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OXCGN’s Shoot Many Robots Review: Shoot… or Don’t

OXCGN’s Shoot Many Robots Review:

Shoot… or Don’t

by: psychofox

©2012 Chris Fox

Shoot Many Robots is an old school, side scrolling ‘schmup’ brought to you by Demiurge Studios and Ubisoft.

In this downloadable platformer, you are tasked with the shooting of many robots.

Unfortunately the shooting of said robots isn’t enjoyable. At all. There is very little fun at all to be had with this title.

Who would have though that mass robot genocide could be so dull?

Exterminate

A horde of many murderous cyborgs has descended upon a hillbilly town and it’s up to you, with the option of three additional redneck companions (online or local), to stop them.

That’s your lot as far as the story is concerned.

The game itself has plenty of content; dozens of levels, tons of weapons and a varied character customisation system. The content is not where the problem lies.

For a game that has the word ‘shoot’ in the title the shooting mechanics themselves have to be fun. The mechanics found in Shoot Many Robots remains fun for around three and a half minutes.

There is no visceral thrill to be had in taking down the endless armies of bland enemies that march to attack you. In fact, continually pressing the X button to shoot became as mundane and routine as cycling through an infinite stream of menus.

I really cannot stress enough how dull the shooting is in this game.

New mechanics are introduced along the way (such as punching back bullets at perpetrating enemies) and they are fun at first. Sadly, these changes are too few and far between and, like the rest of the game, grow boring quickly.

Bad Robot

Visually, the game is fairly pleasing. The graphics have a satisfying, chunky, cel-shaded look to them.

Unfortunately, the southern american trailer trash aesthetic is not a theme that won me over, but this is my personal preference and no fault of Demiurge Studios.

What they are more to blame for, however, is that enemies do not stand out enough from the environment and tend to get lost when everything gets a bit hectic.

Things get hectic in this game often. This leads to repeated frustrating instances when the player takes damage without realising why.

This is unforgivable for any ‘schmup’: the projectiles need to be the clearest and most visible thing on screen at all times. This way, players make split decision, twitch dodging the seemingly insurmountable spray of projectiles and turning it into a fine art.

There is no such finesse to be found here. I understand that we’re not talking about a top-down ‘bullet hell’ game here, but all time greats like Gunstar Heroes have flashing, highly visible projectiles.

No, this is not a ‘bullet hell’ game. ‘Bullet dull’ seems more appropriate here.

Take Control!

Controlling our hillbilly hero is incredibly unintuitive.

I constantly found myself forgetting what button did what. For a seasoned gamer like myself, that’s a very bad sign.

Shoot is mapped to the X button, while RT (the trigger shaped button that is usually used for shooting guns) makes the character slide across the floor…?

These controls are ill thought out and cannot be changed. Not only do the controls feel clunky but animations are stiff.

The audio present here is as defamiliarising as the mechanics and controls.

The music does not shift in excitement when the game does. Instead, during both quiet and crazy moments, we’re treated to the same bed of bland banjo.

The characters do not endear themselves to the players with any humours catchphrases or any speech at all, for that matter. Obviously this isn’t the kind of game that requires tons of dialogue or a deep story, but little touches of personality and character go a long way.

There is little character and even less personality programmed into Shoot Many Robots.

Rise of the Robots?

One redeeming factor, however, are the sheer amount of collectibles and attire to deck the robot shooters out in.

A wide range of collectible hats, shirts and pants referencing all manner of fashion and popular culture await you.

There is also the expected yet appreciated extensive arsenal to arm the heroes with. A re-skinned pistol is variety at it’s barest, but variety none-the-less.

No. Demise of the Robots.

The only thing duller than the shooting mechanics in this game is the level design: looping linear levels of boring, beige barns and monotonous mundane mountains.

As with one of gaming’s oldest commandments, all/most levels shalt end with a boss.

When it comes to shooters, there’s nothing like looking forward to the epic end-of-level guardian awaiting you at the end of every level.

Unfortunately, the bosses here are just as bland as the levels that bore them. There are challenge missions that pepper the game map and they do spice up the gaming, albeit mildly.

Androids upset the Apple cart

Despite Demiurge Studios’ best efforts, their attempts at variation and visual flair cannot distract from the life-less and unexciting game that lies underneath.

Yes, there is multiplayer, but that really only makes the whole experience  four times as worse.

On occasion, games come along that have incredible game mechanics but a terrible look.

Or vice versa.

Shoot Many Robots, regrettably, has neither.

3.5/10

©2012 Chris Fox

xxxxxx


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About dkpatriarch (616 Articles)
Co-owner and EIC of oxcgn.com

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