With all the rain weâ€™ve had this week, looks like the worms have woken up and come to the surface! Be the early bird and have a tasty bite of whatâ€™s on offer in the arcade this week:
Earthworm Jim HD â€“ 800MP
The grooviest worm on earth is back and heâ€™s high in definition! Donning the bionic suit that accidentally fell on him from space is cow-launching Jim. Forget any story (I think there is one around here somewhere), this game is all about running, using your crazy handgun, trying to time your jumps or using Jimâ€™s wormy body as a swinging rope to get through one zany level to the next and fighting even weirder bosses (Major Mucus and Evil the Cat being my favourites) on the way. New features include a 4-player co-op option and thereâ€™s never before seen enemies to blast and locations to explore, though I suspect fans of the original game would buy this groovy new HD version without these new additions. The classic cult soundtrack has also had some work done and it all goes to remind you how great this nineties game still is. New comers to Jimâ€™s world might find that what you can do with Jim is actually quite limited, so is often frustrating, but itâ€™s worth checking out just to witness the sheer strangeness of this surreal title â€“ most definitely my recommendation of the week.
NEOGEO BATTLE COLISEUM – 800MP
Not sure why the title of this one is in capitals but Xbox Live welcomes over 30 characters from the wide range of NeoGeo titles for some top tag-team 2D action. With weapons and robots, use special moves and super special moves – some of which you can only perform depending on which combination of characters you select. Put the right pair together and you can easily wipe out your rivals. Add fabulous high definition graphics to the mix and this games becomes a must have for all fighting fans.
Elsewhere to buy:
Need for Speed Undercover – Â£14.99
With Need for Speed World â€“ the new MMO action racing title due to be released for the PC at the end of July, there is no better time to brush up on your skills and NFS Undercover will test the best of you racers out there. The more missions you complete, the more stats you create which then allow you to level up your driving skills. The higher your level the more the cop chases become absolutely insane! With a pretty lame story about infiltrating an international crime syndicate, there is some attempt at narrative with cut scenes helping it along but as we all know, NFS is all about the cars (55 beauties to choose from) and putting pedal to the metal though I feel this is perhaps one for those that have played other titles in the series rather than newcomers.
Red Faction: Guerrilla – Â£14.99
Mars is under the control of the aggressive Earth Defense Force (EDF) and newcomer Alec Mason has just arrived on the red planet looking for work. Playing as Alec, youâ€™ll soon find yourself in the middle of escalating violence in the battle for survival as you join the Red Faction resistance whose sole aim is to destroy EDF and here, we really do mean destroy! Though there are a number of side missions to the single player story that involve rescuing or escaping, really this game is all about demolishing buildings in whatever way you can â€“ bombs, sledgehammers, rockets or vehicles â€“ use anything you can lay your hands on to bring the evil EDF to itâ€™s knees! For ultimate explosive fun, also check out Wrecking Crew multiplayer mode.
Add-Ons now and shock horror â€“ there are more than just Rock Band titles this week, which means lots of variety in the Add-Ons menu! Be still my beating heart.
Rock Band and for just 160MP each fans this week can have:
â€Rock Readyâ€ by Crown of Thorns
â€The Great Escapeâ€ by Boys Like Girls
â€Minervaâ€ by Deftones
â€Cherry Wavesâ€ by Deftones
â€Hole in the Earthâ€ by Deftones
All the Deftones tracks are also available as a Deftones Track Pack 01 for 440MP
Maloof Money Cup 2010 NYC Pack â€“ 400MP
Head over to New York City to take on some of Skatingâ€™s leading names in the Maloof Money Cup â€“ one of skate boardingâ€™s biggest and best annual contests. As the pack title suggests, youâ€™re not just skating for pride but for wads of lovely cash as well!
Forza Motorsport 3
Summer Velocity Pack â€“ 400MP
Who says the summer has to be all about football? Adding to the games 400 classic cars on offer, this pack contains ten new cars to race and customize including: 2010 Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racecar, 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG, 2010 BMW Motorsport X6M, 2010 Morgan Aero SuperSports, 2009 Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, 2010 Bertone Mantide, 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, 2010 Ford Fusion Sport, 2010 Subaru Legacy B4 2.5GT, 2010 Peugeot 308 RCZ. Youâ€™ll be dreaming of cars! N.B. In-game credits required to purchase these cars in Season Play.
Clash of the Titans
Apolloâ€™s Challenge Quest Pack â€“ 160MP
Perseus is at it again but thereâ€™s new sub weapons and rare gift items to be had if you clear these new quests from the Sun God Apollo: “Tyrant of the Swamp” and “Two Headed Wolf” are playable after completion of Main Quest 24 whilst “Sleeping Bull of the Labyrinth” is playable after completion of Main Quest 49. Go on Perseus; defeat the mythical beasts from Greek mythology and rise to new heights of power!
Defense Grid: the Awakening
Map Pack 2 – 80MP
Short and sweet this one â€“ continue to keep those intimidating aliens at bay by building and upgrading your towers with Map Pack 2 which contains two new maps: â€œRisk Exposureâ€ and â€œRoundaboutâ€, plus you get one new achievement.
Finally, Indie Games and continuing the theme of playing surreal games starring worms, first up we have:
Nice Try â€“ 80MP
Despite having one of the worst titles I have ever come across, this title will really appeal to gamers of all ages in the family. Play in solo, co-op or versus mode and guide your worm through a series of hazards and learn some important life rules at the same time â€“ eating good things makes you grow, eating bad things make you feel bad or might even kill you, whereas drinking lots and lots of cola makes you burp. Never a truer word said.
Urban Space Squirrels â€“ 80MP
I like the look of this game â€“ a mix of cartoon network animation mixed with the animal graphics from Silicone Valley on the N64, but Iâ€™ll be honest with you, Iâ€™m not sure I can fully explain what itâ€™s about. This is exactly why Iâ€™ve included it on this weeks list â€“ at only 80MP if the surreal world of Earthworm Jim didnâ€™t appeal, then surely the chance of playing with a bomb throwing super powered squirrel that flies through space must.
Spell Find â€“ 80MP
If worms or flying squirrels aren’t your thing, I suggest this title. I love the look of this game â€“ itâ€™s like typewriter art! Using retro graphics, this is a combination of word searching (hurrah for puzzle fans) and fantasy combat (hurrah for fighting wizards whose bodies are made up of letters and characters fans). Words you find in the grid will affect your opponent â€“ for example if you find FREEZE, you temporarily disable their controls whilst words like INFECT would poison your opponents minions such as ARCHERS, CLERICS or GOBLINS. I notice a common spell to look for is SEDUCE which could make things interesting. A simple idea that I think should appeal to a wide audience and is perfect for passing the time on these rainy nights in.
Quite a range of odd titles this week but thereâ€™s plenty to suit all tastes and skills. With all the variety that will be on show at E3, itâ€™s great to see such diverse, excellent and downright weird titles on offer via XBL, helping those of us who canâ€™t make it to LA feel a little bit better.