Here at XBLAFans it’s Rewind Review month for all of June. Every day this month, we will feature a new Rewind Review from one of our many staff writers. You can check back right here at this post each day for a link to our latest Rewind Review along with our current back catalog of Rewind Reviews from the past. If you’ve been holding back on some of the older XBLA titles because you weren’t quite sure if they were worth your hard earned money, make sure to check this post periodically and we might have a review for the game in question.
Snoopy Flying Ace is an aerial combat game that focuses mainly on the online multiplayer aspects. A short single player campaign is included but this game truly shines in its many multiplayer modes. You take flight as either your Xbox Live avatar or one of the Peanuts characters with one basic goal; shoot down anyone around you. With 16-player online games, the pace of each game is hectic from start to finish. Turrets, power-ups, and environmental hazards add even more chaos to each game making Snoopy Flying Ace one of the most action packed games available today on XBLA.
Shadow Complex was developed by Chair Entertainment and Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It retails for 1200 MSP and was released August 19, 2009.
Modern games seem to always wear a little bit of inspiration from the classic days. Sonic had inspiration from Mario in the platforming realm while Gears of War got some from Resident Evil 4 in the shooter realm. Chair Entertainment’s Shadow Complex borrows a lot from classic Metroid and Castlevania games and seems to outdo both in its own little way.
You play as Jason Fleming when your girlfriend gets kidnapped during a hike in the mountains. The culprits are a mysterious terrorist organization and it’s up to you to use their own technology as a means of destroying the enemy. For being inspired by a classic style of gameplay, Shadow Complex does more in that style than most developers. But does that mean it’s always for the best?
Aegis Wing was developed by Carbonated Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released on May 16, 2007 free of charge.
Aegis Wing pits players against a huge alien invasion in an adventure on space and Earth. The game is simple, containing few levels and focusing on score and cooperative play. This twin stick shooter is as bad as it gets: it’s not glitchy, it’s just a dull version of a genre overdone on XBLA. While it can have its moments in multiplayer, Aegis Wing is a word-for-word definition of the genre.
Geometry Wars was developed by Bizarre Creations and was released on October 3, 2005 for 800 Microsoft Points. The price has since been permanently reduced to 400MS points.
Developer Bizarre Creations, which closed its doors in 2010, was always known for its Project Gotham Racing series until it ventured into downloadable territory during the Xbox 360’s inception with Geometry Wars. Although it’s a simple twin-stick shooter, it’s flashy visuals and addictive score-based gameplay were enough for some gamers to purchase its inevitable sequel and even its cousin on the Nintendo Wii. Now, more than five years since its release on XBLA, it deserves a chance to get recognized by those who may have overlooked it.
To the uninitiated, you control a blocky spaceship with the left analog stick and shoot projectiles (which are upgradable through the game) with the right analog stick. You are confined to a large grid set on the backdrop of space, with enemies that drastically get stronger as the game progresses as well as advance in numbers. Some enemies are easy to take down, while others dodge your fire like a rat avoiding pest control. If you become overwhelmed you can hit the right trigger to activate a bomb that wipes out everything on screen — that is until they return in full force. If you’re looking for a challenge, try earning the excruciatingly difficult achievement unlocked by earning 1 million points in the game.
Boom Boom Rocket was developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on Xbox Live Arcade on April 11, 2007 and retails for 800MSP.
Boom Boom Rocket is a fast paced beat music game. Press the correct direction or colored coordinated button to set off amazing fireworks set to over an beautiful city backdrop. With several modes, multiplayer, and lots of songs the game is set to draw you in time and time again.
Afterburner Climax was developed and published by Sega. It was released April 21, 2010 and retails for 800MSP.
Afterburner Climax pits one sole fighter pilot against an entire air force of opposition. It’s classic, arcade style gameplay; players must down hundreds of planes in a matter of minutes. Far from being a simulation Climax takes the idea of dog fighting and pushes it far beyond the logical extreme. The end product is a super fast and beautiful experience that is over all too soon.
Blacklight: Tango Down was developed by Zombie Studios and published by Ignition Entertainment and released on July 7, 2010 for 1200 MSP.
XBLA and the multiplayer FPS genre have a delicate relationship. Content, replayability, a large player base and something fun and interesting to weld it all together keeps a multiplayer FPS at the top of everyone’s mind and the front of everyone’s games played list. Retail FPS titles usually provide these flavors, as such XBLA titles have to ace them out in one of those categories to make the purchase worthwhile.
Blacklight: Tango Down provides a decent slew of game modes both solo and team oriented, 12 multiplayer maps, a robust customization system, and a an interesting mechanic that highlights enemies and points of interest at the expense of combat functionality. Last but not least Blacklight features a cooperative mode called Black Ops. A now-traditional FPS progression system is also in place to dole out unlocks at a steady pace.