Game Review: Die!Die!Die! (PS Vita)

Die!Die!Die! PS Vita

Die!Die!Die! is an arcade action shooter game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS Vita. Die!Die!Die! will quite literally take you on an exploration of the inner organs of the human body on a journey to slay thousands upon thousands of viruses, bacteria and microbes.

Die!Die!Die! sees you taking a journey inside the human organism as you explore the nervous system, intestines and circulatory system as you kill viruses, bacteria and various microbes that are all hell bent on invading the immune system and causing as much havoc as possible.

There are three campaigns including the Veins Campaign, Intestine Assault and Brain Wars, which each contain 28 levels with each campaign unlocked after completing ten levels of the previous campaign, resulting in Intestine Assault being locked until you have successfully completed ten levels from the Veins Campaign and Brain Wars remaining locked until you have successfully completed ten levels from Intestine Assault. This is a pretty good design choice as unlocking a new series of levels provides you with a genuine sense of accomplishment and reward.

There are three different game modes including missions, survival and hotseat. The missions mode sees you completing 28 different missions with each mission having their own set of rules, while the survival mode challenges you to survive for as long as you can possibly endure the waves of enemies as you progressively level-up as you reach each target for the amount of enemies you have to kill until 100 enemies have successfully escaped. The hotseat mode sees you choosing any level from the missions mode and attempting to beat the score set by your friends with two to four players taking turns to play and the choice of being able to switch between levels after everyone in the game have taken their turn to complete the round.

There are fifteen types of enemies that you will encounter as you progress through the game and will present varying challenges as they all range in speed and defense. The greater their speed is the harder they will be to hit and the faster they will escape, while the slower they are the easier they will be to hit and there will be a significantly lower chance of them escaping. The greater their defense the harder they will be to kill, whether they are slow or fast in their speed of movement, while the lower their defense is the easier they will be to kill with a single shot.

There are weapons and power-ups that can help you overcome the viruses, bacteria and various microbes that are invading the immune system, but not all of the weapons and power-ups will necessarily work on a certain type of enemy. Your main weapon is a syringe that fires out different types of medication to kill your enemies that are banding together in their invasion of the immune system. There is initially only one type of medication to fire from the syringe, although this temporarily increases as you collect power-ups. There are a total of twenty-four power-ups including an explosive tablet; three explosive tablets; killing rays that bring total armageddon to all of the enemies that are currently in your path; special medication re-supply; faster loading for the syringe; a shake that knocks all of the enemies backwards to give you a little more time to kill them all; reverse explosions; instant syringe shot; white cells airstrike; reduce the number of missed microbes; slowing down all of the enemies on screen to provide you with more time to place accurate syringe shots to kill them all; and much more besides. The majority of the power-ups combine to help in various ways and bale you out of sticky situations when many enemies are bearing down and are about to escape simultaneously, although there are power-ups that are technically booby traps that can hinder your progression, but accidentally destroying a power-up with the medication you have fired from the syringe before you have had chance to collect the power-up will have the same effect as a booby trap power-up.

You will receive a bronze, silver or gold medal at the end of every level to showcase how well you have performed within that level, which is based upon how many enemies you have killed, how long you have survived or how quickly you killed the set number of enemies and how many enemies have escaped. Rewards are unlocked for completing particular tasks, such as the First Blood reward for killing 1,000 enemies in the Veins Campaign. The rewards screen will inform you of the requirements to unlock each of the rewards and will also show you how far you have progressed towards unlocking each of the rewards.

You can create your own profile by taking a picture of yourself using the front camera and entering your nickname that you would like to be referred by, which provides some fun as you can take the funniest picture of yourself imaginable, just as I did. There is a listing of your statistics that consists of statistical analysis ranging from kills per unit; power-up pickups; coverage of your win and lose percentages, mission time, survival time, hotseat time, hotseat win and lose percentages, mission escapees, survival escapees and bronze, silver and gold medals for each of the three campaigns; alongside various additional statistical analysis, such as the amount of rockets fired; most one shot kills; longest combo; wall kills; ice kills; unlocked rewards and much more besides.

The controls are simplistic as they consist of a face button based control scheme with an alternative control scheme for the touch screen and the ability to combine the two control schemes to your liking and they are quite easy to learn. The face button controls consist of pressing X to fire the basic medication; O to fire the special medication; square to use a power-up; changing the direction of the left analogue stick to position the crosshair of where you will be firing the medication; and start to display the pause menu. The touch screen based controls consist of tapping where you would like to fire the medication; tapping any of the beakers to the immediate right of the syringe to switch between the selected medication; tapping the various power-ups to use them; and tapping the pause icon situated to the top right of the screen to display the pause menu.

The graphics are simplistic, but the enemies and environments are quite colourful and vibrant. Each of the fifteen enemy types all look different from each other as though they have been well thought out and designed to look apart from one another, while the background environments do enough to differentiate themselves.

The presentation of the game is solid with a great touch screen based user interface across various menus such as the main menu, statistics menu, rewards menu, options menu and the various in-game menus, which also incorporates support for navigation via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons, although is no support for the right analogue stick or the rear touch pad. The background of the menu screens looks very colourful and vibrant as the logo and game modes all consist of various bright colours.

The audio consists of comedic music and sound effects that help to build upon the colourful and vibrant cartoon style of the graphics with splats when you have fired the medication from the syringe and whimpering screams from the viruses, bacteria and microbes that have just received a dose of their own medicine.

The trophy list includes eleven trophies with six bronze trophies, four silver trophies and one gold trophy. The trophies cover a lot of ground with all three campaigns required to be completed in the missions mode, while playing in the immune badass difficulty level and 5,000 kills in each of the three campaigns in the survival mode, while playing in the immune badass difficulty level, alongside earning 60 golden medals for your performance in each of the three campaigns. There are also a couple of smaller trophies that will not take quite as long, such as destroying 500 power-ups and reading all of the help guides and the credits. I would estimate depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between five to ten hours to 100% the trophy list.

There are three sets of difficulty levels including Fresh Blood, Health Soldier and Immune Badass, although each of the three difficulty levels are available from the beginning; you will have to start each difficulty level from the first level even if you have completed all of the levels on the previous difficulty level. The difference between the difficulty levels appears to be more viruses and faster viruses that are harder to kill.

There are no online multiplayer features, although there is a hotseat multiplayer mode, which allows for two to four players to take turns to set their highest scores before the next player attempts to achieve the highest score. The online leaderboards focuses on the survival mode with global rankings covering all three campaigns including the Veins Campaign, Intestine Assault and Brain Wars with all three of the difficulty levels including Fresh Blood, Health Soldier and Immune Badass spread across day, week, month, year and overall categories with each leaderboard containing each player’s rank; name (PSN ID); score; and kills by each of the players for the campaign and the difficulty level you have chosen.

The replayability of Die!Die!Die! is excellent and it will certainly provide a lot of fun across three campaigns each comprising of 28 levels totalling to 84 levels with three game modes and three difficulty levels to keep you coming back to challenge yourself or your friends in hotseat multiplayer for up to four players.

Overall, Die!Die!Die! is an entertaining game that will keep you coming back for more with more content than you would expect to see from a game at a budget price of just £2.39 with 84 levels, three game modes, three difficulty levels and plenty of charm and colour; the game becomes a must purchase, particularly if you are a fan of arcade action shooting games.

Jason Bonnar

At A Glance

  • Title: Die!Die!Die!
  • Publisher: IFun4All
  • System: PS Vita
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Cross Play: No
  • Online Multiplayer: Yes (Online Leaderboards and Local Hotseat Multiplayer)
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 90Mb

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