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 Post subject: XenoRaptor (XB1 - Switch - PS4 - PC)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:56 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 352
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
I thought the era of bad games died when lame companies like LJN died out, but no.
The rise of the Indie games is like embarking on an adventure, you can either find a game good enough for a few plays, or just trash that wants your money for a few achievements, but not atrocities like the one that i'll review about.

Dragon shooters are not the common theme in shmups, with a few exceptions: Namco's Dragon Spirit and Dragon Saber, Psikyo's Dragon Blaze, and Kaneko's Cyvern: The Dragon Weapons. XenoRaptor is the latest entry on the Dragon Shooter genre.

Demon Attack: Heavy Metal Edition.

The game offers three options. Campaign, Endless and SplitScreen. Campaign, which is the main game. This is a Twin-stick shooter with an arena-like field that expands forever so you can go away as far as you want from the enemy and return. You also have the ability of rack up multipliers for higher scores, enhancing the gameplay of a simple game with a simplistic game mechanic. Each planet you visit has 10 waves. Waves 1-to-4 and 6-to-9 are waves of enemies, while Waves 5 and 10 are boss fights. Boss fights are important in this game because they will unlock a random upgrade like leveling up your weapon or unlock an armor part or a new weapon. Your navigation is supported by a radar to locate all the targets. Along with your basic fire, you can use a secondary weapon and a special move like Dashing to dodge the enemy fire which is very useful in the later levels of the game.

Behold these colors. I call this creature the Sugiurasaurus Natsukiensis.

Hangar allows you to equip any unlocked weapon you can find in the game along with upgrades for your dragon. It also includes an interesting feature; you can change the colors of your dragon, and what's best, you can save multiple color combinations so you can create several alternate colorschemes to replace the generic default color.

It's Contra Rogue Corps all over again...

Like Stellatum, Xenoraid and Contra Rogue Corps, the game has the annoying flaw of weapon overheating, making you unable to shoot for a while, or until you find a coolant to deplete the red overheat gauge. On a curious note, picking one when the heat bar is empty will fill a blue one which i call "Overcooling" allowing you to shoot for a longer period of time.
Game flaws are at the order of the day in this game as an ascending staircase. Starting with weapon overheating, unfair damages from enemy fire "Turrican-style" without a brief invincibility moment to recover, no extra lives and that irritating "Die once and repeat the 10-wave level all over again", it's almost unplayable and this game is a synonym of "pure ragequit".


Another problem with the game is being sniped to death by "a certain alien railgun" artillery, something that will happen very often in later levels of the game. If being cheap sniped is a problem, combine that with the heavy damage they'll cause you and the swarm of more than 100 enemies on screen and you'll get a salad of problems with this game.

But the mother of all problems hits you in the "Mine Field" (5th planet), just when you finish wave 4 and you prepare to face the boss, TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!, the game will crash before the boss appears. At first, i thought it was an unfortunate happening, just like the crash reports in Natsuki Chronicles, but when i tried to reach Wave 5 in Mine Field again, TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!, the damn thing crashed again!, gave another try hoping for an very unfortunate coincidence, and guess what? TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!, Back to the @#$%! XBOX One Dashboard due to a crash! That's right, the game crashed three times on the same spot of the game. A malfunction like that is no coincidence and makes me think the game is unstable and is more of a pre-alpha game or a badly made prototype that shouldn't be in a game store.

All of this seems to be a problem that plagues most indie shmups nowadays, I know this is not Tecno Soft, Warashi, Yumekobo or Taito, but at least these indie studio guys should take lessons from them, that would really improve their final product when it comes about gameplay mechanics. ¿But the crashes?, does nobody tested the damn game before releasing it?.

With 10 achievements, it's more than obvious that we're dealing with "Videogame Junk Food", a game released just for the sake of getting 1,000 gamerscore points and a few achievements quickly if you haven't "pulled the plug" on the game already, which will happen when the game crashes on your face before reaching Wave 5 in Mine Field. So, it fails on its purpose and is no surprise why nobody has unlocked the 1,000,000 point achievement on the XBOX port.

Endless is your "Survival Mode" where the only objective is to get the highest score possible. This is where do you can get the 1,000,000 point achievement, if you have enough luck, you'll probably reach 100,000 points, unlocking at least one of the achievements.

Splitscreen is your Multiplayer mode, if you and your friends are stupid enough to play this broken mess of a shmup.

Graphically, it looks like the game designer doesn't know how or don't want to take the hardware advantages of the XB1, PS4 or Switch. Before starting the level, the backgrounds look HD, but when the battle kicks in, the background loses part of its colors and it blurs, making it look like a low budget PS2/Gamecube game. The dull details of the giant enemies are so early XBOX era and the PS2 quality blurry backgrounds are the ultimate proof of it. The overall look of the in-battle backgrounds are terrible, as if someone enlarged them with Photoshop and made a lazy job of using the Gaussian Blur filter. I swear, really swear God that you can put this game on said consoles and it will work just fine.
The enemies are what i can call "I have the creativity but i fail in the execution", as the theme used in the game's enemies is skulls with chainsaws, so it brings enough material to create a whole armada of enemies of many designs. Unfortunately, it fails on the execution as the majority of enemies are large versions of the small enemies and the bosses, most of them are "Supersized" versions of the already enlarged enemies. ¿Are the game and the console trying to piss me off?

Musically, we have a quite good soundtrack that combines ambient with hard rocking, the Main menu theme is just beautiful and calm but pounding and rocking at the same time, which is perhaps the only good thing of this game.

- XenoRaptor means "Strange Thief" or "Strange Raider".

Whatever you do, don't buy XenoRaptor for your consoles. While the game has some interesting features like weapon, character customization (and a very functional one), and special abilities like the dashing, it goes all the way down the trash can with its fatal flaws (Game crashing in the 5th planet being the worst) and simplistic graphics that doesn't exploit the potential of the new consoles.

If you had the disgrace of paying $14.99 for this game just like i did, then i feel sorry for you 'cos that money could be saved for a better game. This is just videogame trash like Xenoraid, FullBlast and Super Star Blast, but at least those three were more playable and THEY DIDN'T CRASHED ON ME like XenoRaptor. Stick to Triggerheart Exelica, Natsuki Chronicles and ACA Neogeo Blazing Star. You'll be better with those three because XenoRaptor is not just another boring bad shooter that only wants your bucks in exchange of your gamerscore. Is an unstable, boring and BROKEN shooter that shouldn't be on sale on any store until the damn thing gets fixed.
If you're looking for a good dragon-themed shooter, just open the MAME emulator and play Cyvern: The Dragon Weapons instead.

TO PETER CLEARY: Dude, you should really get back to rework on this game. You should fix the crash in Mine Field and reconsider a lot of the things that i've mentioned in the review because this is UNPLAYABLE. Also, if you and Stage Clear Studios are gonna make a shoot 'em up, try to take cues from the big hits like RayStorm, Thunder Force V, Blazing Star and Ginga Force. There's a thin line between creativity and stupidity, and CRASH-o-Raptor, i mean, XenoRaptor is stupid, and forgive me for saying that word. ¿Why the overheating?, ¿Why the quick damage draining?, what you're not doing here is not challenge, could you at least try to make challenge from the boss battles, that's what RayStorm and Ginga Force did.

TO DIGERATI: Please, stop distributing horrible games such as this one. That only ruins your name as a distributor, just take a look to what happened with LJN and its infamous reputation.

TO BRUNO ALCARA: You've made the only good part of the game, which is the soundtrack. You have potential to become a great shmup composer. Learning from Tsukumo Hyakutaro and Harumi Fujita's works it will really help you to compose extraordinary themes in the future.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

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

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