Small Arms Reviews

  • STZ513STZ51377,767
    20 Feb 2010 19 Jun 2012
    11 1 0
    Ask any Xbox 360 owner what their favorite Xbox Live Arcade game is and odds are, they won't answer Small Arms. However, behind what may seem like a shallow Super Smash Bros. imitator is actually quite a fun action game.

    Graphics + Audio:
    You won't find better graphics in an Arcade title. The character models, weapons and environments all look amazing. It's too bad that the same can't be said about the audio effects. While the weapons sound great, nothing but different mixes of techno music in the background gets really annoying. That style isn't the best for a fighting game.

    If you want an idea of Small Arms' style of gameplay, think of Super Smash Bros. with gun-wielding creatures. Small Arms is a little shallower, but that's what makes it a great pick-up and play game. The controls are simple and easy to learn. There are several variations in level types. Some are simple, containing nothing but platforms and maybe an elevator or two, while others are more complex, like fighting atop a moving train or in the midst of a tornado. Levels like these force you to move along with the screen, adding another factor to deal with during fights.

    There are 12 playable characters in Small Arms, 4 of which are unlockable by completing the single player mode. Each character is a mix of cut creature and awesome badass. Characters and their weapons vary greatly, from a pig armed with a sniper rifle to a rooster with a flamethrower. While each character starts with a unique weapon, the game's major flaw is the fact that each weapon can be picked up. This ruins what makes each character unique as anyone can wield any weapon.

    Game Modes:
    There are several different modes to play in Small Arms. Single player mode has you pick a character and play about a dozen stages. Most levels have you facing one to three enemy computer controlled characters. These stages are broken up with several target range levels, where you attempt to shoot targets with a set amount of bullets in a set amount of time. This is also one of the other game modes that are playable. There is also a training mode and a challenge mode where you must fight wave after wave of opponents with only a certain amount of lives. This mode is extremely addictive, you'll spend a lot of time trying to beat as many waves as possible.

    The main reason to buy this game is for the multiplayer, and the Xbox Live play is a blast. Up to four people may compete in deathmatches. Settings can be used to change it to a timed match or using a set amount of lives. Matches can be set up quickly and easily, helping you to spend as much time as possible playing rather than working your way through menus. Few games can meet the level of fun that Small Arms' online mode brings to the table.

    Not a very creative list. Winning matches, or defeating opponents in challenge modes. Most of these can be easily obtained, but the win 100 matches and defeating 50 opponents in challenge mode will probably have to be boosted.

    Graphics + Audio- 8/10- Great graphics; Techno music is a bit bland.
    Gameplay- 8/10- Easy to pick up and play. Level designs are a mix of classic and original. Depending on how you feel about the genre, there may not be much replayability here.
    Modes- 7/10- Single player is short and a bit repetitive, but is entertaining. Challenge mode is fun while it lasts. None of them will hold your interest for more than a few hours.
    Multiplayer- 7/10- Matchmaking is quick and easy, unfortunately not a whole lot of people still play.
    Achievements- 5/10- Not creative; aren't very fun to obtain.

    Overall- 7.5/10 --> 4/5

    This game is fun and a very good deal for the low, low price of 400 Microsoft Points.
  • Zonrith1Zonrith1605,040
    07 Oct 2009 07 Apr 2013
    10 2 0
    At first glance this comes across as a Smash Bros. clone, but only insomuch as this is a versus fighting game involving a variety of characters and weapons. The style and elements to combat are surprisingly unique, however.

    Style-wise, the theme seems to be cute and cartoony. Combat is primarily gun-oriented, with very few melee capabilities. This game hinges greatly on skill in acquiring health and ammo, so it definitely falls into an easy-to-learn/difficult-to-master category.

    Graphics/Sound (7/10)
    The graphics look pretty sharp, especially for an Arcade title, but they aren't stellar. Attention was paid to the details, however, so there actually is a lot for the eye to focus on rather than worrying about the backgrounds and textures.

    Sound effects fit the cartoon approach the game is taking, and work well for the various weapons. The character voices are probably the highlight; they do much to give some personality to the players. The music itself is more in the realm of "meh". The techno blend may seem to many to be an odd choice for a fighting game like this. I personally didn't find it distracting, but I can't say it was enjoyable, either.

    Controls (9/10)
    The controls work very well for this title. Left-analog to move, right-analog controls aiming, and was more sensitive and precise than I expected when I first started playing. The dash, melee, and jump buttons are well-placed also. My only control gripe is it can be slightly clunky to execute an in-air dash, which comes in handy on some levels. It isn't overly difficult to master with some practice, however.

    Story (4/10)
    Really, there isn't any story. There's some background bio info on each of the characters, but it never plays a part in the game itself. I'm ranking it just under average, because a versus fighting game having no story other than some basic character info seems to be the norm, though Smash Bros. has started to supply a story campaign and has the benefit of more known backstory to the characters involved (hence my slight demote). I think it's reasonable to expect/hope for more story consideration from the genre in the future.

    Replay Value (10/10)
    The replay value in this title is nothing short of excellent. It's best to think of in a couple ways: single- and multi-player.

    Single gaming options consist of Mission Mode (the closest thing to a story-mode there is), Challenge Mode (a kill-as-many-as-you-can-with-one-life thing), Training Mode (only worth one play to learn the ropes), and Shooting Range (a shoot-the-target mode). Mission and Challenge offer the strongest replay value, whereas Training and Shooting will likely only be done for the achievement tied to each.

    Multi gaming has Ranked and Player. Both support up to four players. Ranked is very inflexible in approach (the games are two minutes each), but the Player mode allows one to let the games last off time (up to an hour) or off kills (up to 100). The multiplayer achievements are available in either mode. Local or online supports them, and one can, in fact, play online with local multiplayer too (I played a game with two online and two on my console, and another time three on my console and one online).

    Achievements can help with increasing the replay value. The need for 50 and 100 wins can help keep the multiplayer viable (though these are easy to solo with two controllers), and for single player the need for 50 kills in Challenge mode can add a lot of value (it's the hardest achievement in the game).

    The DLC adds two characters and two maps (but no new weapons). The achievements it adds are not challenging. Thus, it does little for replay value but is good if one wants to expand the gaming choices.

    "Fun" Factor (8/10)
    I think Small Arms is a very strong Arcade title, especially as a potential local "party game." The ability to mix local/online means filling out a session is extremely flexible. I never encountered any lag while playing online, nor did I receive any lag complaints when I was host. It's easy to pick-up and play single player too if one wants to just plug away for a bit. While there isn't anything deep to this, the gameplay mechanics are fun and it's very easy for just about anyone to understand. My biggest gripe is the lack of a random character selector. They have one for the maps, but not for the characters? An annoying oversight, but all in all not a big deal. I've had friends try it and declare they actually enjoy it more than Smash Bros., so it's one I'm keeping in my group-game rotation.

    Overall score average: 7.6

    Score-to-Star Translation Guide:
    5 stars: 9.01 to 10 (out of 10)
    4.5 stars: 8.01 to 9
    4 stars: 7.01 to 8
    3.5 stars: 6.01 to 7
    3 stars: 5.01 to 6
    2.5 stars: 4.01 to 5
    2 stars: 3.01 to 4
    1.5 stars: 2.01 to 3
    1 star: 1.01 to 2
    0.5 stars: 0 to 1
  • dudecrazy108dudecrazy108303,757
    10 Jul 2009
    9 8 0
    Story: There isnt one.

    Graphics: Actually quite good. Character and gun models look good as do the envirorments.

    Sound: Guns sound fine but the techno music gets old fast.

    Controls: Work very well. Easy to figure out and you will have to learn to master them to be perfect in the game.

    Gameplay: This plays like Super Smash Brothers. You just fight up to 4 guys at a time in a all out deathmatch. There are three different modes in play in. Single player mode is just you versus anywhere from 1 to 4 people mixed with a target practice game. Then theres the training mode that teaches you the basics and challenge mode which is you versus a endless amount of enemies with a limited amount of lives. There are 12 different characters to play as with their own powers and guns. Sounds cool except those guns they start with can be picked up by anyone so there really isnt a advantage. The characters are fun to look at though as its just random and funny. Another big thing is the multiplayer which is you versus up to 3 other people on xbox live. Although there really isnt many people that play this game anymore it is still great fun when you get into a game. The game online can be custom done as to what you want also.

    Achievements: A mix of easy and hard achievements. Beating Mission Mode is easy along with the ones for combos, shooting range, and training. Playing x amount of games and winning x amounts of games are easy but can take awhile. Challenge Mode is really the only one that is hard sometimes unless you can find the trick to beating them. ( Try youtube, they have some great videos showing how to do it). There is also a DLC pack with two achievements.

    A Buy (400 MSP)


    Copyrighted by dudecrazy108, written for, posted on