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Power Stone XBLA dreams deferred

Way back in September of 2006, we ran a brief series called "That Should Be on XBLA." In that series, we suggested old games that would make a great addition to Xbox Live Arcade. One such game was Capcom's neglected Dreamcast fighter, Power Stone. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced not one, but two Dreamcast games that would be making their way to XBLA, namely Rez and Ikaruga. This got the folks over at The Xbox Domain thinking. If they can stick those Dreamcast classics on Xbox 360, why not Power Stone (or even better, Power Stone 2)? Just to satisfy their curiosity, The Xbox Domain contacted Capcom about the idea, and received this disheartening response:

"We have not made any announcements about a Power Stone game, but thanks for your interest."

While the comment was followed by a smiley face, we aren't smiling. Still, it's not an outright "no," and that gives fans something to hope for, right?

Eternity's Child jumps from XBLA to Wii


And the Xbox Live Arcade size limit rears its ugly head once more. Shacknews reports that would-be XBLA title Eternity's Child has been moved from Microsoft's downloadable game service to the Nintendo Wii. The news comes from an Art de Jeu interview with the game's creator Luc Bernard. The reason for moving the title to Wii, according to Bernard, is that the game's high resolution art would break the 150MB size limit for XBLA titles. We should note, however, that Eternity's Child was never officially confirmed for XBLA in the first place. Still, it wasn't that long ago that many complained the original 50MB size limit was too low -- even though such constraints can spark innovation in some cases -- and now we may be seeing the beginnings of similar complaints leveled at the new limit. With the Wii selling like hotcakes to casual gamers, it will be interesting to see if it winds up as the new home for overambitious (or poorly compressed) XBLA titles.

[Via Joystiq]

Marathon motion sickness gets cured


Freeverse sends word that a title update for Marathon: Durandal is now available. Among other things, the update gives players the option to choose a wider field of view. This option is supposed to help players that have experienced motion sickness whilst playing the game. We haven't personally experienced the alleged motion sickness, so we can't tell you whether or not a wider field of view fixes the problem. If you've fallen victim to the illness yourself, you may want to fire up Marathon and give the new setting a try. Once you're done, come back here and share the results with the rest of the class (unless the result is vomit; you don't need to share that).

Castlevania's XBLA future looking grim


At GDC earlier this year, we asked Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi if he would consider making an original Castlevania title for Xbox Live Arcade. He told us that he was interested, but didn't elaborate beyond that. We hope you haven't been keeping your hopes up, because Igarashi has more or less declared that an XBLA iteration isn't in the cards. When asked by 1UP if a new downloadable Castlevania title was in the works, Igarashi responded, "There are two reasons why I am reluctant to create a game for such channels: 1. The price is frankly too low for what we'd want to do, and 2. Most of the next gen players are expecting really high fidelity games, so I'm really not eager to go that route."

While an XBLA iteration seems doomed, Igarashi did note that preliminary planning for a new Castlevania title on consoles has begun. Unfortunately, there are no concrete details yet. We're just shooting from the hip here, but we'd bet good money it will feature vampires.

Fatal Fury and Cyberball now on XBLA

It's time for the age old Capcom vs. SNK debate to begin anew, because Fatal Fury Special is now available on Xbox Live Arcade. Alongside the classic fighter is Cyberball 2072 which brings Xbox 360 gamers the palpable mix of robots and football. Ooh, and explosions too, can't forget explosions. Both games are available for the tantalizing price of 400 Microsoft Points.

So, now that you've had a taste of both, which is it going to be fanboys, Street Fighter or Fatal Fury? We can tell you right now that there is one thing Fatal Fury has that Street Fighter doesn't: the lovely Mai Shiranui. Your move, Street Fighter.

Marvel Vs. Capcom on XBLA? Marvel hopes so


Speaking to Gamasutra, Marvel vice president of interactive media Justin Lambros intimated that he would like to see classic Marvel fighting games hit game download services like Xbox Live Arcade. Producing games like X-Men: Children of the Atom, Marvel Superheroes and massive fighting mashups like X-Men Vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Capcom, fighting fans have fond memories of the collaboration between Capcom and Marvel. When asked about the possibility of such games hitting a service like XBLA, Lambros said, "Yeah, those are among my all time favorites. I'm a huge 2D fighting fan... the Marvel Vs. Capcom stuff has a definite close place in my heart, so we definitely wanna see that stuff live on." It seems that there aren't any firm plans to bring back any specific titles, so don't get your hopes up just yet.

Still, if Puzzle Fighter and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix make an impact on XBLA, maybe we'll see the same kind of attention paid to the Marvel classics.

[Via Joystiq]

Tron achievements bring back memories


Tron is something of a cult classic. Many of us remember the movie as one of the most compelling early instances of computer graphics in a film. Even today, it maintains that retro cool. Whether or not the actual game can stand the test of time remains to be seen. We imagine it will be like most retro XBLA games, which means you already know whether or not you plan on buying it. Still, the achievements revealed by X360A give us a sense of nostalgia. Aside from the Light Cycle acheivement, our favorite is probably the achievement for completing all twelve levels: "User."

Yeah, that takes us back.

PAX 07: Penny Arcade adventures to XBLA


We're a little late in getting to it, but we would be remiss in our fanboy duties if we didn't report that Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is officially heading to Xbox Live Arcade. As Rain-Slick is an episodic affair, its arrival on XBLA is a fairly momentous occasion. Episodic gaming is a term that has been bandied around for a while now, so we're hopeful that the game will deliver on the promise of cheap, easily digestible gaming. Penny Arcade Adventures is scheduled to debut on XBLA in early 2008 alongside the PC, OS X, and Linux versions. More information about Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness can be found on the official site.

[Via Joystiq]

War World wages worldwide this Wednesday [update 1]


Update: According to Microsoft, the only game being released on Xbox Live Arcade this week is Puzzle Fighter. Looks like War World fans will have to wait.

It has been officially announced on the War World forums that the multiplayer mech-tastic shooter will make its debut this Wednesday alongside old-school puzzler Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. In celebration of this fact, Third Wave Games is hosting a special match of the PC version of War World, after which players are encouraged to stay up until 12:01 PT and download the XBLA version. Oh, and don't worry, the developers are "100% sure there will be at least 8-16 players online with the Xbox 360 version within an hour of the game's release on Wedsday," so you should have a few good folks to play with.

[Via Gamestooge]

Gallery: War World (XBLA)

Metal Slug 3 offically rolling onto XBLA

Well, it only took SNK nearly a year to announce it, but we finally know which Metal Slug will be hitting Xbox Live Arcade. Having already read the headline, you may have guessed that it's Metal Slug 3. If so, then you are correct. Go get yourself a cookie. According to a (translated) press release from SNK Playmore, the game will be part of the company's lineup at the Tokyo Game Show next month. In the same press release, it is also revealed that SNK Playmore will be showing off Fatal Fury Special (known as Wolf Legend Special in Japan).

There you have it then. Now that the veil of secrecy has been lifted, are you happy with SNK's Metal Slug choice, or would you have preferred a different entry in the series?

[Via XBLArcade]

Ecco the Dolphin achievements: kill the shark!

Right, so, Ecco the Dolphin came out yesterday for Xbox Live Arcade. It is, according to some, a classic of the 16-bit era. For us (and by us I mean me), there was something truly compelling about swimming freely in the ocean and traveling through time (if you can get that far). Now, despite all this, there was something that turned Ecco into one of the most terrifying experiences of our (i.e. my) youth: the effing sharks. Brought up by movies like JAWS, seeing sharks in Ecco was more frightening than any zombie could ever be. That is why we (I) urge all of you to earn the "Shark Killer" achievement. Sure, it's only worth 10 points, but at least you'll be conquering your (my) childhood fear. Head over to GamingTalkHQ for the full achievement rundown.

XBLA hits PCs by the end of 2007


Yet more news from Gamefest 2007 today, as Microsoft has made clear its intentions to bring Xbox Live Arcade to PCs by the end of the year. According to 1UP, Microsoft plans to offer a developer update to its Games for Windows Live tools this November. The update is being made in order to accommodate Xbox Live Arcade on PCs. The PC version of the downloadable games service should see its first titles by the end of the year. What titles we will actually see remains a mystery, though we're willing to bet UNO -- long promised as a Live Anywhere title -- will make an appearance.

[Thanks, homer34]

Gamefest 2007: the fabulous numbers of XBLA


During a pair of presentations at Microsoft's XNA Gamefest 2007, lots of Xbox Live Arcade stats have come to light. In brief, the service is doing very well. Firstly, Microsoft predicts that by the end of 2007, Xbox Live Arcade will have hosted 45 million downloads and will offer over 100 games. The company also predicts a healthy 156% average financial return for Xbox Live Arcade games over a 12 month period. Not too shabby. There are also many stats regarding which game has been played the longest (UNO), and which game has seen the most players (TMNT 1989). As for sales, Street Fighter II is the current champ, followed by UNO and TMNT 1989. An interesting note, XBLA games actually have a very good shelf life, as only 35% of total game sales occur within the first two months of availability.

All in all, XBLA looks to be doing just fine. Now just imagine what would happen if everyone actually knew about it.

[Via Joystiq]

Wideload "Shorts" promises new XBLA content

Wideload, the kooky cats behind Hail to the Chimp, the satirical fighter set in the animal kingdom, has announced the formation of its Shorts division. The Shorts division will focus (surprisingly) on downloadable games for various console services and PC. As you might suspect, Wideload Shorts has plans to create games for Xbox Live Arcade. Wideload is careful not to call such games "casual," as they wish to make it clear that while gameplay will be kept simple, it should still be compelling to longtime gamers as well as newcomers. While no specific titles have been named, the first Wideload Shorts game is expected to arrive in late 2007.

[Via Joystiq]

Nearly 1/3 of 360 owners unaware of XBLA


In the first industry research column, part of a series coming to GameDaily.biz, Frank N. Magid Associates look at the current state of online gaming on the Xbox 360 as well as Xbox Live Arcade usage. In an online survey of 1800 U.S. homes, 149 were found to own an Xbox 360. Among these homes, 64% were found to play games online, which isn't terribly surprising given Microsoft's focus on Xbox Live as a differentiating factor between the Xbox 360 and other consoles. Much more interesting are Magid's statistics concerning Xbox Live Arcade. While the survey discovered that 70% of the surveyed homes have used Xbox Live Arcade, only 28% have actually made a purchase. What is really alarming, however, is that a full 30% of those surveyed were completely unaware of Xbox Live Arcade. In other words, nearly a third of those surveyed didn't know that XBLA even existed. If this percentage translates to all 360 owners, then Microsoft has some serious marketing to do.

Then again, we're not too surprised. After all, 60% of PS3 owners don't know that their console has a Blu-Ray drive.

[Via Joystiq]

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