Section 8: Prejudice (Xbox Live Arcade)
Space Marine FPS action is at the heart of Prejudice, the download-only follow up to original Section 8’s 2009 retail release. The demo lets you sample the first ‘mission’ of the campaign mode, introducing you to the game’s semi-sandbox style of gameplay where you have a large open area to fight in, but events happen in sequence to move the ‘fighting rebels on deep space colony worlds’ plot moving. The early part of the campaign demo will take you though the controls and show off a few of the game’s features, like a jetpack, lock-on targeting that can auto-aim onto moving foes, and the cool parachute-less, low orbit drop insertion. The latter comes to the forefront during multiplayer, of which you have 30 minutes to try out in the demo. With up to 32 players and very large maps, the multiplayer allows for large-scale conflicts with constantly rotating goals to accumulate points to reach the score limit. Occasionally you will be directed to switch between capturing control points, to playing Team Deathmatch, all within the same game. While the weapon selection doesn’t get very imaginative, there are a lot of load-out options, including an Engineer build to build/capture turrets and call in air strikes. It should also be noticed that visually, the Unreal powered Section 8: Prejudice is one of the better-looking download-only FPS games out there.
The Fancy Pants Adventure (Xbox Live Arcade)
The Flash game hit comes to consoles, complete with the original’s simple look and style. The Fancy Pants Adventures is another in a recent string of games, like Super Meat Boy, that doesn’t let story get in the way of gameplay. The demo for this adaptation begins with a motivation that borders between the inane and parodical, but it quickly takes a back seat to some extremely fluid platforming that’s part Mirror’s Edge and part Sonic the Hedgehog. The demo lets you play through the first three stages, and although everything (including the player character) is rendered in not much more than kind of line art that can be achieved with MS Paint, that simplicity is an illusion when the level of fine character animation work is taken into account. Throughout the three available demo stages, you’ll get the hang of how momentum you build up from movement is utilized and how much clean movement satisfies rather than hunting for items scattered around the stages (though there are those too). The full version promises special multiplayer modes, unlockables and never seen before stages, but it’s unknown if that’s enough to cause gamers to buy a game they can play online for free.