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Ion Assault brings shmup action to XBLA with a twist

9:00 PM on 07.06.2009

Jordan Devore

Managing Editor

Germany-based developer Black Inc. wants you to know about its first foray into Xbox LIVE Arcade, Ion Assault. The problem with that, however, lies in the downloadable game's genre. You see, it's been painfully easy to write off twin-stick shooters on XBLA ever since the service was flooded with them.

But I think it's been just long enough since we have seen a worthwhile space shooter that I'm ready to start caring again. Also, Ion Assault looks surprisingly good. For me personally it wasn't until I saw the gameplay trailer when I became interested, mainly because the game's particle ammunition gimmick doesn't show well in still images.

Rather than having an infinite supply of bullets at your disposal, Ion Assault limits you to whatever particles are floating nearby, which are supposed to be dynamic. I get the feeling this has been done before in an indie game, but I suppose it's a new concept in the world of XBLA shooters.

Look for it this summer when the game launches at 800 Microsoft Points.

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