Mutant Storm Empire Review

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Publisher: Pom Pom Games
Developer: Pom Pom Games

Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

"There's this evil emperor, see and... well, he's evil. Now someone has decided to put a stop to the whole evilness thing, and that someone is you. It's the right thing to do!"

Kyle Ackerman

As you might guess from Pom Pom Games' description of the plot (above), the story arc is not the crux of Mutant Storm Empire. Shooting is. Since this is the third Mutant Storm game, Pom Pom Games has had time to refine the action.

While most gamers missed out on the original Mutant Storm (a PC title), Mutant Storm Reloaded got a lot more attention because it was one of the first Xbox Live Arcade titles available, right when the Xbox 360 launched in 2005. It was a psychedelic shooter, filled with Technicolor enemies and controls that used one analog stick to move and the other to direct your shots.

Mutant Storm Empire is a slightly refined take on the previous Mutant Storm game. Aside from obviously different levels and creatures, there are few differences between Mutant Storm Empire and Mutant Storm Reloaded. Mutant Storm Empire's levels are more coherent – now there are four worlds – and all the levels within a given world are linked together, so each world is more like a continuous journey broken into contained combat sequences. Also, your ship can take a few hits, but that resilience has to last you through an entire world.

Mutant Storm Empire's scoring dynamic will excite arcade-style shooter fans who love to compete for the absolute top score. Rather than just killing to stay alive, you get bonuses (and achievements) for killing a certain number of like enemies. That means score hounds will find themselves struggling to leave lots of, say, a purple enemy running around while killing all the green ones. In fact, since your ship can take damage, it can be worth risking an extra hit to leave certain enemies alive while only killing the ones that net you bonuses.

This is a perfectly decent arcade-style shooter. But nowadays, there are plenty of other options for those who prefer to steer with one stick and fire with the other. Even if you restrict that pool to Xbox 360 games. Mutant Storm Empire is certainly fun, but with so many other options, unless you plan on buying them all, it's probably not worth the 800 points ($10).


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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on November 13, 2007 9:14 PM.

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