About two years ago, Signal Studios released the original Toy Soldiers on Xbox Love Arcade and it has since been one of the top selling XBLA games to date. With that success, a sequel was inevitable. Now, two years later, Toy Soldiers: Cold War sets out to improve on a formula that was pretty damn good to begin with.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War is an action tower defense game where you play as an American army of toy soldiers who are trying to keep the Soviet forces from invading their toy box. Aside from basic tower defense elements, Toy Soldiers: Cold War also contains many user-controlled vehicles, special abilities and the option to manually use each tower/emplacement. These additions make Toy Soldiers: Cold War a hectic, action-packed game that allows gamers to play it however they please. For players of the original Toy Soldiers, this is no surprise. But if you’re a classic tower defense gamer, you better prepare for an incredible change of pace that adds up to countless hours of fun.
Fruit Ninja Kinect was developed by Halfbrick and was published by Xbox Live Arcade. It was released August 10, 2011 for 800 MSP. A code was provided by the developer for review.
If you have an Xbox 360, you may have a Kinect. If you have one you know the games library is still a bit small. Up until now all Kinect games were retail. Fruit Ninja Kinect is the port of the popular smart phone game Fruit Ninja, and it has the distinction of being the first Arcade Kinect game. Now you can truly be a ninja and take out your anger on a healthy army of fruit.
The game’s premise is simple: fruit flies up onto the screen and you move your hand in a slicing motion to cut it in half. Cutting three or more fruit in one swipe yields a combo multiplier. Some modes feature fruit that have special properties such as slowing time, others feature bombs which the player must avoid. It also supports simultaneous two player competition.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet was developed by FuelCell & Gagné International and published by Microsoft. It will be released on August 3, 2011 as part of Summer of Arcade for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
There’s always that one game during the Summer of Arcade that, at least initially, feels out of place among the others. It’s usually the game with quirky mechanics, a very unique art style, or any other combination of things that set it apart from your average, mainstream game. Last year, Limbo seemed to be the game that built up that attention and this year it looks like Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will be following that same trend. We can’t say we’re surprised, it received E3 2011 Best of Show award.
You play as a little alien confined to a mini UFO that must save the planet. You must maneuver into the depths of the core to save it from evil. The game features animation by Michel Gagné, a transplant from the movie industry who’s worked on Iron Giant and other animated films. It’s a gorgeous world filled with fear, not to mention it plays like a cross between Metroid and a shoot em’ up. Was it worth the wait or was it undeserving of our accolade?
From Dust was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and will be released for XBLA on July 26, 2011 for 1200 Microsoft Points. The game is part of Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade promotion. A copy was provided for review purposes.
From Dust is the geo-centric strategy/god game brainchild of storied game designer Éric Chahi. It marks Chahi’s long-awaited return to the industry and—perhaps more importantly—helps fill the gaping void in quality strategy games for downloadable platforms.
Bastion was developed by Supergiant Games and published by WB Games. It will be released on July 20, 2011 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Bastion is kicking off the Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade on July 20, 2011. This game, the first developed by Supergiant Games, puts you in control of the kid as you make your way through the demolished landscape of the once flourishing city of Caelondia. The Calamity ripped the world apart, and the Bastion is all that’s left. The narrator tells the story of the kid as he works to gather the cores, place them into the monument, and bring more power back to the Bastion. So, is the Bastion worth re-building? Is the tale of the kid worth seeing? Is this the story worth be told?
Boulder Dash XL was developed Catnip Games and published by Kalypso Media. It was released July 13, 2011 and retails for 800 MSP. A copy of the game was supplied for review purposes.
If the media has taught us anything recently it’s that mining is a difficult and dangerous job. Fortunately Boulder Dash XL gives us a happy look into the future were mining is done by cute little robots. Robots Rockford and Crystal fearlessly dash into any mining situation to collect as many diamonds as possible and escape before time runs out.
The whole goal of the game is to collect the loot and get out. The game progresses on stage by stage basis with over 140 levels to choose from. The action is fast and difficult at times, but it is great old school fun as well. And to add to that old school fun is a retro mode, complete with classic graphics.
Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team is an action-shooter that takes place in the Warhammer universe. Your objective is to board and halt an Ork Kroozer from reaching Imperial Forge World. Along the way, you’ll be fighting various enemies along with destroying many vital sections of the Kroozer. At only five levels, the game may seem short at first. But the replay value shines bright in the character select screen. That along with great pacing and an excellent upgrade system make Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team stand out in a way that not many Xbox Live Arcade action games have done before.
As a side bonus for fans of the franchise, purchasing this game unlocks an exclusive Power Sword weapon to use in the upcoming game: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.
Dead Block was developed by Candygun Games. It was released on July 6, 2011 and retails for 800MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Dead Block is one of the rare games that truly defies a proper description. It has a lot of familiar gameplay elements put together in a truly unique way. Zombies and Rock n’ Roll are the two main themes of this game. It is set in the 1950’s and the new genre of Rock n’ Roll has somehow raised the dead back to life. Huh, guess all those preachers were right. Rock n’ Roll really is of the Devil.
You take control of three survivors who each have a different set of skills. The idea is to rummage through whatever building you are in and find enough resources to hold off the zombies until you can find the key or piece of equipment you need. This is where the game gets weird. To finish a level you need to find a guitar and amp and play rock music to defeat all of the zombies.
MLB Bobblehead Pros was developed by Power Pros Production and published by Konami. It was released on July 6, 2011 for 800 MSP.
Not many MLB games are on Xbox Live Arcade, with only one being currently available, MLB Stickball. MLB Bobblehead Pros tries to add drollery to baseball, but unfortunately falls short of being even a little humorous. With lackluster gameplay, creepy player models and features being locked up as future DLC, MLB Bobblehead Pros is a poor attempt at making an arcade baseball game.
Deadliest Warrior: Legends was developed by Pipeworks and published by 345 Games / Spike Games. It was released on July 6, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Deadliest Warrior: Legends takes all the data from the famous Spike TV show and puts it into motion at your fingertips. In this new brutal installment, we get a handful of new characters, all with their own set of armor and weapons. Throw in a completely new game mode, some unlockables and a fighting style all its own and you’re ready for a bloody date with history.