๐Ÿ’ฅ Xenocider | Retro Sumus | WAVE Game Studios | Dreamcast | Review | 8/10 | "The first 3D Dreamcast title in 15 years" ๐Ÿ’ฅ @WaveGameStudios #RetroGaming #IndieGame #IndieGameDev

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Purchase Link - https://www.wavegamestudios.com/shop/xenocider

Wave Game Studios are continuing to release a tidal wave of Dreamcast magic throughout this year, the most recently released title being Xenocider, a 3D rail shooter that tips the hat to Space Harrier… and then blows him away in a barrage of gore.

The story begins with Xara - a cyborg with a penchant for murdering everything in her way – waking up from cryogenic stasis and, answering to a voice in her head, she proceeds to plough her way through entire civilisations, blasting everything in her path as she does so.

A region-free title with artwork that calls to mind the punky and spunky early 2000 AD comic style – a perfect match for Xara’s murderous ways – Xenocider really feels like a Dreamcast game, which sets it apart from the recent indie games I’ve covered on the system.

The gameplay alternates between third-person blasting action whereby you switch between up to five ‘lanes’ to avoid enemy fire as you take them down and more free-movement stages that are akin to the aforementioned Space Harrier.

There are seven worlds to conquer, but each has an alternate route through, meaning that you can mix and match your way through the game. A game, by the way – that is not shy. Between the onslaught of a wide variety of enemies and some pretty saucy bosses, Xenocider isn’t a game you’ll breeze through - it will take time and skill to get to the end.

I also really took to the standard control set up, it felt intuitive; with the triggers handling the sideways lane-dashing to avoid enemy fire, leaving the thumbstick free for multi-directional shooting – which can also be automated to save you constantly hammering the fire button. It’s a neat setup that shows a keen understanding of the Dreamcast controller and works with its design.

The game also allows you to choose your backup ability, adding a layer of customisation as to how you approach certain areas, and regardless of how intense the on-screen action gets, I never saw a dip below a solid 60fps in my time with the game. The energetic soundtrack also matches the visual style and pace as it beats with an early 2000s electronica pulse. Good.

The whole game really does feel like a bit of a lost classic arcade title from the original Dreamcast library. The FMV sequences and the way that the options, upgrade, loading and actual gameplay all fit together thematically are quite admirable in how it captures the Dreamcast era and vibe.

The first 3D Dreamcast title in many years, Xenocider will really appeal not just to collectors of titles for that console, but also to players that have arcade blood in their veins.

The visuals, though smooth and impressive, can be overwhelming at times, especially during stages that require the player to move through environmental hazards, but it all feels part of how well the game captures that period of gaming.

I was also a big fan of the RPG-lite approach of being able to upgrade certain aspects as well as choosing alternate paths through worlds. I originally let my fiancรฉe choose which way I would go, but I soon put a stop to that as I swear to God, she was trying to get me killed!

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