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XBLA Today: Heavy Weapon

Jared Rea

As a game that is 26 years old and was given away for free with the original Xbox Live Arcade service, Ms. Pac-Man is quite the hard act to follow. Stepping up to the plate this week is PopCap games, provider of deliciously overpriced flash games that were also once available for free. And because Xbox Live Arcade was in serious need of some 8-way shooters, this week's game is none other than Heavy Weapon.

When the Red Star Nation attacks, it's up to you and your two analogs of fury to dish out justice -- America style! More tanks than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night! More stabs at tongue-in-cheek, retro chic humor than Worms! Sure, it lacks a sufficient number of dragons to compete with Double Dragon, but it supports two more players than Robotron! Isn't that, like, totally worth your 800 Microsoft Points?

Actually, no. No it isn't. Your 800 points nets you a mildly entertaining distraction that, like most shooters on XBLA, fails to provide a sufficient enough challenge to warrant more than a slight brow raise. It so wants to deserve the title "retro", but even games from the 16-bit era such as Total Carnage managed to nail the sense of humor better. The dual-analog shooter has been done to death on XBLA and Heavy Weapon may very well be the bottom of the barrel for the service.

We suggest saving your points for something with a bit more bite to it. Mutant Storm Empire and Castle Crashers come to mind.

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