Sonic Adventure 2 and the Battle Mode downloadable content were developed and published by Sega. They were released on October 5, 2012 for 800 MSP and 240 MSP, respectively. Copies were provided for review purposes.
Sonic Adventure was a bit of a mixed bag. The original release was lauded by fans of the franchise, but the overworld aspects were confusing, as was its what-the-heck-is-going-on plot. When it was re-released in 2010 via Xbox Live Arcade it was met with much of the same. While the 3D platforming was almost enjoyable everything else weighed down the game. Sonic Adventure 2 was released a few years later and seemed to, at least initially, address player concerns. Gone was the overworld and much of the complicated plot. But while it was an improvement it still had minor flaws.
Now Sonic Adventure 2 joins its older brother on the Xbox 360. It brings the same sense of speed as it did 11 years ago. There are several over-the-top moments that bring a measure of enjoyment to the game. Unfortunately it still suffers from the same issues it did in 2001. This is a straight-up port aside from the fact that the GameCube-exclusive Battle Mode is available for purchase separately.
Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad was developed by 2XL Games and published by D3 Publisher. It was released on June 27, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Off-road racing is a relative newcomer to Xbox Live Arcade. Only two other titles have braved otherwise untouched territory, Sega Rally Online Arcade and the Mad Riders, left us feeling that as good as they were they could have been more. 2XL Games’ Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad is the third competitor in this relatively small market. It pits would-be racers against McGrath and six other racers in varied environments and vehicles. Unfortunately it doesn’t stack up to expectations, and while there’s a solid racer underneath, whether it’s a solid game is another story.
Joy Ride Turbo was developed by BigPark and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released on May 23, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Mario Kart. Since its introduction in 1992 many other games have tried to dethrone it. None have truly succeeded. Nintendo has held their karting trophy high for 20 years now while characters like Sonic, Crash, and Lightning McQueen stand lower on the podium. Joy Ride Turbo seeks to put a boot in the overall-wearing plumber’s … err … pants by throwing aside the licensed franchise and offering great gameplay at a lower price. Joy Ride tosses aside the Kinect controller of its predecessor in hopes that a gamepad will help the game become the best value in karting games out there.
You know what? It succeeds.
Which game let you equip fairy wings, a viking helmet, tighty whities, and a flamethrower? No it’s not Gotham City Impostors (next DLC pack perhaps?) but upcoming 4-player co-op, run-n’-gun action shooter Shoot Many Robots. Demiurge Studios have released a new gameplay trailer today, highlighting the game’s light RPG aspects and fun customisations. They’ve also revealed that there will be hundreds (and hundreds) of guns and gear for you to find, and that you can tailor the gear you wear to your play style. For example, if you want to play as a tank class, just equip gear with health boosts and grab a huge gun or if you prefer a stealthier approach then get a sniper rifle, a jetpack and pick off robots from the distance. Or you can just play as a crazy person wearing fishnet tights and a powdered wig…the choice is yours.
Shoot Many Robots blasts it’s way onto XBLA on March 14 for 800 MSP. Check out some new screen shots after the jump.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe was developed by Behaviour Interactive and published by THQ. It was released on November 30, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
It’s a trend in not only Hollywood, but also in the game industry across the world. Companies are looking back to their roots, resurrecting franchises, and bringing them to new and old audiences alike. It comes as no surprise, then that the 1980’s anime Voltron would get similar treatment. It was beloved by so many children of that decade, and it’s been the subject of a comeback in the last few years. The original series is available for streaming on Netflix, a 2011 resurrection of the series, entitled Voltron Force currently airs on television, and Voltron has finally graced current-gen consoles in the form of Defender of the Universe.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe is primarily a twin-stick shooter. Players are given control of one of the five Voltron lions, each with a unique special attack and stats. Primary cannons are controlled with the right thumbstick, while the right trigger is used to pounce. Melee attacks can be performed with the right bumper, and the left trigger powers a given lion’s special attack. The Voltron stages are presented as a turn-based/quick time event hybrid.
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.
Bomberman Live: Battlefest was developed by Pi Studios and published by Hudson Soft. It was released on December 8, 2010 for 800 MSP.
The Bomberman franchise has been around for decades and at its core it hasn’t changed in the slightest. Tried and true is the name of the game here with solid mechanics and simple controls which build an explosive experience perfect for gaming with friends both casually and competitively. As Xbox Live Arcade and retail games get more and more intricate, Bomberman will remain stalwart as the sort of game that’s easy to pick up and play and allows the more casual to mix with the more competitive in relative ease.
In Bomberman Live: Battlefest players control a Bomberman in an arena filled with hard and soft blocks. The object of the classic battle mode is to drop bombs to blow up the enemy Bombermen. Soft blocks can be destroyed by bombs and give basic power ups that increase the length of the fire, the amount of placeable bombs, and player speed. There are also more complex powerups like the ability to punch a bomb three spaces, a special bomb with fire that passes through all the soft blocks in its range (instead of only hitting the first one), or a bomb placed in a rocket that blows up on impact. The premise is simple but there are many gametypes including capture the flag, bomb paint modes where players blow up bombs to claim squares, and the new bankroll mode where players buy powerups with gold before the match starts counter strike style. Team variants exist for most of the modes as well.
Sega Rally Online Arcade was co-developed by Sega and Sumo Digital and published by Sega. It was released May 18, 2011 for 800MSP. A copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
The Sega Rally series has its roots in the arcades. Sega Rally Championship wowed arcade goers in 1995, and since that the time sequels have been released on home consoles and in arcades. Sega Rally Online Arcade (SROA) is the newest installment in the series, and while it doesn’t have the content of something like Sega Rally Revo it still packs a major punch for its 800MSP.