I was looking for a Shoot ‘em Up (shmup)/bullet hell type game for my 360, and Shoot 1Up by Mommy’s Best Games was the first to catch my eye. It is an Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) game, and it does everything it can to feel like a great arcade game (you know, old Stand ups, quarters), but they added a twist.
In your standard shmup you have a ship and extra lives waiting for when you die. This standard has been done away with in favor for what the developers call the “Phalanx”, which is a group of ships you control. You start with one ship and another ship is added with every “1up” you collect. You may gather up to 30 on any given screen. Now, I know the idea of controlling 30 ships at a time could be a daunting task, but the controls help remove this issue. Pressing the left trigger (LT) will expand your phalanx to up the size of the screen, it will continue expanding until you release the trigger. The right trigger (RT) will retract it down to the size of one single ship. Of course there are other controls that are standard to the genre as well, holding A will allow you to shoot, while X will slow you Phalanx down.
Some would think, “Is it worth risking my ships to expand the Phalanx?”. There is a twofold reason for this. First, expanding your phalanx will increase the total points per kill, resulting in a higher overall score. Second, expanding the phalanx will activate the Plasma Auger. The Auger is a super weapon that will chew through enemies and boss health. All this for risking a few ships, is definitely worth it if you want to get your name into that number one spot.
As is standard fair with shmups, you start with a basic class of ship, that is only capable of shooting forward. Once you get five ships in your phalanx (and every five there after) you get a weapons upgrade. These range from larger bullets to firing in to the sides and behind your squad. Lose ships, however, and your latest upgrade goes with them; on each multiple of five your phalanx is decreased by one upgrade.
This game has filled the void for a great quick play shmup, and all for only 80 Microsoft points. I suggest you give Shoot 1Up a go if you are longing for some crazy bullet dodging, alien ship exploding, and thumb twisting gaming.