Xeodrifter

8.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 9/10

8-Bit Metroid Homage | Great Pacing | Spot-On Controls

On the Short Side | Similar Boss Sprites

Game Info

GAME NAME: Xeodrifter

DEVELOPER(S): Renegade Kid

PUBLISHER(S): Renegade Kid

PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS

GENRE(S): Metroidvania

RELEASE DATE(S): December 11th, 2014

Renegade Kid is a developer that I hold in a high regard.  After playing their previous efforts such as Dementium, Moon Chronicles and Mutant Mudds, I find myself anticipating their next announcement and game release like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning.  Their latest title, Xeodrifter, is a beautifully crafted homage to my favorite Nintendo franchise Metroid and manages to capture the look and feel of an 8-bit title but with enough innovative gameplay elements to make it stand out as new.

Xeodrifter2

Xeodrifter, like other titles from it’s 8-bit roots, doesn’t really boast too much of a story.  You play as a space traveler (which according to the Nintendo product page is a He, so no Samus surprise here!) who gets stuck in a solar system of four different planets when his ship is struck by an asteroid and the warp drive fails.  You are left with the ability to still fly between the different worlds but not able to leave the system.  In the style of the titles of old that it mimics, you are left with no hand holding or direction to go at first.  I used the little rectangular blocks in the windows of the maps to decide where to go, which seemed to work in my benefit.

The gameplay is very reminiscent of Metroid in many ways.  You have a blaster and can jump and also collect weapon upgrades and health pack boosts.  Some of the upgrades are well hidden and require some extra wall hugging, while others will require you to have the abilities earned from beating the boss characters.  Each boss character is marked on the world’s maps and exploring the corridors will lead you to them.  Your progress is hindered until you earn certain upgrades which helps push you in the right direction.  One complaint I have is that while the boss battles are fun and require you to learn the patterns of their movements, all the boss character sprites are exactly the same.  Some of the upgrades you will earn from beating the boss chatacters are a submarine, jetpack, the ability to warp through walls and more.  The one ability that I thought was great was the ability to jump between the foreground and the background.  This felt like an homage to one of Renegade Kid’s games Mutant Mudds.  There was also a few Easter Eggs placed in the game that refer to Mutant Mudds which is pretty rad.

Xeodrifter1

The difficulty level of Xeodrifter is balls tough.  There are these moth-like flying creatures that made me want to throw my 3DS into the ground as hard as I could on multiple occasions.  Fortunately, I kept at it and the reward of seeing the credits roll was so worth it.   For an experienced gamer the difficulty is just right, but a noob may feel the challenge as too much to bear.  But I say to hell with the noobs and bring the pain!  The interface at the bottom displays maps of all 4 planets and also is used for your weapon power up disbursement.  You can save 3 different version of how you load out your main weapon.  It also has an on/off button for your solar gun.

Xeodrifter’s graphic style looks like a game straight off of the Nintendo Entertainment System.  I love the throwback look from several games this year including Shovel Knight.  The 3D effect on this game works extremely well as you jump between the different viewing levels it actually feels like you are going from one plane to the other.  The chiptune soundtrack is perfectly fitting for the game and has some really memorable jams.

The Recomendation

As with Renegade Kid’s previous titles, this game is an easy recommendation to those people who love retro games.  If you own a Nintendo 3DS, do yourself a favor and buy this game as it is another instant hit from this great developer.  While not a perfect game, it does get the feel of a Metroidvania title down, has some clever gadgets to expand the levels and feels like a throwback in more then one way.  The title has me wanting more and has Treasurenauts as being one of my most anticipated games of 2015.

 

 

Summary

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Author: Anthony View all posts by
I'm somewhat of a gaming relic Google+ Author