Graphics: The Graphics are VERY good for Xbox Live Arcade and very clean. I think they pop a little bit more when the colored team shading is not on, but the convenience of identifying the different teams was not worth leaving off for me. The bugs all move differently and are well animated…Maal walks along, Grasshopper’s hop, etc. The thing that really pops about the graphics and presentation are the large 2D pictures of each bug when they talk in the campaign. It’s fabulous. I love the 2D style in this game.
Gameplay: So far, the campaign story is pretty interesting…it’s amazing that this game is only $10. You can instantly see the time/effort that went into the game and it’s a full-fledged game and not just a flimsy little Arcade title. The gameplay is instantly reminiscent of Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, etc. I wish there was some sort of weapon triangle like Fire Emblem (Sword beats Axe beats Spear beats Sword) but if there is, it was not explained in the Tutorial and Training missions. I guess that’s where the casual steps in. I have to admit that I love the back and forth of the rounds instead of entire turns where you move all your characters. It’s very Action/RPG and works really well to keep the game moving. Surely it will be a blessing in Multiplayer (when I get around to playing it).
Sound/Music: Don’t have much to say about this except that the voices/gibberish that each bug speaks in is so great. If you don’t have voicework, this is an absolute must and just livens up the whole story presentation and 1 player campaign. Sound effects are very good, and I like the hop sounds of the Grasshopper as he bounds around. Haven’t really taken a moment to listen to the music, but it fit the theme of the game and didn’t overtly stand out as bad, quirky or weird.
Lasting Appeal: Haven’t been playing it that long, but I can already tell that there is a lot to do in the game. Ultimately if multiplayer delivers this game will have incredible lasting appeal with the level editor and all. I’m a huge fan of multiplayer, but want to learn as much of the rope as possible before I delve in and get my ass whooped. I hope to run into the Ninja Bee in the game very soon and congratulations to Ninjabee the development team on another great game for the Xbox Live Arcade.