And with these first steps I say… run!!
Remember in the movie Independence Day when Will Smith is dragging a half-conscious, dreadlock-wearing alien across the desert? Well, that’s Capsized. Okay, not exactly, not even remotely close, but July 4th just past and I probably watched that movie three times that day. Ultimately, I’m saying it fits the mood; fighting aliens and saving the world, or in this case saving yourself and your team and dealing with other obstacles on a foreign planet. You know, it’s all the same.
For those familiar with this original PC title, Capsized has recently been rebooted to fit Xbox’s Live Arcade (coming later for PS3 download some time this summer) and has added new levels for more exploration. The premise is just that, exploring an uncharted world through growing vegetation, acid-spewing plants, camouflaged spike beds, and more. Survival is but one of the many things you will strive for in this unrelenting universe.
Don’t fret, though, as you are packed with an array of survival gear. It's outdoor adventure at its best; with just one quick stop at REI, you’re ready to go. You got your jetpack, hook, gravity ram, pulse gun with different blast settings, and not to mention the ability to cling to walls (Spider-Man would be proud). I wouldn’t quite say romping through the danger zone is a cakewalk, but with the supplies you are given and a methodical patience to your traveling route, due reward will come. At times, though, the swarms of enemies can be unrelenting and cause frustration.
The setup is structured, much reminiscent of a mix between Worms and Earthworm Jim, especially the latter. It's a point-and-shoot 2D platformer that requires timing and a bit of accuracy. Visually it’s actually stunning, so much so that you can spend lots of time admiring the screen just doing simple tasks like dragging orbs from place to place. The layers and textures of the game are eye candy, and the depth of the scenery has a fresh vibrancy that continues to stand out through the entire experience.
Starting with campaign mode is a most likely choice but an arcade option is available as well, which can only be accessed after acquiring the appropriate amount of stars earned in campaign. Apparently, I’m terrible at earning stars and currently only have 13 of a possible 40 stars, but that’s the beauty: I can easily go back and play each level over, in hopes of adding to my diminished Achievement activity.
In essence, Capsized brings to the table a well-balanced run-and-shoot style game that can still be enjoyed even after being around for a couple of years. The arcade genre is constantly filled with class and yet are so cheap—this one definitely is no different. And for 10 bucks, what do you have to lose trying it out?