Welcome to Easter Eggs, where the TA Team shines the spotlight on games that many gamers might have missed, perhaps hidden away behind the millionth copy of Call of Duty or FIFA. Much like a gamer who finds an Easter Egg hidden away in a game and proceeds to trumpet it from the highest hills and forums, the TA Team is going to be featuring these Easter Egg games on the front page for all to see.
When the newshounds sit down and try to figure out what game should be the next to be featured in an Easter Egg, we do our best to consider a number of factors. There are some obvious things, of course, like the number of tracked gamers and the age of the game in question. Additionally, we'll frequently consider the score the game has received both here on site or at other score aggregators, as there are plenty of well-received games that get lost in all the noise of the most recent CoD
Occasionally, we'll get a game like today's entry, Arkadian Warriors
. Glancing quickly at its stats - tracked gamers, release date, and average score - it doesn't seem like an immediate candidate for inclusion. A recent run with the game, however, shows that while it may not be underrated, there's a value to the game that makes it worth another look.The Basics
At the time of Arkadian Warriors
' release in December 2007, the function of the Arcade was largely to take classic titles, such as Dig Dug
and release them not only fairly cheaply, but with the addition of Gamerscore. When the game made its debut, was released onto the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and represented one of the earlier titles to truly be an Xbox LIVE Arcade original. The question at the time was whether or not this was indicative of a bright future for the platform, or if it would just continue to house ports, TV or movie tie-ins, and the occasional bit of shovelware.
The developer, Wanako, primarily works on XBLA titles, the most notable of which is likely Doritos Crash Course
. Wanako was acquired by Artificial Mind & Movement in 2008. In 2010, Artificial Mind & Movement became bE HAVIOUR Interactive, and the Chilean-based Wanako was rebranded Behavior Santiago. Most recently, they worked on Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
and Voltron: Defender of the Universe
It's important when considering Arkadian Warriors
to keep the era during which is was released in mind. The size limitation on XBLA games had only recently been lifted from 50MB to 150MB, meaning in December 2007, this was one of the heftier games on the market. Also, the commonly acceptable price for XBLA games of the time was 400 MSP, or $5, making Arkadian Warriors
' release price seem a little steep by comparison, especially considering a game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
commanded the same fee.
The game is completely playable on your own, but is more fun with a buddy in co-op. Though there are three character classes, the max number of co-op players is two, and it can be played either locally or via Xbox LIVE. The gameplay is not split-screen in local, so you have to stay near your partner. The HookArkadian Warriors
is perhaps best labeled as an entry-level dungeon crawler. When the game begins, you can choose which of the three available character classes - a Warrior, an Archer, or a Sorcerer - you would like to be and if you'd like to be male or female. You cannot customize the character further, though their look will change based on what you have equipped. The game includes a paint-by-numbers, there-because-their-needs-to-be-a-reason-for-questing style affair. The land of Arkadia has come under attack from the evil Gorgon and it is up to you to save the people from this menace.
There is a single town that serves as your hub. Here you can get new quests, replay old quests, or buy and sell weapons and items. Once you select a quest, whether it's the next one up or one that you've chosen to replay, you'll be sent off to a randomly-generated dungeon. The task is always the same - be it collecting a certain number of items or defeating a certain number of enemies - but the amount and type of enemies, layout of the dungeon, number of secret rooms and treasures, and so on will vary from game to game. You have five lives to get through a dungeon, and this pool is shared in co-op. Dying doesn't set you back too far, however, as you'll restart the floor you died on with the number of lives you had once you reached that floor.
Each character type has the typical unique traits of their field. Warriors are strong and can soak lots of physical damage, but are weak to magic. Sorcerers are best when used at a distance and have magic spells ranging from attacking with fire or ice to healing party members who are nearby. Archers rest somewhere right in between, offering decent physical attacks at medium to long range. Each class has five skills they can unlock by leveling up. The game's max level is twenty, and you should get there naturally if playing solo and with only minimal post end-game grinding in co-op.
Loot drops are important in the game, as you'll obviously want the best gear available, but there isn't an overwhelming variety of weaponry or armor to be found. There is nothing dropped in dungeons that you won't eventually find for sale in town, either, so don't panic if we accidentally miss a pick up. There are also life, magic, and alter-ego potions to be found alongside piles of gold.
Alter-ego is Arkadian Warriors
' version of a super attack. Once the yellow alter-ego meter is full, you can press Y and become a mythical beast that does increased damage to foes while taking none himself. This is especially useful for those dungeons that wind up suddenly crowded with enemies. As its duration is limited, its best to look for large enemy clusters, or even get a lot of enemies to chase you, before unleashing it. Alter-Ego builds up with each hit you land on your foes, or can be replenished via the aforementioned potions, of which you can carry five at a time. The Achievements
As it was released in the olden days of the Xbox LIVE Arcade, Arkadian Warriors
features the old-timey standard arcade achievement list - 12 achievements worth a total of 200G, or 279 TA score. If you choose to play the game in local co-op, both players earn achievements, meaning there's no need to worry about who's hosting. Counters are kept separately, so don't expect achievements for things such as buying or selling 100 items
to pop at the same time.
The list contains only one story-related achievement, and that's to defeat the final boss
. Pretty much every other achievement will come naturally over the course of the game, including things like accumulating 500,000 gold
and finding 15 secret rooms
. There is one achievement that requires you to play two quests in one continuous co-op session
. You can do this with a second controller, but the game plays well in co-op, so it's recommended to find a buddy to play it with.
For further details on Arkadian Warriors
' achievements and how to collect them, check out the Walkthrough
here on site written by drabik
For a game that came out before we have all the options we have today, Arkadian Warriors
is currently tracked by just over 11,500 people, which seems like a fairly low number. Of those 11,500 trackers, about 3,400 of whom have completed it for a completion percentage of just under 30%. The community here at TA have given the game a 2.9 rating out of five and, frankly, that's fair. Not every game is going to be a five-star classic, and this isn't, but it is a fun time-waster and easyish completion.The Price
While Arkadian Warriors
may not be the kind of title that would have won many Game of the Year awards (the game was released before there was even a TrueAchievements, so we have no idea how it would have fared here!), there is no one who can argue that the price point is definitely a huge thumbs up. At its release, Arkadian Warriors
ran 800 MSP, or $10, but it was permanently discounted
in December 2011. For the cost of just $4.99, this XBLA title can be easily downloaded off the Marketplace and is more than fairly priced. The game actually has been on sale a couple times for $2.50, most recently in October 2013
, so it can go lower, but there's really no reason to wait on that if the game is appealing to you.The Verdict
In a previous Easter Egg
, when Jonathan Barnes
, he remarked that it basically operated as a Diablo
light. Arkadian Warriors
is similar, but even more simplified. There are no skill trees to worry about and the amount of loot and collectibles is not at all overwhelming. While some may look at that and think it's a detriment, it's actually not if you view the game in what it is probably best meant to be - a good time killer. It also weighs in at a not-so-massive 103MB, so those of you facing storage space issues on your Xbox 360s can likely find some room for it. Actually, if the cloud could do such a thing, it's even small enough to fit on there! In some ways, the best part of Arkadian Warriors
is its relative simplicity. If you have that buddy that you've wanted to introduce to the dungeon crawler, or a child/niece/nephew that you want to give an early taste of Diablo
to without worrying about the M-rated content, this is the perfect way to show them the genre without overwhelming them. If you think the game sounds interesting to you, why not give the demo
a whirl? For those of you interested in purchasing Arkadian Warriors
, you can do so right here
If there's a game you'd like to see featured in Easter Eggs, be sure to let us know in the comments!