Tired of mediocrity? Sick of cynical little avatar apps that drag down the public opinion of the Xbox 360's undersung unique selling point? So were a consortium of veteran developers. The Winter Uprising is their way of fighting back the only way they know how: by producing loads of awesome games.
The multi-tiered casual brawler (read: Super Smash Bros) is a genre that frequently makes an appearance on the Xbox Live Indie scene- with mixed success. However, Chu's Dynasty ups the ante by simply being one of the most professional ventures on the entire service, ever. The characters are nuanced and distinct (exhibiting wildly different fighting styles), and the combat provides hidden depths that belie the simplicity of the controls. It occasionally feels a little stolid, but when four players are involved, the sprawling battles are an absolute riot.
In terms of presentation, Chu's Dynasty is flawless. Painstaking watercolour art and haunting Japanese period music delivers a veritable feast for the senses. It's a masterclass in polish and perfection that would be deeply impressive as a full-price release.
Chu's Dynasty is masterful, beautiful and honed to a mirror-shine. The quality of the experience is nothing short of sensational, with production values that doom any number of XBLA titles to shame and humiliation. You'd be mad not to take advantage of this superbly polished masterpiece at a bargain basement price.
Xona Games are no strangers to producing great shooters. It's all they do. They live for it. Previous titles have topped the charts in Japan and Canada- and their latest offering is set to deliver global domination. Decimation X3 takes the classic Space Invaders formula and gleefully pushes everything to the extreme. The linear enemy hordes descend on you hard and fast, with a barrage of powerups and weaponry providing entire screens' worth of decimation! Larger bosses act as a refreshing change of pace. Eyepopping visuals and adrenaline-inducing techno are perfect accompaniment to the white-knuckle shenanigans (though it's worth noting that enemy projectiles can be lost in the pulsing background).
Keep your eyes peeled for Xona's Score Rush in Wednesday's XBLI Game of the Week roundup! You might want to keep 80 points aside just in case...
Decimation X3 is extreme in every sense of the word. It will put you through the wringer and squeeze every drop from your adrenal gland... leaving you enriched for the experience. A fantastic slant on a tired concept, and one that's thoroughly worth investing in.
Hypership Out Of Control (Update)
Regular followers of our Indie musings will remember that Hypership Out Of Control was a late entrant into a previous XBLI Game of the Week roundup- and we're delighted to report that it's been sharpened up, bulked out and is back for another run at the title.
As previously reported, Hypership is a scrolling SHMUP racer that challenges pilots to weave through complex arenas full of obstacles, powerups and enemies. Impressively, up to four players can get involved at once... and quite frankly the gameplay actually exceeds and improves upon the venerable ol' 8-bit titles to which it pays respectful homage. The update has added a slew of tweaks and extra snippets of content, improving an experience that's already impeccable.
Hypership Out Of Control is a charming Indie gem that boasts a lavish retro presentation and raucous gameplay. Multiplayer and improved online leaderboards add serious value to the proceedings. Good, clean, exhilarating fun- and an essential 80 Point purchase.