The first half decent Live Arcade game in ages, so I bought it. But it is only half decent, unfortunately. It could be really good. It looks lovely, it’s fast and frantic, it lets you start from any level you’ve reached and you unlock hats for performing certain actions. Hats! However, it falls down because it seems to hate the player in a number of ways.

1 – It doesn’t show you your score at the end of a game. As you can’t keep an eye on your score during the game it’s really, really, really annoying.

2 – The PDA games are a very good idea and fun in themselves, but they don’t seem to record how far you got. Nor are there any leaderboards for the single player PDA levels. And the background to game rotates and makes me feel like I’m spinning in space, which is a very unpleasant feeling indeed.

3 – It’s far, far too difficult. It’s stupidly, punishingly difficult. At times it’s fun – normally the fifth time you’ve tried something when you know enough about what’s coming up and there’s a bit of a click and a bit of a flow to everything – but sometimes it’s just horribly frustrating and feels very unfair. There is an easy mode, but it’s not that much easier, really… and enemies release flowers and not blood when they die, which is so shaming that I’m unable to play the game on that setting.

If it didn’t kill you so much and if the interface was just tweaked a little this would be fantastic. As it is, it’s just about worth the cash and not a bad way to spend a few minutes. The thing is, everything that’s felt impossibly difficult and unfair the first time I’ve encountered it has, after I got past it, seemed fairly brutal, yes, but not actually unfair. With foreknowledge, positioning and timing everything so far has been perfectly possible to do without dying…

…but I’m only on level 1-3 and I’m not even sure I’ll much beyond that, at least not any time soon.