When I think of Xbox Live Arcade, one of the classic games that immediately springs to mind is Geometry Wars. Simplistic arcade addictiveness and vivid art style was key to making this game an arcade gem worth having. Sixty Second Shooter Prime is the console update of a game that saw Vita success. However the console transition hasn’t been smooth.
Each time you start you have sixty seconds to get as high a score as possible, on one life. Portals increase difficulty and potential points earned, while power ups such as missiles, shields, slow-down and bombs help eliminate some of the on-screen clutter. Enemies and power ups are introduced as you progress, meaning that each run steadily eases you in.
Twin Stick Madness
Controls are absolutely fine for this twin-stick shooter, with rockets launching with ease and chained shots resulting eventually into the ultimate payoff – everything exploding. Eventually you’ll unlock the ability to cause destructive mayhem if you survive the full sixty seconds. It plays like an absolute dream, but there is one hugely significant issue that just bogs the whole game down:
It’s too easy to do well. Within sixty minutes, I only had a few achievements to get, having unlocked all the power ups and enemy types. There’s no problem with the concept, but I would happily have spent more for a game with more depth; some interesting variants on the formula would have been nice.
Gone In Sixty Seconds
Presentation is interchangeable, adding new skins and a choice of two music tracks to help keep each run fresh. But with only two modes, including the infinity mode where you can collect time extensions to stay longer, there isn’t enough despite it costing about as much as a sandwich meal deal. This game therefore isn’t worth sacrificing your lunch over.
As a proof of concept, Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a great effort. Mechanically sound, plays like a dream, and looks vibrant enough to take the Geometry Wars mantle. But even the best arcade games keep players coming back for just one more go and sadly for this indie effort, it was all too easy to see everything on offer.