Hello everyone and welcome once again to Patch Notes. A few housekeeping chores are in order this week. First off I, want to apologize to those loyal readers who wait with bated breath every other Friday for a new edition of Patch Notes. Unfortunately due to a prior commitment I wasn't able to get v1.1 out to you until now. If you missed me, I'm sorry.
Secondly I would like to let all of you know that I will be expanding Patch Notes scope of coverage. I'll still be talking about all the awesome DLC and patches that drop for your favorite games but now I've been given the go ahead to incorporate all things downloadable into this column. Which means I'll be adding PSN, XBLA and other downloadable games to the mixture as well as a few mobile titles. More games, more patches, more DLC, more Patch Notes. Now let's get on with the show.
This past week Xbox Live's Major Nelson announced via his blog this year's Summer of Arcade I've got all the skinny for you on some of these download titles that will help get you through the dry hot summer.
Summer of Arcade will kick off on July 18th with one of my most anticipated titles, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD. Many years ago while I was still in high school I fell in love with Mr. 900's skateboarding experience and was a major fan of the series for many years at least until...the dark times. The series began to lose it's luster sometime around 2003 when after four numbered sequels Tony Hawk's Underground was released. Underground still had a handle on the gameplay that made the series super fun over the years but at the same time lost it's grip on reality. After that the annualization of the series continued right up until 2010 when people just stopped caring and more importantly stopped buying. The game had become a shell of what I fell in love with all those years ago. 2011 was the first year since the series debuted in 1999 that did not see the release of a Tony Hawk game and that was okay. Gamers would have been outraged had they not stopped caring sometime around 2005. It's now 2012 and the Hawk has returned to the nest. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD will feature levels from the first two games in the series and even some of the original soundtrack. They're going back to basics and I really do think that that's the best thing for the series.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD will be released on July 18th 2012 for 1200 MS Points.
Next up we have Wreckateer, the only Kinect enabled offering joining the Summer of Arcade. Wreckateer will have you manning a catapult trying to destroy castle and keeps by using your body to aim your shots and sometimes take direct control of your projectiles. It seems like a 3D take Angry Birds' gameplay. It seems like it my offer some casual party time fun and looks to be the most family friendly offering to be released during Summer of Arcade.
Wreckateer will be released on July 25th 2012 for 800 MS Points.
Deadlight is the third title to be featured during Summer of Arcade and will bring some survival horror action to the sunshine laden summer. Deadlight is a side scrolling survival horror that will have players jumping, shooting and solving puzzles to stay alive in what appears to be a side-scrolling mash up of Left4Dead and I Am Alive.
Deadlight will be released on August 1st 2012 for 1200 MS Points.
Forth on the list is Hybrid. Hybrid is the only shooter to to be offered up during Summer of Arcade and that's okay because it would appear to have all the shooting anyone would ever need. Based on the gameplay footage I’ve seen, Hybrid looks to be a fast paced third-person shooter with tight enclosed maps and jet packs. I'm calling this one a frantic third person version of Tribes: Ascend. The game will come with 10 maps and would appear to have some Halo: Reach inspired character customization.
Hybrid will be released on August 8th 2012 for 1200 MS Points.
This year's Summer of Arcade will wrap up with Dust: An Elysian Trail which actually appears to be prettiest and most whimsical offering of the promotion. A 2D side-scrolling hack and slash platformer which has the player making mince meat out of all sorts of fantasy inspired baddies. The big draw here is the art style which appears to be an Anime inspired cell shaded sort of look. There's also lots of bright colours which may offer an engaging contrast to something like Deadlight which will obviously have a darker, grittier look.
Dust: An Elysian Trail will be released on August 15th 2012 for 1200 MS Points.
That's five cool looking titles for five weeks coming your way this summer from Microsoft. While all of them appear to deserve at least a glance, I know that 5 600 MS Points is a lot to spend when you should be outside enjoying the awesome weather. If I had to just pick just one title to grab during Summer of Arcade it's safe to say that it would be Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD. I love skateboarding and I'd really like to love Tony Hawk again, just like the old days. It looks like Summer of Arcade will offer up some excellent variety with its titles,there really is something here for everyone. So instead of buying your daily Slurpee, why not save that cash a pick up a title or two when Xbox Live's Summer of Arcade kicks off on July 18th. Because who really want's to play outside when there's games to be played inside, where there's air conditioning.
Fun Fact: Tim has been skateboarding since he was 13 years old. His favorite trick is a smooth and stylish Frontside Boardslide.