Xbox LIVE Wrap-Up for April 22nd, 2010

Xbox LIVE Wrap-Up returns with more updates on what you can expect to see popping up on the service this week. Last week saw the addition of a couple of arcade classics in one package, but this week ups the offering to two game titles on Xbox LIVE Arcade. We also have more demos, games on demand, a new deal of week, and even more add-ons, so count your Microsfot Points and join us as we dive into the new content.

Xbox LIVE Arcade – Puzzle Chronicles, After Burner Climax
First out of the gate, we have a fresh, Xbox 360 version of the puzzle-RPG hybrid Puzzle Chronicles. If Puzzle Quest or Gyromancer wasn’t enough for you, Puzzle Chronicles will offer you a new outlet to get your puzzle action on for 800 Microsoft Points. Developed by Infinite Interactive and published by Konami, Puzzle Chronicles comes from the developer that established the genre in the first place, having Puzzle Quest, Puzzle Quest Galactrix, and Puzzle Kingdom under its belt. As such, players can expect a somewhat lengthy quest, active puzzle combat, and a lot of character development through the course of game play. Diehard GameFAN’s Aaron Sirois reviewed the PSP version of Puzzle Chronicles with passable marks back in February, so it will be interesting to see how the Xbox LIVE Arcade version will fare in another market with similar games to digitally choose from.

Secondly, SEGA is back on the Arcade service, serving up After Burner Climax. The title is actually a port of an arcade title released in 2006 and my experience with its deluxe motion cabinet was definitely positive. While the Xbox LIVE Arcade version obviously doesn’t have a hydraulic cockpit for players to jump in, I would imagine the feverish, high-speed arcade shooting is still intact. After Burner Climax still has the spirit of the arcade original, so we’re hoping this one holds up in the transition as I’d imagine not many gamers have up-to-date arcades anymore. If you’re looking for a fast-paced arcade-style title this week, you might want to check out the free demo and if you like what you see, the full game will be 800 Microsoft Points – and as a bonus to the Xbox 360 version, After Burner Climax features an unlockable avatar award. If you want to check out some media based on the game, you can head over to Diehard GameFAN’s After Burner Climax screenshot gallery.

Game Add-Ons – Left 4 Dead 2
Although the Left 4 Dead series hasn’t been in the spotlight as much as it has been in the past, the series still has plenty of players and loyal fans. Starting today, for 560 Microsoft Points, Valve will reward player loyalty with a decently-sized expansion entitled The Passing. The most obvious perk for fans of the series is in getting to see (not play) the surviving members of Left 4 Dead interjected into the sequel, while adding in new single-player, multiplayer, and co-op gameplay. The actual campaign will take place after the events of Dead Center and add in a new uncommon infected, a usable M-60 firearm, and a golf club to be used as a melee weapon. Owners of the DLC will also be able to take part in weekly events known as “mutations,” which provide different game modifiers each week, as well as a new co-op challenge mode and place infected bots for play in versus mode.

Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week – Borderlands: Zombie Island of Dr. Ned is now 400 Points
Borderlands’ Zombie Island is marked down to half price this week, offering players the chance to go toe-to-toe with the undead for only 400 Microsoft Points. While we do not have a review of the expansion on Diehard GameFAN, I would say Zombie Island is my favorite expansion of the three currently available for the game. While the island isn’t as expansive as the General Knoxx expansion and The Underdome features some great perks, blowing off zombie heads for brains never got old to me, the quests and enemies were very satisfying, and you can go to the island safely as soon as level 10. If you’re still playing Borderlands and you haven’t experienced Zombie Island yet, now is probably your best time to do so.

Game Demo – Lost Planet 2 Multiplayer
Here we have another case of a multplayer beta being available to only a few, but now Capcom’s Lost Planet 2 multiplayer mode can be sampled by anyone. If you’re eager to learn how the series has evolved since its initial launch a few years ago, jump on the demo and take a look for yourself.

Games on Demand – Halo 3
With the Halo: Reach beta on the horizon, the Games on Demand service is now offering Halo 3 for $29.99, which is on par with the new Platinum Hits pricing. I’m going to guess everyone interested in the title already owns it, however, if you’re curious about our thoughts, you can read Diehard GameFAN’s review of Halo 3.

If you live outside of North America, though, Saints Row, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Need for Speed Carbon have hit various territories in their digital versions.

Xbox LIVE Avatar Marketplace – Saints Row 2, Gears of War 3
According to Major Nelson, we’re anticipating Saints Row 2 avatar items to hit the marketplace this week. Also, riding the wake of the trailer reveal, Gears of War 3 items are now available.

Music 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, new updates unfold for our usual lineup of titles:

Rock Band
Coheed and Cambria – “Guns of Summer”
Coheed and Cambria – “Here We Are Juggernaut”
Coheed and Cambria – “The Broken”
Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Peek-a-Boo”
Supergrass – “Sun Hits the Sky”
The Violent Femmes – “American Music”

Lips
“Celebration” – Kool & the Gang
“Rapture” – Blondie
“Centerfold” – J. Geils Band
“Mickey” – Toni Basil
“Tainted Love” – Soft Cell
“Obsession” – Animotion
“I Can Dream About You” – Dan Hartman
“I Melt With You” – Modern English

Guitar Hero
Phoenix Track Pack
“Everything is Everything”
“Lisztomania”
“1901”

While that does it for us this week, we might have an interesting week ahead of us, so check back next week to see what’s cooking on Xbox LIVE. Until then, if you need Microsoft Points, let me give you a tip: Through Saturday, Target is selling its 1600 Microsoft Points cards for the reduced price of $17. Chopping off $3 means you get 240 Microsoft Points free, which will definitely come in handy next week. You’ll see why when we return.

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