Friday, 27 May 2016
Developed by Renegade Kid in 2011 and released on a whole bunch of systems and PC, Xeodrifter is basically Metroid and because of that this review of the game will probably be quite short. Don't get me wrong, it's not an exact clone but for the most part it's the same deal where you fly around different planets, fighting these big alien creatures that look similar to each other and collecting power ups that allow you to explore the world and collect upgrades. But being a clone of Metroid isn't a bad thing, Metroid is a great game so if there's anything to use as a template for your indie release then that's a good idea.
When the game starts out you have a map with 4 planets and a small space ship that gets messed up and needs a new warp drive or something. It's then up to you to explore the 4 surrounding planets, collect power ups and find a new core for your ship so you can go home. The game starts you off with 3 dots of health and a little pea shooter gun and just lets you explore freely. What you'll find rather quickly is that a lot of the areas are off limits due to your lack of abilities and it's also really easy to die.
Very quickly though you fight a boss, get a power and the world starts to open up a little. From there you can find secrets that will lead to health upgrades and gun upgrades which will make your shitty little gun shoot faster, stronger, in a spread or in a wave. The only upgrades for the gun that I actually used were the speed and power upgrades and once they were maxed I felt like a complete power house but I'm sure people with different play styles could make use of all the other upgrade paths as you can add and take points from them freely at any time.
While it's a fun game there are a few complaints that I have, the length being my major issue. The game is REALLY short, you could probably finish it on a lazy Sunday afternoon if you were willing to sink that much time into a single session and it's a little lacking in replay value. Backtracking through levels can also be a little tedious as well and it's easy to lose concentration through an old area with weak enemies and end up dying because you're just not paying attention. My final complaint is that all the bosses are the same
That said though, these complaints aren't enough to spoil what is actually a really fun little game. While Metroid can feel a bit oppressive in its design Xeodrifter feels comfy and relaxing. If you want an intense alien killing, exploration focused experience then maybe stick to Metroid but if you're looking for something fun and relaxing to kill some time with the Xeodrifter might be the game for you.