Sonic4: Episode 1 was developed by Sonic Team and published by SEGA. It was released for XBLA on October 7th, 2010. Retails for 1200 Microsoft Points.
The long awaited sequel to the platforming goodness that was Sonic the Hedgehog has been released on XBLA! Sonic 4 Episode 1 is sure to bring back some fond memories for us older gamers that cherished our Sega Genesis (Mega drive for those of you outside of the States) as well as bring new memories for those that haven’t had the pleasure of playing the originals. Will Sonic come back out on top beating out the plumber, or will we be left wanting once again.
Super Meat Boy was developed by Team Meat and published by Newgrounds. It will be released for XBLA on October 20, 2010. As a gift to its fans, Super Meat Boy will launch on sale for just 800 Microsoft Points, before increasing to its regular retail price of 1200 MSP.
Very rarely does a game come along that is so fun and so hard that you alternate laughing with hurling profanities… that you insist you’ll give it “just one more try” and yet play until your hands are a crippled, arthritic mess… that you realize as you’re playing it that you are experiencing one of the finest games of our generation… that you fall in love with a squishy blob. Such a game is Super Meat Boy.
You control the titular character: a red, squarish boy made of meat, whose sunshiney disposition has earned him the hatred of arch villain Dr. Fetus, a cruel, tuxedo-clad fetus in a jar that abducts Super Meat Boy’s adorable girlfriend, Bandage Girl. SMB is a 2D platformer like Mega Man on steroids: part of the game is figuring out how to avoid the plethora of pitfalls, while the rest is making your hands actually do what your brain figures out.
Explosionade, while causing a stir within the XBLIG developers community, is another release from Mommy’s Best Games. See if I keep reviewing Mommy’s Best Games, or schmups, you are going to start things that I either A. work for Mommy’s Best Games (I don’t) and B. Play nothing but schmups. Though, I am playing this XBLIG title until my xbox screams for me to stop, I might as well tell you why it’s worth the 80 Microsoft Points ($1).
All your friends are storming the Horronym Fortress but Colonel Bouche left you to guard the supply depot. Disregarding orders to clean the toilets, you open the depot to find a gigantic, prototype mech! You jump into the mech, and you head down into the sewers for a little fun shooting things, only to find the Horrornym right at your back door.
Shoot 1Up is an XBLIG title by Mommy’s Best Games that I think many people might have missed, because it is an XBLIG title. Mommy’s Best Games are known for their retro style sticking more to 2D style games. Shoot 1Up is a shoot’em up that has that great retro feel with some added bonuses that make the genre feel fresh and new.
Alien Breed 2: Assault is the second of three downloadable games on XBLA by Team17 Software. You don’t have to know about the first game, Alien Breed Evolution to enjoy the newest installment. All you need is the will to survive and a deep-seated hatred for space bugs. You will also need to put down Halo: Reach for like 5 seconds…I’ll wait.
In a seemingly deserted ghost ship, enemies can burst from any wall or hole in the ground, forcing you to constantly be on guard. Running and gunning will serve no purpose except a quick demise. Alien Breed is a game of ammo conservation and cautious exploration. The entire ship is falling apart and infested with critters, so in addition to squashing bugs, you need to avoid fires, explosions, radiation, gun turrets, and other mechanical hazards.
The game draws from an earlier genre of top-down shooters, with the additional ability to switch viewing angles and smooth graphics. While the theme may be a bit retro, the challenge is as current as can be. It’s not breaking any new ground, but Alien Breed is giving you the bang for your buck.
Comic Jumper was developed by Twisted Pixel and published by Microsoft Game Studios for XBLA on October 6th, 2010. Retails for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). The publisher provided a copy of the game for reviewing purposes.
Captain Smiley and his sidekick Star aren’t the greatest heroes ever created, and they damn well know it. After having their ongoing comic series canceled, the duo become guest stars for hire in other comics in order to make enough money and gain enough popularity to reclaim the spotlight that was lost to them. Comic Jumper has a lot to live up to with Twisted Pixels past two games being rather successful. They deliver an adventure that is a comedic and aesthetic hit, but has fundamental issues with pacing and level design, ultimately falling short of greatness.
Bringing their own brand of justice to each crossover, Smiley and Star will earn money by means of fan-set challenges and “righting” wrongs. Twisted Pixel themselves also play a large role in the game, even outside of creating the adventure. By destroying the fourth wall the development house provides the funding and technology to make comic jumping possible. In each new world Captain Smiley is confronted by a quirky rogue’s gallery consisting of a Duke Nukem stand-in, a feminist bondage-loving villainess, and a maniacal mini golfer. With the money earned, upgrades can be purchased at the home base to increase slide time, health, and damage.
Hydrophobia was developed by Dark Energy Digital and published by Microsoft Game Studios for XBLA on September 29, 2010. Retails for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). The publisher provided a copy of the game for reviewing purposes.
After more than three years in development, Hydrophobia is finally available on Xbox Live Arcade to start off this fall’s Game Feast promotion. The result is a fine action adventure game made special because of its impressive water physics, but one that is also far from perfect.
Developed by Dark Energy Digital, Hydrophobia takes place in the near future upon a massive sea-faring city called The Queen of the World, which is taken over by a group of terrorists called the Malthusians. It often resembles BioShock in both theme and setting, but stands out mostly due to the dynamic water physics.
Sonic Adventure was developed by Sonic Team and published by SEGA. It was released on September 15, 2010 and retails for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for reviewing purposes.
As someone playing Sonic Adventure for the first time on Xbox Live Arcade, I can see why the game was a big deal for its time. It’s a very colorful game that moves smooth and fast, and it has respectable graphics for a game more than 10 years old. However, playing it for the first time also means the game holds no nostalgic memories for me, unlike the Sonic the Hedgehog games for the Sega Genesis. Even if it holds nostalgic value to you, I can’t see anyone playing this game today and having any fun.