Renegade Kid’s metroidvania platformer “Xeodrifter” hit the Playstation ecosystem like Samus in Super Metroid: perfect for some, imperfect for others, and fun for most.
Before we dive into the review, I want to address a couple of issues that people had with Xeodrifter:
- “Another 8-bit inspired game?” I personally don’t mind this. And I find it hilarious that people seem to complain about it constantly. Focus on the gameplay people. And if you, like me, get tired of the retro thing from time to time, just pop in Uncharted: Golden Abyss, the much-improved-after-patches Assassin’s Creed III: Revelations or Borderlands 2, or a JRPG of your choice.
- “Why are the controls so wonky?” Again, I didn’t take issue with the controls. New Super Mario Bros. on the DS? That thing controlled like a drunken sailor. But Xeodrifter is not bad. It controls like some of the off-the-beaten-path Megaman games. It’s fine by me.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s review this thing!
I loved the graphics. They were vibrant, and the ability to choose fullscreen on my Vita made the colors pop even more. The animations were great, and very reminiscent of the great titles of old. I did find the boss selection lackluster (mostly color and behavior changes), though. However, my major gripe with Xeodrifter on Vita was that there were frame-rate drops here and there. They weren’t anywhere near game-breaking (barely a nuisance), but a 55mb, 8-bit inspired game with frame-rate issues on a Vita is something that I find hard to excuse.
The music was fantastic, and I’m glad it’s available under a “Name your price” policy. Or you can just listen below:
I really loved the exploration aspect. I think this is the right way to do back-tracking in a game: revising the old sections of the game with new power-ups opened up new sections, so the stage felt new all over again. Also, the rewards for exploring (extra lives and such), were much appreciated, and added more gameplay time.
That’s another thing that people seem to dislike about Xeodrifter: at around 4 hours, the game isn’t what you’d call “long”. And there’s really not that much in terms of replay value.
I have to admit, at one point in my gaming life, I, too, was the “1-dollar-per-gameplay-hour” guy. However, as I’ve grown older, I just haven’t had that much time to play anymore, and therefore actually finishing a 50 hour game is something that I can’t realistically do if I want to play more than one game every 6 months.
So I don’t mind that the game is 4 to 5 hours long. I actually like it. The pricing issue, though, I understand. However, as most people have a PS+ account (except me, haha), I think Gambitious and Renegade Kid were very smart in the distribution of Xeodrifter in the PS habitat.
All in all, I enjoyed my time with this game a lot. It really is the kind of game that I like: side-scrolling, 2D platformer with some puzzle and RPG-lite elements thrown in.
If you own a PS4 and are in the market for a break from the AAA titles coming your way, Xeodrifter on your Vita is a great throwback to the 8-bit gems of yesteryear. And if you, like me, game exclusively on portables, then Xeodrifter will be a fantastic bookend between JRPGs and the odd Nintendo title.
- Title: Xeodrifter
- Publisher: Gambitious Games
- Developer: Renegade Kid
- System: PS Vita
- Format: Digital Download
- Cross Buy: Yes
- Cross Play: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 55Mb