X-Scape - First Impressions

posted 31 May 2010, 15:21 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 31 May 2010, 15:28 ]
DSiWare | Action / Adventure | Nintendo | 1 Player | Out Now (North America) | 800 Nintendo Points

X-Scape is Q-Games' latest DSiWare project and it's guaranteed to be a memorable experience for all who give it a go. Plays will pilot a futuristic ship known as the VIXIV which features two different formations for ground and aerial assaults. You'll journey to multiple planets to uncover a mysterious story about an evil empire that has sprung into action. 

At its roots, the game contains two different main phases: free-movement mode and tunnel mode. In free-movement, players traverse a 3D space full of polygonal structures, locating Power Crystals and defeating meancing enemies. The first-person camera is great and the controls take about 10 minutes to get used to before you'll notice yourself improving. By default, movement is mapped to the touch screen with button presses allowing you to fire at opponents. But if you so desire, you can try D-Pad movement or even inverse controls if you're used to that sort of thing. 

As you meet certain conditions, you'll open up Warp Gates that will allow you to travel to other planets connected to one another. And this is where the second phase comes into play. Tunnel mode is somewhat reminiscent of AiRace: Tunnel. Here you have a given time limit to make it to the end of the tunnel, before your ship's shields give out. More time can be acquired by defeating enemies and shooting floating time icons. You'll also need to dodge traps which can sometimes come by surprise. But these fast segments are great.

As you defeat enemies on the normal battlefield, they'll release energy cubes that can be picked up by getting close or going over them. These will add points to your cumulative score and, as you achieve a certain amount of points, your Rank will level up. When this occurs, you'll be able to upgrade your vehicle by means of three diffferent attributes: Shot Power, Shot Speed, and Shields. It's important that you remain conscious of your rank as you play, because you may not be able to advance to certain warp gates if your level is insufficient. 

The game is quite a looker and you can easily liken much of the game's premise to sharing roots with the Starfox series. It's pretty cool how each planet has its own special motif and colour, and this even translates into how you see all the action on-screen and what your control panel looks like on the touch screen. I'm already a few hours in and I can already see this is definitely worth the 800 Points. Stay tuned for a full review of this game, coming soon to Wiiloveit.com!