Xbox 360 News - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD Impressions, Double Dragon: Neon release date, and more

The Summer of Arcade officially kicks off today, and we’ve got a big batch of Xbox Live Arcade news to share with you.

First off, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is now available for 1200 Microsoft Points. The HD version takes seven classic stages compiled from the first two Tony Hawks and adds true HD visuals, new physics, and online multiplayer. Opinions are divided on this one, with some lamenting the new physics, stage selection, inability to customize the musical playlist, and lack of split-screen multiplayer.

Personally, I’ve had a great time with it so far. The levels have lots of stuff to collect, providing great incentive to explore. The robust arsenal of moves gives players lots of freedom and variety. And while you can’t fast-forward or customize the songs, the soundtrack still rocks – especially the song from Bad Religion! My only serious complaint is the lack of a tutorial mode or in-game moves list, two modern standards that would make the game much easier to learn for new players. Heck, even those with Tony Hawk experience could probably use a refresher after all these years.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD costs 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). Get it here on the Xbox 360 Marketplace. More Summer of Arcade and XBLA news after the break...

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition fans have reason to celebrate this summer as well. Not only has the game just received a major free update and a PDLC Skin Pack for 160 Points ($2), but a free skin pack just launched as well. Head to the Summer of Arcade section of the Xbox 360 dashboard and you’ll find a special skin pack featuring characters from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, Wreckateer, Hybrid, Dust: an Elysian Tale, and Deadlight. Don’t delay, because they’ll be gone after the Summer of Arcade ends.

In other Xbox Live Arcade news, we have updates on some of the XBLA games we played at E3 2012 to share with you. For starters, Double Dragon: Neon finally has an official price and release date! The official reboot of the genre-defining brawler comes to XBLA on Wednesday, September 12 for 800 Points ($10). Neon features a retro-eighties vibe, amazing music, and new co-op moves that make for a terrific Double Dragon experience. Fans of beat-em-ups should be very excited.

We also scored some hands-on time at E3 with Pid from Swedish developers Might and Delight. At the time, Pid had only just started showing up on people’s radars. The game casts players as a boy name Kurt who is trapped on an alien world by its mysterious overlord. Pid’s actual gameplay centers around Kurt throwing beams of light at the ground and walls. Once the beam attaches to something, Kurt can then ride it to new heights or across gaps – a bit like Portal, but with more of an action focus.

Like Double Dragon: Neon, Pid features a fantastic soundtrack. This month, Might and Delight has released a couple of videos featuring songs by a group called Retro Family. Fans of classic 8- and 16-bit games will surely love the Pid soundtrack’s rocking twist on old-school gaming tunes. Pid doesn’t have a release date yet, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out some new screenshots and another video at our friend site Co-Optimus.

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!