I must admit my curiosity is peaked at how the game exec's come up with the consumer price for "downloadable" games. Although I know I am not on the inside track of the in's & out's of the cost to produce and distribute "downloadable games and content. It seems to me that the distribution cost should be minimal, right. the early stages of the game industry prices. For a while now the $ 50 price tag seems to be the industry norm for retail games. Until the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3, which jumped up to an average of $ 60 per game title. Yet no such standard rates are in action for the "downloadable" sector.
Do not get me wrong, if the game title promises excellent game play and reviews are good, I do not mind forking over more. However, I have played more than my far share of games that defy the average in both quality and quantity.
Any, on-ward and up-ward, this spring and summer seem to offer quite a variety for all gaming genres. Xbox Live Arcade's Defense Grid: Awakening seems promising. If it sounds vaguely familiar, that is because the cleverly designed tower defense game received allot of attention upon its initial release on PC. As endless streams of aliens rush your base to steel away you power cores, your hastily constructed defenses hold the line against the enemy. The game takes the tried and true tower defense concept and makes it purchase worthy by balancing a steady learning curve, and an intriguing array of options as you layout your strategy. When you begin shaping the board to your purposes and finding the right formula of units, Defense Grid begins to shine where most entries in the genre get repetitive.
PlayStation Network (Sony) is looking forward to the long awaited release of Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic. It began as a side project by Mark Healy during his tenure at Lionhead, and has since been tweaked and evolved for its release on Sony's platform, even though it's originator Healy has moved on to Media Molecule. The game is a four-person brawler, complete with wild martial arts combos, and silly kung-fu characters. The real fun starts with hilarious challenges such as Capture-the-Fish as well as a surprisingly deep control scheme, which assures the players some solid game play to tackle after the chuckles subside. Sadly, even with its extensive character editor, this will not keep your attention for the final summer. However, it does smack of great weekend get-togethers.
A classic recently released on DS titles has made its way to Live Arcade. Space Invaders Extreme offers the same great game play that's helped to secured its niche in the early on in the gaming industry, increasingly speedy, descending spaceships. It also boasts the addition of power-ups based on hitting similarly colored enemies, which breaks open the design, making for some challenging play sessions. Bonus rounds, multiple enemy types, branching tree levels, and boss fights all combine to create a game far more complex and entertaining than a first glance might indicate. Not to mention the best part for Live Arcade players … four player on-line co-op.
Adventure gamers are probably well aware of Telltale Games, but its recent works deserve some spotlight. Last year's Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People (PC & WiiWare) was a great rendition of the ever-increasing point-and-click platform. Xbox Live Arcade and PC download service will be home to the studio's newest endeavor Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures. Telltale Games takes the classic clay-mation series and gives it the game treatment. As with Strong Bad, the charm of the main characters certainly shines through. The first of four episodes should be out on the Xbox Live Arcade sometime this summer. If that is not enough, it sounds as if Telltale is also working on a version of Sam & Max they are preparing for Live Arcade as well slated for a few months after that.