Xenoraid is an interesting game in that it exists within the bullet hell genre while managing to avoid feeling too repetitive for relying on many of the common aspects of the genre. Sure, it’ll feel familiar to other hallmark titles in the genre at times but it’s worth pointing out that it remains fresh and its own game at the same time. The shooting feels more intentional and meaningful this time around and the customization and mission based setting helps keep it feeling varied enough to keep me interested – as opposed to just holding a button and playing dodgeball with bullets.
At its core, Xenoraid is certainly a bullet hell shooter, but the emphasis is less on hell and difficulty and more on maneuvering, strategy and keeping your ships in tip top shape. I never felt overwhelmed in terms of quantity. I did experience difficulty at times but for different reasons. It was normally due to my ignorance and not paying enough attention. Weapons can overheat if you just hold the key down and ships can also slip out of your range and off screen if you pay too much attention to firing shots and not enough to traversing through space and maneuvering around enemies. Xenoraid is all about paying attention and reacting correctly and not necessarily immediately. It isn’t really a twitch based or reaction based shooter. This, for me, is what separates it from so many other games in the genre. I love Galaga and games like it, such as Ikaruga but there comes a point where they begin to blend together and that can be a bit numbing. Great games can be great fundamentally while still managing to be repetitive or stale and this is certainly something that Xenoraid avoids overall.
Xenoraid is a fun and engaging game that I had a lot of fun with. I typically played it in short bursts for about twenty or thirty minutes and it was a nice release from a world filled with exhaustively huge games. I enjoy a nice bite sized release in between bigger games. At its best, Xenoraid is a great bullet hell shooter that will surely pull anyone in that is willing to get lost for about an hour at a time and it is sure to keep them coming back for more. The customization options are a nice change of pace from other bullet hell games as well. It’s nice being able to customize your ships and change how they fare in combat. That’s right. I said ships; Xenoraid allows you to have multiple ships that you can quickly swap in and out from which is nice, especially if one of your ships begins to take too much damage or you just want to approach the battle from a different angle, or with different weapons.
Sound effects are important to me because they can compliment an already great experience or distract from what the rest of the game is trying to achieve. Xenoraid features responsive and satisfying sound effects that will cause you to enjoy rapidly tapping that control key. The sound department isn’t revolutionary but it gets the job done and helps maintain an already great experience. The music isn’t bad either but it can be forgettable at times. I will admit that I had other music playing in the background a lot of the time. The gameplay is absolutely solid though. It just tends to go better with other music in my opinion. It’s not bad or anything though. It just isn’t anything to write home about and I should know … Every time I play a game with kicking tunes I write a letter about it and mail it straight home. In other totally real news, Xenoraid has full controller support, but fear not keyboard lovers, it controls great either way. I personally enjoyed it with a controller more but I usually only use keyboard & mouse for first person games and a few other random games. You can customize the controls to your liking either way though, so you won’t be able to blame any of your deaths on the controls.
Xenoraid is a gem of a game and I am looking forward to its full release. I’m also curious to see whether the developer is going to be adding or changing anything between now and then. I can confidently recommend it in its current state but certainly wouldn’t complain if anything else were to be added before its official release. I know that it will be a worthy addition to anyone that wants to add a fun game to their Steam library that adds some twists and turns to a genre that can sometimes feel crowded and stale. The developer is also considering adding this game to consoles and maybe even the PS Vita, which is certainly exciting. This game is great at my desk and I know it’d be just as much fun at red lights or at work. And by that I mean while I’m on my lunch break or the checkout lane. Make sure you keep it right here at Bagogames to see our full review when the final product releases and we’ll let you know if anything changes – either for better or worse!