Maybe we’re a little biased here, but we think Xbox LIVE is a great service. Sure, other services on other consoles and PC are offered for free, but so much is offered to LIVE members that it seems a small thing to pony up the equivalent of $5 USD each month for it. We get exclusive games, we often get earlier access to digital titles, and we have a plethora of other media outlets like Netflix, Hulu, UFC and YouTube. There’s always room for improvement, however, and there are a few things that for reasons that remain a mystery have not been touched on. We submit these as an official fan letter to Microsoft.
It’s that time of the year again. The Fall 2011 Xbox Dashboard update has arrived and brought with it a slew of changes. Fans and detractors alike have turned out in force, clamoring to make their side of the argument the loudest, and therefore the best. No one is wrong. The Kinect integration is miles better than it was before but brought with it a somewhat clunky interface where unwelcome things are given the prized center panel, and the game you were hoping to play is a small box in the top left. Roaming profiles and cloud saving are so ridiculously awesome that you almost don’t notice the weird lag that sometimes crops up when browsing through the menus. Almost. We could argue the pros and cons of the new dashboard all day, but eventually everyone will get used to the new way of doing things and forget about it.
One question, though, will continue to ring out long after all others have disappeared on the gently wafting winds of time. One question that’s been around since the service launched: Why no love for the indie game market? Have the issues finally been answered in this update? Let’s take a look and see for ourselves.
DLC Quest was developed by Going Loud Studios. It was released November 2, 2011 retails for 80 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for retail purposes.
DLC Quest is a hilarious parody that completely lampoons the entire DLC concept. It contains a great deal of referential humor that goes all the way back to possibly the most infamous DLC: the horse armor. The backbone of the game is platform exploration that allows you to collect coins, meet NPC’s, and find secret passages. It is the collection of coins that allows you to buy the in game DLC packs that cause the game to progress.
Everyone has that list of things that bug you about video gaming, the sequel syndrome, DLC overflow, etc. Having been a part of the media side of the industry for a while now I’ve developed a few of my own. These are things that I just can’t stand, and I’ll wholly admit that I might not always be fully educated on all the matters, but I think making five changes can help the gaming industry and community for the better.
T.E.C. 3001 was developed and published by Phoenix Games. It was released on August 24, 2011 and retails for 240 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
T.E.C. (Telsa Energy Collector) 3001 is a fast paced platformer, but unlike most T.E.C. 3001 is not a side-scroller of any sort. It is actually a fast paced, third-person running game where you must traverse different obstacle courses by dodging, sliding, or jumping. With the camera locked in the air behind you as you travel forward into the distance, T.E.C.3001 immediately sets itself up to look and feel different then everything else in its genre. Will this be enough to set it apart and stand out in one of the most crowded genres on any console?
Doom & Destiny was developed by Benjamin Ficus and HeartBit. It was released August 25, 2011 and retails for 240 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Chosen as a finalist in the Indie Games Summer Uprising promotion, Doom & Destiny is a turn-based RPG. It’s the first game created using RPG builder software to be given a commercial release and anyone familiar with Super Nintendo era JRPGs will feel right at home. The story revolves around a group of Dungeons & Dragons nerds up for some good clean role-playing fun only to find themselves transported into a real fantasy realm with magical creatures and bad puns.
Tell us a little bit about yourself/company/team?
We are an indie game development company created in Asturias, Spain, and have released many successful titles on Xbox Live Indie Games. Our games feature polished gameplay and high production values.
What made you decide to use the XBLIG platform for your game?
Our first game, Little Racers, was a hobby project that we did on our free time. We chose XBLIG because there were very few options to market an independent game on a non-mobile device and it was easier to develop on a closed platform as the Xbox 360. After the unexpected success of the game, we just kept releasing games on that platform. We’ve tried other platforms in the past, but there’s no magical platform yet.
What was the biggest hurdle in getting this game finished?
Usually our biggest hurdle is to cut somewhere and polish everything. The only exception has been Raventhorne, were we had a tight deadline so we ended up cutting before we intended.