UPDATED SEPT 12th 2012FOR ALL YOUR XBOX LIVE ARCADE AND XBOX INDIE GAMES NEWS & REVIEWS VISIT MY BLOG:http://retrospiritgames.blogspot.co.uk/
As usual Here's a quick rundown of the not-so good to pretty good stuff that has come out very recently.Dogfight 1942
[1200 points] - Pretty good arcade style plane fighting game. It is very arcady in nature so it's not for flight sim people, but it was quite fun flying around blasting enemy planes. the usual terrible voice acting applies here. I may get this if I se it ina sale for 800 points.Kung-Fu Strike
- Fairly bland button mashing beat-em-up that gets tiresome before the demo is even over. I didn't like this very much past the initial 2 minutes when it was fun beating people up.Rock Band Blitz
- Now surprisingly I quite enjoyed this, but as I hate rock music in general I wouldn't buy it, but if you like the tracks available to this game then it's definitely worth getting.Counterstrike GO
If you can actually play intense FPS without a mouse, and like hardcore tactical shooters, then this will be heaven for you. It is a good game, but I can't use the controller for the life of me, so will stick to my PC to play FPS gamesJoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- For the love of god avoid this like a dose of herpes, it is atrocious, and at 1600 points is yet another example of Capcom's shameless greed in recent years.The Expendables 2
- about as good as you would expect from a licensed game from an awful 'blockbuster' movie.Tony Hawk's PS HD
HD update of the PSOne classic. I loved this back in the day but playing now does absolutely nothing for me I am afraid and is best left as a memory. probably good if you still enjoy skater games.Dungeon Fighter LIVE: Fall Of Hendon Myre
- Bloody awful and soulless clone of Guardian heroes. This is a port of the bowser based PC version, and it certainly looks like a flash / browser game. In static pictures it looks great but once it starts moving the animation lets it down and it isn't any fun to actually play.Jeremy McGrath's Offroad
- yet another racing game, this one is alright actually, looks good, plays alright, but is a bit bland.Bang Bang Racing
- another duff racing game that looked promising but is dull and looks weird.Joy Riders Turbo
- Mario Kart clone with... urrrghh.. Avatars in the driving seat. actually plays ok but it's very average all round.Now for the good stuff!:Double Dragon Neon
At first I wasn't sold on this game but it grew on me. I played the demo a few times before taking the plunge and I enjoyed playing through the game solo, but it really comes into it's own in two player 'bro-op'. It's great fun and really feels like working as a team due to the excellent fighting and the ability to High Five, either sharing Life bar or giving you both a power boost, also the ability to revive a fallen buddy is a neat touch.
The graphics are cool, the soundtrack is an excellent homage to the 80's, and the game has it's tongue firmly in cheek. It's not particularly funny but it will raise the odd smirk here and there.
This is pure retro gaming at it's best. Simple, fun to pick up and play, and great in two player. There is also apparently a patch forthcoming that will enable online Bro-Op with your online friends, which will be awesome for when you don't have a second player to hand (or willing to join in).
Highly recommended for anyone who fancies a trip down beat-em-up lane!Mark of the Ninja
F*CK YEAH! Now this is much much more like it. An outstanding mix of stealth, action and exploration in the guise of a gorgeous 2d platformer. Great graphics and sound, solid controls, multiple abilities, multiple routes through a level, a fantastic score system that will keep you coming back to levels to better your score, and a unique 'four paths' hook make this game a real winner.
Think of it as a 2D Tenchu game in the visual style of Shank 1 & 2 and you are on the right track. Stealth plays a huge part in the game, with you able to go through levels without killing anyone (very difficult though) and this is where the replayability comes in as each stage is rated and you will constantly come back to them to try and better your score, or just try the level in different ways. There are minor alternative routes but it is still fairly linear, though even finding a seperate corridor or tunnel that leads to a ladder that takes you onto a rooftop is a joy. The enemies are numerous and can be avoided using cover and shadows, or killed in a stealthy fashion (points are graded on kill style and additional things such as using equipment and hiding the bodies successfully.
You can also follow different paths, such as a silent assassin which is self-explanatory, or the horror path where you can freak out guards by stringing up bodies around. You can freeze action mid air and fire darts to destroy lights and fuse boxes, you can dump guards bodies into skips, into vents or off ledges etc. You can use spike mines, smoke bombs, and caltrops to aid you, and you can buy loads of abilities and upgrades for your moves list and equipment. there is a lot here for your money.
It's a great score attack game and, with no time limit pressuring you, you are free to take your time.
After the super short Deadlight this shows that great games with high production values can exist on XBLA AND offer large amounts of content and large doses of replayability. This is really really good so I urge you to get this at the next available opportunity!Dust: An Elysian Tale
A metroidvania style platformer set in a gloriously hand-painted world. Admittedly I was put off by the anime style as that isn't really my thing, but the gameplay shone through and I soon found myself addicted. The game has the usual metroidvania traits of showing you locations you can't reach until you have new abilities such as scaling walls, sliding etc, and the beat-em-up style gameplay plays a lot like a 2D version of guardian Heroes, heck even the spinnning sword move and little sidekick spewing magic is just like Randy from Treasure's amazing Saturn game.
The combat is frantic and fun, with dispatched foes dropping loot which can be useful, or sold on at the shops you find. You will become addicted to grinding through monsters with your increasingly powerful attacks and magic, and finding the secret areas (magic keys that open hidden treasure chests).
There are many many hours of gameplay on offer here and there are trials to complete and score attack based things to do to keep you coming back.
The story is actually quite absorbing once you get into it and even the characters and voice acting grew on me. It's very much like a 2012 Wonder Boy in Monster World game, mixed with Castlevania Symphony of the Night.
Im 75% through the game and I have to stop every now and then otherwise I would just keep playing for hours and hours on end as it's very addictive. An excellent game and another brilliant Metroidvania to sink your teeth into.
Basically a modern 2.5D (as they like to call it) platform game, very very similar to Limbo, Shadow Complex, and the Prince of Persia Remake.
It's got great graphics with very detailed and lovely backdrops, with the obligatory zombies causing mayhem everywhere, although they are called Shadows in this (LAME!).
The music is good too but the voice acting is poor to downright awful.. the graphic novel style, barely animated, cutscenes don't really work that well either, they are ok but they are not that well drawn or animated. Coupled with the crappy acting the presentation lets it down a bit (they bring to mind the godawful cutscenes from Renegade Ops on XBLA).
But it's a playable game, and you will want to see it through to the end.. There are a few irritating parts and sometimes you can die and feel cheated, but overall it's solid.
My overall playtime was 1 hour 57 in total but that doesn't count all the time dying and restarting from checkpoints. Also I went through the game again to get all the collectibles in order to 100% the game so that added another couple of hours.
It's expensive yes, but if you don't mind splashing out the points for a weekend's entertainment then I recommend it, otherwise save your points for Mark of The Ninja
It's finally here and is as good as expected. The excellent platformer with randomised levels (meaning you never play the same level twice) is here with an excellent graphical polish and some nice new touches. Everything is tweaked and polished to a high standard and the gameplay itself remains as infuriatingly addictive as the freeware PC version released some years back.
Guide your character through the levels, trying to find the exit, all the while avoiding long drops, spikes, snakes, bats, traps and much more. You are armed with bombs and ropes to help you and there are many crazy items you can find (or buy from the psychotic shopkeeper) along the way. You can rescue a damsel in distress who is occasionally hidden in a level, or find a golden idol which is worth big points (but beware the trap it sets off). It's all very addicted stuff. You die constantly, and when you do it's right back to the start for you. You can meet a tunnel man after each world (comprising of 4 levels) is finished who can be bribed with gold and goods to let you access later levels.
Ok so 1200 points is pretty steep but this is well worth it, my only fear is that many won't take the plunge due to the high price, hell Fez was 800 points and that is another epic indie title! If you love your platformers and hard, old skool games this will be perfect for you.FEZ
It's a 2d platformer with a 3d twist, you rotate the level around which makes other areas reachable etc. I really cannot do it justice in words, all I can say is that it is beautiful and enchanting and needs to be played. The music and atmosphere is perfect and it really immerses you in it's cute pixelated world. It's a bit like Cave Story, only much better!
It's the first game since my c64 days where I have had a pen and paper to hand to decipher in-game codes / languages etc. There is also a part where you scan a barcode using an iphone / android phone and it gives you a code, I wont say any more as I don't want to ruin any surprises but this game is the first game in years to make you feel fully immersed in it's world, so far so that you have pages of scrawls and puzzles to figure out on paper while playing. You are never sure what will be coming next and feels like a step up from standard video games where you repeat the same thing over and over.
This is the best game I've played so far this year, just fun, innovative and back to it's retro roots. If you don't like this game you have no soul. Super Meat Boy
An absolutely brilliant 2d platformer. It is so difficult it is likely to drive you insane, but the gameplay is just so good, the controls so perfect, the feeling of satisfaction upon completing a level that it is worth every expletive you will hurl at the screen. The graphics ooze charm and the cutscenes and other nods to retro game staples all raise a smile. It's satisfying, fun, and most of all FUN to play. You will need all your NES era platform gaming skills on top form to get far with Super Meat Boy. Fantastic!Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition
Frogger has always been something I hold fondish memories of, and am aware of it's classic status, but it has never gripped me past a few minutes blast on MAME or something. But I downloaded the trial of this new update was very pleasantly surprised. The demo is only multiplayer though (local with people or CPU bots), so I roped in my girlfriend to play and she liked it so I thought bugger it and bought it and am very pleased I did.
It's basically Pacman Championship Edition for Frogger. It has a cool funky visual style, of which you can also choose many varieties such as the awesome 8-bit look, and includes multiple different modes. You have the usual Frogger we all know and love (well, like), and has the obligatory online scoreboards (essential here), as well as cool challenges and battle modes.
I have to give special mention to the music which is absolutely amazing.. Every song is a remake or tribute to the original score and is done really well, very 'technoy' in nature much like Pacman CE, but theres a funk track with old style organs that is amazing, and the last track with the guy singing about Frogger is genius. Worth the price of admission alone!Mad Riders
[800 points] - DLC tracks available at 240 points
Initially I thought this would be awful, the standard 'rad' quad bike racing game, but actually it's really good fun. It's by techland who made Nail'd so is basically like that, only somehow much better. It looks great and is super fast and is just good, exhilarating fun to play.
If you like a dose of high speed craziness with boosts and stunts, and not too much of the 'that was totally gnarly dude' bullsh1t then this is right up your street. I preferred this to the similar 'Pure' actually. It's basically Hydro Thunder Hurricane but with Quad bikes.SEGA VINTAGE COLLECTION 1
Alex Kidd Miracle World (MS) / Revenge of Shinobi (MD) / Super Hang-On (Arcade
Excellent pack of 3 games, all of which are fun and will give you a few hours pleasure, but the real gem is the amazing arcade version of Super Hang-On, which Looks great and plays really well.
All games have a wealth of options and have visual effects (scanlines and different aspects etc) that make the games look really great, even on a huge HD TV!TRIALS EVOLUTION
Oh Hell yes.. the most addictive physics-based motorcycle racing / action game is back and is better than ever. The same excellent game is here but with much more pleasing tracks, from beautiful forests, to d-day style beach bombings, to mountains and beaches, this one is far more varied than it's predecessor. Add to the mix the multiplayer and level editor and you really have an instant classic. This deserves to be purchased on sight, you won't regret it! The amaount of user made levels, some which are really creative and playable, mean you will never run out of levels. WIN!PINBALL ARCADE
This may be the best pinball game since Pinball Fantasies / Illusions on the Amiga. I have never really played pinball games since then but this one really frabbed me. Really fun, interesting tables, great physics, and a pure score chasing game. Highly recommended.TTHE WALKING DEAD - Episode One
(400 points) + Episode 2
If you enjoy the graphics novels (or the tv series) then you will probably have already bought this. Its a great story adventure based in the Walking Dead universe, with some small roles from known characters. It's pretty short, and it sometimes leans more towards Dragon's Lair than a proper point & click adventure, but it's gripping while it lasts and you can get different outcomes depending on your choices so you will probably play through it a couple of times. Worth the price of admission.Episode 2
goes darker with the storyline and is basically more of the same. If you like the first part then you obviously need episode 2, another great installment of this graphic novel adventure game.Hydro Thunder Hurricane
Played the demo a while back and found it ok but nothing spectacular, but having a thing for arcade racers of late I went back to it and got the full game, and boy am I glad I did! It is truely one of the most fun racers I've ever played. The water effects and sense of actually being on a water surface, bouncing over huge waves, and splashing down after huge jumps, is spot on and it's an exhilarating experience from the start. The beautiful and well designed levels with multiple secrets will keep you coming back for more, and theres also some awesome DLC for only 400 points.
Basically it's a gorgeous mashup of Wipeout and Wave Racer and if that sounds good to you I recommend you rush to buy this right away!SkyDrift
[1200 points] - currently 800 points!
An amazing arcade racer that is like a reboot of N-GEN Racing on the PSOne.. A combination of Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Wipeout, and Mario Kart
Make this a great arcade racing game with weapons. it's great, go buy it!Daytona USA
Holy mother of God... this is sooo much fun.. I loved daytona in the arcades, on the saturn and on the dreamcast. I got the dreamcast version again recently and its good fun (once you have tweaked the sensitivity).. so thought Id try the XBLA demo again.. and it's great. The full game is awesome, the challenges fun.. and once you play online multiplayer with 7 other people on the oval circuit you will be in heaven!
The most fun ive had online on the xbox!Outrun Online
An absolutely brilliant racer that has lovely sharp graphics, great pick-up-and-play gameplay, and that all important 'just one more go' factor. It's so incredibly playable, and although it's missing much of the 'coast to coast' retail release for xbox /ps2 /pc, it's online play, and HD graphics make up for it! Awesome.. my advice? get this right away and also get the coast to coast version for PC (or xbox or ps2) as well! Guardian Heroes
The Saturn classic is back with an HD makeover and is as mental and great fun to play as before, now with the added bonus of online multiplayer and co-op.
This is truely a fantastic game for those who love side scrolling brawlers, anime, rpg lite elements and more.Stacking
Ok so I only played the demo and enjoyed that, but I bought the full game for my girlfriend who became absolutely addicted and is still trying to 100% the game. A charming, humorous and engaging world where you take control of a tiny matryoshka doll (those russian dolls that stack into one another) and you can stack into larger characters to use their abilities. I enjoyed what I played of it and so as my lovely lady loved it so much I highly recommend you try it for yourself. Sonic CD
The fabulous Sonic CD from the Mega CD arrives on XBLA and for the price it's well worth a few hours of fun. Though the extra time travelling mechanics get in the way of the pure platforming experience I find.. but it's good non-the-less.Street Fighter 3 - Third Strike Online Edition
Another incredible installment of the Street Fighter Series.. and while SF4 is much better.. and I prefer the character roster in SF Alpha 3.. this is still great fun and online play makes it well worthwhile.Pac Man Championship DX
Still officially the BEST GAME EVER, as voted by me.. so so good.. Ive never even been a fan of pacman so was shocked to fine that this amazing update is one of the most enjoyable games on XBLA. The graphics cool, and the dance tracks are pumping. The ability to gobble a pill and then chomp down on a huge line of ghosts that have been following you is immensely satisfying.
*note* Be sure to get the brilliant NAMCO Museum collection
and it has loads of games available on XBLA.. Galaga Legions, Galaga, Pacman CE, Mr Driller, Ms Pacman, Dig Dug
and New Rally-X, (all games worth buying on XBLA) as well as tonnes of other classic games so I cannot Recommend it enough.Hard Corps : Uprising
Brand new take on the Contra franchise. This is a hard-as-nails run and gun title which is basically an HD version of contra / probotector with anime visuals by the guys who brought us Blaz Blue. It is very very hard so be warned.. Great fun though and I highly recommend it. 1200 pointsAfterburner Climax
Fantastic visuals, and high octane gameplay make this a must. Zoom forwards in the jet of your choise firing your guns, locking on missiles and barrel rolling out of harms way. This is another great Sega arcade game brought bang up to date. Shadow Complex
A Truely outstanding new Metroidvania title that anyone who has the slightest interest in that style should rush out and buy immediately. Great graphics and sound, cool upgrades and new abilities and lots of hidden items make for a completionists dream game. Go buy! Trials HD
Simply the most fun racing title ever made. Ragdoll physics and amusing injuries add to the experience but its the fantastic handling and playability that make this motorbike racer / obstacle course one you will be playing until the early hours. Torchlight
I am not a huge fan of RPGs, but this excellent game has me hooked. Basically a cartoony Diablo, you start in a town complete with villages who give you quests, then you delve into the dungeons and destroy monsters, loot them, and sell / kit out your character. Its very addictive and will appeal to RPG fans both casual and hardcore! Highly recommended!Prince of Persia Classic
The groundbreaking platformer brought up to date with stylish new visuals and a much more acrobatic prince. Combat is also improved with parrying and counter attacks to make it more interesting. Great.Outland
Dark and mesmerising 2D platformer which uses an 'Ikaruga' style gameplay mechanic whereby you can shift between two planes (colours) and this affects your abilities to pass through the coloured barriers / platforms etc. The graphics and sound are great and it has a very dark artistic vibe going on. There are plenty of secrets and new abilities to get.. so If you like the metroidvania style of platform game this will be right up your street.Rez HD
Highly original on rails shooter with cool techno music. Hard to explain this one really so give the demo a try and you will hopefully see the genius that is Rez HD. Castlevania Symphony of the Night
Had to mention this as it's ne of my all time favourites. I am currently playing it through again on its original hardware but I played the demo of this and its still the same fantastic game. Doom 2
Another of my all time favourite games and I think I have played every version ever made. It's still a great game though so if you love doom get this. It also comes with a new 9 level episode so worth it for that (its very hard on Ultra violence though so you will be challenged) Wolfenstein 3d
It's bloody wolfenstein 3d for god's sake.. Buy it, buy it NOW!
Great conversion, though the music plays too slow, what's that all about???