The Summer Without The Arcade

One of my absolute favorite things about this generation of gaming systems has been the small downloadable titles each system delivers now. For me this started with the Xbox 360 in ’06 (one of the few systems I hesitated to get on launch day) and I downloaded the basics with Bejeweled 2 and Cloning Clyde. Instant satisfaction for cheap? I can get behind this pricing model! Since then Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) has forged new levels of awesome by taming the lions of indie development. In 2008, MS launched a new promotion called Summer of Arcade featuring what I think is still the best line up of Arcade titles yet: Braid, Castle Crashers, Geometry Wars 2, Bionic Arm: Rearmed and the last and least Galaga Legions. Every summer since has come by and released some fantastic games. But this year… I couldn’t afford even one.

But now most of the hardships are over and it’s time for me to decide which game to jump into first… I’ve got it down between Bastion and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (ITSP). I’m leaning toward ITSP, just because I really love the metroidvania style of games. Shadow Complex and Castlevania:SotN are two of my absolutely favorite XBLA games and I’ve spent a ton of time and got a lot out of my investment in those games. But on the other hand Bastion is new and has a colorful attractive art style. On top of that it plays a lot like how I wish the Fable games would play.

Update: I’ve decided to instead expand my Kinect titles with a copy of The Gunstringer (which funnily enough came with a free copy of one of the Summer of Arcade titles I missed out on, Fruit Ninja Kinect) so expect a review or quick gossip on that title soon. Along with the XBLA titles, I’ll be getting soon.

Bryan Belcher

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