Serious Sam Double D XXL hardly needs any explaining, with a title like that. This side-scrolling shoot 'em up is making its to Xbox LIVE Arcade in a couple week's time, offering 360 owners a chance to play another entry in Mommy's Best Games' Serious Sam Indie Series. If you know about Serious Sam Double D, then you already have an understanding of XXL: time travel and guns, all the guns.
But what makes this remake XXL? The addition of couch (read: offline) co-op, for one, plus new campaigns and enemies. Sam's definitely got his work cut out for him, but don't worry, because he's got some new guns to stack too.
Stack 'em Up
For those unfamiliar with the whole gunstacking thing, it's a feature in the Double D games literally called "Gunstacker," and the name says it all. As you acquire weapons in the game, they can be stacked on top of each other in any order, using special connectors. Sounds like an insanely simple concept, and it really is, but in practice, it's seriously a ton of fun. Every stack can support up to six weapons, and you're allowed to save up to eight stacks. Why carry one shotgun when you can have two shotguns, two Tommy guns, a grenade launcher, and chainsaw at the same time? Nevermind the individual upgrades you can purchase and apply to specific weapons in your stack.
It's entirely possible to just carry around eight separate weapons too, but that pretty much kills the point of the game, and trust me when I say, "You're gonna have a bad time."
The game is designed around this seemingly overpowered mechanic, and to make sure you're not running around with an unfair advantage over the AI hordes, XXL makes sure Sam has plenty of baddies to shoot. Within the first few minutes, Sam will be up to his eyeballs in ugly. That's not an understatement by any means. The game will throw wave after wave of enemies, and it makes fun of the infinite spawn too, as though the developers are laughing at themselves... and trolling players, all at the same time.
Not to worry though, because you have a checkpoint available every few feet (practically), in case you're met by sudden death. And death does come suddenly at times. All in good fun, of course.
Headless, shirtless men with bombs for hands run screaming at you in droves. Flying monkeys throw exploding bananas and jeer from the sky. What the hell is even going on here?
Don't worry, I stopped asking myself that question after about 20 minutes, and I was happier for it. The humor in Serious Sam has always been over-the-top and rather crass, so I did need some time to really warm up to the whole experience. While I'm not expecting Serious Sam Double D XXL to be a particularly long game, the pacing so far works for what it is. Intense, mind-boggling, and hilarious; this is going to be a fun ride.