Dead Storm Pirates
- PSN - £15.99
If Namco had its way with the world, the machine pistol would have been invented in the 16th Century, and swashbuckling adventurers would have been adequately equipped to deal with the swathes of suspiciously athletic undead pirates that feel compelled to storm aboard their galleon for an impromptu rave.
But you know how it is with rail shooters. There you are, clearing the decks of these uninvited guests with your trusty new Move controller, hosing away millions of cutlass-wielding skeletons with seemingly billions of bullets, and it's still not enough to satisfy the vengeful game designers.
You can be as accurate as you like. You can even rope a second player into the fray and coat the scene with a curtain of impenetrable death, and still this army of death-dealers will find a way through your fragile defences. Curse their eyes.
In its original arcade form, cheap deaths are routinely used as a detestable means of extracting another quid from you so that you'll pay to see what comes next. Sat at home on your sofa, its relentless assault is the ultimate quick-fix, but it's also a tiny bit tedious to be repeatedly smacked around the chops with a wet plimsoll when you're the guy with the bullet hose.
Originally available as part of the recently-released Time Crisis: Razing Storm compilation, it makes more sense to be able to pick up Dead Storm Pirates on its lonesome, but at a penny shy of 16 quid, it's priced a little optimistically. Then again, if you're the kind of guy who doesn't mind shovelling loose change into infinity, maybe that's a bargain.
Flowerworks: Follie's Adventure
- WiiWare - 500 WiiWare Points (£3.50)
Being horribly late to the party doesn't always work out so bad, as any fan of drunk girls and cold pizza will attest. Flowerworks may have slithered bedraggled onto European shores almost a year after its original US release, but when you're offering people the chance to combine fireworks with horticulture, you can bloody well wait your turn.
Its tardiness would be more acceptable if Nocturnal's quirky flower-growing puzzler was actually worth sticking around for. Despite it picking up some enthusiastic reviews a while back, it's hard to figure out where all the love came from.
To kick off, the really-quite-complex mechanics are explained as badly as they possibly could be by a wholly inadequate tutorial. Essentially, the central goal is to make each flower fully bloom by scooping up the correct-coloured pollen and directing it to its expectant maw.
As simple as that may be, it won't win you enough points to scrape more than one or two stars. The challenging part is working out how to set off flowery fireworks and create bubbles by lining up pollen in your sights and shooting at it on the way. Succeed, and you'll spark off valuable combos – but it's a fiddly process, even when you know what you're supposed to be doing.
If you can stride purposefully over that initial hurdle, a potentially absorbing puzzler awaits, but if you want a puzzler to slip into like an old slipper, that particular princess is in another castle.