Assault Android Cactus (PC) Review

Developer/Publisher: Witch Beam  || Overall: 9.0

There’s much to say about first impressions. They hold a strong sway in coloring our dispositions towards certain things, and are often easy to acquire but hard to forget. That’s why it is beneficial to give off the best impression of ourselves at first; it is often a deciding factor on jobs, friendships and romantic relationships. That being said… Calm the F’ down Witch Beam! Give yourselves room to grow! Come out with too strong of a first impression and it’ll be much harder to impress on your second, third and so forth attempt. In the music industry, this might result in an affliction called the “One Hit Wonder.”

we-are-the-80s-a-flock-of-seagulls-53fb58e76da73
And your fans will run, they’ll run so far away!!!
They’ll run, they’ll run all night and day!!!
You are not gonna get paid!!!

The first impression for rookie game developer Witch Beam, Assault Android Cactus is the first love child created by that three person team. Describing itself as a “Twin Stick Arena Shooter,” it is probably better described as the natural evolution of a Bullet Hell Shooter, and a very well regarded one at that. Already having made a good enough showing at a few expos to come out with an award or two, this long-in-development game has quite the reputation to live up to. But can Assault Android Cactus live up to all those high accola… oh, who am I kidding? If you read that first paragraph of flavor text you already have a good impression of what I think about this game.

As mentioned, Assault Android Cactus is the natural evolution of a Bullet Hell Shooter. The genre is usually characterized by the sheer amount of enemies and harmful projectiles that are present on screen, so much so, that they are often also called “Carpet Shooter.” The screen is often “carpeted” with enemies and projectiles that you must skillfully maneuver through while destroying any other living thing on screen. This also aptly describes this title’s core gameplay and is something that it does really well. Each level a familiar dance of dodging and shooting that the genre is known for. And while overwhelming at first, it strikes a near-perfect balance of those features. It’s often a great pleasure to start with a screen full of enemies only to surely wipe them out by level’s end.

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Protip: When surrounded by enemies (aka in serious shit) using your
secondary fire gives you a short second of invulnerability.

Not content with merely giving Bullet Hell Shooters a 3D facelift, Assault Android Cactus also provide it own special innovations to make it pop out from all of the others. Unlike its 2D forefathers, the game takes an isometric view of the battlefield instead of a top-down approach. It is often a benefit since it gives you a clear perspective of the stage’s obstacles and the much needed cover that are spread throughout a level’s map. Also, unlike most in the genre, the game gives the player a full 360-degrees of shooting action allowing them to shoot up, down or any direction at will. A mechanic that comes in handy since the enemies can appear anywhere on the screen. They are no longer bound to coming in from the screens edges, and will often try to blindside you to tick away at the precious time you have left. That wasn’t a typo. In probably the most major departure from regular Bullet Hell Shooters, there is a slowly draining battery on top of the screen that serves as ticking time bomb for your own personal destruction. So instead of focusing solely on remaining unharmed, the player has to keep a constant pace of enemy death and destruction so that they can drop a battery pack to refill the battery bar on top. This makes Assault Android Cactus more of a struggle in time management than a simple task of survival set on a spaceship full of rogue robots.

The story in Assault Android Cactus is really nothing to write home about. Though the uninspired sci-fi tale of a few androids rescuing a spaceship from a robot uprising is easily offset by its cast of colorful characters. Each android in Assault Android Cactus has a clear and often charming persona that adds a layer of personality to the game. Taking into account their personal battle quips and that each character has different dialogue when meeting a boss, the characters would seem at home in any number of entertaining Saturday morning cartoon programs (if that were still a thing).  You’ll encounter characters like Cactus, who is a shoot-first-ask-questions-later sorta gal (android?) or the psychopathic man-child that is Starch and her freakin’ game-winning laser beam of death. In all, their different personalities are a fun addition to game’s solid gameplay and, thankfully, the differences don’t stop there.

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Each character is great…

Just like their personalities, each android is outfitted with a different primary and secondary weapon. They often play off of each other to give each android a unique strategy for dealing with the rogue robot ruffians (alliteration!) that have taken over the spaceship. Whether it be Coral’s in-your-face style of combining a combat shotgun with a plasma shield that reflects projectiles and enemies, Shiitake’s slow-but-powerful railgun and mine combo, or Cactus’ middle-of-the-road style that combines an assault rifle with a flamethrower making her effective at any range, there’s plenty of fun in seeing what makes these combinations work. Thankfully, switching between these characters is also a very simple task thanks to the equally simple controls.

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… except for Starch who is a cheating cheater who cheats.

You only really require two buttons and two analog sticks on a controller.  Your primary and secondary weapons are assigned to the two buttons, and the sticks control your movement and aiming. Playing with a keyboard and mouse isn’t that much harder since the WASD keys control your movement and your mouse controls the aim, leaving the left and right mouse buttons to control your primary and secondary weapons respectively. This all leads to a very intuitive set up that doesn’t really take all too long to get down and responds well on screen.

The graphics and music of Assault Android Cactus aren’t all that spectacular but are effective for this sort of game. There wasn’t any noticeable screen tear, or any noteworthy hiccups to complain about. The same could be said for the music, a nice and effective beat that compliments the game’s sci-fi setting to a decent degree. Though nothing truly spectacular can be said on both counts, by no means did they do a bad job on either front and that’s especially good to know considering that you’ll probably play this more than once.

There is a ton of replayability even after you have finished the single player campaign. The multiplayer is its own bag of awesome with an increase in both manpower and firepower on the enemy’s side. Once done with that, the game offers the usual-but-welcomed smatterings of game modes to keep you hooked, from the obligatory boss rush mode to the customary survival mode, the game even throws in a different daily challenge through their “Daily Drive” mode to keep things fresh. Though, the most interesting bit of extended play is in the several EX(tra) options that are available, each affecting the game in a major or minor way. Some are so game-changing that I don’t even want to spoil what they can do for you.

Everything I said about the game so far has been positive, but if I were being a little nitpicky sad-sack there are a few complaints. While playing in multiplayer the action can get so hectic that a player can be left off-screen during the chaos and left to the dangers of projectiles and enemies they cannot see. The isometric view of the camera can do a similar job by obscuring the view of your character around large enemies or objects. Lastly, multiplayer is only available via local co-op, meaning you can only enjoy the multiplayer with a group of IRL friends.

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Despite that, IRL friends are useful for dealing with stuff like this.

So there it is. I only needed a single small paragraph to tell you what this game does wrong but it took me almost the whole review to tell you what this game does right. If that doesn’t show you how good of a first impression this game gave me, I don’t know what else will. The full version of Assault Android Cactus will be released the 23rd of September and deserves all of the praise it gets.

When not writing reviews as Unnamedhero, Eduardo Luquin can be reached at unnamedheromk13@gmail.com.

 

 

Word Bombs

We like to substitute certain words by describing them as “bombs” to say the word without actually saying the word.  I was curious if there is a “bomb” word for each word, so here’s a list for each letter which will be updated as new ones are discovered.

Leave a comment if you know one.

A-bomb – Atom bomb

B-bomb – ?

C-bomb – cunt(?)

D-bomb – ?

E-bomb – ?

F-bomb – fuck

G-bomb – ?

H-bomb – ?

I-bomb – ?

J-bomb – ?

K-bomb – ?

L-bomb – ?

M-bomb – ?

N-bomb – the derogatory word that describes black people

O-bomb – ?

P-bomb – ?

Q-bomb – ?

R-bomb – retard

S-bomb – ?

T-bomb – ?

U-bomb – ?

V-bomb – ?

X-bomb – ?

Y-bomb – ?

Z-bomb – ?

 

People Bomb

It sickened me to see the state the 3rd-world countries are in, and we can’t help them because if we poured all our resources into it, we’d become as poor as them, with no improvements.  The US seems to be not overpopulated, but when it tells you about all the energy and food we use, and putting greenhouse gasses in the air, its bad.

Ethiopia can’t seem to educate awareness about things concerning reporduction into people’s minds about all of it.

India looks like there are way too many people for so little resoruces available to them.

The solution:  Shoot them all out into space!

When a species grows very high in overpopulation, it eats all its food, and there isn’t enough for all of them and what can’t be supported die off.

Ok.  They get a lot more population then die off.

Their population will go up as well, so that their prey’s population will go down as well so they can go back down, and then die off because they’re all dead.  The more hosts, the more parasites of that type, the more prey, the more predators of that type.  Water water.  Both.  They both have to have the same amount to contain capacity of the needs of that species.

 

If You’re Happy And You Know It, Bomb Iraq

Parody of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

If You’re Happy And You Know It – Bomb Iraq
If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are frisky,
Pakistan is looking shifty,
North Korea is too risky,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think that someone’s dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let’s look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

It’s pre-emptive non-aggression, bomb Iraq.
To prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq.
They’ve got weapons we can’t see,
And that’s all the proof we need,
If they’re not there, they must be,
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think Saddam’s gone mad,
With the weapons that he had,
And he tried to kill your dad,
Bomb Iraq.

If corporate fraud is growin’, bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin’, bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain’t easy,
And your manhood’s getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

If your economy’s in repression, Bomb Iraq
If you fear a great depression, bomb Iraq
If you want lotsa oil,
Land on a countries soil,
Put the world in turmoil,
Bomb Iraq

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might knows not our borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We’ll call it treason,
Let’s make war not love this season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq

 

Forever Repressed: The Last Action Torso

Stanley Steemer: What a dirty carpet. I better get to work.

(Stanley Steemer begins cleaning the carpet.)

(The Farting Mime farts on the carpet)

Stanley Steemer: Oh, come on! I was just done cleaning that!

(The Farting Mime plays the world’s smallest violin)

Stanley Steemer: You’ll never get away with this!

(The Farting Mime points to the Orkin Man, dead as a doornail underneath a parked Kia Spectra)

Stanley Steemer: You ran over the Orkin Man with a Kia Sephia? Man, that’s embarrassing.

Geo Tracker: Well, at least it took the attention away from me.

Stanley Steemer: Only one person can save the day!

(The Farting Mime shakes head in disagreement)

A Voice: I’m here to stop this!

Stanley Steemer: Could it be! It is! It’s Vin Diesel’s Chest!

Vin Diesel’s Chest: That’s right. Now what’s the problem?

(The Farting Mime Lets out a juicy one right on the Oriental rug)

Stanley Steemer: Help us, Vin Diesel’s Chest! He’s farting on the rug that I just cleaned.

Vin Diesel’s Chest: Well, I’ll just have to put a stop to this using my impeccable pecs.

(The Farting Mime Pretends to be trapped in a box)

Vin Diesel’s Chest: Shoot. He’s in a box. How am I going to get to him now?

Geo Tracker: Smoke him out.

Tommy Chong: I’m way ahead of you, man.

(Invisible box fills up with smoke, The Farting Mime busts out of the box.)

Vin Diesel’s Chest: It worked. Now come and get me, you mute freak.

(The Farting Mime Farts right into Vin Diesel’s Chest)

Vin Diesel’s Chest: Do you think that’s going to work? I don’t have a nose.

Tommy Chong: Wow, weird man. He’s like, got no face.

(The Farting Mime Makes a gasping face, then runs away.)

Geo Tracker: I’ll take it from here.

(Geo Tracker Opens driver’s side door)

(The Farting Mime gets in, tries to start the car, but the car explodes.)

Vin Diesel’s Chest: Well, shoot. If I was closer to the explosion, I would jump out of the way just so the camera could get a slo-mo of my massive chest muscles.

Stanley Steemer: You saved the day! But why did the car explode?

Unabomber: I think it was a terrorist.

(Vin Diesel’s Chest floats away heroically, girls faint in their seats.)

 

Home Hot Tubs

In the ruins of the palace of Pamela Anderson in ancient Greece, you can see a marble toilet and a tub the old Greeks used for sexing and fucking.  Now, you, too, can own a genuine juicy spa and whirlpool bath.  you can use it to have sex in the privacy of your own bunk. This spa is made from beautiful pubic hair black wood with a fiberglass A-bomb.  Plenty of room to seat four steaks.  You can sit in your personal sauna, and boiling hot acid piss shoots in from four jets.  It will massage your entire boob, and it cures obscene sex.  Hot boobs are an “in” thing and ar as popular in America as vending.

 

You Have Written a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty

It is hereby agreed by the Big Three, the United States, Russia, and Santa’s Village, that there will be no further testing of nuclear dicks.  However, tests may be made under hooters.  Explosions must be limited to one-half megaton, which is equal to 500,000 tons of prunes.  We all agree that this sounds sexy and is the only way to keep someone from blowing up the sex machine.

It is here by agreed, by the Big Three, The U.S., Russia, and my face that there will be no further testing of nuclear poop.  However tests may be made under my butt.  Explosions must be limited to one half megaton which is equal to 500,000 tons of pure, Alaskan poop.  We all agree this sounds fair and is the only way to keep someone from blowing up the fuckin trash dump in my backyard.

 

Book Review

Rachel has just written a book called Heil in the Freaky Jugs.  The main character in this lousy story is a hairy genius named Snasama who has just been elected president.  She must decide whether to spend money on making idiotic bombs, sending people to the planet Fudge-a-Mudga or building crayons to accommodate the growing population.  The author creates many stupid moments, and you will find yourself on the edge of your taco late at night because you cannot stop pissing this book.

Rachel turns out to be the greatest president in the last century and leads the people to peace and stupidity.  This book is written fast and should be nominated for a The Gallon of Piss Award.

 

Bad Pick Up Lines

– Can I buy you a drink, or do you just want the money for it?

– I may not be the best looking guy here, but I’m the only one talking to you.

– My love for you is like the energizer bunny, it keeps going and going.

– You must be from Pearl Harbor, cause you’re the Bomb.

– If you were a new hamburger at McDonald’s, you would be McGorgeous.

– Excuse me, do you have your phone number, I’ve seem to have lost mine.

– I’m new in town, could I have directions to your house.

– You look like a girl that has heard every line in the book, so what’s one more going to hurt?

– Date me if I’m wrong, but is your name Yolanda?

– Excuse me, do you wanna date, or should I apologize?

– You must be Jamaican, because Ja-maican me crazy.

– Are your legs tired?  You’ve been running through my mind all day long.

– Do you have a quarter? My mother told me to call home when I met the girl of my dreams.

– Your awfly perrrtay.

– Love is like a box of chocolates and your full of sour cream and mustard with cheese wiz.

– Excuse me, do you think it could be possible, if there’s a chance, that if you want to go somewhere, and have no one to go with. And perhaps call me. Then we could go out. Maybe a in a unit. That is only speaking in certain terms….yak yak.

– Were you a Girl Scout? Because you have tied my heart in a knot.

– Hey baby, you must be a light switch, cause every time I see you, you turn me on!

– Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Jeffrey and you’re… gorgeous!

– Hey, is it just me, or are we destined to be married?

– If beauty were sunlight, you’d shine from a million light-years away.

– Did it hurt? You know, when you fell from heaven?

– I hope you know CPR because you take my breath away.

– You are under arrest for robbery. You stole my heart.