Xtype Plus My Arsehole

Was feeling a bit adventurous tonight and I thought I’d try a new game. I also had a surplus of My Nintendo coins to get rid of. After redeeming a 3DS theme I noticed Xtype Plus was 50% off! The game was now $2, and basically free, right? May as well, right? I like arcade games and it might prove to be an addictive score-chaser. Just a bit of fun to compliment my night.

Nah.

Xtype Plus is a low budget, low effort game not worth anyone’s time or money.

xtypeshit

This is the entire game. Not just a level or mode, but all of it. You destroy this thing in Stage 1, and it reforms with one extra block or a slightly different random pattern for Stage 2. Repeat this cycle for 30 more stages. The background never changes, the music never changes, and the bullets always fly off in the same circle. To its credit, the controls work. Left stick moves that square thing (apparently a ship), right stick shoots, and the R button fires a pulse in the Time Trial “Plus” mode. Oh, Plus, a second mode? It’s exactly the same thing as “Classic” except with a timer instead of a score. Shoot stuff to increase the timer instead. Just look up on the screenshot, and you’ll see the score and time happening at once in the top corners of the screen. Two modes right there, people. What a bargain.

xtypedownload

Here’s a completely different level, 8 stages later. You can see the stage has just become a clusterfuck of shit, and the more you play the less you actually want to survive. The most difficult part of this game is the mental battle over what else you could be doing with your time. Death is a sweet release as I now try to figure out which menu option is actually selected. The white one, or the orange one? This is lower than my best score so I don’t want to upload it. Let’s move the cursor. Hello? There it goes, it somehow has a second of input lag. Now Back To Title is orange and I’m pretty sure that’s where we’re going?

xtypemenu

Nice! We made it back to the menu. It’s got Highscores but they seem to be glitched. Not just because highscores isn’t a word, but for some reason the top players have a lower score than the rest and you can’t scroll up or down. Options works however, and allows you to adjust both the sound and music volume independently.

So it’s just an average game right, what’s the big deal man? Just a bit of arcade fun, go easy on it.

Sure, I enjoyed about 20 minutes of it. MAYBE that’s worth 2 dollars, I’m not too interested in defining the value. The questionable thing about this game to me is that it got good reviews. Not just serviceable, but 8 out of 10 from two major Nintendo websites. I think the controls are functional and bullet-hell fans will enjoy figuring out the game’s one pattern, but it would be dishonest of me to recommend it.

Before shitting on these critics, let me tell you about the music. Scattered beeps, a bassline that sounds like overdriven static, and the same generic drum beat you can find built-in with music program tutorials. It’s like somebody loaded up Untitled3 on KORG Basic and mashed the digital keypad. Copy and paste for 8 bars, export as a low bit rate .mp3 file, and you have a videogame soundtrack. You can listen to the same music in the trailer and see if you agree with my assessment. Imagine that for 10 minutes while you are attempting skillful gameplay.

Now here’s a fucking gem from Nintendo-Life’s review.

“Shmups tend to pride themselves on their music, and XType delivers in spades; in many ways it’s reminiscent of Kenji Yamamoto’s groundbreaking electronic soundtrack for Metroid Prime, albeit with a decidedly more beat-heavy feel for optimum rockitude while you blast spaceships into oblivion.”

METROID FUCKING PRIME. ARE YOU DEAF, MATE?

This MORON name-drops both the Xtype Plus composer and developer’s names like they are best buddies. He also praises the game for using buttons, functioning on a console, and having “no clutter”. This is not a review. It’s completely dishonest, weasel-like wordplay to virally advertise a game you have connections with. I don’t fucking care if this guy came from the HTML5 ghetto or how popular his geocities site was back in the day. It’s a crap game.

To be fair on this hack at Nintendo-Life, Nintendo World Report have an equally dishonest review.

What I truly loved about XType Plus is how the game looked. It is a simple yet neat looking neon style, giving it great visual appeal. Add to that the electronic soundtrack that is heart pounding and the game really comes together.

Boot up Microsoft Excel and bang some tin cans together, and you have a heart-pounding experience that rivals Xtype Plus. I can not fucking believe anyone could say that with a straight face. This is why nobody takes reviews seriously anymore, there are no standards when shit like this is considered as good as Metroid Prime. The reception of videogames has become too confusing and it hurts every single Indie game. I don’t see any of these two reviewers on the leaderboard either, which either means the game is too broken to register them properly, or they played less than me. A single day’s gameplay would have led to a more informed review than those PR sheets. The game itself didn’t bother me too much, but these reviews really pissed me off.

A game being cheap does not mean it is immune to standards. I can forgive low budget, plain graphics as long as they had some kind of vision like the excellent Gunman Clive. But this, I don’t even know. What even goes through a developer’s head making this? How do you motivate yourself? It just sucks that they wasted the opportunity to create a game out of this, because the controls work. Change the colour of the background, care about the music, write a one-page story scenario, and you have something at least. Some kind of reason for people to play your game. If you can’t do these things then why are you in videogame development?

Xtype Plus feels more like a business venture than a game. Cool name with an “edgy” X for no reason, online leaderboards that don’t work for the sake of having a “feature”, and no level, sound or graphical design. It’s a generic PC project they thought they could sell to the desperate Wii U crowd with a “Plus” at the end. It appears some people on the Miiverse had fun with it, but they all posted scores worse than mine as well. I recommend this game if you want to spend a few minutes pressing buttons in a videogame that exists. 8 out of 10.

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