Gastronaut Studios has announced that a free title update and premium downloadable content pack are now available for Small Arms on Xbox Live.
Small Arms has been billed as Smash Bros. with guns, and that's a reasonable summary (unlike the weather outside these days, which is unreasonably wintery), but where you might imagine some sort of collusion between platforming combat and shoot-where-you-go gunnery, the controls are actually dual-stick, closer to something like Robotron.
And so players leap around manically, double-jumping and grabbing the edge of ledges, and as they go they're using the right analogue stick to aim and the triggers to fire off bullets, rockets, plasma, icicles, and even high-calibre sniper rounds. You can still go up to someone and punch them in the head, but it's actually a bit of an afterthought; the bulk of the combat is ranged, and sees you jumping to evade enemies rather than to meet them.
There are 12 combatants (four of which are unlockable) and eight stages (one unlockable), and as well as a health gauge you've also got an ammo meter to marshal, either replenishing it with pick-ups or picking up a new weapon, of which there are quite a few to replace your character's standard offering. You'd be wrong to expect the depth and diversity of a proper beat-'em-up though. Instead of special moves, the protagonists have default guns, but, with several life-bars to exhaust before death, you can expect a game in Small Arms to adopt a different timbre as often as new weapons present themselves. Characters effectively swap characteristics when they do.
As promised yesterday, Gastronaut Studios' Small Arms is now up and about on Xbox Live Arcade for the price of 800 Microsoft points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.30).