Saturday, November 14, 2015

SUPERBEAT: XONiC Review (PlayStation Vita)

"To conquer the beats is to conquer oneself"

Genre: Rhythm Game
Developer: Nurijoy
Publisher: PM-Studios

SUPERBEAT: XONiC is a rhythm game that takes the word "rhythm" and "game" into a whole new level. It delivers a brand new experience to new and old rhythm-game players with it's unique and never-before -seen gameplay and mechanics. With Nurijoy, a company formed by the makers of the DJMax series, old and new composers showcase their awesome tracks that will keep you wanting for more.

The game is considered as a sequel and as the spiritual successor of  the DJMax series, a game developed by the now disbanded Pentavision and that they are now called Nurijoy. SUPERBEAT: XONiC is one title that is a must have for everyone and we've got PM-Studios and Acttil to extend our gratitude for bringing us this awesome game to the west. It features the things that you'll ever need for a rhythm game, such as but not limited to: beautifully crafted gameplay, worldwide ranking, varying difficulty levels, effectors and buffs that will modify how the game behaves, and a stunning library of music tracks that will leave you in awe.

As a rhythm game you expect to either push some buttons or to touch the screen but "No", you can actually do both at the same time or one in favor of the other depending on how you handle your play style. The game is a hybrid-mix of the original DJMax and it's Technika series as the hit bars, called as Gears, are on the side (Yes they do!) and where the Notes come from the center (Again, they do!). Before starting a play session you are presented with a choice of effectors to use that will modify how the notes behave thus drastically giving you options to make several note behavioral variations on your current session. The control layout is pretty decent and is pretty much favorable on my case. There's also the DJ Ranking that serves as the game's worldwide leaderboard for you to dash out your skills and compare it to the rest of the world.

It is fully featured in high-definition textures enough for you to be mesmerized by it and can say "I can see everything clearly!," I particularly enjoy staring at the main menu for it's rather complex and  dynamic effects. The entire game interface is laid out in a vivid black and neon colored environment to match a night club-like experience. What I really would want them to add is a gallery section that is missing from the game, a really baffling thing to miss since they add such features on just about any DJMax game back then.

Let's not forget about the awesome tracks that this game has to offer, this game has it all from Easy Listening to the Progressive Metal genre. With the proper gear such as Hi-Fi headphones you can clearly hear how each synth and instrument plays really well complete with proper syncing. Audiophiles may or may not disagree with me but as far as I can see the audio quality is really astounding. The a few new composers joined the crew and also previous composers from the DJMax series is present, particularly the ones whom work's I deeply idolize such as: M2U, NieN, 3rd Coast, Tsukasa, Makou, NDLee, Planetboom and also a surprise even to me is that Ishiwatari Daisuke of Blazblue and Guilty Gear fame is also featured as a composer!

As a long-term rhythm game player, this is the only time that I have seen such play style. Getting used to the controls and layout can be a marring experience at first but the learning curve of this game is not that steep and so I would still recommend players that are just beginning to delve into the world of rhythm games to try out this game. I'd be happy to see another "sequel" for this series and that it would add the features that we, as fans, have been longing to see.

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Gameplay ◆◆◆◆◇
Replayability ◆◆◆◆◇
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SUPERBEAT: XONiC is a game not without flaws but still it remains an awesome title worth picking up. It lives up to it's name as DJMax's spiritual successor but as I see it,  the game needs more improvements such as the one's that I have mentioned for the experience to be much more worth it. Despite such shortcomings, SUPERBEAT: XONiC is game that every rhythm game veterans and beginners alike should have.
Overall Score