Hopes for a brilliant finale have been dashed with Microsoft's last Xbox Live Arcade release of 2006. After a run of indie titles (Small Arms, RoboBlitz, Assault Heroes, and Novadrome), Microsoft is back to 80s rehashes with New Rally-X today; "New" as in the 1981 sequel to 1980's Rally-X. It's Pac-Man on wheels.
Perhaps this dull offering is merely a setup for next week's New Year surprise, but to end '06 on this low note is certainly a disappointment. Imagine if Castle Crashers or Worms had shown up this morning -- or even that original shooter from the Ikaruga team. Or how about Goldeneye? Or Symphony of the Night? Instead, it's New Rally-X. Ugh.