XBLA Review: Rocket Riot

Is this a blast to play?

Insane, fast-paced, visceral bazooka-on-bazooka arcade action. Can you survive the madness with rockets flying past your head and the level exploding around you? Try your luck at 80 single player levels, multiplayer matches with up to 8 people, 4 different multiplayer modes and the Endurance mode. What are you waiting for? Get into the bazooka action today!
Once in a while, a game comes along that doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than to let you blow things up and have fun doing it. Rocket Riot seems to nail this with a pixel arena that is fully destructible and is a charming game for the platform. It’s simplistic, yet enjoyable. There are plenty of power ups to grab, some really useful and others quite comical.

The campaign of 80 levels is fairly fun, although there is a pattern of what to expect from the game. There will be a level where you have to take out a few enemies with the bazooka, then a different level where you have to do something different like hunt down specific enemies, grab a rugby ball and take it to the point in the map or blow up certain items on the map. There are always enemies trying to stop you, but they don’t pose much of a challenge.
There is online included, but at the time of reviewing…I couldn’t find any matches after extensive searching. I hope this isn’t the case for the rest of you, and if it is…let’s hope THQ releases a patch to possibly fix any connection woes stopping us from finding matches. However, I did get a look at the game types and there seem to be a nice mixture of modes which seem taken from single player.

The controls for the game are weird, but they do work well. You use the right analog stick to aim and fire your shots, but it’s quite slow and not like that of Geometry Wars style control. You essentially have to flick the right stick to fire, it feels odd at first but it becomes second nature quickly. The visual style of Rocket Riot is what makes it stand out from possible rivals. You can customise your character, but it’s purely cosmetic. Framerate is smooth even during mass destruction of a level, although parts of it do materialise back after a while and the whole effect looks pretty good.

The Verdict

Rocket Riot is a fun game to play. It gives you great control to essentially blow the hell out of a level and while its game types do become repetitive after a while, it’s hard to not be impressed with a game that is still fairly fun to play after 80 levels. A must-have title for XBLA owners.