Superbeat: XONiCOverview -
Rhythm games are coming into a bit of a renaissance. In addition to a goodly amount of Japanese games being localized that bring a variety of playstyles for gamers to enjoy, the much-awaited return of the likes of 'Rock Band' and 'Guitar Hero' are threatening to repeat the revival of the genre that happened when 'Guitar Hero' first released in 2006.
However, there has been a certain area of the modern rhythm genre has been ignoring. This is the area that is occupied by the like of 'Beatmania', 'Pop'n Music', and even 'Dance Dance Revolution', a mode arcade oriented rhythm experience. 'Superbeat: XONiC' is looking to fill this sizeable gap in the modern market, and looking to build on the success of 2009's 'DJ Max Fever.'
Some might find 'Superbeat: XONiC's' old-school, clearly arcade inspired art style nostalgic, but I personally find it a bit garish and not too pretty. The bright colors can help to identify the notes flying across the screen, but the overly bright and busy menus, and lackluster backgrounds that play during tracks bring down the whole experience. While the decidedly neon colored style reminds me a lot of older 'Dance Dance Revolution' titles, it also reminds me of the aspect I liked least about those titles. However, it's at least clear what audience 'Superbeat: XONiC' is going for, as the art style caters to those yearning for the glory days of such titles.
A rhythm game's greatest asset is, of course, its tracklist, and on that aspect 'Superbeat: XONiC' offers a both robust and varied soundtrack. Unlike a lot of rhythm games, which may focus on one or two genres, this title has a whole slew of genres represented, from dance to hard rock to techno to even classical music. The quality is overall quite good too, with most of the music being good to both listen and tap along to.
'Superbeat: XONiC' is not a bad game, but it doesn't even try to appeal to everyone. The steep and brutal learning curve can scare many away, with only the DL portraits to help allivate some of the difficulty. Then again, this isn't for the average rhythm gamer, this is more for those that wish that the tough arcade titles of yesteryear would make a return… and in that aspect, 'Superbeat: XONiC wonderfully fills that niche.
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