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 Post subject: X-Force Genesis (XB1 - X|S - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:17 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 676
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base

I've decided to spare the forum from all the trash that Webnetic and Breakthrough Gaming could throw at this world, since the best option is to ignore them. Not to mention that sooner or later reviewing all of them will be like repeating myself.
Time to check one of those trash shmups that slip back and forth across the thin line of "Shovelware" and "Complete Trash", and X-Force Genesis is one of those games.

Today's special: Another mindless space shootout.

X-Force Genesis is a basic vertical shmup that has a curious mechanic system: Rather than shooting with the traditional console buttons, it uses the Left Bumper to activate an auto-fire, allowing you to move while shooting without holding the fire button kinda like the Vulcan in the Genesis port of After Burner II. The only problem with your main shot is that your ship fires straight, and this game throws you enemies from the sides, making a full-frontal vulcan not too reliable. While most of these simple games throw you with the "basic bomb" to address this issue, X-Force Genesis grants you four special attacks: The "TURRET BULLET" (X button) summons three drones that shoot a relentless stream of three way shots per drone, combined with a swing function similar to the Swing Vulcan from Raiden V, making them very useful to clear a mission with a 99% kill rate (I'll explain this in a moment) and even keep you away from danger. The second subweapon called "PULSE BOMB" (A button) is your basic flash that destroys everything on screen, making this useful against tight bullet patterns more than killing enemies. The "TURRET MISSILE" (Y button) summons three drones locked in place that shoot a volley of missiles which may have homing capabilities (this randomness is described as "Some of them will pursue the enemies", and finally, the "LASER DRONE" (B button) which deploys two drones on the sides of your ship that shoots red beams that causes great damages, but here's a catch: They move along with the ship unlike the Turret Bullet ones that are locked on place. More than being extremely generous with this weapon array, it will be essential for surviving the game, especially on the higher difficulty levels since the game increases their health. You are also given a temporary faster fire-rate item and temporary power-up that makes the bullets even stronger. In this temporary arsenal of power ups you are also given side pods that you can control their angle with the Left Trigger, but they have "auto-centering" as they'll return to their default full frontal angle making you to press the LT in order to destroy the enemies on your sides.

This is gonna be a short ride.

The game isn't too long as the whole campaign is just comprised in 5 stages and four of them have boss fights. Stage 3 is just a mindless level navigation where you only have to worry about not letting the enemy escape for the sake of clearing the objectives.

These are the infamous requirements.

Believe it or not, the game features objectives to unlock a higher difficulty and you have to clear ALL of them to unlock the next difficulty, after that you'll have to do it again to unlock the Hard level. The easiest ones are completing the level with 75% of the enemies killed and clearing the stage without using the special weapons. These side-objectives are a credits boost that varies depending on the difficulty selected. For a game that demands a percentage, it should include an indicator on the screen during your mission, but the developers were way too lazy to give you one, forcing you to burn your weapons since like I said before, your main weapon fires frontally.

Mobile defense systems are waiting for your challenge.

Like I said before, the game throws you bosses, but not all the time, and when it does, they can be from too easy to moderate hard, there's two reasons for this spike in difficulty: The first one is being unable to catch a breath after taking a hit (known as "Turrican Syndrome" or like I prefer to call it, "Turridamage"), if a beam from either an enemy or a boss hits you and you're still on the line of fire it will drop all your life to zero, and keep in mind, you only have on life, which means you'll have to start all the level again, and the second is the lack of "Hit Confirmation". Like in Thunder Dragon, you can see your shots hitting the boss, but the boss don't blink to confirm it was effectively damaged. This game suffers from that, the only instance where it "blinks" is when you use the Laser Drone against the boss, but I'm sure it's more of a lighting effect than a damage indication.

Speaking of damages, as you play on Normal and Hard, the game will play shit on you. Like in Sandlot's Earth Defense Force games where climbing the difficulty means increase the damage to your character to almost-instand death, X-Force Genesis does the same thing as one hit or two will suddenly destroy your shields and kill your ship, and to make things worse, the hitbox is the whole ship. With all these problems, ¿Is there a flicker of hope to save the mission? Well, this is where another game features comes to the rescue (If not to "Pick up the pieces").

Worst...Store Layout...Ever.

Either if you complete a stage or die, you can enter to the Upgrade store where you can restock your drones and even increase your firepower and your shield and energy levels. There's also a "Magnetism" feature that attracts any nearby items to your ship, so I recommend to leave this one as the last thing to upgrade and concentrate on upgrading your shots. But there's one problem. The price tags are too expensive since the levels on Easy give you very few credits and you will have to rely on money grinding by clearing the same missions over and over and over again. Also, the powered vulcan doesn't spread too much, as if the game designers focused more on strength than width.

You: Keep yappin' away, little guard dog!
General Lava: You'll pay for this.

After completing the game on any of the difficulties, this is what you're gonna get. General Lava bowing revenge on you, giving us a sequel threat, which (knowing how trash games fail their promise) seems to be far from soon, and I hope never after the disappointment this game was. But at this point I don't care since the replay value was killed by the game already, and that's the Achievement progression. You don't have to play all the stages to obtain everything. Just repeat mission 1 until you get an accumulated total of 2500 kills and there you go, all the achievements and 1,000 Gamerscore points just for you.

Felipe: ¿Have you seen that new puzzle game commercial on TV?
Mafalda: ¿Which one?
Felipe: The one that says...
Mafalda: ¡Ah, yeah!
Felipe: Well, have a look at the happiness they're selling on TV.

Don't you hate when advertising blurbs are bullshit?, This game is one of them as it claims that "brings back all the charm of shmup games from the 80s/90s". Well, it tries to pull old school things like the U.N. Squadron like weapon shop thing, but badly executed and the gameplay is more of a textbook doujin shmup from the late DOS era, resulting in a complete waste of money. Heck, I'm sure there's "Shovelware" titles with better quality and replay value than X-Force Genesis.

At least the artwork looks quite good.

Graphically, looks quite good for a basic indie game as we have well animated enemy ships with nice rotation effects on them and very well detailed 2D looking large ships and structures. Although they're not on the same league as Satur's shmups like I, AI, but it is indeed a close second place. Only the 3D objects like planets still look like PlayStation 2 CGI. But the major offender is the space background and the explosions cause they look like if the game designers took overpixelated graphics and pass them through a blur filter to make them look like HD graphics. The cutscene artwork looks very well drawn for handmade standards and that's another positive among the negatives of the game.
The music, I've gotta say if you like hard rocking, then this game doesn't disappoint as this game is the kind of shmup that throws metal paces in pure Power Metal influences. Angra fans will enjoy the soundtrack of the game, which is the only good thing about this game.

- The game shares the same name as Marvel's X-Force. Hope "Disvel" doesn't sue Cube Games for this.

Indeed, Nina.
There's nothing else to see here.

With a dull, generic textbook shmup gameplay that doesn't have too much to offer overall, this is another addition to the list of Gamerscore Milkers giving you 1000 points for your cash. It is quite a shame 'cos it had some good ideas like the multiple weaponry for your ship. But the repetitive grinding and forced requirements to unlock higher difficulties killed the whole thing.
Unless you're desperate for quick achievements, you'll be better off without playing this game.

Play, get the achievements and uninstall.
Nothing else to offer.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup and video game reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki

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