We’re in like a lion with our very first Xbox Wrap-Up for the month of March and while the week kicks off the Xbox LIVE Arcade Block Party, we actually don’t have much to work with this week. I suppose that’s for the better, though; I still have General Knoxx still taunting me from last week and this week’s Resident Evil 5 addition is eagerly waiting for me to return home tonight. There is still something for everyone, though, including an insanely long demo, more music updates and more. Let’s get into the details, shall we?
Xbox LIVE Arcade – Toy Soldiers
First out of the gate is Signal Studio’s Toy Soldiers, an action strategy game that handles sort of like a tower defense title; however, when the going gets tough, the player can actually manually control an individual unit and pick their targets on their own. The title features 50 units, two armies, and a number of maps and multiplayer options, so the 1200 Microsoft Point asking price doesn’t seem too absurd. The press release indicates the controls are simplistic enough for anyone to get into, but you can put that statement to the test with a free demo on the Xbox LIVE service. Published by MGS, Toy Soldiers is the first release for the Xbox LIVE Arcade Block Party, so don’t forget our details from last week’s Xbox LIVE Wrap-Up to find out how you can get some redemption items if you plan to pick up all of this month’s offerings.
Again, the remainder of the month will see Scrap Metal, Perfect Dark, and Game Room enter the Xbox LIVE Arcade action.
Lastly, while a delay tripped up the release of our The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom review, you will see we have published the piece today.
Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week – Gears of War Avatar Items
Well, normally we get an Xbox LIVE Arcade title or a game expansion in this slot, but this week, we have a few select avatar items on sale. There’s nothing wrong with that if you want to deck out your avatar and this sale gives users two different Gears of War avatar items at lower prices. This week for Gold members, the COG Armor is available for 240 Microsoft Points and the helmet is available for 80 Microsoft Points. I don’t really have any Diehard GameFAN reviews for these items, so, yeah, this deal of the week description is a little short.
Game Add-Ons – Resident Evil 5
Well, this title is certainly no stranger to the Xbox LIVE Wrap-Up recently, and this week we see the final game add-ons for RE5 before the Gold Edition hits stores on March 9 to provide store shelves with a copy of Resident Evil 5 and download codes for all of the material.
First off, we have the new storyline content entitled Desperate Escape, which puts players in the roles of Jill Valentine and Josh Stone while smack-dab in the middle of Resident Evil 5′s story. Both characters must work together to survive the dangerous Tricell facility as they race toward the events at the conclusion of RE5. Also, the expansion adds Josh Stone and Resident Evil veteran Rebecca Chambers to the Mercenaries Reunion mode. The expansion will cost players another 400 Microsoft Points. However, given Mark B.’s positive comments in Diehard GameFAN’s review of Lost in Nightmares, if Capcom has duplicated the expansion experience, fans of the game will be in for a treat.
Also, for the fee of 160 Microsoft Points, players can nab costume pack number two, which provides Chris with his Heavy Metal battle attire and Sheva with a business suit. Of course, this download adds these two character layouts to The Mercenaries Reunion mode as well.
Game Demos – Darksiders
While most demos only give players a sliver of the game’s gameplay, THQ has gone against the grain and placed a demo of Darksiders on the Xbox LIVE service that allows players to play all the way through the first fortress. This length of gameplay is what THQ claims is 90 minutes of gameplay. If such a huge taste of the game isn’t enough for you to make a purchasing decision, perhaps you would like to check out A.J. Hess’ opinion on the title in Diehard GameFAN’s review of Darksiders.
Games on Demand – Fallout 3
For $29.99, players can now download Bethesda’s incredible RPG experience Fallout 3 on to their hard drives. I’ll back the greatness of this title, but if you don’t want to take my word for it, the title nabbed Diehard GameFAN’s best RPG of 2008 award and you can see what Michael O’Reilly said about the Playstation 3 version in our review of Fallout 3. If a Playstation 3 review isn’t good enough for your Xbox 360 eyes, then you can see what A.J. Hess had to say about the first three Fallout 3 expansions as well as the final expansions on the Xbox 360 format.
Xbox Avatar Marketplace – Street Fighter IV, Major League Baseball 2K10
If you think this week’s avatar deal of the week is so 2009, you can look forward to seeing new items introduced based off the Street Fighter IV and Major League Baseball 2K10 games.
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, new updates unfold for our usual lineup of titles:
Disturbed – “Meaning of Life”
Disturbed – “The Game”
Disturbed – “Voices”
The Mother Hips – “Third Floor Story”
The Mother Hips – “White Falcon Fuzz” *
Silversun Pickups – “Panic Switch”
Silversun Pickups – “Sort Of”
TRUSTcompany – “Downfall”
*Will release in Europe territories only on March 11
Blink-182 Track Pack
“All the Small Things”
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Freebird”
Naughty by Nature – “Hip Hop Hooray”
Culture Beat – “Mr. Vain”
That’s all for this week, but, of course, I’ll be back next week to stack your brains with all sorts of Xbox LIVE goodness. If you keep stocking up on those Microsoft Points, keep checking back to Diehard GameFAN to weigh in on what is worth your points and check out the latest happenings on the service worldwide.