July 28, 2012 9:00 PM | Staff
[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the July Jubliee Bundle, now available at IndieGames' co-created site: Indie Royale.]
Trigger finger feeling itchy after all that puzzling and shaping? Want something with a little more firepower than a sword? Luckily Indie Royale has thrown in a twin stick shooter to the July Jubilee bundle, and the one they chose is a fine example of the genre. While there doesn't seem to be any actual mutants, storms or reloading on display here, Mutant Storm Reloaded is a fine arcade throwback to whittle away some free time on.
The really selling point is just how impressive the game looks. Each room of the rather lengthy adventure mode looks like a brilliant still frame kaleidoscopic, with plenty of trippy colours and obstacles. The game uses this style well, adding in a kinetic camera angle and plenty of particle effects to give it a really visceral feeling . The enemies are all well designed, with simple little blobs giving way to big hulking squid creatures that are impressively animated and capable of instilling a certain feeling of dread. With a fairly decent PC, running this all at high resolutions and an incredibly smooth framerate makes Mutant Storm Reloaded one of the sharper looking arcade shooter titles out there.
The big issue that I just can't get past is that this often feels like just another twin stick shooter, so if you're burnt out on the genre or just not a fan you likely won't find much to draw you back in. There isn't really a truly unique element or hook to distinguish the game from the rather crowded genre. You've got the standard array of power-ups, the usual scoring system, the same old enemy types and so on. There's a few nice tweaks like tweakable checkpoints, slowly evolving enemies, some really entertaining coop modes and a great difficulty curve bolstered by a cool auto-adjusting difficulty system. Largely though, the graphics are going to be the only real change of pace from any other twin stick shooter out there.
But still, if you're a fan of the genre, Mutant Storm Reloaded is an excellent game to pick up and play. It may not be particularly innovative, but it is polished to an absolute sheen. Alternatively, the game is a great introduction for those who haven't really tried a twin stick shooter before as it really does cater to a wide variety of skills. Essentially, Mutant Storm Reloaded is about as good as it gets if you really need a whole bunch of pretty aliens to shoot.
[You can get Mutant Storm Reloaded, Oniken, all five Geneforge Saga titles, Puzzle Agent and three other games in the July Jubliee Bundle, now available at IndieGames' co-created site: Indie Royale.]