With so many Xbox Live Arcade games on display at E3 this year, it’s tough narrowing down just which ones are our favorites. We’ve already treated you to footage and interviews of Skulls of the Shogun and Ascend: New Gods, both of which are also coming to Windows Phone with connectivity features. Now it’s time to share a few XBLA games that don’t currently have mobile ports in the works but should definitely be on any console gamer’s radar. We spoke with the developers of all three titles: Double Dragon: Neon, Retro City Rampage, and Pid and came away extremely impressed.
Head past the break for more gameplay footage and our full Double Dragon: Neon producer interview!
Double Dragon: Neon from Wayforward Technologies and Majesco Entertainment
Windows Phone Central’s newest staff member Mateo Nunez and I had a blast punching and kicking our way through a couple of levels of Double Dragon: Neon in co-op mode. Neon re-imagines the classic side-scrolling beat-em-up, mixing in an eighties neon vibe with the adventurous elements of films like Big Trouble in Little China and The Golden Child. Martial artist brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee must travel from city slums to the depths of space in order to rescue their beloved Marian from the mysterious new evil known as Skullmageddon.
It would be safe to call me a huge Double Dragon fan. I own a working Double Dragon II arcade machine, I was the first person in the world to earn all of the original XBLA Double Dragon’s Achievements, and I even wrote an FAQ for it. So getting to play Neon in advance and interview producer Pete Rosky from Majesco was definitely one of my favorite E3 moments.
Retro City Rampage from VBlank Entertainment and D3 Publisher
As Matt Creamer (aka Norrin Radd), sound designer and one of the chiptunes composers for Retro City Rampage explained to us, the game first started as a homebrew 8-bit demake of Grand Theft Auto III. Creator Brian Provinciano kept adding more new features and ideas until eventually the project ballooned into a full XBLA title. Just imagine a GTA-style game in which you can jump on enemies’ heads to kill them or deliver newspapers ala arcade classic Paper Boy. Retro City Rampage mixes 8-bit visuals and sound with modern gameplay and humor to create an experience that’s nostalgic and fresh at the same time.
Pid from Might & Delight
XBLA hit Bionic Commando: Rearmed is widely regarded as one of the all-time best modern remakes of a classic videogame. (Yes, I wrote an FAQ for it too!) Thus it was hugely disappointing when Grin, the Swedish development studio behind Rearmed, went belly up a couple of years ago. Thankfully much of the core staff went on to form Might & Delight; and Pid is their first project. CEO Wendy Young talked us through the game as a PR manager from D3 manned the controls.
Pid closely resembles Rearmed from a visual standpoint, and like its predecessor its platforming revolves around a unique navigation mechanic. Here you’ll need to use crystals to form shafts of light that carry you up and over obstacles. With truly unique gameplay, lots of secrets to find, and 2-player co-op, Pid should appeal to anyone who loves classic platformers - and a challenge.
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