March 14, 2012

Notes On The Robocalypse

Shoot Many Robots
“Chairmanlove, buy some equipment!”

Those were the first words of wisdom another player offered to me as I started my multiplayer session of Shoot Many Robots. And I was admittedly feeling underdressed for the occasion as we waited for the stage to load, still wearing the standard clothing while others were thumbing their noses at the Tsars of fashion with all manner of ridiculous headgear, belts, and heavy weaponry.

If I’d never jumped online, I’d have likely missed the point entirely because from a disinterested distance, Shoot Many Robots seems to simply replace the tired zombies of other party shooters with chainsaw wielding mechanical fiends and trailer park humor. There’s certainly some awe in how many bloodthirsty robots can fill the screen, exploding with bursts of oil and scrap metal as you fill them with lead. But watching others rack up kills in the hundreds while I nabbed twenty or so left me certain I was doing it wrong, which I was.

Between stages players can access their inventory along with a store, where items discovered during play become available for purchase via exceedingly large amounts of bolts earned whilst crushing the robot uprising. And that is the point at which a game that visually resembles a 2D Borderlands taps the comparison far deeper to produce spiraling lists of weapons and equipment that opens a vortex of customization opportunities.

There’s plenty of work creation going on here, earning bolts to buy items that help you earn more bolts, marching on in the quest to unlock ever more ridiculous toys before returning to playgrounds that split between short stages and survival arenas. My scores improved dramatically when I returned with a cowboy hat and jetpack, holding my 110%-American machinegun – a primary weapon that offers unlimited firepower. There’s also a secondary ammo-conscious heavy hitter weapon – everything from rocket launchers to Gnoming missiles.

The results are delightfully ludicrous with a party of four, filling the screen with bullets and scrap metal as the waves of mechanized terror endlessly crowd the screen. Shoot Many Robots can’t escape the limited appeal these types of quick party shooters offer, but the vanity options and depth of experimentation raise the bar significantly, begging for plenty of time in finding the ideal balance of stat raising items and range versus power weapons. If you happened to be playing the game alone, the value falls of fairly quick – this is about joining others and arguing about the perfect tools for surviving the robocalypse after all. And while that emphasis isn’t necessarily at the top of my agenda, I’ll certainly tip my cowboy hat to a game in that vein that merits the ten dollar pricetag with an immense amount of toys to unlock and talk about.

Of course, you can give the demo for the full game a shot and let me know what you think.

December 16, 2010

Love Notes – X-Men Arcade

X Men Arcade
Konami’s 1992 side-scrolling beat ’em up is one of the few arcade games I hold a great deal of nostalgic love for. Buy me a coffee sometime and I’ll regall you with stories about loitering near any building that housed the game, from the last of the arcades in my area to the seedy poolhalls that later served as poor but functional substitutes.

Konami was able to turn anything into a beat ’em up back in the day, from the Ninja Turtles to The Simpsons, but only The X-Men had six glorious arcade sticks jutting out of an over sized cabinet that cried out for my quarters – so it’s safe to say that I’m pretty stoked to see the game hit XBLA and PSN this week.


December 29, 2009

Catching Up With Resident Evil 5

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , — Jamie Love @ 5:05 pm

Resident Evil 5
Catching up on the year that was 2009 in gaming inevitably led me back to the spiraling saga of Resident Evil, that mix of cherished memories from my youth seeking to merge a marketable sense of action with a lingering air of terror. The week of late-night sessions it took to survive the horror also led to an inevitable conclusion –

Resident Evil 5 is a fool’s errand, and I am the cosmic jester.


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