Sierra Online (a division of Vivendi Games) has been a strong supporter of the XBLA platform. Go figure, since their leader, Ross Erickson, comes straight from the XBLA mothership. Even so, this has become an embarrassment of riches.
Adding to their list of four previously announced XBLA games (Arkadian Warriors, Battlestar Galactica, Commanders: Attack!, and Switchball), Sierra has just announced an on-rails shooter titled Aces of the Galaxy and a Bust-A-Move-style puzzle game, Boogie Bunnies.
Previews of all of their games have gone up on IGN and can be found through this single handy-dandy page.
Thankfully (for my wallet), Boogie Bunnies is slated for Q1 2008 and Aces of the Galaxy has a vague "winter" release scheduled (meaning sometime before February of 2008).
Add to the revelations above the fact that Commanders: Attack! has lost its emphasis and added some words to become simply (or not so simply), Commanders: Attack of the Genos. I guess Sierra lost that little game of chicken with Screwjumper!.
After the break, a list of the remaining horribly vague release dates stated by IGN.
[via IGN, thanks Blue_Falcon]
Daydreaming about slaying some Cylons? Good. Kill 175 of 'em and you'll get an achievement in XBLA's Battlestar Galactica.
Xbox360Achievements has the full skinny on all the achievements for the game. Overall, the list looks nicely balanced between single and multiplayer and between ranked and just "online". But my most favoritest achievement of all has to be the Picon Presidential Commendation: 5,000 kills total - Online Ranked.
If you couldn't tell, I am not amused. An achievement that marks progress through a game? Sure. Demonstrates a player's skill (even if it's nearly impossible to attain)? Yes. One that is quirky or viral or outside the norm in some respect? Absolutely. An achievement that merely forces you to grind and adds no fun to the experience whatsoever? Boo designers. Boo.
Sierra Online isn't holding back. Ross Erickson and crew aren't going to sit idly by while Mr. Erickson's former colleague Greg Canessa touts PopCap's status as the "#1 Developer on XBLA" and steals the spotlight. Oh no. The glove has come off and has been slapped across Canessa's face as Erickson "demands satisfaction".
Okay, so maybe I embellished that a bit (read: made it all up) but in a move worthy of Activision, Sierra Online has buckled up in their XBLA car and stomped on the gas. And that means videos. Videos of games we're dying to play. Games like Commanders: Attack! and Red Baron. Games that can't come soon enough. And thus, I present to you, the Sierra Gamer's Week XBLA Video Jamboree 2007! Woo!
Commentary after the break.
[via GameTrailers, thanks for the initial tip Shaolin Munkeh]
Since I've been horribly backlogged with tips and other stories I thought I'd turn this into a regularly occurring feature. It's an easy way for me to catch up and also harness your collective tipster skillz.
So, here's what's been happening around the XBLA world that I haven't had the chance to share:
In case you missed it this weekend -- Mark Wilson, of Kotaku, got his hands on Sierra Online's upcoming Battlestar Galactica. Filled with high hopes and what appears to be a mild case of fanboyitis, Mark Wilson ultimately comes out disappointed. But I'll let his own words speak for said feelings:
"...it's a lame arena shooter without the weapon combat, controls, or maybe most importantly, almost any exploitation of the rich IP to make it a fun title."
BSG will indeed face stiff competition from Wing Commander: Arena, but to be fair, it doesn't seem like he had the option of testing out the single-player experience at all. So, there may be some redeeming qualities that he missed. But skepticism and the try-before-buy strategy seem to be in order (isn't it always though?).
Sierra Online, a huge supporter of XBLA (see: Assault Heroes, Carcassonne, 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures), has given TeamXbox an exclusive advanced look at their E3 XBLA lineup. The coverage details three of Sierra Online's upcoming XBLA games (one we knew about, one we had a hunch about, and one out of the blue).
Maybe this strong XBLA push by Sierra Online has something to do with Ross Erickson's move from Microsoft to Sierra Online in February? Hmm, I wonder.
Who's excited (besides me, that is)?
[via TeamXbox, thanks to everyone that sent this in!]
Blurbs about each of the games and links to the screenshot galleries after the break.
New details today have been released about the unknown Battlestar Galactica game. The President of Sierra Online, Ed Zobrist, gave a [url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/home_entertainment/games/e3ia5d289177cd021e98b0b01344a033826]statement about the game[/url]; however, a bit of information did slip out. The game, which is developed by Auran games, will allow players to be pilots for the Cylons or humans, feature single and multiplayer game modes, be released for PC and XBLA, and will not be released until fall of this year (Quarter 3 of 2007). This game sounds similiar to the Battlestar Galactica Xbox game. Considering I am not a Battlestar fan, I had a great time with the Xbox game and am very interested to see where this game will go.
Auran may be known by their creation of the hit 1990s RTS Dark Reign or from their various train simulator games. It is good to see that a stand-up quality game development studio is working on this game.
In their latest investor presentation, Vivendi let slip that they are embracing XBLA full throttle. Later this year, they will be releasing Megaforce and 3D Ultra MiniGolf, while 2007 releases include Incredible Machine, Red Baron, and the title that will no doubt get the most speculation, Battlestar Galactica. While these were the only named XBLA games, there were several other games listed without title or platform that fit into their "short session titles" Categories.
It's certainly great to see the list of big time publishers making their way to XBLA, here's to hoping EA is next.