Serious Sam: Double D Review
By Jimmy Goldstein |
As Moe Szyslak so ably demonstrated in Season nine, Episode five of The Simpsons, it only takes a few minor adjustments to turn one gun into five. It seems developer Mommy's Best Games combined that notion with the blood and guts insanity of Serious Sam to produce Double D, a side-scrolling shooter where you can stack shotguns on lasers to blow up dinosaurs and flying monkeys.
Because killing a towering buzz saw-wielding mecha-gorilla while using only a shotgun seems somehow inadequate, Double D's gun stacking system lets you attach up to six weapons into whatever ludicrous death configuration you wish. That means lasers attached to rocket launchers on top of tommy guns with a chainsaw and flamethrower for good measure. Initially the feature is entertaining simply to revel in its sheer ridiculousness. What shooter fan hasn't fantasized about the sheer lethal potential of combining the double-barreled shotgun with the BFG 9000? If that thought has never occurred to you, or doesn't sound strike you as a good idea, chances are you won't enjoy Double D.
Serious Sam: Double D Video
Though configuring a triple-shotgun, triple-laser gun produces a sense of satisfaction entirely removed from the actual gameplay, it's fleeting. Once the novelty of weapon combination wears off, the gameplay thankfully manages to hold up. You'll attack iconic Serious Sam enemies like monstrous gnarr and suicidal enemies with bombs for hands that scream despite being headless. Other enemies include Jetpack monkeys that throw exploding bananas, colossal dinosaurs armed with cannon and missile launchers, explosive pancake stacks stuffed with vuvuzelas and magma men who bounce around on pogo sticks. Their movement speeds and attack patterns are varied enough to pose a challenge, and through continued play you'll realize there's a slight element of strategy depending on which enemies are onscreen.
No complex decisions need to be made – just press fire and point at the stuff that wants to kill you – but occasionally it's a good idea tweak the gun stack. You'll want to change out explosive weapons like the rocket launcher when fighting fast enemies that charge in close in a hurry, otherwise you'll blow yourself up. Then for long-range boss fights where you fire while jumping to avoid enemy missile and laser swarms, you'll want to change out chainsaws for rockets and lasers to maximize the damage you can do from a distance. Double D isn't very long, and though it falters from time to time remains entertaining thanks to the near-constant spawning in of enemy types mixed together in increasingly challenging ways.
Six guns are useful in fights like this.Blended into the bloody shooting are light platforming and exploration elements. Sam can drop a jump pad at his feet to bound to greater heights – useful for hopping up to snag extra gun connector pieces or hidden weapon and ammunition caches. Platforming is all fairly basic, and thankfully you can adjust Sam's position in mid-air, which is particularly helpful in some of the crazier fights where projectiles cloud the sky.
There is a storyline in Double D. Rather than explain it, I'll point out that during one cut-scene Sam says, "Scott Baio is a magical and beautiful man." That makes as much sense out of context as it does in the game. There are a few crude jokes, a few bad ones, and overall a childish sense of humor that fits well with the cartoonishly exaggerated gobs of gore and the fact that Sam runs around with a gun stack that looks suspiciously like and a piece from an X-Wing. In case you hadn't figured it out yet, nothing about this game is meant to be taken seriously. You turn off your brain and blow stuff up. Double D is simple, succinct, and quite a bit of fun.