Castlevania: Harmony of Despair croons on XBL

Microsoft Store Update: $15 side-scrolling adventure game hits Arcade; Batman: Arkham Asylum, Too Human, and Phantasy Star Universe added to Games on Demand.

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No Caption Provided Microsoft follows up last week's Hydro Thunder Hurricane with the third installment in the five-part Summer of Arcade promotion today on Xbox Live. In addition to the 2D revival, Microsoft's store adds three new downloadable games this week, ranging from the caped crusader to a man who just might be too human.

Leading the download pack this week is Konami's Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (1,200 MS points, or $15). The 2D action adventure game was designed by noted Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi and features competitive and cooperative multiplayer, as well as a solo campaign. Players will encounter puzzles, enemies, and various characters from other 2D Castlevania games, as well as boss fights throughout the game.

You can fight a 2D face in the new Castlevania.
You can fight a 2D face in the new Castlevania.

Switching to Games on Demand, Microsoft added three games to the download service this week. The first is Rocksteady's award-winning caped crusader entry, Batman: Arkham Asylum (3,200 MS points, or $39.99). In the Dark Knight shadowy adventure, players suit up as Batman and fight with stealth and brute force to defeat the Joker's minions.

Also hitting the download hub this week is Silicon Knights' tepidly received action role-playing game Too Human (2,400 MS points, or $29.99), which debuted in 2008 and is now available to download. The sci-fi-meets-mythology title casts players as Norse God Baldur, a member of a caste of cybernetically enhanced humans. As Baldur, players are presented with choices that alter his status as a human and can cause him to become "too human."

The last Games on Demand entry this week is 2006's Phantasy Star Universe (1,600 MS points, or $19.99). From Team Sonic, the hack-and-slash role-playing game lets players control protagonist Ethan Waber, who is tasked with bringing peace to the Gurhal System. Of note, the game's server closure in January did not affect the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Living room faux rock gods and goddesses this week can download new tunes for Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Guitar Hero adds a three-pack from scream-thrashers The Used, and Rock Band welcomes eight singles from bands ranging in style from The Eagles to Death Metal to Blondie.

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