Last year’s Summer of Arcade was pretty incredible. While it was no 2008 (in case you’ve forgotten, that was the year that gave us Braid, Castle Crashers, Geometry Wars 2 and Bionic Commando: Rearmed), some truly amazing XBLA games came out of it, including ‘Splosion Man and Shadow Complex, two of the Best Games Ever. So what does Microsoft have in store for Summer of Arcade 2010? Thanks to E3, we now know.
The lineup for Summer of Arcade 2010 is…(drumroll)…
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
The first console Castlevania game headed up by Igarashi in something like thirteen years, Harmony of Despair looks to return the series to its 2D Metroidvania roots, but with the addition of 6-player online co-op. And check out that name: it totally abbreviates to HD, not unlike Dawn of Sorrow on the DS. Aw, you’re the best, IGA.
Hydro Thunder Hurricane
Like Castlevania, this is a new game in a franchise that has spent a decade without a proper (console) follow-up. Hurricane is in development by Vector Unit, a studio founded by two ex-Stormfront Studios cats, one of whom who created the prototype that went on to become Blood Wake on the original Xbox. So these dudes know racin’ boats. Destructoid played Hurricane and said that it “feels and plays like Hydro Thunder of the past, just better in every way possible,” so look forward to your chance to DAMN THE TORPEDOES later this summer.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Pretty much as different as you could make a Tomb Raider title without turning it into a puzzle game, Guardian of Light looks to be an isometric, dual-joystick puzzle game / shooter / Diablo-style action game. I have pretty much no idea how this is gonna turn out.
Each year, it seems like Microsoft is careful to drop at least one super-rad indie during Summer of Arcade, and this Danish atmospheric platformer looks to be exactly that. A super-unique art style, physics-based puzzles, and a highly unique attitude all make this perhaps my favorite game of the lot.
Monday Night Combat
This silly-looking game might appear light, but it’s actually equal parts class-based shooter, tower defense, with a sprinkle of Defense of the Ancients thrown in for good measure. If you like Team Fortress 2 (or fun), this genre mashup might be right up your alley.
Finally, if you want to see any or all of these games on motion, peep this video from the Summer of Arcade booth at E3 2010!