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Jeremy Jastrzab
09 Nov, 2007

XBLA Mutant Storm Empire Review

360 Review | Storm on the Arcade.
The dual-analog shooter market on the Xbox Live Arcade is starting to get a little crowded. Ever since Geometry Wars took the Arcade by storm, there have been a lot of new games and remakes that have filtered in to give players plenty of choice. Mutant Storm Empire is the third game from PomPom Games and the second to come on the XBLA. Mutant Storm was originally released on the PC and the follow-up, Mutant Storm Reloaded was available when the Xbox 360 and XBLA were launched.

Mutant Storm Empire does have a couple of improvements over its predecessor, but are they enough to warrant getting back into the game? As mentioned, the game is a dual-analog, top-down shooter and there are quite a lot of them on the XBLA now. That is, you use the left analog stick to move and the right analog will shoot in the desired direction. Holding the R or L trigger will initiate the super weapon. Unlike Geometry Wars, where you’re only playing off against your own high score in randomised scenarios, Mutant Storm Empire splits the game up into 16 levels and you can progress through them either in Adventure mode or in Tally mode.

Got enough enemies there?

Got enough enemies there?
Close
So as well as surviving, building your multiplier and your score, Mutant Storm Empire also requires you to progress. Levels either consist of one room with spawning enemies, or several rooms that require you to destroy everything in them. One improvement over the predecessor is that the game is now seamless with no load times between rooms. Another addition is that you can now play through with a friend in co-op mode. Again, it’s a seamless addition. While the gameplay isn’t as sharp or as random as Geometry Wars, it can still demands a fair amount of skill and ability.

The game will throw several enemies at once at you, though if you only shoot one kind of enemy at a time, you’ll earn combos. The more combos you can string together without losing lives, your multiplier increases. This adds a very different element to the game. On the one hand, you can chase your score by going for one enemy at a time, but on the other, if you don’t take account for the other enemy, you’ll be in trouble. That being said, Mutant Storm Empire is a game where you can almost memorise the enemy patterns and tricks and become really good at certain areas.

It’s a good thing that multiplayer was added to the game because it’s a very brief affair. We appreciate that it’s the kind of game that work well on the XBLA, as it’s good in short bursts. However, skillful players will wipe through it very quickly. Within a couple of hours, most likely. Unless you’re the kind of person that likes chasing high scores or playing multiplayer, the game is going to wear thin very, very quickly.

So where exactly is this empire?

So where exactly is this empire?
Close
Graphically, the game retains the same style introduced by its predecessors. It’s very colourful, stylized and has the potential for a lot to be happening on screen at once. It ran very well, but for some reason, the visuals seemed like they didn’t have too many distinguishing personality. In terms of sound, the effects were extremely basic. Defeating some enemies sounded like breaking glass or hitting a tin can. The lack of music was a bit or a dampener as well.

Mutant Storm Empire is a thoroughly enjoyable little game, for as long as it lasts. It demands quite a reasonable level of skill and puts the players in some situations that require you to pick between surviving and scoring. However, unless you make use of the multiplayer or are someone who likes to chase high scores and extra difficulty, the fun is over very, very quickly. That, and players aren’t exactly struggling for choice at the moment.
The Score
If you can't get enough of dual analog shooters and high scores, Mutant Storm Empire is a game for you.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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2 Comments
6 years ago
I downloaded this last week and got upto stage 8 in less than an hours playtime. I love the graphics and it's the main reason i bought it. I didn't like the original how it just stayed in one room with respawning stuff. Games have to have some sort of visual progression for me cuz speeding things up and changing their colours seems like i'm back playing atari 2600 stuff and those weren't very fun times (even though I was obsessed with games atari 2600 stuff never did it for me because of that exact reason).

Anyways this does seem a bit short and easy for 800 points but I enjoyed it. 2 player mode sux though, it's seriously gimped, you get no special weapon bar (the blue one) at all....not even for 1 person, you both have to share the same health bar (note to devs...don't EVER do this...it's really really stupid!!) and the distance your bullts travel is much shorter. Infact two player is really frustrating, hard and is no fun compared to the single player and this imo is the exact opposite of what a two player mode should entail.
6 years ago
Yes wtf is with 2 player mode, totally gimped piece of crap that it is.
Single player is good though.
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  31/10/2007 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Direct Online by Publisher **
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2007
Players:
  2

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