Summer of Arcade

I’ve been hammering the Xbox since buying the slim model with Birthday cash a few weeks back. The main use of the console is arcade gaming, co-op stuff and family friendly titles. Anything else will be played on the PC. I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for XBLA titles (I currently own 96) and buying the new Xbox was timed perfectly with the Summer of Arcade. I’ve not played From Dust as it looks a bit dull and Fruit Ninja eludes me as I don’t/can’t have Kinect to play it. I have spent a lot of with the other titles, though.

Not nearly Insane, nor Twisted enough!

I’m not entirely sure why, but Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet hasn’t really grabbed me. I love the visuals and the ambiance but the game itself has no real excitement. Unlike other games released recently I don’t find myself hankering to play more. When you take the title of the game into context, the gameplay doesn’t really ‘fit’. I’m hoping to spend a little more time with it as I know of a few fellow gamers that adore it, I want to see what they see.

Utterly charming

Bastion on the other hand stole much of my time over the last fortnight. I found the game to be enthralling and this was mainly due to the narrator, who stays with you throughout the game. His speech always feels natural, in reaction to what “The Kid” is doing. This is one of the first games for a long time that I have completed to 100%. The art is charming, the gameplay is subtly addictive and the story is entirely interesting. Bastion ultimately feels very old school in it’s execution. A very special nod must go to the soundtrack, though, which I subsequently bought. My favourite track is below.


I’ve not finished Toy Soldiers: Cold War yet (I hopefully will tonight). I dabbled a little in single player but the game comes alive in co-op. Juggling the bases between the two of you is brilliant, as is the friendly banter when one of you lets a turret be overrun. The game has held what made the original so great but has added more humour with the Rambo flair. Superb game, can’t wait to finish it and put some time into getting all of the challenges.


I know Ms Splosion Man wasn’t in Summer of Arcade, but for me, she has been a large feature of my Summer. I loved the original game, but the sequel surpasses it in every way. The additions such as the zip line elevates the standard gameplay brilliantly. Twisted Pixel are utter sadists however and some levels had me motioning to throw my controller. I got there in the end and yesterday finished the single player campaign without any help from the game or YouTube. One thing to note however… the final boss is trash and despite the humour, is poorly designed. i don’t really know what Twisted Pixel were thinking.

I’m hoping to spend the next month playing older XBLA titles that have sat on my HDD/Gamertag for  while with no time put into them. This is, of course, while putting in stupid amounts of time into Deus Ex Human Revolution.

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