It all started with Summer of Arcade before XBox Live came alive with a series of seasonal promotions to help push new titles for their digital download platform. With the Block Party freshly wrapping up with some hits like Warp, Microsoft has already dropped the list of games for the upcoming Arcade Next promotion set to start on April 18th and wrapping up on May 9th.
Of the four games, only one is a wholly original IP with Bloodforge. Trials Evolution is a sequel to XBLA hit Trials HD and Fable Heroes is a new gameplay style set in the Fables world. The most anticipated of all the titles though may be Minecraft: XBox 360 Edition, a port of the unstoppable indy PC sensation making its debut for the first time on any console system.
Also for the first time, the achievement cap on XBLA has been upped. Starting in April, XBLA titles will be allowed up to 400 Achievement Points and up to 30 total achievements per release. This is a drastic increase from the original 200 point / 12 total achievement maximum that had been in place (well, 250 point maximum if you include the possible 50 points that could be added for DLC.
Take a look at all four titles after the jump and stay tuned to the Flickcast for news and reviews on Trials Evolution, Bloodforge, Fable Heroes and Minecraft: XBox 360 Edition as soon as we get our hands on them.
It is no surprise that Trials HD would be getting a sequal with its addictive leaderboard gameplay. Starting out Arcade Next on April 18th for 1200 Microsoft points will be Trials Evolution. But instead of just adding some new tracks, Trials Evolution promises both track and gameplay customizability, essentially creating a Little Big Planet-esque game for players from a downloadable format. Check out the trailer just to see the alternate types of games possible.
“Trials Evolution” is on every front, the next dimension of the smash-hit, award-winning “Trials HD.” Bust out of the warehouse into an outdoor world of night and day, curved driving lines, and spectacular scenery. Multiplayer comes alive in your living room or on Xbox LIVE. Build your own tracks with the in-game editor or download those of any other player from the new Track Central. Customize your bike and rider with awesome gear and unique parts, enjoy innovative skill games, try ghost racing, beat your friends’ scores and more! Don’t miss the madness!
Developer Climax bring out the singular title for Arcade Next that isn’t just rated E for everyone but is actually rated M17+ on April 25th. For 1200 Microsoft Points, players will step into this new IP Bloodforge in a game littered with gore and violence. Of any of the titles, this is the one we know the least about which means it has the most potential to surprise us.
With a brutal combat system, stunning art style, and a deeply compelling story, “Bloodforge” empowers you to slaughter hordes of demonic soldiers, deformed worshippers, and the gods themselves, using ferocious Rage Kills, devastating Rune attacks, and furious Weapon Combos. Help seal Crom’s fate – and the fate of the rest of the world – in this dark, visceral story of revenge, betrayal, and destiny.
Coming on May 2 from Lionhead Studios for 800 Microsoft Points is Fable Heroes. Originally revealed at the Game Developer Conference a few weeks ago, Fable Heroes offers a new take on the Fable name while keeping connectivity within the franchise by allowing collected gold to be imported to the upcoming Fable: The Journey much like Pub Games allowed players to transfer winnings over to Fable 2.
“Fable Heroes” is an action-packed, hack-and-slash adventure built for Xbox LIVE Arcade. It delivers a fresh spin on the “Fable” franchise with a unique art style and gameplay that takes playful competition to the next level. Whether on the couch or using Xbox LIVE, up to four players work together to defeat enemies while also competing with one another to collect gold coins and level up. Precious gold collected in Fable Heroes can be imported into the forthcoming Kinect title, Fable: The Journey, providing players with a valuable head start from day one.
MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION
Finally concluding on May 9th for a whopping 1600 Microsoft points (more than many people paid for the original PC Beta access actually) is the critical darling and commercial success, and soon to be LEGO set, Mincraft. The most exciting aspect for many will be the split-screen multiplayer option as well as the option to connect over XBox Live instead of scouring forums to find players to match up with.
The infinite possibilities in “Minecraft” just got bigger. “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” brings the global phenomenon to console gamers for the first time. The Xbox LIVE Arcade version of the game features an innovative new crafting interface, natural controller movements, a full Tutorial mode to teach the basics and for the first time in “Minecraft,” split-screen multiplayer as well as over Xbox LIVE.