XBLA - Down the Pipeline.

There are a few reasons I'm more excited about owning an Xbox 360 than the Wii I'll be purchasing in a little more than a month. Sure, I'm not saying that I don't want a Wii, Zelda is going to have its hooks dug into me so deep that I might barely come out alive, but overall, the 360 has a lineup that is going to yield a full years worth of games that all scream next-gen. Obviously this begins with Gears of War in November, and while I'd like to say it ends with Halo 3, the truth is that it won't end. Games for next fall haven't even been announced, but somewhere in between we'll be looking at Mass Effect, Bioshock, Stranglehold, Too Human, Halo Wars, Lost Planet, etc. I can't remember any console that ever had such a strong lineup ... ever-like.

While the full-fledged releases are the steam behind the 360's engine barreling through the future, I'd like to think that Live Arcade is the coal. The XBLA is going to be delivering its own lineup of titles that, in my mind, are just as worthy of excitement as the console releases. I'll be the first to say that I don't get too thrilled about games like Pacman, Galaga, Frogger, and the more recent Dig Dug, on XBLA. I know they're novel and quick releases, but something just pisses me off about paying $5 for games from the early 80's. Shit, aren't these games in public domain? Sorry, but I refuse to spend $5 happily, on a game that was created when Nolan Bushnell was still the industries most famous figure. Luckily, there are a slew of titles coming to the Live Arcade that are slightly newer than the time of the dinosaurs. Some of the offerings that I'm looking forward to:

The Old School

While I'm a firm hater of the price on games as old as my grandmother (Atari), games from my generation (NES & Beyond) are really loading up the Live Arcade.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

It's Mortal Kombat. So that means it isn't going to have the worthwhile gameplay that Street Fighter did, but it's going to have lots of blood and lots of fun. My only worry is that there hasn't been any reveal of online modes for UMK3 yet, and if there isn't Xbox Live play, you can chalk this one up as worthless.

Contra & Super Contra

I might be wrong, but I'm almost sure they announced Contra and Super Contra both, which is awesome. These are the games I grew up on, and Xbox Live co-op play for Contra is like a dream. There are even updated visuals, but I can't guarantee they'll be mind-blowing stuff. Not like it matters.

Rush N' Attack

Not that I didn't play Contra, but when dudes were geeking out about it, I was trying to get them to play Rush N' Attack. Their loss was my gain, because this game rocks. I know this, because I remember how much I loved it, and I don't think I ever made it past the second level. If a game kicks your ass that much, and you still enjoy it, that = good game.

Symphony of the Night

I'd pay more for this release than any other XBLA title. Umm ... 'Nuff said.

Fatal Fury Special

So this probably isn't going to be as good as Street Fighter 2, but that doesn't mean it's bad. The more 2D fighters the better; I can't imagine any reason this won't be enjoyable. At least for a while.

The New School

While classics remade for XBLA claim many of the releases out there, new games are the real bread and butter here. Releases like Marble Blast Ultra and Geometry Wars tore up sales because of this, and some of these upcoming guys have the opportunity to do the same.

Assault Heroes

Assault Heroes is more of the kind of game I'd like to see on the XBLA. It has the next-gen visuals, but at the same time embraces the "old school" arcade gameplay of games like Geometry Wars. It's a great fit, and I can't wait to explore it.

Lumines Live

I never got to play Lumines on the PSP, so I've been dieing to explore the game. Live Arcade delivers the opportunity, but the rumors of a shite pricing scheme are dessuading. We'll have to wait and see.

Alien Hominid

Alien Hominid was on my list of "To Buy" games from this generation for a long time, but it never made it into my hands. Thanks to XBLA it never will, but I'll still be playing it. The Behemoth makes their games with such a cartoony flair; I love it. They're also responsible for Castle Crashers below.

Space Giraffe

I don't really know how to define Space Giraffe apart from: WOW. I don't understand how it plays, what the scoring system is, and damn near anything else. I only know this video intrigues me, and the game was developed by the dude behind the crazy acid-trip visuals for the Xbox music player. For me, that's enough.

Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers is the second game that I think a picture just doesn't suffice. Watch the video, praise the beauty, then bow down and wait to buy the game. Next to SotN, Castle Crashers is way up there in terms of my level of anticipation.

Small Arms

Some simple equations here:
Smash Brothers - Cool Franchise Characters + XBLA + HD Visuals x Xbox Live gameplay = Absolutely cool, even though it's lacking the Link and Samus bit. Last minute video addition as well. Watch and enjoy!

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness

I think this hasn't actually been confirmed for XBLA, but I'm holding out, and I would imagine there is a pretty good chance it will show up there. Sam & Max probably will as well. Hats off to episodic gaming on XBLA.

I'm sure I've forgotten some, but I think that conveys just how hotsauce the Live Arcade really is. There is real potential here, because unlike the virtual console, Live Arcade is merging new games and classics, and they're bringing cooperative gameplay to both. How excellent is that!


Post a Comment

The Zenspace Chronicles | It's The Sex.