Xbox Live Arcade
Reviews based on the Xbox 360 version
Developer: Demiurge Studios
Release Date: March 14th, 2012
|Achievement Guide Available|
And that’s about what you get. Shoot Many Robots is divided into various stages that range in Medium, Hard, and Insane difficulties respectively. The only way to reach the harder areas is to earn stars, which you obtain by earning x amount of tugnuts (also the games currency) throughout each stage to acquire the next of five stars. Each of the sections of the level selection map is divided into smaller stages that your RV automatically takes you to which takes you to your destination, and acts as the lobby, as well as equipment screen/store in its bathroom. There are plenty of items to acquire including your main and secondary weapon, hat, shirt, and pants. Each stage has a set amount of items you earn by defeating robots, breaking item discovery boxes, or blowing up certain terrain such as explosive barrels, though each stage is limited to a certain level range. These items can only be purchased if you match its requiring level. There’s also the option to spend real life money (i.e. Microsoft points) in the digital store to acquire better items for your character at any time instead of going around and trying to discover them. This does allow you to wear higher level items.
The main problem outside of this is that the stages end up heavily recycled. The only differences occur as you progress by the setting of the sun, turning one day time stage into a night level, or introducing harder bots to destroy and maybe a boss at the end. Sadly, even then it seems to stick to one of four final confrontations: A spider-like walking machine gun turret, a larger dog-like creature, a burrowing worm, and a giant robot hidden behind a wall you have to shoot the head of after activating. There’s also a blimp that appears, but never really seems to be utilized as a legitimate boss battle, more like a sub-boss fight similar to the burrowing worm you often find when treading underground. There are alternate paths you can take, though some will require you to be able to reach them, offering more battles for tugnuts and EXP, or just holding hidden item crates. To do this, you may need different equipment to get there that either increases jump height or allows you to fly. Sometimes speed might also come into play, and if it does, the controls can hinder you slightly. The reaction time is still pretty quick but, if going fast enough, you may outrun the shots from your gun, so balancing your character becomes an issue as well, and the only time putting thought into you character, aside choosing stronger weaponry and armor with higher level items.
Of course, the controls work well for the casual style of gameplay presented. You move and aim with the left stick, lock into position so you don’t walk in the direction your shooting by holding the left trigger, and firing with the X button. I found some problems aiming, so it helps to have a better controller for technicality sake, especially since some weapons have horrible accuracy to begin with, and only gets worse the longer you hold the firing button down. Half the time I couldn’t tell if the problem was me, the guns accuracy score, or just the game having overly sensitive targeting. Another issue was that, when you jump, if you hold the aim button in the air, you will not land and stay locked into place. Instead, you’ll hit the ground and continue moving in the direction your looking, which is probably at an enemy to shoot it, meaning you’ll just walk into it and hurt yourself. There’s also the close range attack with the Y button, and it makes for a handy alternative method of attack, especially when you are getting swarmed by the robots that have the chainsaw attached to their back.
The game is met with some subtle sarcastic humor as well, and a good deal if it can be found in the name of items you acquire, or just statements that are made in text format at certain times such as the completion of the last stage in that specific difficulty. This doesn’t do much to the game, but it helps to make the cartoonish animations and designs feel more at home. This style can cause problems when tackling the game in multiplayer. The system is great for friends and random gamers all over the world to connect easily by jumping in and out of any active game through Quick Play, or starting a game yourself as single player and leaving it open for others to join, or setting it to invite only which will allow you to play alone, or only with your friends. With each player that gets involved, the robots difficulty gets greater, but the problem then becomes that they reflect the highest leveled player of the group, so if you’re just starting and a level forty walks in, you won’t stand a chance. Sadly there’s no real balancing for this, and it can really kill the online experience. It does help that you can be revived by a simple holding of the left button in this mode, which works wonders for when everyone is needed to complete the Survival stages, or there are too many robots in the traditional stages. The game also encourages utilizing this option, as the multiplier system pertains to robots you destroy, or at least hit to keep stationary at whatever number the counter is at, and the more players you have, the easier it is to keep it higher, giving you more tugnuts total, which nets you more stars so you can advance to later stages.
Shoot Many Robots isn’t too long either, though I did happen on only one glitch that did end up making me play a little longer than I planned. This locked my dead body on the roof with the machine gun spirder turret, and my partners would not get up there to finish the job. Of course, it also helps keep the flow of the game going when it saves quite considerably due to various check points in each stage, and having them actually mean something, especially if you die in the middle of a level repeatedly. After twenty, twenty five hours with the game, you can find your level maxed out at fifty and near the end of your quest, if not already done. This is enough time earn all of the games achievements as well, as none of them are really hard aside two that require luck in the item drops. However, it’s just the kind of title that you can throw on one late night when you don’t want to get heavily wrapped up in a major story-driven title, or just generally have nothing better to do or play, and aimlessly go from point a to point b and kill everything in your path by yourself, or with a companion for a pleasurable casual online experience.
Digital review copy of this title provided by personal funds.