In: Reviews by Chris "FighterAce100" Salazar26 Feb 2011
I hadn’t until I randomly started searching through Xbox Live Arcade titles one night and I think I may have found a diamond in the rough. This game has not had big advertising or much credit tossed its way, good or bad, but it’s a great, addictive little shoot-em-up game that deserves a little light shined its way.
The game style MicroBot presents to me is what I would usually consider pretty boring — that is using one thumbstick to shoot continuously in a specific direction. Considering I am a big FPS and racing game fan, this is entirely not my gig. But after downloading the demo for what looked like some great graphics and cheap laughs, I was shocked.
This game is fun!
It’s so simple that if you try to take it for some deep storyline or purpose, you’ll miss the point. What is the point? Go through this guy’s body (who or why he is in this position is not really explained to you) and save him. The body has been injected with robots that were supposed to help him fight some disease but instead turned into a bad virus and have gone rogue. Then you come into the picture, floating in a needle and figuring out how to — oh, let’s call it “swim.”
Your little “microbot” then gets injected, straight shot into the vein. Game on.
The controls are a bit hard at first, because blood flows and currents in the vein push you where they are flowing and not necessarily where you want to move. Your little robot looks rather helpless and simple. At this point you don’t really care where it’s flowing anyway because the game looks absolutely stunning. The blood platelets, veins, plasma and all those bodily fluids moving in the background make it feel like you are really controlling a robot in someone’s body. So when is it time to blast away at something, because this is a SHMUP, right?
Wait no more because within a few seconds of becoming oriented and figuring out how to control that little robot of yours, you are attacked. Using the other thumbstick, you aim and shoot at the same time, with what looks like a small cannon. Yeah, cool things blow up and somehow the walls of the vein aren’t blown away. I did worry about maybe making this dude bleed out from the inside, but that didn’t really happen.
As you flow through the level shooting enemy robots, you collect their “atoms.” These atoms are the currency of the game, and they allow you to upgrade your weapons, defenses, or propulsion systems on your microbot. It takes forever to collect a significant amount of these. so spend them wisely. Upgraded weapons and abilities also come from destroying different enemy microbots, and they are available immediately at an upgrade station. Each item has three levels of upgrades before maxing out.
The game has a specific flow of where it wants you go, but if you get turned around a big map is available to the player, just in case. As you progress through the levels, more and more challenges arise through spikey side walls, T-cells, acid clouds, advanced units, and bosses. Each level has specific save points so if you die before you reach that checkpoint, you go back to square one. That can be very annoying, and it’s one of the bad points of the game. I have also had some trouble with some of the random currents that push your microbot to the next area while I was trying to collect atoms.
This game is great fun and in some ways even relaxing. I enjoyed playing it from start to finish, and I would definitely recommend it if you are into a straightforward shoot-em-up with stunning graphics and fluid gameplay.
Developer: Naked Sky Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Available on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network
800 Microsoft Points/$9.99 on Playstation Network