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Review: Xenon Valkyrie+ (PlayStation 4)By William Lowery At 06.08.2018 14:20

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On the distant planet of Xenon, three characters must travel through the depths of this rock to find a way to thwart an evil witch, who's set up shop on the moon to build a weapon capable of destroying the planet; therefore, the playable characters have been called upon to stop her before it is too late.

Xenon Valkyrie+ is an action-adventure platformer with rogue-like elements; but more on that later. The goal is to traverse each level, defeating bad guys and collecting new gear, as the selected character makes their way across Xenon and eventually the planet's moon. Each of the characters has their own unique stats and special abilities. One person has a high health count but low attack strength, another has the polar opposite, and the final character is in the middle.

The three characters start off with a melee weapon and firearm, as well as grenades and a unique power. Defeating baddies nets experience; when enough is earned, the character earns a skill point. Players start each stage at the top and have to work their way down to the exit. Between levels is a shop that allows the character to stock up on supplies or spend his or her points to upgrades stats like health, weapon attack, and damage resistance. To earn new gear, players have to search for treasure chests hidden in each stage.

Xenon Valkyrie+ contains elements of the rogue genre. What this means is that the game randomises elements, such as stage layout, enemy placement, and what loot gamers shall receive. Loot chests might contain a gun or firearm that's either stronger or weaker than the weapons he or she currently has, while shops can sell health and ammo, or just healing items and ammunition only. The system is interesting, but after repeated playthroughs, cracks open up, and you will notice things are copied over and over.

Xenon Valkyrie+ can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. There's no way to save the game, so if the player's character dies, they have to start the whole game over and go back to square one with their respective character. To alleviate the stress, it's possible to return to the start of the last world you were on by acquiring a certain number of items and other goods and giving them to a scientist, but this can only be done after defeating a boss.

This has a lot going for it, but underneath the "random" nature of the game and stiff challenge are a number of problems. None of the characters feel special, they might have varying stats or their own ability, but the levels aren't designed in a way where certain areas can only be accessed with a particular individual. They all feel similar, and although the heroes of this adventure can drop proximity mines or jump really high, getting what you can find is easy.

Additionally, the enemy AI is bad and the collision detection cheap. Bad guys come in different shapes and sizes, but their patterns are easy to memorise; plus, they tend to kill their own comrades. Then there are the bosses, which are a joke, to say the least. Dying in Xenon Valkyrie+ usually is the work of bad collision rather than challenging enemies. The slippery mobility of the characters means it's possible to bump into things you didn't mean to hit, resulting in a loss of health.

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Final Score
[i]Xenon Valkyrie+[/i] is by no means a bad game, just one that needed a little bit more time in development to better polish the gameplay. The individual elements are interesting, but when put together, things don't gel right. The level design doesn't take advantage of the characters' skills; instead, it puts them through similar-looking cave and industrial levels littered with easily destructible scenery. The supposedly random nature of the game isn't true, since after multiple deaths and restarts, players will notice how loot drops tend to repeat, among other things. However, it can be fun and rewarding when things click, and the retro graphics are pleasing.

5

/10

User Comments
#1 Dragon0085 - 5 Days ago at 16:38

The only thing good about this game was its ecchi cover art


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