I remember a time early in the PS2's life-cycle when I found myself without a new game to play. I'd managed to scoopa unitat launch with Timesplitters and SSX, both of which became two of my favorite games on the system. After the launch window and a few rentals of titles like Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore, I ended up playing the trippy fireworks-laden "puzzle" game called FantaVision. To this day, I have no idea what you're supposed to do or how fireworks equate to gameplay.
Thus, when I noticed today's Xbox Live Arcade release entitled Boom Boom Rocket, which you can grab now for 800 Microsoft Points ($10), I actually thought it might be a port of the old PS2 game; after all, how many games can actually involve fireworks over a darkened city landscape?But Boom Boom is a crafty little rhythm game created by Bizarre, who were responsible for the current reigning champion of XBLA, Geometry Wars. The similarly-styled fireworks showcase is a completely different experience from the old PS2 puzzler—one that actually makes sense to me.
Boom Boom Rocket is straightforward, though fun nonetheless. There are four different colored rockets—each of which corresponds to an Xbox 360 controller face button—that must be detonated as they cross a line on the screen. Eventually, a rhythm develops in coordination with the game's music that will surely entrance fans of the genre, thanks to the techno stylings of the 10 tracks that shipped with the title.
Like most rhythm games, the action starts out slow, steady and relaxing, only to turn crazy and stressful in a difficult song. The current song list is a mix of old and recognizable classical scores that have undergone some typical techno remixing, though I'm sure downloadable content will make an appearance somewhere in the future to buff up the playlist. And of course, multiplayer and online leaderboards are included.
It's pretty, funky, and fun. What more could you ask from an XBLA game?