Xbox LIVE Wrap-Up for January 7th, 2010

2010 is here and, thankfully, there is no shortage of goodies to be found on Xbox LIVE this week. Let’s cut to the chase as we see the return of the Xbox LIVE Arcade release:

Xbox LIVE Arcade – Matt Hazard in Blood Bath & Beyond
While there was no Xbox LIVE Arcade title to report on last week, Vicious Cycle is ringing in the new year by bringing Xbox owners (and, tomorrow, Playstation owners) a new release in the tongue-in-cheek series that attempts to make a nod to video games – Matt Hazard. Blood Bath & Beyond attempts to garner players’ nostalgia by thrusting them into a no-nonsense 2D action fest for up to two players by also dragging in Matt’s sidekick Dexter. Of course, the game will still contain many nods to video game clichés and parodies, but given the 3D graphical overhaul to the title, it is looking to represent something akin to a pure action version of Shadow Complex, which, when you consider that title was our 2009 Xbox Exclusive Game of the Year, that seems to be a good thing.

D3Publisher is again behind the title, which will cost players $15 (1200 Microsoft Points). If I come across some Microsoft Points to burn, you should see some more in-depth coverage on this title in the near future. While Matt Yeager wasn’t fully sold on the original title released on the 360 in Diehard GameFAN’s review of Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, perhaps the 2D action hook will serve up a better nostalgia kick. If you’re still on the fence about Blood Bath & Beyond, you can download the free demo and check out some Matt Hazard screenshots on Diehard GameFAN.

Game Add-ons – Dragon Age: Origins – Return to Ostagar (DELAYED)
Unfortunately, while this was slated to release on Jan. 5, it was unceremoniously delayed until further notice. We feel the pain of Dragon Age fans, but amid the announcement of the delay, EA unveiled a fully-fledged expansion in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening to be released on March 16 for $39.99. The expansion will allow players to re-spec attributes along with other ways to customize their party along with a raised level cap, new spells, abilities, specializations, items and five all-new party members. Not only can players start from scratch, but they can also import their previous character from Origins as the story takes place following the events of the original title. But, hey, if you still haven’t jumped onboard this RPG epic, this still gives you time to catch up. You can catch Mark B.’s opinion of the 360 version of Origins in Diehard GameFAN’s review of Dragon Age.

Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week: A Kingdom for Keflings is now 400 Microsoft Points
The reduced price might finally be enough for me to finally check out this management title that launched around the release of the current dashboard layout. A Kingdom for Keflings allows players to use their avatars as in-game characters and this week allow players to do so at 50% off the normal price.

Games on Demand: Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Another title hits the service at the price of 1600 Microsoft Points, this time offering the Rare-developed duo’s first original Xbox adventure. If you need a guide on whether or not the title is worth your hard-earned Microsoft Points, you can check out Widro’s opinion on the title with Diehard GameFAN’s review of Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

Demo: Dark Void
Capcom’s jetpack adventure now has a hands-on demo so players can sample a taste of what the company has been clamoring about for some time now. This sci-fi adventure is set to release soon on the 360, but until then, give the demo a spin and check out our preview of Dark Void from E3 2009.

Music Game Marketplace
With many music game titles receiving expansion content on a weekly basis, it may start to become hard to follow, especially with these updates usually covering up the entire line of recent updates on the Xbox dashboard. This week, Rock Band adds live Paul McCartney tracks and Lips gets a dose of The Miracles.

Rock Band:
Available Now
Paul McCartney – “Band on the Run (Live)”
Paul McCartney – “Jet (Live)”
Paul McCartney – “Sing the Changes (Live)”
Blink-182 – “Adam’s Song”
Blink-182 – “First Date”
Blink-182 – “I Miss You”
The Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”
The Psychedelic Furs – “Sister Europe”
The Ramones – “Rock “Ëœn’ Roll High School”

Lips:
The Miracles Song Pack
“Love Machine (Part 1)”
“The Track of My Tears”
“I Second That Emotion”

Not a half bad way to kick off the new year. Where will things go from here? Check back next week as we wrap up yet another week of content to be found on Xbox LIVE.

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