So who all's invited to XBLA's house this time? See for yourself! Major Nelson also covered the price of entry for these five.
Starting off, you may remember Hard Corps: Uprising when it was announced last June as a spiritual sequel of sorts to the Contra franchise. In addition to hard-as-abs gameplay, we're hoping to be impressed by spritework from Arc System Works, whose hi-res shinies grace games like Guilty Gear.
- February 16 Hard Corps: Uprising, 1200 Microsoft Points
- February 23, Bejeweled Blitz, 800 Microsoft Points
- March 2, Beyond Good & Evil HD, 800 Microsoft Points
- March 9, Torchlight, 1200 Microsoft Points
- March 16, Full House Poker, 800 Microsoft Points
While the allure of Bejeweled with time limits will be a blast (especially if it includes Facebook leaderboards!) the next hard-hitter on this list is undoubtedly Beyond Good & Evil HD. As one of the most critically-acclaimed character action games of the last generation, this game also didn't get its due on retail shelves for one reason or another. Our resident fairy and bunny have both had lovely things to say about Ubisoft's work recently, and we'll look forward to uncovering the truth as Jade. Best of all, the 'how much would YOU pay' debate ended in the favor of gamers, with the HD version of Beyond Good & Evil only running $10!
A week after that, get ready to break out the loot bank again to purchase Torchlight! Though it's been on sale more times than god, this PC title by the original creators of Diablo I & II has a great blend of random dungeons, optional dungeons, and magical items with which to kill things in dungeons. The hotbar has been mapped to your controller buttons for convenience, and this port promises extra quests, a new pet, and--yes--dungeons! But still no multiplayer.
Also, poker is a game where you try to make the best five-card hand.
One strange fact is that - unlike with previous downloadable events, this one hasn't seen any sort of MS-points rebate for buying all or some of the above titles. Given that Microsoft tried an even more lenient rebate in October and again in December, it does seem like the idea of buying more so you can buy more isn't quite the hook they'd hoped. With any luck, Microsoft might get turned on by the style of Steam, which proves that suckers (such as myself) will buy the weirdest stuff if it's discounted enough.
So which of these games will get your House Party bumpin'?