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  • Writer's pictureFrankieW

Game Review #444: Xeno Crisis (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: WoodmanFLG

Developer: Bitmap Bureau

Publisher: Bitmap Bureau

Category: Arcade, Action

Release Date: 10.28.2019

Price: $19.99

Buy Xeno Crisis from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Classic Arcade Feel

When I first clicked this bad boy on, I was met with the familiar, grimy sound of the SEGA Genesis, and man, I LOVE that specific kind of sound. This game is a celebration of games the likes of Smash TV, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Shock Troopers, and top-down Contra, in that it closely emulates the arcade-like feel of arena shooters, but with a little bit of modern spice in it to keep it together and running smoothly.

This genre, at its core, is similar to the more modern twin-stick shooter, but with a few less options in firing ranges—in this game you can only fire from 8 directions. You can use either the right stick or the buttons on the right side to shoot in the direction corresponding to the button’s edge. You can also dodge-roll—which has the ever-invaluable invincible frames—throw a grenade for big damage, or you can use some melee attacks to create some space! Your main weapon is a heavy duty machine gun with TONS of Ammo, and it is sure to help you mow down the aliens you are fighting in this game. Let's break it down even further, with Xeno Crisis!

Mow ‘Em Down!

In this game, you (or you and a friend!) will take control of one of two marines who have really been through hell and back, but they are stronger for it. It's up to you to find out what happened to this remote outpost that has stopped all correspondence, and to do that, you are going to have to clear room after room of all kinds of different alien baddies; but don’t worry, you have the arsenal to do so!

Your basic machine gun has ammo. It's not infinite, but you can rely on the fact that when you are almost out, ammo will spawn. To get the ammo you are sometimes going to have to pull off some risky maneuvers, so don’t trivialize your ammo management! You are still going to want to try and avoid hitting zero, or else you might end up in a less-than-ideal situation.

The Grenades will help you tackle larger clusters of enemies, but when you really have to mow down some aliens, grabbing a special weapon spawn is going to make a big difference! From gatling guns, homing guns, rocket launchers, and more, your marines have a powerful array of weapons at their disposal, but instead of ammo, these special weapons are tied together by time, so you can feel free to waste all the bullets you want and cause as much damage as you can while you have it, making it feel really empowering, rather than limiting, by not making you watch your shots.

Feeling Powerful

As you go through each of the levels, you will also save survivors that give you big point bonuses; but the important pickup is dog tags! These can be dropped by defeated enemies, and are essential to your survival, because after every level, you will get the chance to spend dog tags on power-ups that will make your life much easier, from health power ups, more speed, more grenades, more damage, and even more, these power ups are going to help you rise up against the increasingly stronger and more complex aliens that you will encounter. There is a good amount of variety with the enemies, along with some of the standard, stronger recolors you would expect to keep you on your feet, and the bosses are a TON of fun! They are all very well-designed and have lots of fun attack patterns for you to learn and master.

Genesis Vibes

This game screams SEGA Genesis, if you ask me, from the sound design to the graphics. It has that classic genesis sound to it, from the music to the awesome-sounding explosions. I absolutely loved listening to this game, and I can see where it draws inspiration, and pays tribute to that material very well. This game was an absolute blast to get into, and I'm enjoying it very much so far, it even has two difficulty modes for even more gameplay! If you love old-style arcade games, or if you are looking for something new, check out Xeno Crisis! I give Xeno Crisis an 8/10.

Score: 8/10

Buy Xeno Crisis from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*A game code was provided for review purposes.

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