Microsoft still hasn't told us when we can expect to sample the delights of Xbox Live Arcade here in Europe, but we do now know that when we do we'll be able to look forward to more than overpriced ports of retro titles like Defender and Robotron at $10 or $20. The addition of PomPom Software's Mutant Storm shooter to the Arcade canon makes a big difference.
Previously a PC (and Mac) only title, Mutant Storm is a surprisingly gorgeous and distinctly psychedelic shooter plucked from the wooden benches of the old school and ingrained with a fittingly stern view on blotting the space-copybook with mistimed movement and shooting. It doesn't quite whack you with a steel ruler, but they probably at least considered a peripheral along those lines.
And now, thanks to Microsoft's newfound alliance with PomPom, you can play it on the Xbox. Or, at least, American gamers can. The rest of us will have to make do with playing it on the PC. Fortunately for us, then, getting hold of it via the Internet is probably no more a laborious process than the dumbed down "click and buy" of Xbox Live. And, at $19.95, no more expensive. Just head here and hand over your electronic wonga.
Here are some screenshots of the game running on Xbox Live Arcade. We'll let you know when the service migrates.