|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.
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 theyd 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.
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.
CCC Freelance Writer