We’re late, and it seems that’s become somewhat of a trend for us lately. Our Game of the Year awards weren’t doled out until January, and now our look forward at the XBLA and Xbox One XBLA-type games of 2014 is just making its way to you now in February. You were on your own when it came to planning out January’s releases, but now it’s time for our annual look ahead at the top downloadable games likely to arrive on an Xbox platform during the (remainder of) the year ahead. Read on to find out what you can expect out of Xbox over the next (not quite) 365.
First announced by Ubisoft at E3 2013 and heading to Xbox One and XBLA at an unannounced future date, Trials Fusion is the next game in RedLynx’s physics-based motorcycle racing series that found no small measure of success on Xbox Live Arcade. The first XBLA take on the series, Trials HD was extremely popular due to the fierce competition it inspired among players to hit the best runs on each of its 50 courses. That was nothing. RedLynx followed it up with Trials Evolution, which added an in-depth track editor and turned the franchise into a true obsession for its many fans.
With Trials Fusion‘s announcement trailer showing off player failure, it’s evident that RedLynx once again intends to scratch the competitive itch inside gamers as vehemently as motorcycle tires scratching the dirt of a Trials course.
Namco Bandai’s XBLA port of puzzle-platformer Vessel may have been canceled. The XBLA version failed to meet its planned 2013 release window, and publisher Namco Bandai removed the game’s detail page from its website in December. Following that, Vessel also briefly disappeared from the Xbox Games Store. While it has since reappeared on the Xbox Games Store, the information listed there is sparse and extremely outdated, with November 2012 being erroneously cited as its release date.
Regular XBLA Fans reader @lifelower noticed Vessel’s disappearing act last month and reached out both to Namco Bandai and developer Strange Loop Games about the incidents. While Namco Bandai remained silent, Strange Loop Games confirmed to our frequent tipster that Vessel was still on its way to PS3, but was no longer heading to XBLA.
Speaking with XBLA Fans directly via email, Strange Loop’s John Krajewski again indicated that he believes the XBLA version of Vessel is no more. He did, however, go on to hmention a possible next-gen release. “Our publisher owns the rights to the XBLA version, and to our knowledge they’ve indeed stopped work on it,” Krajewski told us. “PS3 will be coming out soon, though, but we’re planning to announce that later this month. Sad news I know. It’s possible there will be an Xbox One version someday, though.”
Here we are once again at the start of what’s sure to be another fantastic year of XBLA releases. Each day this week XBLAFans will be rolling out a list of eight of our most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases of 2013. While we can’t possibly cover every single XBLA game planned for this year, we’ll be giving you a varied list of 40 of the most promising titles we expect to release on XBLA in 2013. Once it’s all done, be sure to check back in next Monday when each staff member makes his/her picks for the game he/she is most looking forward to.
Developer: Zombie Studios
No stranger to downloadable shooters, Zombie Studios’ upcoming Special Forces: Team X capitalizes on its expertise honed crafting Blacklight: Tango Down and Black: Retribution. Don’t be fooled by the colorful cel-shaded visuals; Special Forces targets frenetic third-person team-centric combat with brutal executions and an arsenal of real world weapons. Its dynamic map tile system puts players in control of generating the environment in a pre-round vote, with over a hundred possible combinations of individual tiles to choose. All this coupled with a healthy rank progression and customization system means Special Forces: Team X stands to deliver quite the bang for your buck when it hits XBLA on February 6 for 1200 MSP.