Arena gaming has always been a genre of notable popularity amongst fans of shooting games. It might be something to do with the non-stop action that arena shooters have as part of their format, or perhaps the collection of guns that can be amassed over the course of the game, or even the range of objectives that are often laid out at the beginning of each arena level, providing some challenging targets for the player to meet. More likely than any one of these single features being the sole reason for the genre's popularity is the amalgamation of these features into one well-designed, well-executed, and (as a result of these features) hugely popular game. No series of games fulfils the aforementioned criteria as well as the Thing Thing series, and Thing Thing Arena Pro is the latest arena-based shooter of the saga to hit the flash gaming world.
Thing Thing Arena 3 was until recently the latest and best arena shooter game in the series, but this latest game has pro status, and I'm sure Diseased Productions are hoping that it is going to be as well received as its predecessor. The gameplay hasn't ever really changed in any dramatic way over the series, and Thing Thing Arena Pro is no exception. The premise is still for you to take control of your very own customisable character (both his appearance and weapons can be swapped out at your leisure) and play through a series of levels or 'arenas' where will encounter enemies that spawn on a repeated basis until the time runs out. As well as making it through each level alive, there is also a series of other objectives for you to fulfil throughout each level as well.
The gameplay itself is extremely well-executed as has always been the way in the Thing Thing series. The movement of your character, the feel of the weapons, and the physics in general are extremely well refined and feel as smooth as you could hope for in a flash-based game. The variety of weapons is also reasonably generous, with new weapons being unlocked as you complete objectives and work your way through the levels.
The objectives also give you some purpose in the levels instead of simply being required to survive each one. The tasks to complete include destroying data discs, collecting certain items, and getting a certain quantity of headshots during each match. It must be said that achieving all of these objectives within the time frames expected of you is a little unrealistic, however, since you also have to concern yourself with staying alive as well as chasing after these goal-related distractions.
Thing Thing Arena Pro doesn't really signify a culmination of the greatness of its predecessors since the gameplay isn't really all that different, and the lack of storyline in favour of simple and seemingly unrelated objectives will always mean the arena games will fall short of the normal, storyline-following games in the series. This still has a considerable number of weapons to keep you entertained with, though, and the challenge of meeting all of the objectives will keep players occupied for a good while as well.