As part of its ‘Arcade NEXT’ promotion (yeah, I hadn’t heard about this before today either), Microsoft have just released details of four upcoming XBLA titles to be released in April and May. These games also mark a change in policy on Xbox Live, as Arcade games will now feature 400 Gamerscore with 30 achievements to unlock. Below is the marketing jargon for each game to be released.
TRIALS EVOLUTION, April 18 for 1200 Microsoft Points
“Trials Evolution” is on every front, the next dimension of the smash-hit, award-winning “Trials HD.” Bust out of the warehouse into an outdoor world of night and day, curved driving lines, and spectacular scenery. Multiplayer comes alive in your living room or on Xbox LIVE. Build your own tracks with the in-game editor or download those of any other player from the new Track Central. Customize your bike and rider with awesome gear and unique parts, enjoy innovative skill games, try ghost racing, beat your friends’ scores and more! Don’t miss the madness!
BLOODFORGE, April 25 for 1200 Microsoft Points
With a brutal combat system, stunning art style, and a deeply compelling story, “Bloodforge” empowers you to slaughter hordes of demonic soldiers, deformed worshippers, and the gods themselves, using ferocious Rage Kills, devastating Rune attacks, and furious Weapon Combos. Help seal Crom’s fate – and the fate of the rest of the world – in this dark, visceral story of revenge, betrayal, and destiny.
FABLE HEROES, May 2 for 800 Microsoft Points
“Fable Heroes” is an action-packed, hack-and-slash adventure built for Xbox LIVE Arcade. It delivers a fresh spin on the “Fable” franchise with a unique art style and gameplay that takes playful competition to the next level. Whether on the couch or using Xbox LIVE, up to four players work together to defeat enemies while also competing with one another to collect gold coins and level up. Precious gold collected in Fable Heroes can be imported into the forthcoming Kinect title, Fable: The Journey, providing players with a valuable head start from day one.
MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION, May 9 for 1600 Microsoft Points
The infinite possibilities in “Minecraft” just got bigger. “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” brings the global phenomenon to console gamers for the first time. The Xbox LIVE Arcade version of the game features an innovative new crafting interface, natural controller movements, a full Tutorial mode to teach the basics and for the first time in “Minecraft,” split-screen multiplayer as well as over Xbox LIVE.
So, Minecraft will be with us in May, and Trials Evolution (which looks properly superb) will be with us much earlier than expected. Cheers Microsoft!