Much has been made over the last seven years about the high cost of publishing, promoting and patching on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Arcade platform. Last week, G.Rev president Hiroyuki Maruyama (Strania: The Stellar Machine, Under Defeat HD) shared his own thoughts on the platform.
— ???? ???? (@hiro_maruyama) January 18, 2013
“A strong yen and a weak dollar is very damaging to us because XBLA and DLC are ‘export products.’ That’s why Japanese developers avoid making games for Xbox 360. When we released Strania on XBLA, the rate was 80 yen per dollar. (wry smile) If Japanese people buy our game in MSP, we receive in dollars!”
The dollar has strengthened since then, but the yen still has it beat, with the exchange rate currently sitting at 88.62 yen per dollar. Put in Xbox LIVE terms, 1600MSP ($19.99 US) retails at a rate of ¥2,240 ($24.94 when converted). When the percentage of the sales owed to content creators on a 1600 msp game is disbursed, Microsoft calculates based on $19.99 per copy (the US cost of the points), regardless of how much a consumer paid for the 1600MSP that enabled the purchase.
Strania is a vertical shmup where you control a mech trying to reach Vower, a distant star in the universe. The story is as generic as they come, but who cares? It’s a shmup. You shoot things and avoid crazy bullet patterns. The story is so irrelevant to this game that it is hidden in the 5th and 6th pages of text of the “How to Play” section in the Options menu. The true beauty in any shmup is the unique features that set it apart from the many shmups available on the Marketplace. Strania is neither a superior or a below average shooter. There is some potential shown with it’s unique features but there are also a few issues making it a tough recommendation for most gamers.
Seisou Kouki Strania, the upcoming shooter for Xbox Live Arcade actually has an English title, Strania — The Stella Machina —. Several details were also recently revealed for the game, along with a gallery of screenshots, some artwork, and a link to the English trailer.
Strania will feature cooperative play for up to two players. Multiplayer can be played locally over Xbox Live, and the game features drop-in, drop-out coop, meaning your buddy can jump right in and out when on a couch or over Live. The player pilots a mech that can be equipped with a variety of weapons, including both long-range weapons such as lasers and rockets, as well as melee weapons such as swords to take on enemies up close and personal. The story is set in a futuristic world involving an alien invasion:
The paths of two advanced civilizations cross as Strania attempts to defend its planet from the approaching Vower army. Armed in powerful mecha able to carry a variety of weapons, the Stranian special task force, the Stella Machina, set out on a preemptive strike against the artificial beings. In order to give their home planet a chance to overcome the oppressors, the Stella Machina must destroy Vower’s massive particle weapon “Gunrock” and create an opening for the fleet to attack the Vower base settling on the frontline.
Developer G.rev have also announced the first DLC for the game, SIDE VOWER. In SIDE VOWER players take control of a the antagonists of the main game, sent to recapture a planet held sacred by them. The DLC will feature new stages, new music and the story as told from the Vower faction’s perspective.
Strania — The Stella Machina — will be available March 30 for 800MSP. In the meantime check out the screens, art, and English trailer after the break. The original Japanese trailer can be found here.
We’ve spent the past week searching the internet and hounding our industry contacts in an effort to compile the ultimate 2011 XBLA Game Release List. We anticipated on heck of a year for Xbox Live Arcade. So epic we couldn’t even fit everything on one page. So without further ado, check out the list:
Check out the rest here:
XBLA Fans Anticipated 2011 Releases: A-C
XBLA Fans Anticipated 2011 Releases: D-F
XBLA Fans Anticipated 2011 Releases: G-M
XBLA Fans Anticipated 2011 Releases: N-R
XBLA Fans Anticipated 2011 Releases: S
XBLA Fans Anticipated 2011 Releases: T-Z