Zen studios have been creating incredible digital pinball tables for a number of years now, but recent tables have focused on licensed properties, bringing, for example, Marvel and Walking Dead tables to the ever-growing catalogue. The Iron and Steel packs sees the developer return to original tables, as with the Wild West scenario table, and their own property, CastleStorm. What’s more, they’re both terrific, delivering precisely the kind quality we’d expect from these pinball masters.
Both the Wild West and CastleStorm tables expertly walk the line of complexity and accessibility, providing busy and nuanced tables full of options to fling your ball into, without completely overwhelming you with visual flair. That’s not to say there isn’t a heavy sprinkling of visual activity, both tables are beautiful and engaging on an aesthetic level. CastleStorm sees a large dragon perched on the top, blowing fire, and flying around, meanwhile, spinning revolvers on the bumpers of the Wild West table along with a saloon that the ball smashes through the window of, shows both tables’ flair for the theatrical. It’s wonderful to see these digital tables pull of tricks their real-life counter parts could never do.
The Wild West table has a more symmetrical layout than that of Castlestorm, with tight middle lanes that take some skill to reach, but overall sits nicely in the middle when it comes to challenge compared to Pinball FX2’s collection of tables. CastleStorm’s challenge is similar, despite the asymmetry; it also features a mini-playfield that’s easy to reach but difficult to stay in.
The Iron and Steel pack features two stunning and compelling tables that are just as fun to play as any of the licensed tables Zen Studios have crafted. They don’t quite impress on the same level as some of their best Marvel tables, Guardians of the Galaxy in particular, but a return to original properties is refreshing.
Thanks to Zen Studios for supplying TiX with a download code
Zen Studios have recently announced that CastleStorm: Definitive Edition, will be available to download on Xbox One from September 24th 2014. The new version of the tower-defence game brings some great new features not previously on Xbox 360, as well as both DLC packs From Outcast to Savior, and Warrior Queen. In addition to the DLC content, the title has been spruced up to 1080p resolution with improved textures, character models, and voice support if using Kinect.
If you haven’t yet played CastleStorm, then you are in for a real treat! CastleStorm: Definitive Edition serves up a hilarious mix of medieval warfare, 2D physics-based destruction, and tower defense, with some melee brawler action thrown in! It also features a story-driven solo campaign, a custom castle editor, online multiplayer, co-op modes, and more. This version of the game will feature the entire original campaign and expansions, plus a bunch of new content including new battles, modes, spells and features, all running 1080p at 60 frames per second.
CastleStorm: Definitive Edition launches on September 24th for $9.99/€9,99/£7.99 on the Xbox One Marketplace
We always like to hear about more games coming to Xbox One and today our friends over at Zen Studios announced we can expect 3 titles from them to grace our beloved console: Pinball FX2, CastleStorm – Definitive Edition & Kickbeat – Special Edition, will all soon be with us via ID@Xbox.
In fact CastleStorm – Definitive Editionwill be playable at the ID@Xbox Showcase today.
It is an exciting time for independent developers and we definitely feel strong support from both Microsoft and Sony in helping us bring our games to these new consoles. Our community has been shouting at us to bring games to Xbox One. Today it is a relief to let them know that games are on the way!
said Mel Kirk, Vice President of Publishing at Zen Studios
Pinball FX2 has been a staple in the digital download space for the past 4 years and was the bestselling game on Xbox Live Arcade in 2011. Zen Studios remains deeply committed to releasing new pinball tables based on amazing themes like Marvel, Star Wars and Plants vs. Zombies. Zen Studios has secured new, unannounced IPs that will make their way to Xbox One this year.
Super-genre mashup CastleStorm – Definitive Edition is invading Xbox One, featuring brand new content from its original instalment which released in May of 2013. New battles, modes, spells and features are being added to the experience.
Finally, kung-fu themed rhythm fighter KickBeat gets a Special Edition for its release on Xbox One. New features, additional soundtracks and other enhancements are being added to the original campaign. KickBeat – Special Editionoffers players several innovative ways to interact with music. The game combines beat-matching mechanics with an acrobatic style of martial arts, turning every song into a raucous battle. The game also features a music analyser that allows players to create new tracks from their own music libraries.
Keep you eyes on ThisisXbox over the coming months for further news and announcements from Zen Studios as they work closely with ID@Xbox.
Zen Studio’s brand spanking new tower defense game “CastleStorm” storms its way on the Xbox LIVE Arcade today, and the developers claim the title is based on the old-age childhood favourite game of Lego where much fun is to be had building and destroying Lego Castles! If that was a personal favourite for you growing up, or well – even now still (admit it) – then you might find some enjoyment to CastleStorm, but I’d rather prefer to say it resembles the lovechild of last year’s “Summer of Arcade” Kinect game Wreckateer and the massively popular Angry Birds from Rovio. There’s a lot of fun to be had destroying other people’s property; not that we’re encouraging you to break the law, but within the gaming world there comes a sense of satisfaction when you can see your enemies diminishing before you. Also, touching on the subject of Lego, I actually cannot remember building Lego castles because for me it was all about houses and spaceships that I dare anyone to destroy!
Although as a tower defense brawler the main aim within CastleStorm is to defend your castle whilst taking down a wave of oncoming enemies and their own castle, there’s a unique mix of gameplay variation wrapped up in the middle of all the action where different characters and weapons come into play to suit how you wish to defend and attack. It’s not over-complex to master as we’ll discuss later on, but starting with the Single Player campaign it’s presented as a comical story of Knights vs. Vikings over 12 levels where medieval warfare meets 2D physics-based destruction! You can learn to harness the power of medieval artillery, manage ground attacks with your own army, and cast powerful offensive and defensive spells. Each level starts with the two main factions on opposite sides of the 2D map, each with their own castle and then the battle of the two-sides commences. The gameplay variations of CastleStorm which perhaps make the game stand out from its genre competition is that “you” can choose how to defeat your enemies with the means of capturing the enemy flag, destroying their castle, or some of the other predetermined level objectives. All of this is in order to claim victory and reap the rewards to be able to level up your artillery and army for the next round of enemy onslaught. Gameplay requires strategy whilst using limited resources to defend and attack combined.
Linking back to where I couldn’t help but feel a sense of Angry Birds about CastleStorm, your main weapon is a Ballista (slingshot-esque-weapon) attached to the front of your castle, with this you take aim at the enemy armies striking towards you with your projectiles and shoot them to death, or accurately try to strike the enemy castle in the far distance until it tumbles down. This also is a similar approach that Wreckateer had – all about taking aim at the enemy castle and destroying it, but there is a greater sense of control in CastleStorm as you can seamlessly switch between using the Ballista, placing your varied strenght Knights and Swordsmen on the front line or using spells to your advantage. The Ballista can project a range of deadly arrows, Javelins, Harpoons and even Sheep! Your Troops will also fight on the front line as they come face to face with the enemy Trolls and Dragons en-route to bash the door down off your castle and storm into your territory, and finally spells provide offensive and defensive magic to aid your survival. One such magical conjuring ability is the Heavenly Sword, casting this spell brings down several sharp swords over a troop of your choice and slices them – or alternatively a Projectile Shield can be called upon to block incoming enemy projectiles. Not everything is unlocked all at once, as the game teases you in gently gradually unlocking more and more abilities as you progress through it, whilst campaign to me really seems to be a great learning tool in preparation before taking your battle online over Xbox LIVE where the determination to win is more personal against a real person.
Taking CastleStorm online over Xbox LIVE will present to you three game options of Versus, Survival and Hero Survival where Versus is the two-sided all out war as you oppose each other, Survival is a wave based game to survive the enemy Viking onslaught – or if you opt for the Co-op mode you can play Survival Co-op where two players can team up online to fight off waves of enemies together. One player can control the Ballista whilst the other can control enemy armies on the ground. Good timing and great aim are essential in Survival Co-op as friendly fire could be harmful to your own troops! Finally Hero Survival is a wave based game type where your hardened Battle Heroes are tested in the battle grounds – forget the Ballista, it’s strictly close combat only with enemies coming from either side of the screen.
Going back to the mention of Lego building again, CastleStorm features a level editor that allows you to build and create your own custom castles that will be used in battle, including online multiplayer battle. The developers advise that “Castles must be constructed wisely, as choices determine which types of troops and resources will be available during battle!” The best way to think of the editor is a 2D forge mode, your castle blueprints will be shown across a graph sheet with room options and accurate positioning. It’s fairly straight forward and intuitive to use with options for structural and main-gates design, but it’s also pretty neat to build an amazing castle and then put it to the test before adding it to your collection of grand designs for online battle. However, if you’re not the creative type then you can use the many pre-designed castles included that has been sampled in the campaign mode.
Visually CastleStorm is sharp, bright with a comic-book feel to reflect a comical story about the Knights and Vikings fiasco over special gems in the basic plotline, the main purpose of battle. It’s a novelty Tower Defense game that is appropriately priced at 800 MS Points too, but I’m not convinced the novelty will last long. If you can master the art of strategic gameplay combined with managing limited resources without taking your eyes off the battleground – this is the game for you! If you’re after something deep and meaningful or more platform orientated then definitely keep your distance from its cartoonish charm. Definitely recommended to download the demo on Xbox LIVE before committing to a purchase; CastleStorm is a decent enough game, but unless you’re a fan or familiar with Tower defense titles you will likely get bored pretty quickly.
ZenStudios are set to release the super genre mashup “CastleStorm” for the Xbox LIVE Arcade on May 29th, 2013. The game is built on the fond childhood memory of building and destroying Lego castles, CastleStorm mixes things up with 2D physics destruction mashed with tower defense brawler and a comical story for just 800 MS Points at launch.
It’s Knights vs. Vikings in CastleStorm, where medieval warfare meets 2D physics-based destruction! Controlling the battle in real time, players will harness the power of medieval artillery, manage a fearsome ground attack, and cast powerful spells! CastleStorm features a story-driven solo campaign, a custom castle editor, online multiplayer, co-op modes, and more. Building castles and knocking them down has never been so much fun!
CastleStorm also features a dynamic castle editor allowing players to construct their own castles which can be used during gameplay, including multiplayer battles!