XBLA's Summer Plans - From Geometry Wars 2 To Castle CrashersS

It might be the end of July, but over at Xbox Live Arcade the summer is just starting! This week sees the official kick off of the Summer of Arcade, five weeks of blockbuster Xbox Live Arcade releases to help ease us into the traditional fall gaming explosion. They'll be kicking things off with Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 (800 MS points), the sequel to one of the best games on the Xbox 360 period.

Each week after this will feature a new huge title. Next week sees the release of Jonathan Blow's innovative platformer Braid, followed by Bionic Commando: Rearmed (explaining the delay), and the reinvented classic Galaga Legions. Wrapping things up will be the August 27th release of the long-awaited Castle Crashers, from the creators of Alien Hominid. That's right, a game we've been waiting years for is coming out after a game announced two weeks ago. Such is the magic of summer! Sound impressive? Wait, there's more!

During the Summer of Arcade event, anyone who plays even a trial version of these new titles is automatically entered to win one of five weekly 4,000 MS point prizes, as well as a grand prize of 100,000 points, and Xbox 360 Elite console, and a 12 month Gold subscription. Two second prize winners will walk away with 10,000 points and the Gold sub.

Definitely an interesting promotion, with some excellent games attached. It's been a relatively lackluster summer so far for Xbox Live Arcade, with the Puzzle Quest expansion being the only thing I've purchased in the past few months. Looks like they'll be making up for lost points over the next five weeks. Good for them!

Announcing the Summer of Arcade and Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 releases this week [Xbox Live's Major Nelson]