The lights are on
Gather round, children, and hear the tale of this week's downloadable game selections. It's actually a little strange that it's taken Tecmo such a long time to capitalize on the rights to one of the most popular sports gaming franchises of all time in the digital download space. They've finally gotten the hint, and Tecmo Bowl Throwback is headed to XBLA this week. The remake of the classic football franchise will release on Wednesday for 800 Microsoft points ($10). Throwback includes 32 teams with customizable team names and rosters. Players will be able to throw down with a buddy in local multiplayer, or jump online to take on the more competitive fare that will appear there. One of the coolest features of the remake is the ability to play with new HD 3D graphics, or switch over to play with the original graphics and music from the original game. We should have a full review up later this week if you want to learn more.
Out of nowhere, we got word this week that the video game version of Kick-Ass will be coming to PSN in a matter of days. First word of the title was only made public a couple of months ago, to our knowledge. The third-person isometric brawler is headed to the downloadable PlayStation Store on Thursday, April 29th, for $14.99. The game has been crafted by the team at Frozen Codebase, a small independent developer with ex-patriots from other development houses like Raven, Treyarch, and Naughty Dog. Emulating the formula from games like X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Kick-Ass tells the story of the movie/comic as an action game with RPG-lite overtones. We're always a little suspicious of a licensed game with a tight development timeframe. On the other hand, it's hard to deny the potential coolness of running around and killing drug traffickers as Hit-Girl.
NormalTanks is another PSN exclusive that should be hitting on Thursday, playable on either PS3 or PSP. Unfortunately, there's no pricing info available as of this writing, but we'd bet it will be on the budget-conscious side of things. NormalTanks is a multi-directional, top-down shooter, where you pilot a tank through a harrowing sci-fi setting. The game boasts eight environments and 30 enemy types stacked against your tank. To your benefit, the tank you pilot can be upgraded with new weapons, armor, and speed boosts. NormalTanks received an honorable mention at this year's Independent Games Festival – a feat that makes it worth a look all by itself . The game isn't very long, but delivers some solid action that should be good for a few replays.
Last week saw the release of two games that came to both XBLA and PSN, and each deserve a mention. After Burner Climax revives the classic jet fighter arcade franchise with insanely fast action and giant midair explosions. The game is based on the arcade game of the same name, which released in 2006. The high-flying action can be yours for $10, no matter your console or imaginary currency of choice.
Puzzle Chronicles also arrived last week on both XBLA and PSN, and might be of interest to fans of the Puzzle Quest vibe. Infinite Interactive brings us this variation on the familiar color-matching formula. By stacking matching gems along the bottom of the screen, the visible hero along the top end of the screen takes on monsters and enemy warriors who stand in the way. The game includes customizable characters that you can shape to your liking with weapons, armor, and special skills. Like Afterburner, you can get your Chronicle on with an investment of $10.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.