Sunday, May 8, 2011

XBLIG of the Week (5/1/11)

Every week, many games appear on the Xbox Live Indie Game lineup, from people from all professional backgrounds and with all types of skillsets. Unfortunately, there are so many games coming out that it becomes hard to try every game and figure out which to truly play for the best bang for your buck.

That's why we here are Third Rate Minion hope to create a weekly feature where we discuss the best game or games for each particular week, with information on the developer and the game itself. We might occasionally give a brief look at older XBLIGs, too, when game lineups seem thin for some weeks. For now, however, there seem to be many great games to look forward to in the coming weeks. Either way, let us venture forth!



Developer: Iridium Studios
Price: 240 MS Points ($3)

Sequence is an RPG/Music hyrbid, in which players control Ky, a young man who has been selected to venture into the Tower, a seven-level fortress filled with monsters and other menacing beings bent on killing him. Thankfully, with the help of Naia, a mysterious woman he meets upon waking up, Ky learns of how to defend himself and vanquish the evil creatures inside the Tower.

Players have to watch three game windows from which arrows fall toward markers, akin to Dance Dance Revolution or any current music game such as Rock Band. The three game windows represent Defense, Mana Collection, and Spell Casting. Players must hit the notes falling in the Defense window to prevent being hurt by the enemy in battle, and in order to give a few back, players must cast spells on the Spell Ring using the Right Stick and then clear every note which falls in sequence on the Spell Casting window. Because spells cost Mana, players have to hit notes falling on the Mana Collection window in order to keep casting spells. In the end, each battle becomes a fight between casting spells, collecting mana, and defending against enemy attacks. There is more to it than simply hitting notes, too, as spell types and special equipment comes into play.

Complete with voice acting, hand-painted backgrounds and lots of monsters and strategy to encounter, Sequence offers a lot more than the average XBLIG. Sequence does to the music genre what Puzzle Quest did to the puzzle genre, and it does it with a smirk and a nod.

Other Games of Note:


Developer: Turtle Toss Studio
Price: 80 MS Points ($1)

Minions! is an overhead and over-the-shoulder shooter action game in which players select their own armless beings known as Minions in order to complete a variety of missions. While the world seems exceptionally low in polygon count, the game feels solid and shows enough variety to differentiate itself from the usual shooter on Xbox Live Indie Games. Meanwhile, the game allows for players to change the appearance and the weapon choice for their own Minion. Not only that, but the weaponry and enemies in the game change over time, making the game more than the basic dual-stick shooter.

Stick 'Em Up: VS Arena

Developer: Wicked Worx Games
Price: 80 MS Points ($1)

A new versus component to another Xbox Live Indie Game, Stick Em Up. Player enter eight different arenas with up to four players fighting one another. The game offers 2vs2 modes or full free-for-all events. Later arenas also feature spaceships to fly and shoot at the other players. It feels faster and smoother than the original, so it really fits the multiplayer environment it is trying to become. If you do not have friends to play with, the game thankfully has a good set of AIs to take over for them, ensuring that you can get your dollar's worth, even when you are alone.

That's all this week. Have fun, indie gamers!

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