My standards for an Xbox Live Arcade game are not very high. That said, I am very disappointed with Capcom’s latest release, Rocketmen: Axis of Evil. When I play a game on the ol’ live arcade I look for a game that has some level of difficulty, enough to give me some sort of challenge, variation in levels, and an environment that functions properly. Unfortunatly, none of these requirements were met when I played Rocketmen: Axis of Evil.

The first issue I came across in Rocketmen was the difficulty, or lack thereof. This game requires you to shoot bad guys and tap the A button a few times, and aside from that you just run around. To shoot, you just push the right analog stick towards the enemy. When you do this they usually die, if not, you just wait a second while a few more bullets enter them and then they die.

Sometimes the enemies will hit you with their bullets, but they usually miss. But if you happen to die, just wait for about 10 seconds and you are able to revive yourself for a loss of experience points. Sometimes there are different types of enemies that can only die if you shoot them in a specific spot, or shoot them a lot.

When you’re not shooting aliens or robots you are prompted to rapidly press the A button to open doors or something like that, it was never clear to me what was going on because I kept skipping the cut-scenes. The ones I did watch involved irrelevant comments or unnecessary instructions. For example, when you see a new gun, you ask your crew mate what it is, at which point he informs you it is a gun, and that if you aim it at your enemy you can shoot them with it.

My next problem was that Rocketmen always plays the same way. A bunch of enemies come after you, they shoot you, you shoot them. Sometimes you die, sometimes they die. They drop stuff, you pick up stuff. After you shoot them, you just keep moving until you get to the end of the level, at which point you move onto the next level where you do the exact same thing.

I am a reasonable guy and I can be pleased easily, but I have a threshold. My biggest problem with this game, the one that made me want to force a RROD on my 360, was that when you walk towards the edge of the screen you could see more of the level, and sometimes when you walked back then you could see where you had just been, but most of the time you were not able to go back.

This was a huge problem when trying to complete side missions because the constraining map would arbitrarily change where you could go. Often I would go to pick up a weapon that was in sight, but my character was not able to reach it. This was a huge problem when I was fighting large hordes or bosses.

But enough of my rant, lets look at the features of the game:

* Customize your character: Create, customize, and level up your own individual Rocketmen characters with new items, abilities, and looks.
* Multiplayer action: Join with friends to save the galaxy in four-player cooperative play locally or online.
* Your choice: Choose from three races: Human, Mercurian, or Venusian, and from three classes: Warrior, Engineer, or Outcast.
* Explosive action: Simple, addictive, and highly explosive gameplay blasts onto your TV in high-definition with plenty of levels, hordes of enemies, and lots of fun.

The first feature that is advertised is the ability to customize your character. This was the only part of the game I did not hate. When you kill enemies they drop points or something (does it really matter what they drop?) which you can use after you complete the level to upgrade your weapons, skills, and attributes. You also get to increase the drop rate of different weapons.

The second feature that is advertised is multiplayer where you can join with friends to “save the galaxy”. But I don’t have any friends and if I did I wouldn’t subject them to this awful game.

The third feature they boast is the character creation screen. This sounds like it could be fun, but its not. When you create your character you get to choose a name, gender, race, class, skin color, clothing color and some other stuff. None of this matters since you don’t see your character close-up when you play and as far as I could tell your choices would not affect the gameplay.

The last feature they discuss is explosive action. I have yet to find this in the game. The only part of their description that is accurate is that the game is simple, just hold down both analog sticks until you win.

This game has barely any redeeming qualities that could possibly justify the purchase of it. If you are a sadistic gamer like me then I would recommend trying the free trial of this. But if you are like most humans and don’t want to waste your time then I would avoid this game.

score 2.0