If you're a loyal reader of this space, then you likely know of my decade-long love of the "Worms" series, namely of the two-dimensional variety.
You likely also know that I've been counting down the days until today for a few weeks, the day "Worms Armageddon 2" hit Xbox Live — a game which not only promised to bring the game back to its glory days but also fix the bugs from the first "Worms" on Xbox Live.
And though I only had a couple of hours to play this sequel before coming into the office, I'm actually already ready to FAIL this game.
Yes, it's given me a pain in my stomach just to admit the sad truth, but the fact is, not too much is improved whatsoever from the first edition of "Worms" on Xbox Live, unless I am somehow missing something big. And keep in mind, this is not a review, just my early impressions.
Let's go over the additions, shall we?
* There is the capacity for all your favorite old weapons, like the concrete donkey and armageddon. However, many you have to earn before you can use and there appears to be NO WAY to change the pre-game settings to different weapon-sets or crate rates.
* You can now rack up points by playing the game, and these points can buy the aforementioned weapons or maps or gravestones.
* You can play Forts!
* Maps are now very vertical, probably twice as tall as they were formally, which likely will help me out if ever I can find a way to play with my beloved MAD COWS.
However, those vertical maps lead me to the biggest flaw in "Worms Armageddon 2," which was also the biggest flaw in the first Xbox Live "Worms" — Ninja Rope is darned near impossible to use skillfully. Again, maybe I just need to spend more time getting a feel for it, but I just don't feel like the controller offers nearly as much delicate feel as a keyboard does. And since the maps are so vertical, roping is that much more important.
Believe it or not, also, on top of decreased mobility with rope, the game also has decreased mobility with — GULP — jumping! Yes, due to the fact that jumping forward is one press of the "X" button and back-flipping is two presses of the "X" button, I found myself committing suicide many times simply because of the game's poor recognition of my commands.
Another major problem I have with this new game which was also formerly present is the fact that you can only have four worms on a team! What's the problem with eight on eight? Is the Xbox Live capabilities really that much weaker than computer games from 10 years ago?
And finally, there is NO WORMNET. I'm looking for a lobby for joining games. I'm looking to be able to host games and set my own game settings. I'm looking for big six-player brawls.
There just isn't enough here that improves upon the Horrible first effort for "Worms" on Xbox Live.
I'm going to play this a little more and hope that it grows on me, if only for pure love for the series, but it looks to me like tonight I start counting my lucky stars that "Worms Armageddon 2" is also slated for a PC release in the coming months.