Xenon Valkyrie+ combines rogue-like and platform genres in an interesting gameplay that can become quite challenging at times. By advancing through randomly generated dungeons, your character can interact with others and level up by earning experience from killing monsters. In addition, you can also collect items and uncover secrets that will help you complete the game mission. There are three characters to choose from. Each one of them brings a unique ability that will help you explore levels by following different routes every time you play.
There are some great elements that make this 8-bit inspired title very special and memorable. That includes the unique quality in terms of graphics, enemies, exploration characteristics, the variety of items, and strategy patterns. Combined with a fantastic soundtrack Xenon Valkyrie, brings a retro nostalgic feel in an attractive presentation.
Xenon Valkyrie+ was developed by Cowcat Games and will be available for Xbox One on February 20, 2018 for $9.99
The basics of Xenon Valkyrie's story is very simple and from my experience, it is very well put together. The reason why I say that is because the adventure thematic works very well with this type of game. The journey begins with an explanation of how a strange darkness from the moon has come to the planet thanks to the evil powers of a mysterious witch. Because of that, your character will have to embrace their inner hero and take all chances to defeat the origin of this evil while traveling to the interior of the moon.
Because the story is very straight to the point, some players might feel like it lacks a deep plot. However, having a quick and easy to follow story is not necessarily a bad thing for this title. That is due to the fact that the focus here is on the actual gameplay. The adventure is overall very fun and allows the player to face different challenges and fight enemies and bosses that can be tough to defeat.
Xenon Valkyrie's gameplay can be described as a platform adventure. It focuses on exploring numerous dungeons in order to find a way to move on to the next level. The gameplay allows your character to infiltrate in random areas and fight enemies for experience. You can also test new strategies with different weapons by collecting new equipment that will give you some extra power in battles. These Items are also random, so getting a very powerful sword or pistol will only depend on luck. Even though the platform structure and game dynamic tend to become a little repetitive, I was still entertained the entire time. That is mostly because each world will reveal different forms of enemies that require certain types of attack and defense strategies. Battles against bosses are really the best ones in the game. They are challenging and require most of the player's attention and speed. The game brings several options to build a good strategy. That includes each unique moveset found in your character of choice and the ability to obtain a good variety of pistols, swords, and grenades while leveling up.
Overall, Xenon Valkyrie+ is a difficult game to play. The hardest gameplay element in the title is its permanent death system. Every time you die, your character goes back to the beginning of the stage at level zero. Because of that, you will probably miss the chance to defeat opponents using the same weapons you were equipped with before. In addition, the strong enemies who drove you crazy will be there ready to fight you again. The permadeath can turn runs into a major frustration at times, but in my experience, it wasn't bad enough to ruin the fun. I understand that losing all your progress after a heated fight against the level's boss can be quite infuriating. However, it did not take me very long to get back to that same point after losing a fight. In fact, it is even more satisfying to challenge and defeat a boss using a more efficient weapon. One of the best rewards for accomplishing such victory is being able to collect a certain type of currency called Teamerite, which carries over between levels and even when you die.
As you face new enemies, you will notice that the secret to winning a tough battle is not only about having a powerful weapon but also having the patience to plan a good strategy. Sometimes you will reach the boss level carrying short range or less powerful equipment, which can make it hard for your character to inflict multiple attacks at the same time. The best way to overcome such weakness is to not rush and remain focused on your health bar (which is very scarce by the way). From my experience, this battling style was certainly the best way to avoid the frustration of dying and losing all the progress from the run.
One positive thing about the gameplay in general is the easiness in transporting your character back to the top of a stage in case you jumped past an item you wanted to collect. Here is how it works: once you reach the bottom of the stage, your character can magically ascend to the top of the level by entering a teleporter. On the other hand, if you are ready to keep going, take advantage of a safe zone area where you can use in-game points to upgrade your stats or buy Teamerite. This currency will increase your chances to get better weapons during the next run, so it is always good to use them wisely.
Each run can last a considerable amount of time depending on where a teleporter takes you to. In addition to that, it is not uncommon for your character to enter a larger stage carrying nothing but basic equipment. Because of that, a good strategy is to carefully approach or even avoid some of the upcoming dangers. The reason why I say that is because your character can easily take damage from practically any threat that touches them. Health stats can be replenished in safe zone areas, but don't expect a substantial improvement
For those reasons, I would say that Xenon Valkyrie+ Is probably not the type the best option for players who don't have much patience to go over the same scenarios multiple times. The good news here is that the randomly generated areas allow you to have a different experience within the same stage. If you really enjoy this gameplay, that is definitely a win.
AUDIO AND GRAPHICS
The presentation department is one of the best characteristics in Xenon Valkyrie+. Graphics are truly gorgeous due to a beautiful artistic design that puts an 8-bit look into the randomly generated levels. Players will notice a limited pattern of colors, that can range from different tones of blue and pink or red to orange. However, that really depends on the level you are on. Another great thing to consider is the fact that bringing the title to Xbox allows players to have a larger view of all elements that seem a bit too small when playing on PS Vita, for example. That includes the size of your actual character, weapons, and dialogues. Playing this game on a larger screen can certainly improve the overall journey experience.
Another delightful characteristic found in this title is the amazing soundtrack. As expected for this particular game genre, the music keeps playing in a continuous loop for the most part, but that is not a bad thing. The high-quality chiptune music blends really well with the fluidity of your character's movements, allowing the player to really enjoy every run.
Xenon Valkyrie+ introduces a very well-presented gameplay to Xbox. Beginning with a simple, but also interesting story. It lets the player quickly get into the battle without wasting time trying to get used to mechanics. Although permadeath can be a huge disappointment for casual players, there are multiple characteristics that made up for the difficulty in levels. The pixilated design puts bright colors on the screen, which looks great at all times. Finally, the soundtrack brings high-quality music to the adventure and is one of my favorite presentation elements in this game.
|+ Simple mechanics||– Pearmadeath system might not be a good option for casual players|
|+ Gorgeous retro-themed look||– Story could be better introduced|
|+ Fantastic soundtrack||– Stages can become repetitive|
|+ Great variety of items|