Microsoft’s magic box has always been the proud bearer of my favourite console download service. The diminutive-yet-delectable indie games store is a fine showcase of tiny talent (much like the hit movie ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids... and They Became Geniuses. Now I Can’t Even Eat Breakfast in Peace Without Them Hitting Me With Something Like “Daddy, What’s 7845 times 1093?” I Just Can’t Handle the Mortification of Admitting Daddy’s a Dumbass. The Whole Situation is an Excrutiating Nightmare, Frankly.’ The full title shoots down the screen Star Wars style, as I recall, and runs for half an hour.), but XBLA is where the real gems are concealed. Here they accumulate, ripe to be unearthed by a hirsute old man with a pickaxe and body odour issues.
As such, this brief video demonstration was recently shown at the expo, corroborating the contents of 2012's ‘Summer of Arcade’ promotion. (The term ‘promotion’ may be a fallacy, evoking images of a kindly bearded soul proffering you gaming goods as some odd bounty for saving a drunken infant, who had been waddling bemusedly across the road. Parenting 101: crying babies wish only for a comforting embrace/food/replacement shit-sack, not a whisky bottle to suckle. Decidedly not a full one. With the lid off.) Choice cuts from this particularly delectable big ol’ cow’s sweaty ass-meat include Hybrid, a shooter which resembles the fleeting anti-gravity combat sections from Dead Space 2. The monochromatic marvel that is platformer/beat ‘em up Deadlight looks quite the treat too. As is par for the course with the service’s give-us-shitloads-of-cash-and-we’ll-provide-you-some-token-appeasement philosophy, purchasing any three of these titles with grant you a 400 Microsoft points boon.
There have been some truly stellar selections on XBLA recently, from the primary-coloured cornucopia that is Gotham City Impostors to the darkly-humorous and bodacious stylings of Skullgirls. This latest crop seeks to bolster this trend, and the early signs are heartening indeed.