Occasionally, I see a game that looks really cool and I think “Hey that will be a fun game to review”, even if I am not 100% sure how the game will work. SUPERBEAT : XONiC by PM Studios, INC is the latest game to catch my eye and say play me. It is a rhythm game that utilizes the basic controller instead of a plastic guitar or a dance mat – and when I say it uses your controller, I mean it uses almost every button on there.
You play the part of a DJ and it is up to you to add in key sounds to each song and keep the beat. As the notes come toward the screen, you have to try and match where it lands with the correct button, control stick or D-pad input. String enough notes together and you will be racking up the points with a huge combo. Miss a note and your combo drops to 0 and your score will suffer.
When you first fire up the game you will go through a short tutorial that explains all the controls. Once completed, you will move on to the easiest of the difficulties 4 Trax. This denotes that the incoming notes can only land in 4 spots – 2 on each side. Once you complete that playlist you will unlock 6 Trax, then 6 Trax FX. 6 Trax adds another area on each side, and 6 Trax FX adds even more notes to hit. There is even a Freestyle mode if you want to just take it easy for a while.
There are dozens of songs for you to play. And the music is really the star of this game. Songs bridge every genre that you can think of, but most seem to be Japanese artists, so don’t expect any Top 40 tunes on the play lists. One thing that I found a bit disappointing was that the beat you provide for the songs doesn’t seem to fit in well with the music. You start with a snare drum, but as you progress through the game you earn new key sounds like a dog barking and other odd tones. This tends to detract from the music.
The graphics can be very mesmerizing. The backgrounds are psychedelic and will have you wondering if someone slipped something into your drink when you weren’t looking. You will delight in the varying waves of color that fill the screen behind the waves of notes that you have to grab.
This is not a game for casual gamers. It takes some serious hand – eye co-ordination to get the high level combos needed for good rankings. While you can control the speed of the notes, juggling the controls and trying to hit notes that are flying at you on both sides of the screen. Luckily, the more you play the easier it gets, but the beginning frustration may turn some players off.
SUPERBEAT : XONiC is out now on XB1 and will fill the void in your collection for rhythm games. You can add it to your games for $39.99.