XboxHornet Site Revamp

Hey there everyone! We’re slowly migrating to a snazzier and fancier site over at http://www.xboxhornet.com/wordpress/

Please be patient with us as we transfer everything over, but you can still expect the same news, reviews, interviews, and competitions to be coming your way!  (Note that the current competition, ending Saturday for a copy of myFishtank, will comprise of entrants from both the new and old site; no-one is disqualified!)

Keep your browser tuned to us, and enjoy the ride!

Flotilla 2.3 released on Xbox

Flotilla, a fantastic indie game we previewed recently, has been launched onto the Xbox Indie Channel as of earlier today. Surprisingly, it has launched as version 2.3, completely up-to-date with the PC version. The even greater news is that the game is also half-price, at 400 MSPoints, rather than $10 for the PC version.

Download a demo here, and expect a review of this fantastic indie title later this weekend.

Avatar Bumper Cars to receive online play

We have had some great news from Torturas, Avatar Bumper Cars is getting a major update. This is going to include an online mode.
Avatar Bumper Cars is a great little game, but there is no doubt that unless you have a friend to play against locally, it is going to have a short shelf life.

Well not anymore, with the promise of the online mode this is going to be a game that will keep you coming back for more. There is no confirmed date for the upgrade yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know more when we do. So in the mean time give the demo a go, it’s free after all.

Game description:Avatar Bumper Cars is a 1-4 player arena battle game. Watch your avatar take control of a bumper car in one of 5 different arenas and face off against either your friends or the computer in an action packed battle! Use your car’s spikes to hit their gas cans and send them flying out of the arena. Will you be the last man standing?

Mid-Week Gamer Update

Microsoft Block Party Free Avatar Items
To celebrate the “Block Party” promotion (including the games Toy Soldiers, Scrap Metal, Perfect Dark, and the Game Room), a free Avatar Prop, a BBQ Grill, is being given away for a limited time.  The code is multi-use, but will eventually expire, so use it today!

BBQ Grill Prop – 9XBX9-9RCD9-9BCK9-9PRTY-9RCKZ

Likewise, some free clothes are available for your avatar in the same limited sense.  To snag a free “Bing!” Tee, just pick your gender:

Male Shirt – PHT9P-KXR4Y-BB6BY-VFMPD-THT4T
Female Shirt – VFH6P-9FJKK-KKP9G-H4DRH-WTCFM

Enjoy!


Toy Soldiers, the flagship title for Xbox’s Block Party event, was released to great fanfare and fantastic reviews.  Now that the month of March is winding down, I won’t inundate you with another 5-star review of this 5-star game. Instead of focusing on my perspective, I’ll focus on a silent killer of XBLA and XBLIG: game longevity.  It is no secret that mere weeks after launch, XBLA and XBLIG games can have trouble holding onto their online audience; gamers get bored, try the next best thing, or simply complete the game to their satisfaction.  If that is so, then why bother buying an expired and outdated game?  Well, for those worrying about this, I’ve got good news.

Thankfully, none of that yet holds true for Toy Soldiers.  If you missed picking up this blockbuster on launch, you still have the opportunity to enjoy a strong online community – just minutes before posting, I was able to get into an online skirmish on the first try with less than fifteen seconds of waiting.   Take the opportunity to try this gem today!

Download a demo here.

Watch a video clip here.


In the XBLIG scene, Asphalt Jungle, a game previously and favourably reviewed on this site, has been updated, including new & improved graphics, and an “Awardment” system to encourage longer and more creative play.  Try the game out if you haven’t already!

Download a free trial of the game here.


Speaking of asphalt, the MotorHEAT contest is still going strong, and is now up to 13 “1600 MSPoint” cards being given away with 8 days left!  Get on the asphalt and show your stuff!


Finally, to round out your lucky odds, be sure to enter into our contest for a copy of myFishtank.  Read our spotlight on Avatar Cannon and Avatar Rockets to find out how!


Here’s hoping the rest of the week is as exciting!

MotorHEAT Contest Update – XBLIG

To keep everyone updated about the MotorHEAT contest that Milkstone Studios is running, here is the latest:

To date, 11 “1600 MS Point” cards have been purchased with the proceeds from game purchasers during the contest period, and a total of 1002 entrants have tried their luck.  With 11 days remaining, try out MotorHEAT!  Remember, the more games that sell, the more prizes they give out as the profits are spun right back into the community gamers!

Read our review of the game here.

Read about the contest here.

Watch the trailer here.

Download a demo of the game here.

Avatar Review Roundup – XBLIG Review AND Giveaway

Lighthouse Games Studio is quietly becoming a master of the Flash-esque “Fun for a few rounds every now and then” casual gameplay that has brought numerous Flash portals all over the internet such fame and attention. But instead of being a browser-based crew, they operate in the realm of XBLIG, which means that we can put the spotlight on them.  Today we have the opportunity to review not one, but two of their games, and if you stick with the review, you can earn yourself a free redemption code for a third game of theirs.

A WDesm double-dose for XBoxHornet

“Great way to have a little fun ‘blast’!”

Avatar Cannon is a simple game with a simple premise: Take your avatar, aim the cannon, fire the cannon, and watch ‘er fly.  Depending on your skill (luck), your avatar will interact with various African fauna, which will drastically extend the distance you cover.  A total of three launches are given to you, and the sum of your adventures is placed on a global leaderboard.

Your hard work and effort is rewarded in-game with small rewards via completing the “Awardments”, which is always a nice encouragement, and there’s even an Awardment (“Fan Boy”) that can be gained only by looking at their studio page, so be sure to give that a click.  The rewards will assist you in getting a higher score, so keep at it, and you’ll be sure to climb the leaderboards easily enough!

Avatar Cannon isn’t a “sit down, play for 10 hours” game – it’s straight-forward, fun, casual, but there’s little meat on the bones.  It may, however, fit in a very sweet spot when you have five minutes to kill waiting for a DLC, movie, or game to download, and you can always push yourself to unlock just a few more of its gimmicks.

Download a demo of the game here.


“A SECOND way to blast away time with your Avatar”

Avatar Rockets is our second feature by Lighthouse Games Studio, and, dare I say, the better of the double-feature.  The principle is much the same: With a little skill and a lot of luck, waste a few minutes firing your avatar off into the unknown.  In the case of Avatar Cannon, it was a horizontal flight with animals acting as further propulsion.  In Avatar Rockets, it is a vertical adventure, and seemingly-randomly spawned fuel pods are what you have to aim for.

The game doesn’t include Awardments, unlike Avatar Cannon, but does include a small amount of customization: A bevy of spaceships await for you, as well as the option to use a simple painter to paint your own design.  Additionally, unlike, the exclusively single-player adventure of Avatar Cannon, where the only inter-person competition is on the leaderboard, Avatar Rockets includes Xbox Live Party support, with either public or private matches, so that you can show your friends up and reach for the stars.  Ultimately, much like Avatar Cannon, however, this game will serve better as an intermittent and occasional time waster, and not the primary focus of a gaming session.  Avatar Rockets also has the bonus of being 1/3rd the cost of Avatar Cannon, which, when you’re looking for a casual time-waster, can be a selling feature.

Download a demo of the game here.


Both of the games looked at above are good ways to goof off with your avatar, although they do have limited longevity and are a tad skinny on features.  Fortunately, not all of Lighthouse Games Studio’s offerings are designed for ten-minute bursts, and today, we’re going to give away a redemption code for myFishtank, an app XboxHornet reviewed back last May.  To enter, simply leave a comment below stating which you prefer: Avatar Rockets or Avatar Cannon, and why.  A winner will be chosen next Saturday (March 27th, 2010).

Yet Another Zombie Defence – XBLIG Review

A Wargamer review for XboxHornet

With the growing trend in zombie games, do we really need yet another zombie defense game? The opinions are mixed; some people just can’t get enough of them, yet others think the zombie market is saturated. From AwesomeGamesStudio, here is ‘Yet Another Zombie Defense Game’.

With the word defense in the title, you might be expecting a zombie tower defense game. This is definitely not. It’s actually more of a 3D dual stick shooter with an option to set up auto turrets. You could almost call it a hybrid dual stick turret defense game. The gameplay is quite a simple to understand – play as a survivor defending against waves of zombies.

Waves are considered as ‘nights’. Survive as many nights as you can and gain a high score. At the start of each night, the toughness, damage, and speed of the zombies increase. Completing a night grants you the option of buying weapons, barricades, and mountable auto turrets. Occasionally, a killed zombie will drop cash, ammo, and health. Either save your cash for a better weapon and ammo for yourself, or buy barricades and auto turrets to defend against the horde of zombies. Your basic weapon is a pistol, but pretty quickly you’ll want to buy something better. A few weapons available to buy are an uzi, shotgun, flamethrower, rocket launcher, sniper, and laser, among other things. When buying an auto turret, you may mount any gun you posses. Keep in mind though; you cannot hold a weapon that is already mounted on the turret.

The zombies move like you’d except, but visually, you would think they were just normal people. Occasionally there are new zombies with different colour clothes, but each zombie has the same shape. That isn’t so much an issue though as the game is about defending yourself for as long as you can. If you want a game with lots of blood, you won’t be disappointed. Each shot a zombie takes, blood is splattered on the pavement below.

As it is a dark zombie defense game, the music isn’t as dark and atmospheric as you’d expect. It does however fit the style of game as you defend against multiple zombies. It’s mostly a hard-hitting rock beat with an underlining guitar riff.

Although the concept is simple, playing the game is no walk in the park. The area available is quite big, but you’ll always be near the light in the center simply because the game is very dark. You do have an option to brighten the game, but it doesn’t provide the right tone. The one thing the game is clearly missing is co-op. How can you have a zombie game without co-op? It isn’t a big deal, but it’s always fun to mow down zombies with a friend. For 80 points, it’s quite a fun game to get your zombie killing fix. There are better zombie games on the market, but for what it offers, it’s hard not to add it to your collection.

Rating: 6/10 for a difficult, yet decent dual stick zombie shooter

Download a trial of the game here.

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