Now that the year 2012 has been set firmly in the books, the boys back at the lab have poured over the raw data to bring you the top arcade titles of the year. The figures, based on full versions sold, were tallied from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012, and made public thanks to Xbox Live’s Larry Hyrb.
No surprise to anyone was Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition topping the list this year. Having launched in May, the massive Minecraft community helped propel the title to well over 5 million downloads by year’s end. More impressively, the arcade adaptation outsold its robust PC cousin by nearly a million copies, securing Xbox Live Arcade as the fastest (legally) growing Minecraft community of 2012.
Trials Evolution rode into the second spot of the year’s most-purchased title on XBLA, and despite the staggering difference between first and second place, did very well for itself. Our Game of the Year, The Walking Dead wrapped up the third spot thanks to critical acclaim and its infectious word-of-mouth campaign. Pinball FX2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rounded out the top five, in that order.
Amazingly, the never-say-die mantra of Castle Crashers has proven itself again; moving the sixth most number of copies nearly half a decade after its initial release. Filling out the top 10, in order, are: Gotham City Impostors, I Am Alive, Fruit Ninja Kinect, and finally, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD.
You can check out these titles in list form, along with the rest of the top 20, after the jump.
Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews and features from the week into one handy post on the weekends.
A solid week for Xbox Live Arcade. We’ve got some big releases and DLC to pour over, a lot of great games on the horizon and a few impressive milestones for XBLA favorites. What did you pick up this week? Are you battling for Middle-earth? Hitting monster combos in Tony Hawk, or pitting historic figures against each other in fantasy duels to the death?
In case you’re not bogged down by the many fantastic games out this year, here are some new XBLA games coming up in the next seven days. While we anxiously wait for Guardians of Middle Earth, you can relive some classic Sega fighting games. If that’s too boring, you can always discover if Red Bull actually gives you wings. More downloadable content for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD and Magic: The Gathering is nice, too.
Welcome to our Challenges & Encounters guide, two of the key returning features in Magic 2013! This page is for the Challenges, Encounters can be found here. As they were in the past, these puzzles require you to solve intricate victory solutions from abysmal situations. Most of these puzzles require you to win during that one turn, making this a very small, difficult piece of Magic strategy. Since these are puzzles, however, we can solve them the exact same way every time! As such, each solution will be in step by step format, so you can’t possibly miss a beat.
Important: We strongly advise you either view every step before trying these, or you stop the timer after each move, as some steps are between individual card plays rather than entire turn phases.
Again, there are 10 Encounters to go along with the 10 challenges, so if you want solutions or help with those, head on over to the Encounters guide page.
The Encounters are back in Magic 2013 and that means single-minded AIs following patterns until you win or lose. These patterns will be the same every time, but keep in mind that they will still block and attack logically regardless of the pattern. Since this is a card game and you still have to draw cards normally in Encounters, it’s important to remember that sometimes you can’t win without the right cards. That’s perfectly fine, these may take a couple tries no matter how sound the strategy is. The first three are pretty simple Encounters so their solutions are pretty straightforward, but as you progress you’ll find these Encounters get more and more difficult (and more and more unfair), so we hope you’ll find this guide useful.
Also back are the puzzle challenges. These challenges dare you to solve intricate Magic puzzles with a very specific setup and solution set. You can find our solution set to those challenges here.
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 was developed by Stainless Games and Wizards of the Coast and published by Microsoft Studios. It retails for 800 MSP and was released on June 20, 2012. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Stainless Games and Wizards of the Coast have brought us our third iteration of the ridiculously named “Magic: the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 201X” series. That means new cards, more missions, new modes, a redesigned interface, and yet the game’s name is still far too long. As such, while discussing the aforementioned inclusions, we will be referring to Magic: the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 as Magic 2013 for the remainder of this review.
For the uninitiated, Magic 2013 pits you against several AI duelists throughout its multiple campaigns. Use cards to generate resources which you spend to summon creatures and cast spells. Learn about the different decks throughout the campaign and unlock them for your own use. Red, white, blue, black and green cards populate each deck and all have different signatures; for instance, green features powerful creatures, where-as black specializes in manipulating the dead. Handy tips and a thorough tutorial do a comprehensive job of teaching newcomers to the franchise, so don’t be afraid to jump right in.
As an up-front for interested veterans, no you still cannot freely create decks or mix and match cards, unfortunately, however Magic 2013 has the most cards in the series to date. If you want the card game in video game form, this is it, but if you want all of the Magic: the Gathering culture, you’d best go down to your local game store and participate there. Since this is the third iteration and many of you are simply curious about what’s new here, Magic 2013’s cards are all from the upcoming Magic 2013 core set. On top of that there are four campaigns including two different sorts of puzzles and the all new game mode Planechase.
Bit of a low key show this week, not much in the way of news or big releases coming off of the E3 blow-out. We still manage fit in over an hour of XBLA talk though, with a few tangents.
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