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Xbox Live Summer of Arcade

What has always been a dry period for big triple A releases, the summer has become the best chance for smaller games to get some real attention. There have been some truly amazing games released on the Xbox Live arcade and it has quickly become one of the best features of Xbox Live. This E3 has seen a lot of titles announced to kick off their Summer of Arcade and they all look really impressive.


Perhaps the most covered game of the line up is Bastion from Supergiant Games, an action RPG with a truly astounding hand painted visual design where the game world builds around you as you travel through levels. The biggest question that’s on my mind regarding this game is the length and content, when you hear “RPG” you automatically assume there will be a certain amount of content, it’s just an expectation of the genre. When you consider the typical length and the pricing attached to an XBLA game, I for one certainly can’t help but be curious about what kind of RPG elements the game will have. As of this writing there is no specific release date for Bastion.

Another big stand out title for me was Toy Soldiers: Cold War, the previous game certainly flew under my radar as this is the first I’ve heard of it. The game comes across as a perfect mix of real time strategy elements and over the top arcade shooters. The engine has been completely reworked for this sequel and includes several new additions, the most striking one being the barrage attacks. During these your player will become more powerful for a set amount of time and be able to lay waste to entire units of troops, helicopters and tanks. These can be earned by building up your combo metre, so far I’ve only seen the commando barrage which looks extremely fun to use. Both local and online coop has been added and there will be versus game types where you’ll compete for high scores which can be uploaded to leaderboards in the usual fashion. Toy Soldiers will be released on July 20th for the Xbox Live Arcade and looks to be a great start to the summer of arcade titles we’ve got to look to.

Now it’s not very often that a Kinect game interests me, in fact to be completely honest it’s something that never happens. Halfbrick studios has managed exactly that though with their upcoming and awesomely named Fruit Ninja Kinect. The game has a very simple premise but manages to make using Kinect look extremely fun and fast paced, something that other motion controlled games haven’t up to this point. This game has appeared on mobile platforms and tablets and it makes perfect sense for the next step to be Kinect, where you can swipe with your arms as wildly as you please. There are three confirmed modes so far, Classic mode lets you chop up all the fruit you can while having to avoid bombs for as long as you can manage. Zen mode is your score attack mode essentially and arcade mode is a timed game where you must cut up as much fruit as possible in 60 seconds. Both cooperative and competitive multiplayer have been confirmed, just make sure you play this game in a large room to avoid hitting your buddy in the face. Halfbrick have also confirmed that the game will offer a mix of free and paid DLC, Fruit Ninja Kinect will cost 800 Microsoft points when it goes on sale and there is no release date as of now.

These are just a handful of the upcoming Xbox Live arcade games due for release over the five week “Summer of Arcade” promotion that Microsoft is doing. If, like me you have a backlog of games that you were planning to blast through in the summer you might have to put them off. The standard for XBLA titles is something that is constantly being raised and doesn’t look like that’s going to stop any time soon.


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