There was a time when shooters were one of the dominant genres in console gaming. Not first person shooters, but the kind in which you are given a ship with a weapon or two and then challenged to fend off hordes of attackers sent at you from every imaginable direction. But that was back in the days of 2D graphics and the genre has not been able to make the transition into the world of 3D gaming. Xyanide attempts to bridge this gap by putting the 2D gaming into a 3D environment, but the result is less of a 3D shooter than it is a 2D game with a disorienting background…
Xyanide starts off interestingly enough with a very long cutscene that sets up a hard to follow storyline that serves as justification for you taking to a ship and blasting a million things thrown your way. The gist of it is that a space witch has been sentenced to die for her crimes, but at the moment of execution she is saved by an errant meteorite that manages to set her free and increase her powers. She gains the ability to bend reality to her will and you must put an end to her by fighting your way through the worlds of her making. Sounds potentially cool, but its unfortunate that this particular witch has a very limited imagination. There are only six levels in the game, but the first four are virtually identical as are the last two. Worse yet, the camera swings around a lot on its own to give you the illusion that you’re fighting through 3D space, but unfortunately the headache you’ll get from staring at the spinning backgrounds for too long is not an illusion .Your attackers are a generic collection of spaceship-looking things with pretty straight-forward attacks of trying to run into you or dropping energy bolts in your path. The boss battles ratchet up the excitement a few notches, but there’s an awful lot of monotony to get through between boss fights.
The game does have some positives in that the control scheme is pretty responsive. It uses a two stick system ala Robotron in which the left stick moves your ship while the other fires in the direction in which you point it. You can switch to a missile launcher by selecting the right trigger, but the lock-on system for the missile is awkward to use and you’ll probably find yourself running into one enemy while trying to launch a missile at another.
It’s not easy to recommend this game to anyone but the biggest fan of old-style shooters. Even if you fall into this category, you’ll probably find yourself wishing that there was more variety or imagination to the game. I’d advise you to give it a rental first before committing your hard-earned money to it.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 60%. Xyanide will have trouble holding your interest and you may have trouble holding your lunch.