The Top 5 Summer XBLA Releases

2012’s fall Xbox 360 release schedule is getting bigger and bigger by the day, loaded with titles to make gamers of all types salivate. The worst part? We still have to wait, and even though it’s only a few months away, it seems like an eternity before we’ll be able to get our hands on some BioShock Infinite or Halo 4.

Thankfully, the Xbox Live Arcade is poised to provide us with some relief this summer, releasing a host of great games to whet our appetite until quarter 3 is upon us. Here’s a look at the top 5 most anticipated XBLA games to be released this summer.

#5: Jet Set Radio

Get ready to stick it to the man. Originally a classic on Dreamcast, Jet Set Radio is a fast-paced action game featuring rebellious teens on an extreme mission of self-expression. Part GTA, part Tony Hawk Pro Skater with a unique cartoon graphical style, players will rollerblade around future Tokyo, tagging the city walls with collectible graffiti pieces while evading the police. Coupled with its funky, upbeat soundtrack, this Sega/Smilebit release is sure to be a crowd pleaser among fans old and new this summer.

#4: Fable Heroes

The creation of a small team of developers from Lionhead studios, Fable Heroes is an XBLA action RPG based in the Fable Universe. Featuring cooperative local and drop-in/drop-out multiplayer, the game is a Castle Crashers-esque Arcade release starring your favorite Fable characters in the form of the collectible Hero Dolls from the original Fable. Presented in a cartoony, storybook-style art design, Fable Heroes centers on a squad of 4 (AI and cooperative players) Heroes to travel through Albion, fighting familiar enemies like Hobbes and Hollow Men, all while collecting gold coins that can later be used to upgrade characters or be imported to the upcoming Kinect title Fable: The Journey. With a host of familiar characters, quirky minigames, a new take on morality choices, and a goofy, more lighthearted presentation of the Fable Universe, fans of the franchise will enjoy their romp through this enticing re-imagining, set to release on May 2.

#3: Quantum Conundrum

From the co-creator of Portal comes Quantum Conundrum, an action-puzzler set to tease your brain this summer.

Players will take the role of a young boy dropped off at his Uncle Fitz Quadwrangle’s home for the weekend. Naturally, your Uncle is a scientific genius working on a revolutionary Interdimensional Shift Device, a remote control that allows one to cycle through five different dimensions. Like most geniuses, however, a slight mayhap occurs, and your Uncle gets lost somewhere inside his expansive Quadwrangle Manor. From there, it’s up to you to use the shift device to search for and bring your Uncle safely back. Borrowing elements from Portal, players will solve puzzles in an attempt to move from room to room. But, instead of shooting portals into walls, the goal is to instead shift between five different dimensions, each with unique qualities to help solve environmental puzzles. Is that couch in the way too heavy to move? Try shifting into the weightless fluffy dimension, where you can move it with ease. Need a lift? Hop on an object and switch to the anti gravity dimension. The possibilities are endless in Quantum Conundrum, and it promises to be a standout title in this summer’s lineup.

#2: Deadlight

Taking after the feel of an action side-scroller like Shadow Complex, Deadlight is a 2D apocalyptic survival horror game with conventions that take the genre back to its roots.

It’s the late 1980’s. Somehow, the world has ended, but with no electricity, no television, and no internet, the exact details of Doomsday are unknown to you. What you do know: There are hordes of zombies roaming the earth, and you need to survive.

Rather than being a typical zombie hack and slash game, Deadlight introduces a sense of dread a la Resident Evil or Silent Hill. Different weapons have different consequences, like guns attracting zombies from the noise of the shot, or axes being effective, yet slow, leaving you at risk from faster attackers. Presented in a bleak, dark urban setting, Deadlight’s story unfolds as players explore and make discoveries that leave them with clues to piece together. With the odds stacked against you, it’s apparent that the game seeks to instill a sense of fear in you as you try to escape and evade the undead.

Look for Deadlight on XBLA on June 30th.

#1: Minecraft

Attention fans of the blockbuster world creation game: the wait is almost over. Minecraft, the PC phenomenon from Mojang is on its way to XBLA in May. Get ready to build, fight, fish, dig, and explore to your heart’s content as you play alone or with friends. The sky’s the limit, and the official release of the long-awaited import will without a doubt be to blame for keeping us inside on those lazy summer afternoons. Look for Minecraft on XBLA on May 9th.



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