Time to take an in depth looks at Capcom’s downloadable over the head shooter, Rocketmen: Axis of Evil. Is it worth the small fee to download games or stick to what we can find at the stores?
Today we take a gander at Rocketmen: Axis of Evil, an overhead shooter published by Capcom. What makes this special is that you will not find it on the shelf at your local game store. Instead, Rocketmen: Axis of Evil is found at the Xbox Live Marketplace or the Playstation Store. If you are like most people you are aware that many games are offered via download for your console, but have yet to dive in and see what you get. Well, let’s do just that as we dissect the Xbox 360 version of Rocketmen: Axis of Evil.
Capcom began in Japan in 1979 as a manufacturer and distributor of electronic game machines. In 1983 Capcom Co., Ltd was founded and soon built a reputation for introducing cutting-edge technology and software to the video game market. Now an industry leader in the video game industry for 25 years, Capcom’s legacy of historic franchises in home and arcade gaming are testaments to an unparalleled commitment to excellence.
The story behind Rocketmen: Axis of Evil is anything but complicated or deep. Far into the future all that is good is challenged by the Axis of Evil, a cruel race of Martians. This diabolical group of aliens has gotten their green hands on a massive gun capable of creating black holes on demand. This, of course, would be where you come in. Against all odds, your mission is find the weapon and destroy it at all costs!
The first thing you notice when you begin this game is that the story is told via comic book style with page after page of brightly crafted 2D images. Many people would take this as an opportunity to begin bashing the cutscenes, but I found it actually a pleasant change of pace. The comic book style went over well because of the shallow story, just enough to keep you mildly entertained between gameplay.
Graphics and Sound
Actual gameplay will takes place in vivid and colorful environments. Rocketmen: Axis of Evil does push out the fun in 1080i but keep in mind it does so in cartoon fashion. Yes, the art work is dazzling. However, it’s far from anything that will push the console platforms into overdrive. I didn’t find anything wrong with the game’s sound; all seemed on time and like it should be. The only thing I did notice is that when an enemy is gunned down they give off one final grunt. While this would seem harmless, when you gun down mob after oncoming mob and each of them gives off a grunt as they fall in battle, it can get on your nerves.
Rocketmen: Axis of Evil keeps the controls as simple as simple can be. Just about any age will be able to pick up and play with no confusion. The left analog stick controls the movement of your character while the right analog stick fires in the direction of your choice. The left and right bumpers allow you to cycle though your secondary weapon inventory leaving the left and right trigger to activate your selected secondary weapon.
Although the controls were solid, I did find that the camera angles were not as user friendly. In fact, at times, the camera angles could be down right unforgiving. Rocketmen: Axis of Evil does not allow you to back track for the most part and often, once your character moves even the slightest, the camera will want to overcompensate. This can result in missing out on dropped loot and weapons. While in multiplayer this was not as big of a problem if one person lingers in the back to hold the camera at bay, giving your teammates more freedom to roam.
Your main weapon consists of a mere pistol. But keep your eyes peeled for temporary weapons to drop. In your efforts to save the universe you will find an assortment of weapons that are powerful but each only last about thirty seconds before you have to revert back to your pistol. You can temporarily update your arsenal with a laser rifle, shotgun, mini gun and what is called a Razor (shoots saw blades). These upgrade are critical because your pistol will not do much damage.
Between levels you will be able to upgrade your character, the amount of which will be determined by the experience and loot you pick up along the way. Upgrades consist of everything from armor, weapon speed, and damage to character statistics like speed and total amount of life. There is not much to comment on as far as the AI goes as much of the game is purely mowing down packs of incoming aliens. There are a few that will roll out of the way and attempt to take cover, but mainly mass carnage will eliminate the unwanted alien scum.
Conclusion and Thoughts
Rocketmen: Axis of Evil has done a good job with this retro style over-the-head mass destruction shooter. In fact, it brings back some old school pointless mayhem to help pass the time. While the singleplayer game consist of only ten levels and can be overcome in an evening of play, the multiplayer allows for a group of four to team together. The game does support online play, but each time I tried I was unable to find anyone else online. Before we get too judgmental over the score, we need to keep in mind that this game will only cost you approximately $9.99, not at all bad compared to most $59.99 new releases. Overall, Rocketmen: Axis of Evil is simply a tool to help pass the time between big releases and if you know this before you jump in, then no harm no foul.