CONFUSING Reviews: XBOX Live Arcade

Posted on May 15, 2007. Filed under: confusing reviews, features, gaming, mondays, reviews, xbox 360 | Tags: , , , , , |

This week I’m leaving an XBOX Live Arcade edition of CONFUSING Reviews. I have a review of Geometry Wars and Boom Boom Rocket. both by the same developer. They may be from the same people but are the both excellent game? Find out in this double header I like to call CONFUSING Reviews: XBOX Live Arcade SMASH!

Boom Boom Rocket on XBOX Live Arcade

800MS Points

Ever since I was a little kid I have always been fascinated with fireworks. Every time one explodes into its fiery spectra of colors and designs I seem to imagine a plethora of on going activities. Music begins to buzz in my mind. People are dancing, the band is jamming on, and the fireworks-oh the fireworks!

Music is my passion, as well as rhythm. Jazz, I love it. Syncopation, the blues…I’ve been playing music for quite a while and when I read on XBOX 360 Fanboy that there would be a musical firework game that combined Jazz along with the beat of the explosions I became excited. I could not wait for this game. Oh the possibilities…

Now in comes Boom Boom Rocket; A musical experience from the creators of another fine game, Geometry Wars. Just as with their style in Geometry Wars, Boom Boom Rocket is very vibrant and colorful. The controls are spot on and the game is really easy to learn. Imagine, you are playing DDR but instead of a dance pad you use the four control buttons on the 360 controller. That’s all you use. Each button has a different tone.

On screen you have a city skyline at night with a purple line and a bonus meter. The more you press the button every time the designated direction hits the purple line the more points you get. The bonus meter fills up while multiplying your score. Once you reach “X4” you can press the right trigger to unleash awesomeness! For every note that you hit you get a nice “Matrix-y” effect where it looks like a bullet hit water. It’s great! For every note that you miss though, the time you get this mode runs down.

There are many songs to hit buttons to the beat too. All are remixed versions of classics like 1812 Overture, William Tell, and more. The best one in the game is “Rave New World,” a twist on Brave New World. Each song has three difficulties. Each difficulty brings you more notes to hit per minute and a faster tempo. Some songs will be easy but some are tough. The tougher, the better.

Besides just hitting the notes, completing the song, getting a score and a grade you can also try the other various modes. There is Practice mode, which lets you practice the songs at your own pace, Single Player, which lets you get high scores and grades on each song, Endurance, which tests your skillz at loop after increasing loop of various speeds, and there is finally Multiplayer Mode, which I have yet to try. There are more modes but they are pretty much useless when it comes to the actual game.

All of the achievements are fairly easy to acquire, which takes all the fun out but some are really hard. One of the hardest is to try and get 5 loops on HARD in Endurance. You can also unlock special firework shapes that pop up randomly during any of the modes in the game when you hit a note.

Of all the great things in this game there are a few bad things. One being the price and the other being the amount of time it will take you to beat this game. The developers left a “DOWNLOAD” option in the main menu so you can only guess they will be milking fans of the game to download new songs…

If you like games like Guitar Hero, but you don’t like the $90 price point buy this game. Rating Scale:

Graphics 7/10
Game play 10/10
Controls 9/10
Music 11/10
Multiplayer 6/10
Features 6/10

Overall Score 82%

Boom Boom Rocket is a great game. It’s fun, enticing, addictive, and musical. Whether you’re a fan of classical or techno you’ll love the music in this game. Fans of DDR, Guitar Hero and even DJ Max Portable will love this game. There is a variety of mores, great visuals for a XBOX Live Arcade title, and there are varying patterns for each song depending on difficulty. Buy this game if you love music, DDR-esque games, and fun. Don’t buy this game if you hate techno, flashing images, Guitar Hero, or music.

Geometry Wars Review on XBOX Live Arcade
800MS Points

geometry wars gameplay
Have you ever played a game where you start to cuss out little colored shapes just because of their programming? Well, if not this is going to be it. This game is awesome! Of all the original arcade games available on Live this is actually one of the best ones. It’s so good I’m actually thinking about supporting micro transactions.

The game is great. From the beginning you see that the developers wanted it to be simple for many people to play; a casual gamers game. This game was built to be a 5 minute game. Once you select “LAUNCH” from the XBOX Live Dashboard it only takes about 20 seconds to start; sometimes quicker. Each level starts off really easy but after that the game becomes a random spawning of different shapes.

There are many different enemies in the game. From squares that are green, pink, blue, and purple; you’ll never get bored of the designs. Each shape performs a different action as well. The pink squares break into three smaller squares once you shoot them and the green ones avoid your bullets. There are big red circles that are set to blow up the whole board unless you destroy them and there are worms that have many parts to destroy. The best enemies are the shapes that look like your shape does. They actually shoot back and make for a more interesting game.

To destroy these enemies you have many options. Your first weapon is an average, okay weapon but once you collect a high enough score you get different weapons. The first weapon you get is a multiple rounds kind of gun. Instead of a steady stream of bullets you get FIVE streams of fast moving bullets. I think this one is the best. The next weapon you get “warps” the world about you and causes your bullets to slow down for a more precise shot. It helps you get the green squares.
You can also blow up the entire board but you get no points for this. To do so all you have to do is pull on the right or left trigger. I like this feature because when there are lots of enemies on the board, and trust me you’ll run into hundreds that appear out of no where, this weapon allows you to live when you only have one life left. A simple however very much needed weapon.

The game play is fantastic. It’s so great that newer XBOX Live Arcade games are copying it to some degree. To destroy the shapes you move the right analog stick in one direction or the other depending n where the shapes are and to move you tilt the left analog stick to any direction you want to move. The controls are very responsive and the shape you play as does not seem to move too slow or too fast. These controls help to keep it simple as I have stated before.

Most casual games don’t have good music; with the exception of TETRIS. This game does however. I love how every button you push affects the music in some way or form. You need to hear it to believe it though so here’s a You Tube Video:

The achievements are an important part of any XBOX game and this one has some great ones. Most of them however are ones where you get them for gaining 250,000 or 1,000,000 and such.

If you’re looking for a great casual game or are just an achievement “whore” this game is for you. Rating Scale:

Graphics 8/10
Game play 10/10
Controls 9/10
Music 10/10
Multiplayer N/A
Features 8/10


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One Response to “CONFUSING Reviews: XBOX Live Arcade”

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Geometry Wars is my favorite Xbox Live Arcade game. Boom Boom Rocket is very fun too. You should try playing it with a dance pad sometime.

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