Xbox 360 - Summer of Arcade 2012 schedule announced

A few times a year, Microsoft calls attention to some of its larger Xbox Live Arcade releases with special promotions. Just a few months ago, the Arcade Next lineup introduced Minecraft: XBLA Edition and several more heavy hitters to the Xbox 360 crowd. Next month, the yearly Summer of Arcade promotion kicks off. The lineup doesn’t have anything quite as big as Minecraft (already the best-selling XBLA game ever), but it still packs great games and a special reward for gamers who buy three or more Summer of Arcade titles: a 400 MS Point rebate.

Head past the break for the full Summer of Arcade schedule, prices, and Sonic the Hedgehog XBLA news!

The complete Summer of Arcade lineup is as follows:

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD – July 18 – 1200 MS Points

It’s about time the Tony Hawk franchise made a comeback. This remake combines seven levels from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 (with new HD graphics), classic and new skaters, and a soundtrack consisting of both old and new tracks. Oh yeah, and online multiplayer. No word on whether original hidden character Spider-Man makes an appearance, but if he does, that might just push me into getting this.

Wreckateer – July 25 – 800 MS Points

Coming from Chicago-based indie developer Iron Galaxy (who are also porting Ms. Splosion Man to Windows Phone), this one plays like a Kinect version of Angry Birds. Players use their bodies to aim and fire catapults at castles filled with nasty goblins. Wreckateer features several interesting shot types, including one in which the cannonball splits into four pieces and another that allowed players to steer the ball after launch for greater precision. Not only does Wreckateer’s gameplay look fun and easy to learn, but the 3D graphics and fully-voiced characters are a cut above what we’d see in mobile games of this genre.

Deadlight – August 1 – 1200 MS Points

Apparently post-apocalyptic games are going through something of a renaissance these days. Deadlight looks and sounds quite a bit like the Will Smith version of I Am Legend (which should’ve stuck closer to the book, but I digress). Taking place in the 1980s, a man struggles to survive a zombie apocalypse while searching for his family. The combination of survival horror and platforming should make for a fascinating and atmospheric game.

Hybrid – August 8 – 1200 MS Points

Does an online-only team-based shooter with jetpacks sound like your thing? This one could be easy for shooter novices to learn as the movement is extremely simplified compared to other FPS games. The persistent world map should add some addictiveness as two sides vie for dominance. Let’s just hope Hybrid’s controls work out okay and the online community grows large enough to maintain its potential.

Dust: An Elysian Tail – August 15 – 1200 MS points

 A very promising action-RPG starring a cat-samurai named Dust. The game’s open world comes to life with truly beautiful 2D graphics. Satisfying combat, and interesting story, and lots of quests to take on all make Dust one of the more exciting Summer of Arcade titles.

We’ll be sure to cover the Summer of Arcade titles as they become available. You know you want to learn your favorite mobile reviewer’s opinions of ‘em!

Sonic Adventure 2 - October 3 - ? MS Points

In other Xbox Live Arcade news, Sonic Adventure 2 is coming to Xbox 360 at last and with enhanced graphics to boot! We predicted it would show up at E3, but apparently SEGA wasn’t quite ready to spill the beans earlier this month. Sonic Adventure 2 features an intriguing and well-developed story told from two different perspectives: the good guys’ and the bad guys’. A multitude of playable characters, 2-player versus mode, the final evolution of the Chao Garden virtual pet simulator, and the blinding speed that Sonic fans love all make this a beloved classic.

When we interviewed SEGA’s Ken Balough last year, he named Sonic Adventure 2 (originally made for the Sega Dreamcast) as one of the titles most requested for a rerelease. You can see for yourself what all the fuss is about when it lands in October.

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!