Graphic novel inspirations and cartoon violence is thriving on XBL this week, a nice action fuelled antidote to the lame wet weather. Hurrah for rainy days â€“ it just means more reasons to play Xbox. Sadly though, thereâ€™s not a lot on offer this week to stay indoors for. Doesnâ€™t Microsoft know thereâ€™s a bank holiday coming up?!
Scott Pilgrim Vs the World â€“ 800MP
Pixel romances are never easy and for Scott Pilgrim itâ€™s no exception. Based on the graphic novel by Bryan Lee Oâ€™Malley and released to coincide with the summer blockbuster (also based on the graphic novel), Mr Pilgrim must fight seven evil ex-boyfriends in order to win the heart of the brilliantly named Ramona Flowers. Amazing pixel art and 8-bit animations from Paul Robertson, an awesome soundtrack and an impressive cast of enemies, all with different abilities and quirks make this a great game. Fans of the novels will love the video store and other comic references littered throughout, fans of the film will love the same humour and action whilst gamers everywhere should love the happy reinvention of old school graphics and traditional side-scrolling presentation that packs plenty of punch. Ubisoft have even gone the extra mile to include classic touches like the â€˜up, down, rightâ€™ type cheat modes and have worked hard at making a game that has lots of contemporary nods that is great fun to play. It feels like it should be labelled 80s vintage yet within the context it really works! Up to 3 other co-op players can join Scott in the brawl taking on the roles of Ramona, Kim Pine and Steven Stills where you can lend each other cash or play as a band plus there are 12 achievements up for grabs as well as plenty other modes and unlockable shop items that will keep you playing beyond your first 5 or 6 hour run through. Itâ€™s a film tie-in but not as we know it and is most certainly my recommendation of the week.
Shank â€“ 1200MP
Looking like itâ€™s straight out of a Saturday morning schedule from the Cartoon Network and littered with filmic references whilst packed full of adult gore and weapons, Shank is an undemanding 2D tale of bloody revenge. With Chainsaws, pistols, knives, swords, grenades, trains and good ole fisty-cuffs at your disposal, this feels like it should be a rowdy good title but somehow it doesnâ€™t quite deliver. Youâ€™ll quickly realise that the reason this game looks so good with a distracting yet entertaining supply of spurting blood from the bad guys is to try and drag your attention away from the fact the story is wafer thin whilst the combat is an unimaginatively repetitive, button-mashing affair. Though you have such a wide variety of moves and weapons to choose from, ultimately, it matters not as the impact on your opponents is inconsistent, there are oodles of power ups so you wonâ€™t die much and with very little strategy, itâ€™s all a bit superficial and the fun doesnâ€™t last that long. Itâ€™s big but itâ€™s not clever.
Elsewhere to buy, this week there are……… NO TITLES! What??! How Shabby â€“ I guess Microsoft are giving you one last chance to check out the Summer of Arcade titles. Download 3 before the end of the month and theyâ€™ll give you 400MP back. Download all 5 titles for 1200MP back â€“ and please spend these wisely, not on gimmicky SHANK games…
Add-ons now and let the music play on with a whole host of 440MP packs to choose from:
Do get disturbed with this Disturbed Track Pack 03 featuring:
â€Another Way to Dieâ€ by Disturbed
â€Asylumâ€ by Disturbed
â€The Animalâ€ by Disturbed
Or go for a variety pack with the Universal Motown Republic Rock Pack 01 â€“ now thereâ€™s a title and a half for you and it features:
â€Mountain Manâ€ by Crash Kings
â€Seasonsâ€ by the Veer Union
â€Bury Me Aliveâ€ by We Are the Fallen
Weâ€™ve had retro 80s pixel titles in the arcade, now belt out some 80s classics with a double dose of Huey Lewis! Song Pack Vol. 01 features:
â€Workinâ€™ For a Livingâ€™â€ by Huey Lewis & the News
â€Hip to be Squareâ€ by Huey Lewis & the News
â€If This is Itâ€ by Huey Lewis & the News
Whilst Song Pack Vol. 02 features:
â€The Heart of Rock and Rollâ€ by Huey Lewis & the News
â€Do You Believe in Loveâ€ by Huey Lewis & the News
â€Stuck With Youâ€ by Huey Lewis & the News
Guitar Hero 5
This week the pack on offer is a Megadeth track pack featuring:
â€Peace Sellsâ€ by Megadeth
â€Symphony of Destructionâ€ by Megadeth
All of the above songs can be bought individually for 160MP each so have a music packed bank holiday!
Finally, Indie Games and this week the quality has once again taken a nose dive. As always, there are a couple worth a mention but itâ€™s more a case of best of a bad bunchâ€¦
Baby Soothing Machine â€“ 80MP
With bring primary colours, smooth balls and space rings easing their way across the screen with accompanying tinkling music, your beloved baby will soon be having peaceful dreams. Perfect for late night feeding sessions or can even be used as relaxation time after a strenuous and lengthy gaming session. Good idea but could do with looking a little more baby friendly (black backgrounds arenâ€™t commonly seen in nurseries up and down the country) but at 80MP, worth investigating.
King Spray â€“ 240MP
Turns your Xbox controller into a spray can then provides you with a whole of environments to get tagging. You can also use the controller as a marker pen and can use rollers and stencils to create your designs. Thereâ€™s a ghetto blaster to blast out some of your top tunes whilst your doodling away and you can then capture your art work to display to our all your home boys. The locations are a little predictable in their scope whereas the price tag is very surprising and feels a bit over the top.
This could officially be the shortest weekly update ever! As the summer draws to an early end, things are quiet on the Xbox front which I hope means weâ€™re in for an excellent autumn! HAPPY BANK HOLIDAY EVERYONE