Have Guns, Will Travel.. A “Serious Sam:  Double D XXL” (Review) XBox 360

Have Guns, Will Travel.. A “Serious Sam:  Double D XXL” (Review) XBox 360
Review Score:

Back in January, I gave you folks a slight teaser of Serious Sam’s latest entry in Serious Sam:  Double D XXL.  Mommy’s Best Games, Developer Digital, and Mastertronic Group, Ltd. did an excellent job here with their nod to the two dimensional side-scrolling shooter world.  While first person shooter purists may cringe at this switch in perspective, I for one welcome it with wide open arms.

Once again you take on the role as Serious Sam (or as his sidekick Dan “Huff” Huffington if you’re playing co-op), as you do some globe-traveling while battling against Mental’s relentless horde of enemies.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, aside from the constant blowing up the bad guys action, you also get to do plenty of exploring to uncover lots of secrets (there are 66 in total).

As you progress through the whopping 22 levels, you’ll come across a wide variety of weapons to have in your arsenal, which you can upgrade and stack to do some major ass kicking. And before you know it, you’ll be able to have weapons like acid rockets, cyber bee swarms, and pads of butter (yes, you read that right – pads of butter) to unleash on your unsuspecting foes.

If you’re looking for gorgeous, jaw-dropping eye candy visuals, you won’t find that here.  Which isn’t exactly a bad thing because the main focus is the action. But what you will find will be plenty of exploding enemies and creatures with plenty of blood to match.  And for those who can’t handle the bloodbath, you can choose the blood to be of a different color (I highly recommend the “Donut” option for a good laugh or two) or just have it absent altogether.

The sounds aren’t phenomenal either, but then again what else do you really need besides the thundering booming sounds as multiple explosions of every kind fill the screen?  Sam’s mouthy commentary can get a bit colorful at times too, but you can keep his language toned down or completely uncensored.

What I love most about this game is the gameplay, as it gives me many flashbacks of similar side scrollers of yesteryear.  It’s extremely simple to play and is very straightforward, with the added bonus of straying off the enemy-destroying path for a moment to do some exploring.

All that’s really required here is to pay attention to your surroundings at all costs and try to stay alive as much as possible.  And even though you will do some dying, at least there are numerous checkpoints scattered throughout each level so you won’t have to start over at the very beginning.

The levels are very massive, so the multiple checkpoints do come in handy.  The wide variety of weapons certainly adds to the intense shooting action, but having the ability to stack your well-armed arsenal makes it all even sweeter.  With there being over 20 connectors to find, you can mix and match to your heart’s content and even have sets of weapons that you can switch on the fly.

I honestly couldn’t find any real faults in SS: DDXXL.  The one thing I did notice was whenever there was a little cutscene involving Sam or whoever, the characters’ mouths moved more like as if they were puppets.  The dialogue is hilarious though, so the whole mouth movement thing is an extremely minor oversight.

The action is absolutely non-stop, and should you decide to take a little break from your mission, you can take in some head-to-head arena battles or take on some challenges — both of which you unlock as you progress through the game (there are 12 challenges to unlock and 6 arenas).  And if it’s achievements you seek, there are 30 — count ’em, 30 — to unlock as well.

All in all, I’d say SS:  DDXXL is a solid game for fans of the series and newcomers alike, with a nostalgic nod to old school gamers like myself.  Whether it be blowing away the bad guys, uncovering all the secrets, or battling head-to-head, you’ll certainly be kept seriously (again, pardon the pun) busy.

Sean Boley
XBox 360 (XBox Live Arcade)
Developer: Mommy’s Best Games & Developer Digital
Publisher: Mastertronic Group, Ltd.
ESRB: M (Mature)
Price: 800 Microsoft Points

Masteronic Group, LTD. Website

Review Score
Although nothing outstanding, the background visuals are still nice and you'll see your fair share of various enemies (before and after you blow them to smithereens).
The loud booms complement the explosions nicely. And you can't help but get a good laugh from the character voice-overs. Nice job.
It's your classic 'shoot first, ask questions later' kind of shooter. How can you NOT like this game?
Definitely an all-around good game with great replay value and tons of unlockables.
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