Acclaimed, first-person mystery, Firewatch will be spreading into Xbox One later this month on September 21. Set in the woods of Wyoming, players take on the role of a man …
We know you’ve been waiting for them, and here they are! Black Friday sales for Xbox Live Arcade start now, and, assuming you don’t already own them, you will definitely want to take advantage of this opportunity to pick up some of the best games of the outgoing console generation on the cheap. Notable XBLA games include Mark of the Ninja, Bit.trip Runner 2, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Battleblock Theater, most of which are at least 66 percent off! Some of these games will only be on sale for 24 hours, so check and double-check the tables below to plan your purchases. Happy Thanksgiving!
Xbox Live Arcade began its life on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 simply enough. When eager gamers bought up Xbox 360s on launch day (November 22, 2005), they found a free copy of Hexic HD pre-loaded on their hard drives. Of course, it was another launch title that secured the platform’s success. Bizarre’s Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved both gave birth to the twin-stick shooter craze and demanded gamers take Xbox Live Arcade, which started in disc form back on the original Xbox, seriously as a digital games platform. Bizarre’s side project paved the way for the enormous variety of retro revivals, HD remakes, original indie projects, major studio releases, free-to-play games and more that have come to call XBLA home in the years since.
Today, we’re approximately one month away from the launch of the Xbox One, which will signal the end of XBLA as we have come to know it these past eight years. While Microsoft’s Xbox line will continue to be home to myriad low-cost downloadable video games, the XBLA moniker will not make the transition to Xbox One. It’s going down with the figurative (and literal) Xbox 360 boat. So what better time than now to count down the best XBLA games to ever grace the Xbox 360?
It wasn’t easy, but our staff has sorted through all of the best XBLA releases over the years and picked the ones that we feel are the true standout stars of the platform. Check back with us throughout the week as we run down five of Xbox Live Arcade’s top games every night. And don’t forget to head to the comments to let us know how much you love (or hate) our picks.
(Editor’s Note: Voting was conducted in early September. No games released post-Summer of Arcade 2013 were considered eligible.)
Ryan Thompson, Contributor — One of the promises of the Xbox 360 console that went largely unfulfilled was the idea that Xbox Live would expand to a point of truly joining together the entire community of players. The truth is that not a lot has changed since players began playing Halo 2 online almost a decade ago: we still join lobbies and play with small groups of people.
“So, you guys wanna…play my game?” Mark of the Ninja Lead Designer Nels Anderson asks in a playful voice, his brow raising inquisitively and his hips swinging side to side in rhythm with the last three words of his question. It makes for a silly little dance that the XBLAFans crew gathered around him can’t help but laugh at. We’re about to play a stealth game tucked inside the walls of the Indie Megabooth here at PAX East, but Anderson, with his improv dance move, doesn’t exactly come off as sly.
No, Anderson can’t or won’t bring himself to be sneaky about Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition. His excitement over having us play his latest creation is such that he’s not going to follow in the silent footsteps of the game’s titular ninja. So he doesn’t lurk back in Klei’s personal Indie Megabooth crevice; he’s energetic, and it’s not long before he puts a controller in my hands. Now our attention turns to the screen where all of the requisite sneaking will be performed.
Whereas its contemporaries have tended to make the ninja into an action hero who’s so far over the top that he’d likely make the cast of The Expendables blush, Mark of the Ninja has always emphasized the ninja as a virtually unseen agent of death and/or stealthy sabotage. Whether approaching levels as a killer who isn’t detected until its too late or an infiltrator who isn’t detected at all, players had to stick to the shadows and remain as invisible as possible in order to achieve any kind of measure of success. It was a great system, but one that meant enemies presented but two choices: players could kill them or avoid them. Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition adds another option to the mix.
If you scroll to the Games page on your dashboard, you can find a panel for “Microsoft Studios Sale” that includes a plethora of big XBLA Games. Some of our favorites like Dust: An Elysian Tale and Mark of the Ninja can both be picked up 600 MSP (50% off). You might also want to jump on the Trials bandwagon, because both the original Trials HD and Trials: Evolution can be picked up for 400 MSP and 800 MSP respectively.
The sale will be available until April 8th Here is the complete list of games, including a few extras that you won’t find in the dashboard (like Retro City Rampage). Here is the full list of what’s on sale:
Klei Entertainment has announced a special edition DLC for Mark of the Ninja to be released during the upcoming Summer. Expect to see a new level, a new style …
Online retailer Amazon has listed a [easyazon-link asin=”B00B1ULJI0″ locale=”us”]Microsoft 5-Game Arcade/Indie Pack [Download][/easyazon-link] for only $10. While all are XBLA titles, the codes are only redeemable on PC and Steam, as opposed …