Microsoft’s CES keynote may have talked a lot about Windows Phones and systems on a chip, but the Xbox 360 wasn’t left out in the cold. Quite the contrary, in fact, as Steve Ballmer used his CES keynote to drop some Xbox Live Arcade news that’s bound to make a few (hundred) thousand gamers happy.
Beginning on February 16, Microsoft’s kicking off its second-annual Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party by making available an old-school run-and-gun game called Hard Corps Uprising, from Konami. In the weeks that follow, Xbox Live Arcade will become home to a console-exclusive version of Torchlight, the 800,000-plus selling PC game, Full House Poker, Bejeweled Blitz Live and Beyond Good & Evil.
Yes, that Beyond Good & Evil, from Ubisoft.
Here’s more information about each specific XBLA game. Unfortunately, pricing wasn’t available for these games yet, but as those details are announced we’ll be sure to share.
Torchlight: This highly regarded PC game with 800,000+ units sold has had its combat mechanics tweaked to be “more exciting,” and the developers have also added new armor and quests. There’s even an exclusive new pet for your character. Send a select goodie or two to your friends on LIVE to share the fun for the first time.
Full House Poker: This all-new poker game lets players compete against their Xbox LIVE friends on Xbox 360, then build their bank roll on the go with a companion game on Windows Phone 7. Play a quick two-player game for some lightning action, join a big 30-player tournament, or play a round of Texas Heat, a live poker game show in which gamers play with thousands of players worldwide and have 30 minutes to bluff, bet and raise their way to the final table. This one’s going to be on display Friday at CES with actual gameplay sessions against actress Shannon Elizabeth. Yes, we wish we were there. To get our hands on the game, of course….
Bejeweled Blitz Live: In this update to the revered jewel game, players can choose their favorite playing style — Classic or Twist — and battle their way to the top in an all-new 16-player Party mode over Xbox LIVE.
Beyond Good & Evil: Ubisoft’s awesome game from the last hardware generation lets players experience the game for the first time in full HD. Gamers play as action-reporter Jade and capture the truth using stealth, force and their wits against a government that deceived Jade to begin with. This action-adventure game has elements of puzzle-solving and stealth throughout its futuristic game world.
Hard Corps Uprising: The game from Konami that’s kicking off Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade House Party just oozes “retro run-and-gun action.” This new 2D side-scroller was developed by ARC System Works and pays homage to classic Konami action series by letting gamers play as the soldier Bahamut as he begins to write his legend in this prequel to Contra: Hard Corps.