Radiangames usually specializes in fast-paced, score-based shooters that provide players with little mercy during play such as Crossfire 2 and Ballistic. They went a little different with it with Fireball for the Xbox Live Arcade, which is where the first versions of most of the games were released. Instead of being an all out, offense ridden game like the others, Fireball comes at players with a passive nature. Instead of trying to destroy everything around you with bullets, you have to destroy enemies with tact.
The object of Fireball is to avoid the many enemies around you that are attempting to kill you by running into you. Nothing in the game uses weapon fire. Instead, the enemies come at you like a kamikaze, charging you on a suicide mission to ruin your day. Unfortunately with that, it is pretty much a one-hit kill scenario. There are no lives in the game, so being destroyed will mean “game over.” There appear to be different enemies in this game. Although I do not know their specific titles, some of them seem to move faster than others and are shaped differently.
Fireball isn’t just about avoiding enemies. Players do have to defeat them by detonating bombs in the vicinity of enemies in order to destroy them. Enemies build up around the player and it becomes very necessary to destroy them when they get too numerous.
Detonating bombs is possible when you come close to the bomb and stay close to it for a few seconds. Of course it is necessary for enemies to also be close to that bomb. Destroying adversaries this way can be extremely difficult, and the faster you can do this, the higher your score will be. The most important part of everything, though, is surviving, which can be a very difficult task given the game’s controls. This preview is for the PC version of this game, which has been expanded from its original XBLA version to accommodate the PC.
If you are a fan of keyboard and mouse controls, you’ll be in good company here. I actually don’t like them too much and found the lack of joysticks damaging to my game performance. It can be truly difficult to maneuver around with the arrow keys, which on a laptop is pretty standard for this kind of game. Unless you are particularly mega-awesome using these types of controls, it would be suggested that folks buy a PC gaming controller instead.
No matter what control set you are using, the ability to survive in this game while obtaining a high score will be incredibly challenging for all. There are different waves that a player must get through to beat the main game, and with each wave more enemies will need to be destroyed, not necessarily having a higher skill level like in most wave based games. There are also a few other modes that are very similar to the original mode, but they offer a different spin on it, such as enemies increasing speed over time. A new mode exclusive to the PC version is survival mode, which gives you points based on how long you can stay alive, not just how many enemies you kill. What the point of the game overall comes down to is simple enough: score. The main game can be completed pretty quickly with each challenge able to be completed in less time, but it will take players a whole lot longer to master the high scores.
Fireball is every bit as great as its XBLA version, and will surely make those comfortable with keyboard and mouse rejoice.
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