This week's Xbox Live Arcade lineup lives up to the service's name with a heavy focus on arcade-style action. While neither Metal Slug XX nor Aqua has ever appeared in coin-op form, both games owe a debt to the dimly lit gaming dens of eras past.
SNK Playmore's Metal Slug XX for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15) is the latest in the long-running series of military-themed side-scrolling action games that began on the NeoGeo. This installment in the series is a remixed version of the 2008 DS game Metal Slug 7 and first saw release on the PSP earlier this year. The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game retains the branching levels and 70-mission combat school feature of the PSP edition and also supports online cooperative multiplayer.
Games Distillery's Aqua may not be as tightly tied to the arcades, but the overhead twin-stick shooter should provide plenty of challenge for twitch-happy players. Taking control of one of a number of ship types, players will navigate waterways and open water, trading ample fire with an enemy armada. The game features cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes and will sell for 800 Microsoft points ($10).
Microsoft is also adding three titles to its Games on Demand library of downloadable titles. With Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 not set for release until October 26, Xbox 360 owners (except those living in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) who missed the original have plenty of time to bring themselves up to speed by downloading it for $29.99.
The company is also serving up Top Spin 3 on the downloadable game service, with 2K Sports' 2008 tennis sim now downloadable for $19.99, except in Korea and Japan. And while Japanese Xbox 360 owners might not get either of the above Games on Demand titles this week, they will be the only ones receiving the option to download Silicon Knights' Norse-themed action game Too Human.