With E3 just around the corner and rumors of a new Xbox peeking out from under the bed, questions are popping up on whether or not the inevitable new generation of Xbox consoles will include backwards compatibility with the 360’s hundreds of Xbox Live Arcade titles. Will it happen, and does it have to happen for players to take the new system seriously?
Blocks That Matter was developed by Swing Swing Submarine and released on May 12, 2011 and costs 240 Microsoft Points. A copy was provided by the developer for review purposes.
Sometimes our only salvation during times of need are the products of our own intuition — creative outputs that have lagged behind because of the brevity of our attention spans — in Blocks That Matter, this is a lowly driller-robot that is tasked with a mission to finally repay its Swedish creators that have been kidnapped by a shadowy duo with sinister intentions.
You are Tetrabot, a robot that resembles a washing machine with arms, legs, a drill and a spin cycle that crushes blocks that do in fact matter, because they are not only obstacles in Tetrabot’s adventure, but also the solutions to the game’s complex puzzles. You “collect” blocks by drilling into them, and then pause the action to place them into the playing field, providing pillars to jump off and reach higher terrain. The catch is that you can only place four blocks at a time and they must connect to each other. This one-of-a-kind gameplay element will make Braid veterans scratch their heads in delightful confusion, but also make them appreciate one of XBLIG’s most remarkable titles.
Rez HD was developed by Q Entertainment and retails for 800 MSP. It was released January 30, 2008.
Originally conceived as a Sega Dreamcast game and later ported to the PlayStation 2, Rez HD is a completely revamped version of its earlier counterparts that keeps the on-rails shooter gameplay intact while adding the graphical upgrade that most XBLA ports receive. Three years after it’s original XBLA release, it is still one of the best titles on the Marketplace.
Fortresscraft was developed by ProjectorGames and released on April 8, 2011 and costs 240 Microsoft Points. A copy was provided by the developer for review purposes.
Minecraft is a game very familiar to PC gamers: a blocky, pixelated adventure that has spawned generous and creative user-created content that is as much as an homage to the title as it is to the gaming industry. Console gamers have yet to experience the labor of love that is Minecraft — that is, until now.
Shifters was developed by Third Eye and released on April 3, 2011 and costs 240 Microsoft Points. A copy was provided by the developer for review purposes.
Ever notice the cool kids who plant their “suped up” foreign cars in the parking lot of your local 7-11? You know the ones — they add mild alterations to wheels their parents bought in hopes to one day be the modern Salvador Dali of cars, except that they come from modest working-class families with little disposable income? Yes, those kids. Anyway, their hopes of creating the perfect automobile with flashy lights and aerodynamic spoilers on a budget has finally come true in Shift.
Torchlight wasn’t the first title to successfully mimic Diablo’s loot-centric gameplay on consoles, there were countless titles before it that satisfied that gear-gathering itch, most notably coming from a distinctly Japanese franchise not expected to go in that direction: Phantasy Star Online.
Sega’s last video game console, the Dreamcast, had a software library that catered to the hardcore gamer, and games like Phantasy Star Online were beyond its time featuring persistent, MMO-like worlds that constantly dropped the infamous “red boxes” that gamers grew to adore.
Zombie Football Carnage was developed by Milkstone Studios S.L. and released on February 18, 2011 and costs 80 Microsoft Points. A copy was provided by the developer for review purposes.
The only thing that Zombie Football Carnage has in common with football is a projectile pigskin and cumbersome football gear, so we were surprised to see football in the title. But does the game live up to the sport that grabs the attention of many Americans, or does it fumble trying to reach the goal line?