Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shoot Many Robots XBLA Review

Shoot Many Robots is rated M (for Mature). Part of the reason for the rating is the violence , which I disagree with, but I DO agree with the "mature humor" part, as there's plenty of that - particularly jokes involving "nuts". As such, THIS REVIEW AND GAME AREN'T NECESSARILY SUITABLE FOR THOSE UNDER 18.

Shoot Many Robots was the free game for the second half of December 2013 for anyone who had Xbox Gold (sorry for writing this too late to get it free!), and while I have a stack of free games from the promotion over the last few months (and a slew of games to review!), I really wanted a game to play with my fiancee together and we gave it a shot. Over the last few weeks we gave the game a good 20+ hours of play and beat it, although we still have lots of levels to five-star. While I probably wouldn't suggest the game as a single player game, I enjoyed the two of us playing it together!


Like the game itself, the title is simple but awesome.


Shoot Many Robots is a sidescrolling action game for one to four players (local or online), and it plays simply enough - you walk around shooting the nuts and bolts off of robots that attack you! Your garden variety bots are equipped with blades and either run or jump in your direction, trying to hit you while you fire your infinite bullets into their faces, but there are others that shoot, fly, are armored in the front, unleash hordes of other bots, airships that rain fury upon you and all sorts of others.

THIS... IS... KENTUCKY! (or something)
Sure, there are lots of games where you relentlessly blow stuff up, and Shoot Many Robots has two main twists. The first, and most fun, is the sense of humor. Shoot Many Robots is the story of Walter P. Tugnut, an atypical hillbilly, who rides his RV from site to site to annihilate robots. You equip him with massive weapons and crazy shirts/belts/pants/hats/clothes that give him different stat bonuses and abilities. To heal, of course, you drink beers. The second is just how you upgrade - as you kill robots or pop open crates (there are usually a few hidden on each level), they can drop coupons that allow you to buy items or nut sacks (sacks full of nuts, not... you know!). Nuts are your currency, and the faster you kill enemies, the higher your multiplier gets (up to 5x) which makes them drop more nuts; nut sacks give you a decent amount each after the level is over. And oh, the items - they range from badass weapons to tutus and stockings. Equipment can make you float, slam the ground at will, reduce your gravity, make you sparkle... It's a wacky game, no doubt!

The tricky thing, and one of the things I'm not a big fan of, is actually getting the coupons to allow for purchase of items. Once the game is over, you'll still be missing LOTS of items, and you can play level after level without getting a new one. Even when you do, it's often something that's completely useless for you. There are some that you can buy with actual money, but I have yet to ever buy an in-game item and Shoot Many Robots isn't gonna be the first!

Yeehaw, stuff and things! (Image from internetfreaks.org)
The other thing many people might not care for, although in absolute honesty it didn't bother me at all, is that the game only has 10-30 "different" levels - the rest are essentially identical but with more powerful robots. The game does it numerous times, so you might play the same level 5 different times or so with harder enemies, but everything else (including boss patterns, crate positions, etc) are identical. Like I said, this didn't bother me at all, though, because the harder robots really do keep things fresh and challenging. By the final levels of Insane difficulty, we were both on the edge of our seats between each in-level save, often having to restart numerous times since we'd die so many times!

Oh, and after a few hours, I'll admit, your hands feel like those crazy carnival games where your hands get "electrocuted" and you're challenged not to let go while it shakes like crazy. It's just part of the adrenaline rush though!

All in all, if you want an action-packed game to play with a friend or loved one, Shoot Many Robots is worth a buy (as long as they're okay with the humor).

Note: I did not play this game one player at all, and we also didn't use the online multiplayer options of the game, so there's a good bit that I can't properly review.

Available For: Xbox 360 ($9.99), PS3 ($9.99), Windows (via Steam - $9.99)
Developed By: Demiurge Studios

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