The streak of double-header Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays continues this week with the release of two new titles, Exit and Battlestar Galactica. Both are now available and can had at 800 Microsoft Points ($10) each.
Exit is one of the lesser-known, though quite entertaining, PSP titles, and the Xbox Live Arcade port lives up to the off-beat puzzle action of the original. As Mr. ESC, you'll need to move around burning buildings and traps and save the helpless citizens by leading them out of their terrible circumstances while overcoming various puzzles, as inAbe's Odyssey. While the original PSP title was released with only 100 levels, the XBLA touts 220 levels, online leaderboards, and future downloadable content. That's quite an upgrade for $10.
Unfortunately, while the new content adds value and the HD graphics look great, there are still some nagging issues that haunted the PSP version. Originally criticized for some spotty context-sensitive jumping controls, the XBLA version of Exit still suffers from some weird control nuances. These don't wreck the experience, butthey area blemish on an otherwise strong title.
Given how well Wing Commander Arena went over, I can't imagine this week's other release, Battlestar Galactica, will do very well. Though the TV series is popular for its drama and political intrigue (moreso than its combat), the game forgoes story for the sake of top-down space shooting action. Those hoping for some well-integrated use of the Battlestar lore are in for a disappointment. While there may be some familiar sights in the form of backdrops and vehicles, the game does little to maintain the frantic, humans-against-the-universe feel that the series is so well known for. If you can look past that, there's a serviceable albeit somewhat slow-paced top-down, free-roaming space shooter to find—not exactly what fans will want as they await the fourth and final season.
Exit is definitely the choice for the week. If you haven't played the title yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up. Even with the control problems, it's still a lot of fun to play.