Spreading Holiday Cheer on Live Arcade

The old-school arcade and NES hit, Contra is coming to Xbox Live Arcade this week [insert your favorite Up, Up, Down, Down, cheat code reference here] but that's not all. According to Eurogamer.net, the tradition of Live Arcade Wednesdays will continue throughout the remainder of the year...

Microsoft also adds that, in addition to this Wednesday's release of Contra, the Christmas season will see Live Arcade launches for Small Arms, Novadrome, Assault Heroes, Heavy Weapon and Defender.

The article also notes that Atari plans to bring several of their old Atari 2600 hits to Live Arcade in 2007.

The barrage of old-days arcade games is set to continue on Xbox Live Arcade this January with the start of a run of six Atari titles.

That's according to Microsoft, which says we can expect to see Centipede/Millipede, Battlezone, Asteroids/Asteroids Deluxe, Missile Command, Tempest and Warlords released "throughout the year".

As well as the original versions, each will offer "enhanced" graphics options. Battlezone will also offer Xbox Live multiplayer modes and Xbox Live Vision camera support, while Warlords will offer a four-player mode too.

AdvertisementNaturally they'll all come with the requisite leaderboards support and achievements to unlock too.

I can tell you right now that there is no way in bloody hell that I'm paying the expected-price of $5 each for those games. It took a while but my rose-colored glasses of nostalgia have finally fogged over and become useless after Galaga, Frogger, Pac-Man, and Dig-Dug. Yes, I did grow up playing these games on our "Sears Entertainment System" (wood-grain Atari 2600). I remember whiling away countless afternoons and rainy weekends with Centipede, Asteroids, and Missile Command and while the latter is still entertaining to me, I know I won't play it more than once or twice.

Warlords is a different story altogether. I love that game and the promise of playing it over Xbox Live with friends/strangers is definitely worth the purchase. Although it remains to be seen how fun it is without the paddle wheel controllers of yore, that game is multiplayer heaven. For those unfamilliar with Warlords, each player has a brick-walled "castle" in a corner of the screen and a bouncing cannonball ricochets back and forth across the screen. The player essentially controls a Breakout-like barrier that they use to protect their castle. You can bounce the cannonball at the other castles or even catch the ball and try to sneak in a surprise attack on an unsuspecting enemy. It's extremely simplistic in design, but oh so fun! I can't wait!

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