|System: X360 (XBLA)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Tozai Games / SouthEnd Int.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 22, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Playing Lastman over LIVE will allow you to play in ranked matches which are tracked on the leaderboards. This game really does an excellent job of bringing players together and fomenting a sense of community. All players will have their stats tracked, and the high scores attained in single-player, co-op, and competitive matches will be constantly sent to the servers for bragging rights.
Lode Runner gives players a fine visual and aural package. The game supports 1080i resolution, is rendered in 3D despite the 2D action, and never suffers from any glitches. The character and enemy designs are nothing special, but they are still reminiscent of the game's roots. The five different environments covering jungles, mines, mechanical factories, volcanoes, and icy realms are all nicely depicted. The tunes are quite catchy. The simple electronic riffs are suggestive of a bygone era, fitting nicely with the game's history and lodging themselves squarely in the back of your mind.
Some nice touches to this package include a History tab that gives you a brief timeline concerning key events, facts, and releases of the Lode Runner franchise. Also, this is the most expansive and complex Lode Runner to date. For example, the game packs in 220 levels for you to run through. Additionally, new terrain including avalanche, stalactites, and blast blocks keep gameplay varied. There are also diverse environments and enemies you'll have to take on. There's even a between-level, puzzle-like mini-game where you'll have to collect energy balls in order to add to your life tally. Finally, players will also run into hidden enemies they'll unearth along with buried diamonds.
All of these innovations along with the tons of single-player, cooperative, and competitive modes make this the best and most complete Lode Runner ever. Though the game is a touch on the expensive side when compared to other XBLA titles (1200 MS points), you won't regret spending the $15 for a moment.
CCC Editor / News Director