Darkstar’s Decimation X3 Review – Winter Uprising
Xona Games’ Decimation X3 is like Space Invaders on speed or crack. I’m not quite sure where I would place it amongst those two drugs. This indie game is very addictive, and felt extremely fast as well. Lets get to the details of this so you can figure out whether this is your can of Red Bull or not.
Let’s start with the soundtrack, because it really caught my attention. The music is a very fast techno beat, that really fits with the tempo of the game. While the bullets of your enemies rain down on you and yours pour up at them you will find yourself whipping from one side of the screen to the other to take these buggers out, and you will not be slowly sliding to the side while doing it.
Now lets talk about the start of the game. There is really nothing to the opening screen, it really reminded me of an arcade cabinet with the highscore board and just a press start button for each player. That is what you see here; the Title, Players 1 through 4 the score board (which appears to be local only) and a start and exit menu and the credits scrolling along the bottom marquee style.
Once all players are ready and you start the game it asks what mode you want to play it in “Normal” or “Challenge No Shields” Pick the mode and your good to go. Both modes play exactly the same except those little barriers we all remember shooting through in Space Invaders will never show up. Normal mode they will if you pick up that power up. The rest of the game is same in either version.
Now lets get into the game and talk intensity. As you “decimate” the invading enemies they drop power ups. This act reminded me a little of the Arkanoid power-ups. They can make you faster, shoot faster, have a bigger spread of bullets, or put the shields on the play field to hide under. If they could do other things I didn’t much notice as it gets really hectic on the screen. Every so often you will fill a shower meter which causes a ton of power ups to fall from the top of the screen. Like in the old space invaders game the less enemies on the screen the faster they move. Even that isn’t what really gets you hooked though.
What really made me keep coming back for more was the fact that this is without a doubt a bullet hell game. With the spray of your fire and the downpour of theirs it gets very very chaotic. Trying to slide between all the bullets while still hitting your targets is challenging and intense. Don’t expect awesome graphics this game really gives the look of the old Atari, but between the sound, speed and sheer intensity even those who hate retro style games would most likely get into this. Now playing this with friends can be fun as you fight for those points and power-ups, but this game has two more nice features.
The first of which is boss fights. It has them every so many levels and they are great. It really brings a nice break from the standard waves. The second thing is the ability to send your score to someone on your friends list. Maybe you’ll be the one to inspire them to look into the great possibilities of the indie market or you can just be bragging that your that much better than them at gaming.
Final Score: 5/5
I leave you with one question though. Why do aliens build ships that look like alien heads. If we built an armada of space ships to take over a planet would we use Mount Rushmore as the model for our hull designs?