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.
Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews and features from the week into one handy post on the weekends.
Another week of Xbox Live Arcade brought to a close. It’s been a relatively quiet one, compared to the mad dash of last week’s seasonal sales. Though there isn’t much to write home about in terms of marquee XBLA titles, there’s quite a bit to look forward to in the coming weeks and months on Xbox Live Arcade. With so many big games coming down the pipe, what are you looking forward to getting your hands on?
If we’ve learned anything from Back to the Future, it’s that when messing around you need to avoid causing a paradox at all cost. Developer Capy Games has been experiencing this problem first-hand while designing Super Time Force, a side-scrolling shooter where death sends you back in time. Since multiple past version of yourself are on screen at the same time, what if your present actions accidentally change your past’s fate? “It’s not really an issue you can solve,” lead programmer Kenneth Yeung told The Verge, “it’s just something you have to design around.”
One way they worked around the problem is by giving the enemies have preset behavior. This way, enemies will act the same way every time, preventing their behavior from changing and possibly causing a paradox. All moving and interactive objects function in ways as to avoid paradoxes as well.
“Maybe the next time you play you get there a bit sooner and the enemy will aim its gun at you and shoot bullets there. The problem with that is if you got there sooner there will be enemy bullets that exist in the timeline at a different time than they existed in all the previous timelines, which could result in guys dying.”
The XBLA Fans team is unable to say for certain whether or not stepping on a butterfly in the past can drastically change the future. However, members of the crew that made their way over to Capy Games’ booth at PAX Prime last month did discover that blowing away a gun-toting Tyrannosaurus rex and the asteroid responsible for the Big Bang will, in fact, do just that. The good news is that all political arguments can stop, because playing through the latest build of Super Time Force has revealed next month’s election winner here in the U.S. — a T-rex. Talk about the ultimate second form of a boss.
If you’ve been following Capy’s game at all, and shame on those of you who have not been, then you already know it’s centered around a dysfunctional group of what Capy refers to as “time-traveling ultra-badasses.” Their leader, Colonel Repeatski, had them zipping into the future to fight in outer-space after battling their way through a crumbling city when last XBLA Fans played Super Time Force. This time around, however, the Toronto-based indie dev had a new level on display, one set in prehistoric time. Its final section has players running along the enormous wings of a Pterodactyl while fighting the infamous dinosaur-obliterating asteroid in a desperate attempt to save the ancient reptiles from extinction. The whole experience felt like the SHMUP level the pre-adolescent me would have dreamed up about 20 or so years back. In other words, it was totally radical, dudes.
As much fun as blasting away dinos with a bazooka or a sniper rifle is, though, one had to wonder just what the hell the Force was hoping such an absurd endeavor would accomplish. Apparently they have the noblest of intentions: save the world by altering historical events. Unfortunately, they execute on that plan about as successfully as Marty McFly and Doc Brown did in the film trilogy that all time-traveling works of fiction must ultimately be compared to. “It’s like Back to the Future, right? The best of intentions but you always [expletive] it up. Because the thing is, they can go back and fix it after they’ve tried to fix it but broke it,” Nathan Vella, co-founder and president of Capy, told XBLA Fans.
Toronto-based studio Capybara Games are not strangers to the XBLA platform or the digital market. They’ve released the wonderful Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes and the iOS indie-darling Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, an idiosyncratic kaleidoscope of music by Jim Guthrie and great art by Superbrothers‘ Craig Adams.
We’ve only known about one title they’re working on currently for XBLA with Super T.I.M.E. Force but in an interview promoting the Japanese release of Sworcery, they discussed they’re working on three new titles across XBLA, PSN, and Steam. Since we currently know about one game exclusive to XBLA, what could the other two games possibly be and could they be coming to XBLA?
Capy Games are known for their unique design and thought-provoking gameplay, so anything coming from this studio won’t be some tired old design you’ve seen before or a complete riff on an idea you’d think they were crazy to think of. Creative Director/Game Designer Kris Piotrowski talked about why their next titles would be coming to those platforms: