Publisher: Tik Games Developer: WXP Games Genre: Shooter Mode(s): Single-player Price: 800MSP Launch Date: 16th November 2011
Xotic is a first person shooter which looks reminiscent of the same style of games back in the old days. It boasts bright vibrant colours and arcade style fast paced action. But is Xotic really all it is meant to be, or is it just another arcade shooter that will fade away too quickly? Read our definitive review to find out. Game-play - 7 When you first boot up Xotic, you are met with a menu which is reminiscent of games such as Quake, or even old arcade machine games. The premise of Xotic is very simple. You have to shoot plants and enemies in order to clear enemies out and terraform the map. There are a total of four sections, in which there are numerous levels which you must unlock by playing levels in different sections. As stated above the aim is to shoot plants and enemies, both of which give you points. The bigger your combo becomes, the better your score will be at the end of the level. Whenever you shoot a plant or kill an enemy they will drop some orbs, these give you even more points. Along side the shooting, you have modifiers which you can pick up. These include double points, regenerating health and speed shooting. The closest to a story that the game has is the introduction cut scene, after that you are left to go through each level. The scores per level go straight onto the leader boards where you can see how well you did compared to people near you or around the world. It's the leader boards which offer the most sadly, as the game is repetitive, while the scoring adds a certain level of competition to the experience. The bonus rounds see you focused on certain objectives, be it fighting enemies or just a level full of scab plants to destroy. These come every few levels to offer up something different, but again, once you have completed a few levels, even with changing the level layout, the game does become repetitive quickly. Each level does have objectives, which are usually to complete the level within a certain time limit and to have cleared a majority of plants. Completing objectives gives you points which can be spent on upgrades for the character itself or the weaponry. Some of these upgrades include more health and energy, and different types of attacks to ultimately try to make the game easier. The game also features 3 difficulties which are easy, medium and hard. The major difference is that the enemies will be stronger, and the multiplier at the end of a level will be higher. After testing these difficulties out however, you can die just as quickly on easy as you can on medium, and the games enemies get in quite a few lucky shots which can take most of your health away. I have to be honest and say that this game isn't going to be suited for everyone. Some people might enjoy the experience this game can provide, while others will feel like it is the exact same thing just on a different level set up. This is down to the player though, not the game.

Graphics - 7 The graphics that come with the game are bright and vibrant, similar to how bright some aspects of Dungeon Defenders were. It is a colourful explosion which can be eye pleasing for most. The games level designs are also interesting to look at and thankfully most levels differ in set up than the previous. Being bright, not as much detail was needed for the gems and plants, so what about the enemies? Well they are detailed enough to make out some facial features, but each area has their own enemies. The ones in the first area look like small grey aliens, almost featureless. Whereas the second areas enemies include more facial details and clothing, showing differences per area like the colour schemes do. A good thing about the graphics is that they are consistent. Despite the level set up changing per level, the overall colour scheme stays true to its area, this continuation is good to see in an arcade title, as some games will abandon continuality in their styles. Sound - 7 The first noticeable sound that you come across is when you boot up a new game is the narrator's voice. This sounds like a cross between a Dalek and a Cyberman. This voice can become slightly annoying. Thankfully, this is short and you are then put into the game itself. When you fire your weapon, the noise is like a soft zapping noise, which fits perfectly with the style of laser that comes out. This also fits perfectly with the bulbous popping noise that the scab plants make when they explode after being hit or part of a chain. Likewise, the enemies have weapons that make the soft zap noise, but they also scream if they are attacked which is a nice touch. Every now and then you will pick up a modifier, which makes the narrator chime in saying the name of the modifier as it comes up on screen. It will also chime in when you do an Aerial combo or hit the special gems littered throughout the game. As for the background music, at times it sounds like a peaceful soft futuristic dance beat, but again this can eventually become repetitive just as the levels do. But this is a game which is an acquired taste and some might love the sounds the game provides.

Achievements - 8 The achievement list in Xotic is like a mixed bag. On one hand you have some which you can get within the first few levels, such as performing an Aerial Combo or 10 Aerial Combos in one level. Some which at first sound time consuming come extremely quickly, such as destroying 1000 Scab Plants. On the other hand you have the harder achievements, which include things such as earning a 5 star rank on ever level on the hard difficulty and destroying all plants in a level in a single chain on at least 15 different levels. These harder ones could take some time to achieve, but will be worth it when they finally pop up. Something that is quite refreshing to see in an achievement list however is that other than the 5 star each level on hard, there isn't achievements for completing the game on each difficulty, or an achievement for completing each area that the game offers. Conclusion Xotic is definitely an acquired taste, and it will not be for everyone. While its style looks like Quake, it is a game that sees you ultimately shooting at for the most part, non moving targets. It gets repetitive quickly, and can become boring if this isn't your type of game. For fans of the classic shooters though, this will probably be a good purchase.


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