There is a tendency on Xbox LIVE Arcade for titles with little hype and almost non-existent fan bases to fly under the radar. This proved to be the case for Rocket Riot, which certainly wasn’t assisted by the release of two major Xbox LIVE Arcade games on the same day. However, this is one title that certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

Rocket Riot, the first Xbox LIVE Arcade title developed by Codeglue, sees the escape of the legless pirate, Blockbeard, from prison using a jetpack that “can simply be screwed to your behind.” Professor MC Square designs a similar contraption for your character and it’s the player’s task to track down Blockbeard in a series of eighty levels.

Each level consists of an objective; whether it to be to eliminate a certain number of enemies, track down a number of hidden targets or to score goals using a ball. This variation throughout the game’s story mode makes it more tolerable, than the repetitiveness that would occur without it. Another great aspect of the game’s campaign is the difficulty level, which is just right for each level, providing a sufficient challenge for any player.

However, probably the most noticeable feature, which works surprisingly well, is the game’s graphics, sporting a rather retro design. Whilst you’re probably thinking it doesn’t look incredible, the style suits the title to perfection. A similar approach has been taken with the audio, also sporting the retro theme. The game’s retro soundtrack is a pleasure to listen to, and a good excuse to turn up the volume.

The game is controlled using both of the thumbsticks. The left thumbstick controls the movement of the character, and the right thumbstick fires rockets in the direction the thumbstick is moved; holding the thumbstick for longer sends the rocket further. Every so often players will need to press the A button, in order to activate power-ups. Power-ups have been cleverly implemented into the title, so that they not only provide an advantage, but a disadvantage too. Some power-ups improve the player’s performance (such as shooting multiple rockets), whilst some power-ups make the game tougher (such as not being able to shoot for a limited amount of time).

Of course, what would a great Xbox LIVE Arcade title be without great multiplayer, and Rocket Riot offers just that. The title offers up to four players locally in three game modes: Deathmatch, Golden Guy and Co-Op. Deathmatch is a simple game mode, in which players eliminate each other, earning points; Golden Guy consists of players attempting to obtain the golden suit, by eliminating the current owner. They then have to survive for as long as possible before the time runs out. Finally, Co-operative play sees players battling it out against an endless stream of enemies. All three game modes are a joy to play, though Golden Guy appears to be the weakest of the three, proving to be more tedious than the other two.

Rocket Riot’s multiplayer extends to Xbox LIVE, with both Deathmatch and Golden Guy available to play over the online service, in both ranked and player matches; with the addition of Rugby Riot and Destroy the Object. The objective of Rugby Riot is to pick up a rugby ball and get it through the goals, similar to some of the single player levels. Destroy the Object sees players destroying their opponent’s objects, whilst also attempting to defend theirs, fairly similar to Capture the Flag, as evident in other titles. Both Rugby Riot and Destroy the Objects also proved to be decent game modes. It’s just a shame to see a lack of co-operative play online.

To conclude, Rocket Riot is a blast. The game’s unique design and style makes it stand out against many of the other titles available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, and at 800 Microsoft Points, this is yet another title to consider adding to your collection.

David Wriglesworth

David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.

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