Matt Hazard joins Banjo's Nuts & Bolts on XBL

Xbox Live Update: D3Publisher's action hero returns for the first time on Microsoft's online arcade while Rare's vehicular platformer heads to Games on Demand.

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One commonly accepted business maxim is that an established franchise is a safer bet than an original, unproven property. D3Publisher opted to pursue a workaround for its all-new downloadable action game hero Matt Hazard, fabricating an extensive backlog of games extending to the 8-bit era before releasing the franchise's actual first installment, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, in February 2009.

This week, D3Publisher's action franchise can legitimately call itself a series, as the Vicious Cycle-developed Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond arrives on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday. (A PlayStation 3 edition will be available on Thursday.) Available for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15), Blood Bath and Beyond is an arcade-style side-scrolling shooter that sees Matt Hazard squaring off against a host of his nemeses again, for the first time.

Matt Hazard's back…for real this time!
Matt Hazard's back…for real this time!

Rare's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts represents the week's sole Games on Demand addition to the Xbox Live Marketplace. Originally released to a strong critical response in November 2008, Nuts & Bolts sees Rare's iconic duo navigating a world full of obstacles by way of vehicular contraptions designed and built by players. The game is available now for $19.99.

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