At last, an XBLA game worth the point$!
Small Arms is a Super Smash Bros style game with cute animals and BIG guns - how could it not work! The core gameplay revolves around you shooting or bashing your opponents on 2D platforms using a variety of weapons at your disposal. The weapons spawn on the map, as do healing items. You use the left stick to move and right to aim, with the buttons and triggers used to jump, dash, and shoot. Most weapons have a primary and secondary function. An excellent tutorial introduces you to the controls which are tight and responsive.
The single player can consists of s series of "battles" and the occasional bonus level. The level designs are nicely different with some being animated in some way (like the train level). The multi player plays much the same. Both modes are excellent and great fun. The core feel of Super Smash Bros is great and the slight changes to the format make the game feel fresh and prefect for XBLA.
Graphically it looks like a kind of 2D Fur Fighters. The background textures are good and the character models are fine considering the speed at which they zip around the screen.
The achievements are nicely balanced. You can get the 100 games achievement on or off line. This game also features a unique achievement you can only get from playing someone with it already...a nice "community" touch (0 points).
At 800 point$, this is a bargain for one of the best games currently on XBLA. Well done Gastronaut Studios!