Weapon of Choice Review
Weapon of Choice box art
System: X360 (XBLC) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Mommy's Best Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: N/A 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 19, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: N/A 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

When Death Brushing fails, your next operative arrives in an explosive rocket you can aim (the "Vengeance Missile"). This is great for dealing a little extra damage to bosses, or even just to take bloody revenge on whatever creature took out your favorite character.

Weapon of Choice screenshot

Thanks to these rockets and Death Brushing, this game is pretty manageable in terms of difficulty. It took us a little work to get the hang of the game and complete the first path we chose, and it's a little tricky trying to find the final path on the left, but on the lower difficulty setting, we beat the other two on the first try. This is a bit easy for a setting called "normal" that the developers dub "a good challenge." However, those looking for a tougher time can try the higher difficulty ("more aliens, higher octane!"), and within each of the four paths to unique endings, there are multiple routes to take, some harder than others. Therefore, pretty much anyone can play Weapon of Choice in a way that's as difficult or as easy as they’d like.

As if all this didn't do enough to push the run-and-gun genre into the next generation, Weapon of Choice comes with a truly polished presentation. The developers call the art style "Colored Penxil," which aptly describes the beautiful, hand-drawn environments, huge bosses (often bigger than the screen), and loads of multicolored alien blood spatter. Each environment has multiple layers, depicted with a parallax-scrolling effect that gives off a bit of a Super Mario World vibe.

The soundtrack is a marvel as well, with killer thrash-metal guitar riffing serving as a background to all this slaughter, courtesy of composer Hamdija Ajanovic. The audio effects dish up all the pew-pews and splats you'd want from a game like this. The story won't win a Pulitzer for fiction, but it handles the four subplots well, offers some nice twists and turns, and showcases tight and typo-free writing.

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In short, run-and-gun fans have been waiting a long time for Weapon of Choice. It fires the genre into the next generation with a decisive, gruesome, well-produced blast, and if there's a flaw here, it's that there should be more of this game to conquer and take sick pleasure from. We're eagerly awaiting a sequel, or whatever's next from Mommy's Best Games. In the meantime, it's a treasure trove of fresh ideas, and other developers should take note.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.7
Graphics
A great-looking game with a unique, hand-drawn art style; multilayered, parallax-scrolled environments; and huge, daunting bosses.
5.0
Control
This game brings the Geometry Wars two-joystick configuration to the run-and-gun genre, with great results.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Awesome metal guitar tracks and well-done sound effects.
3.7
Play Value
This is a blast to play through, but it only takes a few hours to get all four endings on both difficulties. Once you've done that, there's no real reason to go back, though it remains a fun way to kill time.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Third Place in Microsoft's Dream Build Play 2008.
  • Branching levels leading to four unique endings.
  • Seven characters, each with a weapon of choice. Rescue them to add to the total number of playable lives.
  • Cheat death with Death Brushing, an opportunity to get out of a tight spot.
  • Rock out to original, blistering metal guitar tracks.
  • Reap revenge with a Vengeance Missile.
  • Scale walls with your automated Spiderpack.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Weapon of Choice screenshot - click to enlarge Weapon of Choice screenshot - click to enlarge Weapon of Choice screenshot - click to enlarge Weapon of Choice screenshot - click to enlarge

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