[i]Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved[/i] may be the number one game on Xbox Live Arcade, but it’s no secret that the game is super difficult. For those who may want a more controlled, less intense experience, [i]Mutant Storm Reloaded[/i] is the prefect alternative. While challenging in its own right, Mutant Storm allows the player to adjust the difficulty to a level that doesn’t completely turn them off from the game. The number of game play options makes this a pretty meaty Arcade title as well. While the game might not appeal to the people who mastered [i]Geometry Wars[/i] or [i]Smash TV[/i], [i]Mutant Storm Reloaded[/i] is an enjoyable title for the price point.
[i]Mutant Storm Reloaded[/i] can be described as one half [i]Geometry Wars[/i], one half [i]Robotron 2084[/i]. The game controls exactly like [i]Geometry Wars[/i] in that you control the ship with the left analog stick and fire with the right, firing off bombs with the right trigger. Meanwhile, similarly to [i]Robotron 2084[/i], you will progress through individual levels going all the way up to level 89, killing a wide array of enemies. Unlike the two games, however, [i]Mutant Storm Reloaded[/i] offers up a few more options, including the standard adventure mode along with a more arcade-feeling tally mode, a co-op mode, and eight difficulty options.
Probably the biggest appeal of [i]Mutant Storm Reloaded[/i] is that you are able to tailor the difficulty to a level that’s comfortable to you. The game works under eight difficulty levels disguised under various colored belts. The white belt difficulty is simple enough, and many of the earlier difficulty levels may be a little too easy, especially for Geometry Wars veterans. Once you get up to the brown and especially the black belt levels, however, Mutant Storm can become a pretty challenging and frustrating game. It does, after all, have one of the toughest Xbox Live achievements around (clear all 89 levels on black belt). In the end, people who found games like Geometry Wars and Smash TV to be too difficult will enjoy the ability to control the difficulty here.
The art style in Mutant Storm is pretty trippy. There have to be over two-dozen different enemies throughout the whole game, each one with a different visual look as well as a different attack style. Each room in the game has a different look to it, but for the most part, each one conforms to the circular shape. One thing to note is that even though each room plays the same way every time, sometimes the game mirrors the room or changes the color of everything in the room. Overall, the visuals in the game are pretty well done, but one thing to note is that if you get close to the edge of a level, the walls on the outside of the level can sometimes obstruct your view, and it can be difficult to keep up with the tiny shots that the mutants fire when all Hell is breaking loose.
Xbox Live Arcade seems to be saturated with games just like [i]Mutant Storm Reloaded[/i], so making the choice of which one to go for can be difficult. The game has all the options and difficulty that many other favorite Arcade games possess, but out of all of them, Mutant Storm is probably the most accessible to beginners or people who don’t enjoy the hectic nature of games like [i]Geometry Wars[/i]. At 800 Microsoft points, the game lies also at about the same price point as other games similar to itself, and it arguably contains some more options than other games too. While it certainly may not be the king of shooters on Xbox Live Arcade, [i]Mutant Storm Reloaded[/i] is certainly worth the money you pay for it and remains a quality title.