Marathon: Durandal and Spyglass Board Games are now available on the Xbox Live Arcade, as previously announced. Marathon is an old-school FPS originally developed by Bungie, the guys behind Halo. While you may not have had a chance to play it before – or even hear of it – it’s a game that introduced many mechanics into the FPS genre that have been taken for granted for years now, like dual wielding. The game will run you 800 Microsoft Points, or $10. If you liked Doom, be sure to give Marathon a shot.
Spyglass Board Games is a compilation of four very popular classic board games: chess, checkers, mancala, and reversi. Given its cheap price (400 points; $5) and Vision Camera support, it’s definitely something worth picking up if you enjoy any of the included games.
Check after the break for more details on both games.
Finally, Bungie’s Marathon. The game that was arguably better than Doom back in the day, but got little no attention because it was released only on Macs. (That’s what they get.) Marathon: Durandal, however, is actually the sequel to the original Marathon which saw a release on both Windows and Mac. The XBLA port was developed by Freeverse, and includes a variety of features that will make it worth its 800 Microsoft Point price tag – HD graphics, Xbox Live play, and co-op.
Spyglass Board Games has been heavily anticipated by many gamers, as for 400 Microsoft Points you get a sweet package of Chess, Checkers, Mancala and Reversi, all with Xbox Live Vision Camera support.
Both games will be available this Wednesday on Xbox Live Arcade.
The free update for Texas Hold ‘em, which rolled out yesterday, included a variety of features – including some really great ones. Bug fixes and updates such as Xbox Live Vision Camera support are the headliners here. And the good part for dedicated fans is that bankrolls won’t be reset with the update.
Poker is the perfect fit for the Vision Camera, and finally we’ll have just that. This’ll likely breathe new life into the game, and luckily it’s the type of game that isn’t just a fad – plenty of people still populate Hold ‘em online as it is. While I wish this had come out sooner (like, not 11 months after it was first released), it’s better late than never, especially when you’re referring to uses for the Vision Camera, which are few and far between.
- Improved usability such as the addition of Custom Match Lists, which allows gamers to view and select which available Custom Match game they would like to join.
- Improved rich presence in the game, allowing players to not only see what their friends are up to, but also if they just won that big pot!
- Improved matchmaking and user results.
- Scoring and screens are more readable than before.
- Multi-language support including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
- New premium downloadable content allows players to customize the in-game environment, and access new gamerpics and themes.
The European board game you’ve probably never heard of has made its way to the Xbox Live Arcade. For 800 Microsoft Points ($10) you can download the virtual version of the strategic board game. Catan was very well received (especially by those GamerAndy folks), so hopefully Carcassonne catches on as well and we’ll see more board games in the future.
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Unless you’re from Europe, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the board game Carcassonne before. I sure haven’t, but after giving it a look – and keeping in mind the success of Catan – it looks like we’re getting another solid XBLA release this week. And finally we get another game that makes use of the Vision camera. It still doesn’t quite feel like it was worth $40, though.
The official word on Carcassonne:
Using strategic tactics and a little luck, one to five players take turns selecting from 72 tiles displaying various features of a city including roads, the walls of a castle or fields. The medieval countryside thrives as players and their opponents place tiles and complete towns, roads, and farms while competing to accumulate the most points.
- Special AI settings to challenge any skill level
- Challenge your friends – Up to five players can play over Xbox LIVE or up to four players can play on the same Xbox 360
- Interact with new and old friends alike over Xbox LIVE while you play “Carcassonne” with the Xbox LIVE Vision camera
- Helpful step-by-step tutorial to teach you the game in minutes
- Skill-based matchmaking for ranked games
- The complete “Carcassonne” includes 72 tiles and all rule sets
- “Carcassonne” includes the “Rivers II” expansion set - 12 additional tiles
- Earn up to 200 Gamerscore and 12 Achievements
The game goes live this Wednesday, June 27, for 800 Microsoft Points ($10).
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