Services like Xbox Live Arcade have done a good job of reviving classic genres and reinventing them for modern audiences. Unfortunately, one genre that's been sorely under-represented is the top-down dungeon crawler. Arrowhead Game Studios' Magicka is looking to fill that void, mixing in classic Diablo gameplay with elements of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles.
The premise should be familiar to anyone that's played a fantasy adventure game before. An evil old wizard is trying to destroy the world and only you (and three other players) can stop him. The tired setting isn't a handicap for Magicka, though, as it allows Arrowhead to satire some of the genre's conventions and most iconic moments. (For example, a hidden area will have you grabbing a "Master Sword" from a stone pedestal, with Zelda-esque music playing in the background.)
What is unique is its gameplay, which focuses on casting element-based magic using the right analog stick. Various elements are assigned to eight directions on the stick, and hitting the analog in a certain direction queues up a spell. The placement of the various elements (and the iconography used to represent them) isn't particularly clear, making Magicka not the most intuitive game to play. However, these elements can be combined and stacked to create interesting spells -- and the addition of co-op multiplayer makes casting magic even more dynamic.