This weeks On The Download will feature plenty of brand new downloadable co-op news, including some hot topics like Halo Reach's Beta, loads of new releases and even a rumor. We're also going to revisit the world of Aces of the Galaxy - one of my favorite recent co-op purchases on the XBLA. There may or may not be an interesting nerd-story to compliment our May the Fourth (be with you) in this issue of On The Download.
When I was a wee-young girl I had a dream. A dream of owning a Nintendo 64, complete with Star Fox 64. I would visit the local K-mart on Saturday afternoon and play the display model in the store until I was kicked off the machine. I was 12 years old then. That summer, which I officially dub The Summer of the 64, I mowed more lawns than I can count, walked more dogs, and did more dishes in the hopes of a little cash. I piled that money in a secret drawer in my bedroom until the fateful day that I had saved enough to buy a Nintendo 64 by myself. Another few weeks later, I had my first 64 game - Star Fox.
In my childhood, this was a pivotal moment. Sure, I had the NES that I still played, and the SNES that were gifts - but I didn't have anything mock 3D, or a piloting game. It was at this point I decided I wanted to be a pilot, until the Navy told me to go away because I wear glasses - but that's another story for another day. I attribute my childhood dream, aspirations, and motivation to Star Fox 64.
I know what you're thinking. "But Star Fox isn't a co-op game, you crazy girl!" And it's true, Star Fox is not a co-op game, but its spiritual predecessor is. I'm talking about Aces of the Galaxy - the closest thing to Star Fox 64 to reach the consoles since, well, Star Fox 64 (those "real" sequels don't count, you're only in the Arwing for like 1/3 of the game, or it has DS controls). I had my dream back, and no one could take it away from me this time.
Aces of the Galaxy had me back in the pilot seat, ready to mash the "Fire" button, and do a barrel roll. Only this time, I brought along a friend. Nick, who you know as BAPenguin was a pilot right along side me, facing off against the crazy "Skurgian" frog-people Empire of the Aces world. Some of the Skurgian were talking smack, so we investigated in our awesome pseudo-Arwings right away. We flew into asteroids, dodged missiles by doing the ever faithful (but incorrect, as shown above) Barrel roll, broke our ships, and blew stuff up.
In remembrance of one of the better characters of Star Fox, we jabbered in a high-pitch voice (okay, maybe that was just me doing the annoying Slippy jabbering). It felt just right, like having almost brought the whole team back together - even if the final boss isn't a floating monkey head in outer space. Man, who writes this stuff?
Aces of the Galaxy allowed me to relive some of my fondest memories with a friend worthy of such experiences, only without the ridiculous underwater battle sequence with a giant clam. Anyone who hasn't play this really should, especially if you have half of the fond memories of Star Fox 64 that I did. And don't listen to this ugly Skurgian guy. He's not Admiral Ackbar, and it's not a trap.
New in Download/DLC:
This week has a boatload of information regarding some great DLC/Downloadable games including quite a few new releases, and long-awaited Beta access. First on the list is the game Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition which will be released on XBLA Wednesday, 5/5/10. Then, we've got the Serious Sam HD: Second Encounter on Steam, complete with Serious Sam, and explosions. I don't think you need much more than that.
It would also appear that Mech Warrior 4 has survived its legal dilemma for a full Free co-op PC release. The final new release of the day is called Alive 4 Ever on the iPod Touch/iPhone App store. Consider your productivity warned.
If you're into things like rumors, we've got an interesting one for you. Apparently Castlevania is working on a future 6-player-co-op game. We don't have any other details, but holy crap that's weird and kind-of awesome.
Our final news for downloadable thingies, is the live release of Halo Reach Beta. The beta was closed last week, and only given to a limited number of fans, but it is now open to the public and available for download. There are rocket packs, Special abilities, and customizable Spartans. Go now Halo fans, download it.
Free for you:
As mentioned above, Mech Warrior 4 has officially landed on your local PC for some free co-op goodness. Play any of the Mech Warrior tanks in this new MekTek.net remix of the Microsoft Mech Warrior franchise - the game went live this past weekend, but hammered the servers bad enough to crash the site. That's great news for us, plenty of people to play with.