Although Kinect was the overwhelming focus of Microsoft’s keynote shindig at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, the company did announce two upcoming XBLA titles that you can play with an old-fashioned buttons-’n’-analog sticks gamepad. (Remember those?) Both of them promise to give a global audience to games whose appeal has been felt mostly among Japanese players until now.
The first XBLA exclusive announced was Fire Pro-Wrestling, an Xbox 360 refresh of the classic series by the same name. The FPW games, popular in Japan since the 1990s, have seen occasional release in the States over the past decade, but they have never quite taken hold. A teaser trailer promised that players would be able to experiment with a variety of over-the-top wrestling styles, and the characters will be represented by users’ Xbox 360 Avatars.
Radiant Silvergun will also be coming to XBLA in a deal with developer Treasure. The top-down, vertical-scrolling, shoot-’em-up, originally released in 1998, is regarded as a stylistic predecessor to the studio’s better known Ikaruga. The refreshed version of Silvergun for Xbox 360 will include HD visuals, and it will bring the landmark shmup to a much wider audience than ever before. The game has been notoriously hard to find since its initial Japan-only debut in arcades and on the Sega Saturn. Microsoft VP Phil Spencer remarked at the keynote that because of the XBLA revival, he would not have to scour the used-game aisles in Akihabara for used copies of Silvergun anymore, and the audience chuckled, probably amused by the notion that Phil Spencer had ever actually done this.
Both titles are set for release in 2011, only on Xbox Live.