Considering the colossal success of Geometry Wars, it's probably no surprise that there's a high amount of interest for Bizarre Creations' next XBLA title Boom Boom Rocket.
But apart from particle-spilling firework displays and a thumping electronic soundtrack Rocket has very little in common with the Arcade frontrunner. Essentially, it's a bit of a DDR clone with coloured arrows scrolling across the screen, reaching a horizontal line at the top where you're supposed to press the corresponding buttons and set off some pretty fireworks. All the while the camera is navigating a tranquil night time city scene, including Sydney Harbour and New York look-a-likes.
If you've ever spent minutes at a time staring at Geometry's Wars' hypnotic menu screen, you can probably guess that Boom Boom Rocket's firework displays are very, very pretty indeed. They're so dazzling in fact that Bizarre has even included a freestyle firework detonating mode, so you can lay back on the couch to please your pyromaniac desires in peace.
Upon picking up the pad and jumping in for the first time we found Bizarre's explosion-'em-up experience to be intense to say the least. We've never been the best DDR players in the world, but even without having to flail our limbs around like mentalists Boom Boom Rocket puts up a fairly high level of difficulty - though it certainly doesn't shy from letting you know when you're doing well.
The music on offer ranges from the camp (William Tell Overture remix!) to new electronic offerings from the same chap who scored the Project Gotham series.
As you improve your button matching skills your fireworks grow larger and more colourful, and the music as well gains extra layers and increases in tempo. Add to this a crowd of cheering and booing jeerers and we found Boom Boom Rocket to be an all-over more light-hearted affair than edgy music offerings like Frequency or Lumines.
Admittedly it wasn't often we were performing well in Boom Boom Rocket, but when we did creep above mediocrity the game became far more absorbing and, well, thrilling. Bizarre Creations wants to take you to that place called "the zone" and with its pretty fireworks and loud music it just might do it (unless you're really, really rubbish at button pressing).
Setting off massive colour explosions feels incredibly rewarding, and even when we were playing like complete rookies we felt compelled to carry on to see the next display.
Add to this the plethora of combos and score multipliers present in the game, and Boom Boom Rocket could turn out to be just as competitive and dazzling as Geometry Wars.