Xenoraid is a vertical scrolling shoot ’em up that has a mix of classic action and modern features, with dynamic enemy spawning, upgrade-able weapons and tech and four fighters to switch between while playing. Should Xenoraid blast its way onto your game list? Read our review below to find out..
At first glance Xenoraid looks like a generic vertical scrolling shooter, but once you get into it there’s a little more than mindless shooting. You have control over 4 fighters that you switch between while playing using the A,B,X,Y buttons. Not so much a choice, but a necessity. Weapons quite easily overheat if you’re not careful, as well as your secondary fire being limited you can quite often find yourself a sitting duck for the A.I. Switching to another fighter is also handy if you find yourself in a tight spot and can be used as a nifty ‘dodge’ technique.
there’s also a bit of depth in keeping your squad alive, with credits that can be collected while playing you can upgrade and repair your ships in the fighter bay, and purchase overall squad upgrades in the tech lab between each level, or if you do happen to lose one of your fighters during combat you can purchase another ship. Obviously you’ll want to avoid spending credits on repairs etc. as this takes away from being able to upgrade your fire power, meaning there’s a bit of management and thought required about what to spend your credits on and when.
There’s 40+ levels to the campaign mode split into 5 campaigns with each increasing in difficulty. You’ll find that the aforementioned switching of fighters becomes a lot more strategic later in the game, not only to keep them alive but also using each fighters unique weapons in combination with each other to battle your way through the level. Another element of the gameplay that takes some getting used to is the ‘sway’ of your ships as you move around the screen, in turn this points your weapons at 45 degree angles as you move left and right, and can lead to frustration at times, especially while firing secondary weapons.
Aside the main enemies that spawn in various types and sizes, the game also throws in obstacles now and then in the form of asteroids. These can become either a hindrance or a saviour depending on how and when they spawn in relation to what else is going on on screen. The A.I. seem to not navigate them so well and will often crash into them if they’re in their flight path. You can also shoot the asteroids and alter their trajectory even destroy them, some will appear that have either yellow or blue markings on them, Yellow asteroids are explosive and can be used to your advantage if they’re in the right place at the right time, but are best left well alone. Blue asteroids will drop credit bonuses if destroyed.
Enemies will also spawn differently each time you play, more noticeable and welcomed in the Survival mode which stops the game becoming about remembering when and where enemies spawn and makes it more about overall skill. This keeps the game fresh, although alongside its difficulty may become a frustration to more casual gamers. Xenoraid also features 4 player local co-op in both campaign and survival where each player takes control of one of the 4 fighters and are on the screen at the same time. Visually the game has a nice art style, it wont blow you away and can seem a little generic, but it’s clean looking and does the job well. the audio is pretty much the same, it wont blow you away, but it does the job and fits the game’s overall style well.