There’s two things I hate about being a critic in the games industry:
1. Nothing comes out in the summer (at least no major releases).
2. Everything (most of the stuff worth paying attention to, anyway) comes out in the fall and winter.
Yes, I know I’m broadly generalizing. Deal with it. But, still, things generally grind to a halt when the heat comes out. Microsoft–being run the smart people that do the smart things they do over there–realizes this, too.
This year marks the third time they’re doing a Summer of Arcade, where they shine a spotlight on inexpensive, downloadable games that will be featured on Xbox Live Arcade. 2010’s Summer of Arcade rolls out a nice mix of franchise extensions and all-new original games. Limbo looks amazing and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light finally brings co-op to the Tomb Raider heroine’s adventures.
None of the games cost more than 1200 Microsoft points, which is $15 in real-world money. If you buy all four, you get $15 (1200 MS points) back, so it’s like getting one free. All in all, this promotion should provide a nice chance to experiment with potentially great titles at a low cost. Hey, what else you gonna do?