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Small Arms

Join the melee with this smashing XBLA game!

Small Amrs is pretty blatant about copying the gameplay of Nintendo's Smash Bros, but it's exactly the kind of frantic action suited for online play. You can compete over Xbox Live with up to four players. The objective is to defeat your enemies by either knocking them off the screen or taking down their energy using the weapon pick-ups. It's possible to become a real sharpshooter using the Right thumbstick, or you can be just as effective playing the game like a beat-'em-up.

Graphically, this is a cut above most Xbox Live Arcade titles and the detailed characters are cute and colourful - zoom in close and you can really see all the work that has gone into them. The game also uses per-pixel shading so the characters cast shadows over themselves. The weapon effects and explosions are very appealing too.


It seems unlikely you'll get much mileage out of the single-player game. Once the ten stages are complete, there's not enough reason to go back. Still, the Xbox Live and multiplayer modes pack tons of replayability, especially with 12 characters to choose from.

Overall, Small Arms is such a high-quality product that it's easily worth 800MP.

The verdict

An original XBLA title packing a real punch

Xbox 360