Starting next week Microsoft will release some of the most hotly anticipated releases of early 2011 on Xbox Live Arcade. Here are the titles featured in this latest promotion.
February 16: Hard Corps: Uprising, 1200 Microsoft Points
February 23: Bejeweled Blitz, 800 Microsoft Points
March 2: Beyond Good & Evil HD, 800 Microsoft Points
March 9: Torchlight, 1200 Microsoft Points
March 16: Full House Poker, 800 Microsoft Points
I don’t really need to tell you guys which ones I’ll be downloading, do I? It’s pretty obvious that both next week and March 2nd will see me 1200 and 800 points shorter ;) Now normally I’d ask what you are planning to download, but I wanted to go a bit further. Ok, a lot further. Let’s talk about arcade games in general, just for a few seconds. You see, back when Symphony of the Night was originally released on the PS1 I really thought that was the future of 2D gaming. The thing is, that turned out to be a lie. Sure the PS1 had a few 2D games, but for the most part games were 3D. The same is true for the N64. Then the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox hit the scene and 2D looked like it was relocated to portables and the deepest portions of my memories.
When Xbox Live Arcade launched on the original Xbox I really didn’t know what to think of the service. On one hand it was quite original, but it didn’t really have the support it needed to explode. That changed with the Xbox 360. Even the PS3 showed a lot of promise in this area, back when it was just being unveiled. It’s the 360 that ushered in this new era though, as it was on the market a full year ahead of the PS3.
Not every game released on these digital platforms are amazing, and I’ve noticed…like many of you, that the prices continue to increase as each year passes, but the fact remains this is where the future of 2D lays. Never before did I imagine something like Shadow Complex or the countless other classics we’ve received. 3D games also made a really big impact, and hybrid titles too. It’s the magical 2D games that really stand out though and I’d love for Castlevania and Mega Man to really embrace these new platforms. I know everyone wants the next big 3D blockbuster, but honestly another “pure” CV would be right up my ally. Ever since SotN I’ve been dying for another console CV that played true to the series’ root, and that simply hasn’t happened. The last one released on the 360 was nothing like what I wanted. Grr!
Anyways, the point I’m making is that these new services can be really special at times for all games. Beyond Good & Evil is one o the my favourite games from the previous generation and the fact that it’s getting an HD remake is extremely special. 800 Microsoft Points doesn’t hurt any either. That’s something I’m sure Steven will chime in on. The prices have been getting a little too steep as the services have gained in popularity and I’m hoping things come back down to Earth before they get way too out of hand.
Now it’s question time. Do you plan to download any of the games mentioned here? What is your favourite digital download? What’s your preferred service and why? Answer me!