Almost every gamer I know admits to being a little negligent to indie games whether it be on PC, PlayStation Minis, Wii/DSiWare or Xbox Live Indie Games. I am grateful for these console manufacturers allowing the developers a platform to put their games on, but they do not seem to want to help them out that much via promotion. Recently that has been changing however, a couple months back Valve put out their latest Humble Indie Bundle on Steam, and just last week, the Xbox Live Indie Games Channel wrapped up its Summer Uprising event.
The Summer Uprising followed the successful Winter Uprising event several months ago that highlights 10 new Xbox Live Indie Games and features them in the same fashion The Summer of Arcade promotes Xbox Live Arcade games. The only problem is this promotion is online only and Microsoft is not giving it the same showcase promotion on the 360 dashboard like they have done with past Summer of Arcade events. There is an official webpage for the promotion you can check out right here
with info, trailers and 360 Game Marketplace download links on each game that is well worth your time checking out.
So to help spread the word about the games featured in the Xbox Live Indie Game Summer Uprising event, I am going to be downloading the trials of each and giving my hands on impressions for each one. Even with them being smaller sized indie games, it is still 10 new games to check out and with the holiday game season just kicking off not everyone will have time to check out the free trials Microsoft has available. That is why I will play the trials and give you my initial hands-on thoughts with what each indie game brings to the table, and why they may be worth checking out. I plan to spread this out over a few installments over the next couple weeks, so with that said, let's kick off this experiment with a well put together montage of the Summer Uprising games, followed with my first batch of impressions.
Single Player Platformer
240 MS Points
Thanks to the official Xbox Live Indie Games Summer Uprising website for granting us permission to use their images for all the indie games!
is a side scrolling platformer with a vibrant art style that will bring back memories of doodling in sketch books with its diverse environments. There are 20 levels to play, and I was able to get through nearly three of them during the trial. The platforming is intuitive and features many staples from the genre such as upgradeable attacks, unlockable characters and art styles and hidden areas. I had no problems controlling Chester in this 2D adventure, and found the mix of platforming and blasting away baddies to be a fair challenge on the normal difficulty I selected.
What stood out to me about Chester
, however, was not only its fluid gameplay, but its eye-popping visuals. The three stages I played had their own unique art styles, and really shine with their crayon-on-sketchbook art style. I did not unlock any, but according to the developer there are different graphical styles to unlock such as 8-bit and blueprint art style variants. I did unlock one of nine extra characters in the game, so with its vast amount of unlocks and 20 levels, there is plenty of content in Chester
for just $3.
Battle High: San Bruno
Two Player Fighting
80 MS Points
The instant I started playing Battle High: San Bruno
I instantly flashed back to the heyday of 16-bit fighting games. I do not recall playing many fighting games on the Indie Games Channel on Xbox, and for being one of the first it stands out as a fairly competent package. Obviously from the title of the game, the setting is in high school, and it is easily apparent with stages of war taking in place in lunchrooms and libraries to name a few. A crossover of The King of Fighters
going to high school is what comes to mind for the graphics. There is a standard arcade ladder to plow through, as well as Street Fighter
inspired mini-games, versus (no online play unfortunately) and practice modes available.
The fighting controls are easy to grasp and I appreciate the handy move list available when pausing fights, and even with the 360's wonky d-pad I was able to pull off most of the characters' special attacks and super attacks. The sense of speed is a little slower than what I am accustomed to in most fighting games, but I adapted to it after several matches. Battle High: San Bruno
is a fun and fleshed out fighting game for a $1, and for the many fighting game aficionados here on Retroids, you cannot go wrong adding this to your game library.
One Player Action/Adventure
240 MS Points
is the name of a slain Norse warrior trying to avenge his death in the afterworld. This is a straightforward 2D action game, but Raventhorne has an arsenal of melee and magic attacks at his disposal. From my time spent with the trial the combat was really starting to open up towards the end of the trial, with Raventhorne being capable of many different timed attacks and spells. I think this one may have a little more of a learning curve to master the intricacies of its sword play, but three difficulty levels makes it accessible for everyone to hop in. I would be remiss not to mention Raventhorne
's stunning graphics, which features a remarkable oil painting-esque visual style comparable to the critically acclaimed Wii game, Muramasa
That wraps up the first installment of my take on the Xbox Live Indie Games Summer Uprising event. Be on the lookout soon for part two!