XBLA Review: Charlie Murder

Have you got time to kill for Charlie?

I have to admit I was a bit confused about the name “Charlie Murder” until I started playing the game, it’s a punk side-scrolling beat-em-up with weapons in an anime style that looks like something from Newgrounds/Flash style, but it’s unique in its design and it stands out for it. It doesn’t break convention when it comes to the design of the traditional side-scroller and has boss fights aplenty as well as 4-player online/offline co-op added to the mix.
Having said that though, it does have RPG elements where you level up your skills and health as well as buying weapons and tattoos which act as buffs to your character. It’s basic in its design, but it’s executed well on the whole. The controls are great and while the story isn’t really up to much more than “rescue Charlie’s girlfriend” from a rival band, it’s a good enough motivation…just how many times have we rescued Princess Peach now?

The game has a grim and dark atmosphere, which matches nicely with the whole “punk band” thing, but overall Charlie Murder feels like a game I’ve played before a number of times. That’s not a bad thing and it’s reasonably priced for what it is, it just doesn’t hold any surprises.

The Verdict

Charlie Murder is a decent side-scrolling beat-em-up with good RPG elements and is great via online co-op, but there’s nothing new here besides the artistic edge and dark tone. Despite that though, it’s an enjoyable experience and one that’s worth stumping up the cash for.