/Gagne International)
Publisher - Microsoft Studios
Platform - Xbox Live Arcade
Release date - August 3rd, 2011
Genre - Action

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is an upcoming action video game in development by Shadow Planet Productions (Fuelcell Games/Gagne International) for Xbox Live Arcade. The game has been in development since 2007 and was first demonstrated in March 2011 at Penny Arcade Expo East. The game is set on an alien planet and includes exploration elements similar to Metroid and Castlevania. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is planned for release in the summer of 2011. The game features music by Dimmu Borgir during cinematics.

Fruit Ninja - Kinect 800MP

Developer - Halfbrick
Platform - iOS, Android OS, Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Release date - August 10th, 2011
Genre - Arcade
Modes - Single-player, Multiplayer (iPad and Kinect for Xbox 360)

In Fruit Ninja the player slices fruit with a blade controlled via a touch pad. As the fruit is thrown onto the screen, the player swipes their finger across the screen to create a slicing motion, attempting to slice the fruit in half. Extra points are awarded for slicing multiple fruits with one swipe, and players can use additional fingers to make multiple slices simultaneously. Players must slice all fruit; if three pieces of fruit are missed the game ends, but upon reaching scores that are multiples of one hundred (i.e. 100, 200, 300, etc), the player will gain an extra life (unless they have not missed a piece of fruit already). Bombs are occasionally thrown onto the screen, and will also end the game should the player slice them.

Toy Soldiers: Cold War - 1200MP

Developer - Signal Studios
Publisher - Microsoft Studios
Platform - Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Release date - August 17, 2011
Genre - Action/Strategy
Mode - Single-player, Multiplayer

Announced on March 9, 2011, Toy Soldiers: Cold War is Signal Studios' follow-up sequel to the immensely popular game, Toy Soldiers. Toy Soldiers: Cold War takes a look into what might have happened had military aggression escalated in the 1980's between the USA and then USSR. Toy Soldiers: Cold War features a blend of first-person action and strategy, similar to the original Toy Soldiers, but with added features and gameplay.

Crimson Alliance - Free

Developer - Certain Affinity
Publisher - Microsoft Games Studios
Platform - Xbox Live Arcade
Release date - September 7 2011
Genre - Action role-playing game
Modes - Single-player, Multi-player
Genre - Action Adventure

Crimson Alliance is an upcoming co-op action role-playing game developed by Certain Affinity and published by Microsoft Games Studios. The game is scheduled for release on Xbox Live Arcade in September 2011 in conjunction as part of Microsoft's annual Summer of Arcade promotion.

Party with up to three friends and battle the sinister Cult of the Soul Siren in this fast-action RPG title from Certain Affinity and Microsoft Game Studios. Play one of three classes each with a host of special abilities from the Assassin’s time-bending attacks, to the Wizards elemental mastery, to the Mercenary’s sweeping whirlwind strikes. The World of Crimson features labyrinthine crypts, ruined cities, deadly traps and hidden treasures, populated by elite mini-bosses and the hordes they control. You’ll soon discover that the three main characters have their own motivations, revealed in a story-driven cooperative campaign of betrayal, foul magic and ancient secrets.