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XBLA Roundup: Map Pack Deal & Scrap Metal Review

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bioshock, Block Party, Games deals, Scrap Metal, XBLA, XBLA roundup
Discuss:
Bioshock

XBLA Roundup: Map Pack Deal & Scrap Metal Review

After last week's atrocious Xbox Live deal, Major Nelson has brought his Xbox Live Gold faithful an offer that might actually come in useful (even if it won't please everyone). This week, Gold Members can download the Call of Duty: World at War Map Pack Bundle for 1600 Microsoft points, which is a reduction of 400 points (and 800 points cheaper than buying the packs separately). As I said, it won't be useful for everyone- but if you enjoy World of War's online multiplayer then it's the perfect time to invest in the extra content.

Just in case you're interested, this pack includes nine competitive multiplayer maps and three cooperative Zombie maps. The Zombie maps are by far the most fun, since they're probably more fun than the original game itself. You'll need tight teamwork, overlapping lines of fire and more than a little luck to survive against the Zombie horde, though you'll be helped out by Perks-a-Cola machines, Monkey Bombs and the powerful Wunderwaffe DG-2 lightning cannon. This bundle also features 20 Achievements, though most are online-only (sorry, fellow achievement whores!). Don't get me wrong, it's still not a particularly impressive DOTW... but it's unlikely that there'll be any outstanding offers until the Block Party promotion has ended.

Speaking of the Block Party, Microsoft has released the second XBLA game of the season...

Scrap Metal: Micro Review

XBLA Roundup: Map Pack Deal & Scrap Metal Review

Platform: X360 (XBLA)

Developer: Slick Entertainment

Publisher: Microsoft

Remember the original Micro Machines? Games may have gotten shinier, deeper and more involved since 1995, but there once was a time when games were primarily about the fun rather than the spectacle and story. Like ragging a tiny car around a track from a birdseye perspective whilst smashing your mates sadistically off of the track, for instance.  Luckily for retro fans, Scrap Metal takes the classic top-down racing formula and wrenches it into the next-gen era. By adding a whole mess of massive guns and explosions.

The familiar arcade racing core remains unchanged, but a few new gametypes such as demolition derbies and survival missions have been thrown into the mix. A persistent upgrade system allows you to acquire enemy vehicles and improve their stats. Sixty singleplayer missions provide plenty of content, and the multiplayer is as riotous and uncomplicated and accessible as you'd expect. Basically, you'll race cars... or blow them up... or both. Good, clean fun.

A few control issues mar the proceedings, and don't expect the enemy AI to challenge you to any great degree. Having said that, there are a couple of seriously frustrating missions where the odds are firmly stacked against you- but the payoff is well worth the aggro.

Pros:

  • Classic old-school shenanigans
  • 60 singleplayer missions will keep you busy
  • Multiplayer is great fun

Cons:

  • Counter-intuitive controls
  • Occasional frustrating mission
  • Fairly pricey

The very short version: Scrap Metal offers injects a new lease of life into the tried-and-true arcade racer; and more than makes up for its high price tag with a huge amount of content. Turns out that they do make 'em like they used to.

Dealspwn Rating: 8/10

So, what's new?

The big DLC news this week is the Sinclair Solutions Pack for Bioshock 2. Dropping 400 MSP will increase your maximum rank to level 50 and also provides an extra weapon mod, two playable characters and a few new masks. In my personal opinion this should have been a free patch rather than paid DLC- but we have the misfortune to be living in the age of microtransactions, folks.

Well, that's it for now. See you next week for Perfect Dark and the latest deal of the week!

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