Thing Thing Arena Pro – The Thing Thing series is back with its arena-style sequel of style and murderous sophistication
High Expectations Flash Gamer
From the many years spent hunched over a keyboard that gets cleaned once a year at most, I have learnt that there is no greater source of video gaming happiness than the first-person shooter genre. During this time spent (or misspent)staring at computer screens and eroding my retinas in a very slow but very definite way, I also came to realise that the only type of game that can bring an almost equal amount of happiness your way is the third-person shooter kind, which is exactly the genre that Thing Thing Arena Pro prides itself on being part of. The Thing Thing flash games have always been a great source of entertainment, allowing you control of a character with guns that weaves his way through a storyline; the Thing Thing Arena games simply took away the storyline aspect and threw in timed levels with infinite numbers of re-spawning enemies to kill whilst meeting certain criteria. It’s been a long enough wait since Thing Thing Arena 3, so what cards does this fourth bullet-heavy killing frenzy have in the metaphorical game of poker that is the production of a sequel for high-expectations fans everywhere?
Fluid Motion of Familiar Action
There are arenas galore in Diseased Productions’ latest offering, and by galore I really mean five arenas of varying design and with multiple mission objectives to complete. The game looks and feels like it always has done: smooth, fluid, and extremely professional in its gameplay physics and mechanics, which is an essential trait in any successful third-person shooter. The aim of the game is also an arena-shooter norm, with the objective being simply to survive until the clock counts to zero by blasting the life and soul out of every enemy that comes your way. You also have a variety of mission objectives to fulfil in each of the five stages, which should keep you busy enough between the swarms of endlessly-spawning enemies. Controls are the standard WASD configuration with mouse based aiming represented by a crosshair on the screen.
When it comes down to it, the meat of the game is in the weapons upgrades since - and it pains me to say this – the game really doesn’t have anything that is otherwise notably impressive going on. Sure, the weapons are numerous, with various shotguns, pistols, sci-fi rifles, and even a misleadingly-named ‘murder death blaster’ that is actually a harmless BB gun which merely inconveniences the enemy almost coming to the rescue for the game. Unfortunately, the mission objectives, which include things like getting a certain number of headshots or destroying data discs, simply aren’t a substitute for a good, old-fashioned storyline, a feature that made games like Thing Thing 3 such a comparatively fantastic and rich experience. Even the option to customise your character from head to toe doesn’t quite bring the game back from the brink of disappointment. Still, even with these upsets, the game is nonetheless superior to most other shooters out there. You just cannot help but feel that it is plagued with a lack of imagination and drive to be truly different from its predecessor, and is a perfect example of a tragic squandering of a huge quantity of potential.