When I fist started up SUPERBEAT: XONiC I wasn't sure what to expect. I had the basic idea that it was a rhythm game that was the spiritual successor to the DJMax Series (A similar series also developed by Nurijoy) but I was pleased to see that it was both familiar and fresh in delivery.
In the first two hours of playing I was struck by two things. How easy it was to pick up and play and how varied the music is. KPop, JPop, Idol, Rock, Metal, House, etc. The soundtrack has it all. The game modes are kept simple and the quick tutorial is all you need to be able to just jump right into the game. There are two main game modes "Stage" (Main gameplay mode) and "World Tour" (A challenge mode). "Stage" is separated further into a 4-Track mode and 6-Track mode. 4-Track is the simple mode that most people will jump into (and most of what I played in those initial few hours) and it let's you get the feel for the game without having to be overwhelmed by notes flying at you. 6-Track is where you go when you want more of a challenge and it includes more notes and an increased rate of notes. I only went into World Tour once for this article and it is your standard challenge mode where you play certain tracks whilst completing pre-set objectives. It is here where you also unlock more of the game's content.
First impressions on gamplay are just a little more complicated. As far as rhythm games go this one is somewhat standard but adds in some nice elements that take advantage of the Vita's touch screen (more on that in the full review). While I mentioned the game is easy to pick up and play, there are points where the difficulty seems ramps up randomly in some songs though and makes it not quite as accessible as I feel it could have been. While this is especially true in the 6-Track mode there are also there in some songs in 4-Track that can be very challenging. This isn't really a bad thing, but since 4-Track is basically the only true easy mode it should be mentioned. Also the slide notes felt just a little too slippery to me. I found it hard to hold them at times even when they were the only note on the screen. I am not sure if this a fault of mine or the game, but it was consistent enough to be noted. On the plus side though, the controls are all spot on and tight even at the game's most intense moments. Also, since you can play either entirely on the touch screen, entirely with the controls, or a combination of both, it accommodates all possible play styles.
Well, with that said I have great feelings about this game and I can't wait to explore more tracks and the World Tour mode in its entirety. There's also lots to talk about like the art style and the deeper gameplay elements (such as the DJ Icon system) but I will keep those for a later date. Keep an eye on A-To-J Gaming for the full review in the coming weeks and be sure to check out SUPERBEAT: XONiC which releases on November 10!
SUPERBEAT XONiC can be pre-ordered at great video game outlets everywhere. More information can be found at: superbeatxonic.com