Rocketmen: Axis of Evil

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6.5 Overall Score

Written by on April 7, 2008 in [, , ]

Rocketmen: Axis of Evil is a top-down adventure shooter from Capcom, and is available on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.  The basic premise is your are an rookie alien fighting for the Alliance of Free Planets, who is charged with saving teammates, battling invading Martians, protecting the Solar System and pushing the A button a lot.  The story is told through a series of comic book styled story boards which combines a smug sense humor with poorly drawn characters. The game has ten chapters, some a long chapters while a couple are very short.  After every chapter you can spend the trinkets you picked up and the XP you gained on weapon and character upgrades.  I found this upgrading to be fun and it was cool seeing my powered up weapons. 

The main and frankly huge problem with this otherwise fun shooter is the very slow screen crawl.  As you make your way through the levels you have to trigger the screen to move so you can progress to the end of the chapter.  However this screen crawl puts your character in unfair harm, because the game mechanics require you to move the the very edge of the direction you must proceed in.  You can’t see the enemies in the next screen, but evidently they can see you.  So as you wait for the screen to move, this unseen enemies are firing quite effectively their weapons at you.  This defect can be quite the game-killer for some.  I can’t emphasize enough how incredibly frustrating this is.  Adding to this frustration is that this slow screen crawl also hinders your ability to open various "treasure chests" and objections that always require the button-mashing use of the "A" button.

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I found the enemies to just challenging enough on the various play settings, and ignoring the crippling slow screen scrawl the game is fun when it’s just dodging lasers and blowing away enemies with some rather fun weapons in your arsenal.  The control scheme of the game is quite nice in which the right thumbstick is the direction you fire in, the left and right trigger is used for your secondary weapons, and the overused "A" button.  You can also switch your weapons using the left and right bumpers.  I found myself getting the hang of the controls very quickly and I got into the gameplay really quickly.

 

Rocketman: Axis of Evil has both single-player and multi-player game play, and if you have up to three other friends with this game, I imagine that is where this game can really become a fun experience.  However I found it hard to find random players to fill up the room in my multiple experiences with the multi-player.  What is fun about the multi-player portion of the game is as you are playing through the chapters co-operatively, you are also competing against the other players for high scores.  So in addition to progressing through the chapters you also spend your time beating the other players to treasure and rewards.

 

The XBLA version of this game has the 200 points of gamerscore.  I found the achievements work very well to encourage repeat game play.  There are achievements for completing chapters, powering up weapons, achievements for getting medals (gold, silver, and bronze) for those chapters, and also achievements for the online play and competition.

 

All in all, I did have a good time playing Rocketmen: Axis of Evil, and the achievements has spurred me to play more of this game.  However, the huge prblem with the screen crawl kills my excitement with the game.  It is at times unbearable and found myself looking forward to finishing off a chapter so I could save the game and play some else less aggravating.  Still I did enjoy the multi-player and the customizing my weapons and character.

 

Grade: C

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Author: Chris Brown View all posts by

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