Here we are once again at the start of what’s sure to be another fantastic year of XBLA releases. Each day this week XBLAFans will be rolling out a list of eight of our most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases of 2013. While we can’t possibly cover every single XBLA game planned for this year, we’ll be giving you a varied list of 40 of the most promising titles we expect to release on XBLA in 2013. Once it’s all done, be sure to check back in next Monday when each staff member makes his/her picks for the game he/she is most looking forward to.
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Developer: Double Fine
An upcoming platform-adventure game, The Cave is the brainchild of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion creator Ron Gilbert. Channeling Gilbert’s earlier work, The Cave employs classic adventure-style gameplay within an action-platform framework. While we expect The Cave to release this month, an official release date has not yet been announced.
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Developer: Ska Studios
A punk-rock, zombie-themed, dungeon-crawling RPG beat-‘em-up? Sure, that sounds as good a description as any for Ska Studios’ Charlie Murder. Oh, and if that art style looks familiar, that’s because it’s from the same team that brought you The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai and The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile. According to Ska Studios, it’s coming “When it’s done!”
In the wake of Sega’s popular Panzer Dragoon franchise, creator Yukio Futatsugi returns with a canonically unrelated but uncannily familiar concept that’s headed to XBLA. Crimson Dragon is an on-rails shooter played exclusively via Kinect. An official release date has not yet been pinned down, but it is expected to launch in 2013.
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Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
It may not be the current-gen outing that fans have clamored for, but supporting this HD compilation of the second and third Darkstalkers games is still in their best interests. The first appearance of the cult 2D fighting franchise on XBLA, Darkstalkers Resurrection will utilize Capcom’s tried-and-true GGPO netcode, regional matchmaking, YouTube replay uploads and more. The Japanese release has been pegged for March 2013, but stay tuned to XBLAFans for confirmation of the release date in other territories.
A top-down competitive multiplayer game, Dollar Dash tasks players with becoming the best thief in town by getting their hands on some serious cash and keeping it out of their opponents’ hands. It offers three game types (Dollar Dash, Save the Safe and Hit ’n’ Run), 30 maps, 20 different weapons and four-player, drop-in, drop-out online multiplayer. Again, there’s no official release date for Dollar Dash at the time of writing, but chances good that it’ll arrive on XBLA at some point in 2013.
Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons
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Developer: Barunson Interactive
Double Dragon: Wander of the Dragons is a 3D, HD beat-‘em-up loosely based on the 1988 arcade classic Double Dragon II: The Revenge. It’ll feature similar level design and some familiar faces, but that’s largely where the similarities end, with Wander of the Dragons bringing some new features and its own flavor to proceedings. Originally slated for a September 2012 release, it’s now expected to drop some time this year.
Developer: Microsoft Studios
Galactic Reign is a science-fiction space warfare strategy game where players build armadas of space ships that are used to engage in battle against AI or player-controlled opponents. Unfortunately, little else is known about the game. We don’t even have a rough release date for this one.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
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Developer: Black Forest Games
Beginning life as a blatant Super Mario clone, the Giana Sisters franchise has now developed its own identity and its own cult following on its own merits. Twisted Dreams is set to take this even further, introducing the ability for the player to switch between “Cute” and “Punk” personas to tackle puzzles. The PC version of Twisted Dreams released in October 2012, and the XBLA version is expected to arrive in the coming months.
Still want more XBLA titles to look forward to in 2013? Check out Part III of our most anticipated games of the year!