Also available on 3DS
Teyon's at it again with a sub-par WiiWare rail shooter with Heavy Fire: Black Arms, this time set in South America instead of east Africa. Fortunately, Teyon learned something, releasing a game that improves over its predecessor in a number of ways; unfortunately, that bar wasn't set very high, and Teyon only moves it up a little bit with Black Arms. It's like moving from getting 100 lashes to getting 90 lashes - yeah, it's better, but it still sucks.
The first improvement that Black Arms makes over Special Operations is with visuals. It still doesn't look amazing for the Wii, but the textures do seem to have had a little more care put into them this go around. The environments still aren't amazing or anything, but they're a definite improvement over the Gamecube-esque visuals in Special Operations. The enemies are also much better designed this time. They still have the accuracy of Imperial stormtroopers, the model detail of a mannequin, and the intelligence of the current president of the United States, but there are a reasonable amount of them in pretty appropriate placements rather than a million and a half of them literally everywhere. It makes for a much more durable suspension of disbelief. The sound design is also better, although it's still pretty terrible. There's still absolutely no "oomph" to the weapons' firing sound effects, but at least I could tell a difference when I turned off my subwoofer. Now it just sounds like a flute instead of a piccolo. All in all, the game makes a decent first impression, especially if you have Special Operations as a craptastic point of reference. Unfortunately, you quickly see that the first impression is about as good as it gets, and the honeymoon period ends about halfway through the first stage.
Despite these improvements, however, Black Arms is still with Special Operations as a bottom tier rail shooter. Granted, it's at the top of this bottom tier now instead of instead of the bottom of the bottom tier, but it's still not a good game, and while it's definitely worth one penny more, $5 might be a fair price for this one. Other than the improvements I mentioned above, it's basically the same as the original but in South America. A little more polish, a little more detail, a little more care, but minor improvements still won't fix a product of quality this low. There is, at the very least, SOME entertainment to be had here, and it might even be almost fun if you played with a friend (especially if you and that friend are drunk), so as I do with my students, I have to give the game some credit for at least improving over the series' past performance.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.