The Cannon (Second Chance with the Chick)
August 17, 2011 5 Comments
Back in July I attempted to review The Cannon and it promptly crashed my entire Xbox four times. As it turns out, the problem was my Gamertag (IndieGamerChick, doyyyy) was too long without any spaces. Huh. Figure that. I had already put up a one paragraph review of my non-playtime with the game. Upon being promised the game would be patched, I heard from some developers that they feel most review sites don’t go back to games that had glitches. That’s not in the spirit of IndieGamerChick.com, so I’ve come up with Second Chance with the Chick. A one-time-only redo for any game that I’ve reviewed that had some major issue that got fixed. And so far nobody had taken me up on it. Thankfully Elemental Focus has stepped up the plate to request The Cannon get a second chance. And man, I’m happy they did, because it’s seriously fucking awesome!
Here’s the deal: I really didn’t think this game would be any good. It seemed so bland and boring during the tutorial, and the graphics looked like someone Photoshopped a Simon on top of a generic Windows wallpaper.
But in reality, it’s really fun. You take control of the titular cannon and fire four different types of artillery at a handful of baddies. Ninjas, pirates, robots, monkeys, zombies, and aliens. All the XBLIG staples are here! Well, almost. What, couldn’t work in avatars or massage apps too, Elemental Focus? Actually, it’s funny I mentioned the massage thing. At one point a glitch did happen and my controller wouldn’t stop vibrating. But not like a constant shaking, like it had Parkinson’s disease. Just a tiny “thump” once a second, like a heartbeat. I swear, for a second I thought The Cannon had brought my controller to life, Johnny Five style.
I played through campaign mode, which features fifteen stages. Enemies run at you from all sides and you have to shoot them using whatever kind of ammo they’re allergic to. Each different weapon has a different effect. For example, if you shoot a pirate with fire, it’s slows them down because it burns off their peg legs. Not that you can actually see that. The graphics are still shit and proud of it. That’s the one thing holding The Cannon back, because everything else works wonderfully. It makes the game the William Defoe of the Indie scene: hideous to look at, maybe even nauseating, but damn fine at what it does.
I found the best strategy was to freeze enemies with the ice gun, then melt them with the fireballs. The game tells you specifically to do this to the zombies, but I thought it was pretty much the best strategy for everything but the robots and the aliens. However, unlike some games where I can grow content using the same strategy over and over until the credits roll, here I actually felt compelled to change things up, just for the sake of variety. If you shoot an enemy with a fireball, it will bounce off them and maybe hit another one. That was the highlight of the game for me. It got to the point where I was using the snaring vine to lasso enemies and drop them off close to each-other, followed by shooting a single fireball towards the pack and watching it ricochet between them. I’ve always liked games that let you experiment with your own tactics. It makes me feel like I’m Douglas MacArthur, only less insane. Or more insane, depending on what time of the month it is.
In addition to the campaign, there are multiplayer modes that I didn’t get time to mess around with, along with a few variations of time attacks and survival. Those were fun too, and I could see myself going back to unlock all the utterly generic backgrounds that were hidden in the game. Okay, so I do have to rag on the graphics a little more, because they are so bad that they would embarrass NDSS. Google it. There’s also a really terrible song included during the end credits that is annoying, grating, and just horrible. Okay, so I downloaded it to my iPod. Doesn’t mean anything. I swear I’ll only listen to it a dozen more times.
Overall, I really liked The Cannon a lot. It’s got a wonderful combination of strategic action mixed with some really funny British humor. I actually want to thank Elemental Focus for patching it, because I almost missed out on a really good time. Sure, it’s ugly. Big deal, so is Maggie Gyllenhaal, but we didn’t let that ruin our enjoyment of Dark Knight, now did we?
80 Microsoft Points said “her acting almost killed it, but not her cringe-inducing looks” in the making of this review.
The original review of The Cannon can be found here, but it should be completely ignored. Kind of a dick move on my part to even leave it up. What can I say, I’m a bitch.