HUGE Congratulations to Paul Jones! You have won the full prize bundle as detailed below. Please contact me; kris[at]thisisxbox.com with your preferred UK delivery address.
To everyone who entered and shared the competition, thank you. Please stay with us into 2014 as we continue to bring you Xbox One news, reviews, features and competitions. Thanks again – The ThisisXbox Team. 🙂
Here at TiX we are lucky enough to have fantastic readers as well as writers, we have great relationships with publishers and developers alike. To celebrate a fantastic year in Xbox gaming, we have a massive giveaway for you to get involved. We have one big grand prize valued over £300 for you to win to help make your Christmas and New Year that much better. So, what’s up for grabs I hear you cry? Well take a look at this…
Xbox LIVE Arcade Titles:
Xbox 360 Games:
Grand Theft Auto 5
Saints Row IV
Lost Planet 3
Killer is Dead
We’ll also be throwing in the following PC Games to the prize pot:
Recovery Search & Destroy
Police Force 2
Disaster Response Unit
And the following items gathered during 2013 from events and launch packs:
A Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones Paperback book from San Diego ComicCon 2013)
Farm Collection 4D puzzle
007 Limited Edition Cocktail Shaker
Fancy all of this in time for Christmas? Well it’s really simple, we want to know what game our readers enjoyed the most over the past 12 months so reply below with your ‘Xbox Game of the Year 2013‘. This can be either an Xbox 360 or Xbox One title.
For a second entry you’ll need to tweet the following message and include your Twitter name in your post below.
The Xbox LIVE Summer of Arcade is over for another year, and thisisxbox.com would like to thank Xbox for reaching out to us and providing all the review codes for this years line-up. If you haven’t yet bought a single title, or perhaps wondering what-if-any should you go for – then here’s a recap of our reviews.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an exceptional game that is artistically beautiful and enchanting to play. The adventure takes the player on a journey that will tug at your heart strings in a game that is original and a true experience that will keep you glued to your screens. A game that reiterates quality over quantity could not be a truer word spoken. One of the best Xbox LIVE Arcade games to date for 2013 and a strong start for the Summer of Arcade this year!
I would say on the whole it is an excruciatingly difficult game to beat on one sitting. However I can confirm how much more fun this game is for co-operative action. It looks as though it was solely built for a great four player experience among friends to enjoy as playing alone with such a difficult quest did prove to feel really repetitive. In the early stages of the game it felt lack-lustre, just button mash and move-on because it’s just a case of messing with the X and Y buttons!
Week Three – Flashback – Released August 21st 2014.
Flashback is an average game that still fits in right at home on the Xbox LIVE Arcade with a decent campaign in length and a set of unlockable VR Console mini-games to keep you pounding away for hours on end (if not days). It is also one of the most exciting Summer of Arcade titles to be released due to the fame of the original; absolute die-hard fans of the classic might feel a little robbed with the change in difficulty settings because there is a lot of hand-holding as a better way of terminology on the easier settings. As a platformer it’s a great remake in the visual sense with varied gameplay difficulties and a bargain at only 800 MS Points – but as a testament to the original, it has been dumbed down considerably and it is going to be far easier than what gamers are going to be anticipating!
In Conclusion, TMNT: Out of the Shadows is an OK attempt at adapting the new Ninja Turtles in game form. The fact that it’s only 1.7 GB and 16 people individually put out this much effort into an Arcade game is truly commendable but it doesn’t do anything to make you forget or overlook the annoying bugs and glitches, not to mention the hideous camera views. Let’s give it a 6.5 out of 10 and move on to other things. Pizza anyone?
On the whole it hasn’t been the Summer of Arcade we were expecting, given that only Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, was the only exceptional game of the lot! Charlie Murder is great as a co-op game, but dull on its own – Flashback is an average platformer in a remade skin, whilst Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just as well give up and stay beneath the sewers!
Of everything we have played in this years Summer of Arcade, make sure that Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is on your playlist! Going on past history I’d expect to see some reductions on all games in the New Years Xbox LIVE Specials, but you’ll never know until closer to the time.
To ramp up the Summer of Arcade promotions on Xbox LIVE – Xbox has reached out to us to share with our readers details of the new live streaming events to celebrate each of the games in the Summer of Arcade 2013 line-up.
Microsoft Studios has teamed up with several popular YouTube gamers to host a live streaming gameplay event showcasing each week’s new release. Lisa Foiles will be hosting the live shows every Wednesday in August at 3pm PST, previewing that week’s new release. The live events will also feature JesseCox, Raychul Moore and GameGrumps – via Youtube.com/polaris
As a reminder here is the Summer of Arcade line-up on the Xbox LIVE Arcade for 2013.
Brothers: a Tale of two Sons – available now for 1,200 Points
Guide two brothers on an epic journey. Control both at once with each thumb stick in co-op play like never before. Explore puzzles, varied locations and fight boss battles.
Charlie Murder – available now for 800 Points
Fallen punk rock idols Charlie Murder must face off against rival death metal band Gore Quaffer and their army of the damned in an RPG brawler hybrid inspired by coin-op beat ‘em ups and dungeon crawlers.
Flashback – launches August 21st for 800 Points
Conrad B. Hart of the G.B.I. is re-enlisted for the return of an acclaimed gaming franchise. Uncover an alien conspiracy, getting through complex & deadly environments.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – launches August 28th for 1,200 Points
TMNT: Out of the Shadows returns to how it all began. Become the four turtles fighting to save New York City from mutants, the Foot & Shredder.
If you buy any two Summer of Arcade games this year you’ll receive a Souls Pack for Ascend: Hand of Kul, absolutely FREE!
Ska Studio’s latest offering on the Xbox LIVE Arcade is the insanely frustrating Charlie Murder and forms part of the Summer of Arcade line-up for 2013 as the second title in the promotion which is available now on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Featuring the unique art style from the developers’ of other hit titles such as The Dishwasher and the unforgettable indie hit I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1, Charlie Murder has a comic-book style visual quality where you take on the role of fallen punk rock idols who must face off against a rival death metal band.
As it goes for action and brawling, Charlie Murder is quite heavy on the enemy front with a horde of 2D zombie creatures and odd looking beings coming towards you from all directions of the screen. There are plenty of on-screen what-the-fuck-moments to keep you button mashing to the max and a rather hefty selection of Boss Battles to keep you occupied until your eyes pop out on stalks! Although it is very arty in its styling, it is also quite brutal with bloodied scenes of hand-drawn violence featuring decapitations, arms and legs in a mess everywhere – cannibalism too! Beating the undead folk with their own arms, using knives, picking up guns, swords, Ninja’s kicking in from here there ‘n’ everywhere; so as you can likely tell from my description it fast soon becomes a battle of survival with an insane mix of mini-games thrown in for good measures to break up the horde. It doubles up as a test of patience and perseverance, but whilst I played the game mostly in solo you are free to bring in your friends and go for an all-out four player murder spree as each player can take on the role of a different band member.
One of the most noticeable game styles of Charlie Murder is that it plays very Old-Skool, in the way that my first impression would be to describe the game as a Golden Axe filled with Emo’s. I know they’re defined as Punk Rockers in the game, but you’ll think EMO!!! It is also quite difficult in terms of gameplay in that it doesn’t offer a constant set of save points, but it does have a reminiscence to real Arcade games where you have to actually put the effort in to get anywhere near to completion. If you die it’s a matter of starting all over again too from the beginning of the section you’re at; but a good tip is never quit to menu at all costs since you will have to start the entire thing from scratch! This of course not only adds frustration, but more longevity – in a positive way of course!
The main story seems to be about survival and rivalry between bands as rock band Charlie Murder puts you on a quest to save the world from rival death metalers Gore Quaffer and their legions of evil who are the main enemies you face on screen. It also has an RPG-esque take on it where you can find collectibles, buy and sell goods, level up your character, use special abilities which grant you unique ways to perform amazing kills en-mass, and unlock items using an in-game Windows Phone as scan out QR codes! It is a genius mix of punk rock meets 90’s style arcade game retro beat-em-up, and as far as beat-em-ups goes this is pretty damn decent, but not without its gripes because it will make you frustrated in a way that you will want to bash your TV in with the controller, or throw your Xbox out of the window – when you do inevitably die it sadly is the end of your journey and a real “that’s it”, proving just how used to a flurry of save points we are as gamers. Each of the Bosses too require a tactical thinking strategy to your approach, if you rush in and just beat the X button to a pulp on your controller you will die without thinking it through. It’s so very easy to die so many times.
Due to the RPG nature of the game, it does allow for Skill Points to be earned for defeating Bosses and killing enemies amongst “many” other things, but you can choose to allocate these points to improve your Strength, Defence and Speed which should allow you stay alive for longer if wisely allocated. The better you become, and the more points you acquire should thankfully keep you going that little bit longer. Health Hearts are scattered around here, there and everywhere as well coins to build up you cash status so that you can make in-game purchases for apparel that can offer advantages to your fighting style and survival techniques.
I would say on the whole it is an excruciatingly difficult game to beat on one sitting. However I can confirm how much more fun this game is for co-operative action. It looks as though it was solely built for a great four player experience among friends to enjoy as playing alone with such a difficult quest did prove to feel really repetitive. In the early stages of the game it felt lack-lustre, just button mash and move-on because it’s just a case of messing with the X and Y buttons! Then you visit the sections where you get to control vehicles, defeat giant Burgers, partake in the mini games, and jump about defeating ninja’s to their deaths. You’ll roam streets filled with shops, grave yards with deadly witches and by that point you’ve been reeled in so much you just want to try and beat it!
For 800 MS Points (or cash equivalent) it is a worthwhile purchase if only to play the game in co-operative mode. As a standalone single player going solo you are likely to feel frustrated and annoyed by the lack of save points that one more try will soon just become losing the will to live. Amazing how a game can be transformed into a super improved experience when there are more players in the game co-operatively beating the hell out of the evil horde together and sharing in the misery of a lack of save points. It works well and I am not intentionally dissing the lack of saves as it positively enhances the survival experience and brings home the memories of how games used to play with that “just another go” frame of mind.