Xenoraid is a fast paced vertical scrolling shooter and although still in beta testing, it packs an incredibly enjoyable punch. Based on old classic arcade games which I used to play in the early 90’s it mixes in a modern twist that really works and makes the game so much more enjoyable to play. Most games of this type of genre you just hold down the trigger and spray the entire screen with bullets while dodging incoming fire, however that strategy has been thrown out and the rule book torn up because now your ship has a heat gauge that once filled, stops you firing until a cool down period has elapsed.
Being stuck in a single ship while constantly being under fire trying to avoid everything thrown at you when the guns are overheating every few minutes you would probably start to hate this game but due to it’s modern twist there is an answer. An entire squadron of ships at your disposal which can be switched out on the fly and are completely customisable with a wide selection of class of craft to choose from which is an absolutely fantastic idea to mix up gameplay and the entire experience.
On the control pad which I used each button (Y, X, A & B) denotes a ship at your disposal. Fighter craft can have a machine gun, shotgun style weapon and fitted with missiles, larger ships have large ordinance weapons but are extremely sluggish. You can even have a flame thrower but that heat gauge as mentioned earlier fills up very quickly.
Parts of the game will have the entire screen filled with asteroids which can only be negotiated with a smaller craft, so swapping to a tiny fighter is the best way to tackle this. Still being able to fire off salvos of machine gun fire while weaving through the mass of rocks that are hampering your every movement (and the enemies). Once those asteroids clear and some large ships start prowling then it’s time to switch to a bigger class of vessel. Some cause massive amounts of damage but have a very slow fire rate, great for boss style enemies but dreadful against fast-moving fighters. You’ll be switching and swapping throughout a level to mix up gameplay until the mission is complete. Losing one however is costly financially as well as hampers the mission, as credits earned give you the chance to buy and upgrade you ships.
From the second I started playing this game it had my full attention, it was an incredible experience and I got lost in hours of gameplay. I’ve actually stopped playing the main story mode as I want to play it when the game is finally released, for the most part I’ve now been playing survival mode to challenge myself as more and more enemy’s try and wipe you from existence.
I love indie games in general, you get so many quality games for a small price and this game is no exception. Twin stick shooters and vertical shooters bring me back to my youth and it great that they are still about being given a twist to keep up with modern gaming, I can easily score Xenoraid 10/10. I think it’s fantastic.
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