XType Plus (Wii U) Review

By Shane Jury 05.11.2014 2

Review for XType Plus on Wii U

Although Nintendo's Wii U console has yet to light the world on fire as its library of exclusive software is well poised to accomplish, it has become a popular destination for independent developers; largely due to the lack of competition from other bigger companies. The eShop is pivotal for this approach, and in recent months Nintendo has allowed support for HTML5-developed games using its own Web Framework system. One of the pioneers of this porting method, the Germany-based PhobosLab, has released its very first eShop title, XType Plus, in Europe and the US. Does this top-down shooter blast a hole through the competition or is one stray bullet enough to down it?

XType Plus embodies the spirit of classic top-down shooters in the sense that on-screen story is out of sight and out of mind; it's strictly the player, a tiny ship with bucket loads of fire-power, and the giant enemy monsters that appear one after another. As primarily a high score title that demands repeat play and practice, the game fits the mould of a pick-up-and-play title, something to whittle down five or ten minutes going spare, coupled with the hardware's handy Quick-Start function.

XType Plus offers two main modes of play, both of which utilise the same base mechanics. Controlling a small blue ship, the player must navigate with the left stick and shoot a stream of bullets with the right stick, fending off a monster that returns bigger and meaner after each defeat until the screen is practically filled with bullet hazards. Each monster part that can be destroyed individually fires off its own stream of bullets, but the core of the monster wipes out the entire thing, giving a degree of strategy to the game in figuring out the best way to clear each round.

Classic Mode is essentially the above, with three lives given and no time limit. Plus mode mixes it up a little, with unlimited lives and three bombs given that clear the screen and set up a temporary shield when used. This mode does use a time limit, which recovers a little after each monster's defeat. Both modes make excellent use of the online leaderboards, which not only track scores from worldwide, region, and friends list rivals, but allow gamers to watch the entire replay of each score upload, showing how it was done. These uploads are seamless and quick, done in the background with no loading times at all.

Screenshot for XType Plus on Wii U

Visually XType Plus is a treat, making use of superb neon lighting and particle effects. There is never a bullet that can't be seen, and no matter how many fill the screen at one time, the game never crawls. The techno-beat soundtrack provides an appropriate backdrop to the action, and the smooth controls ensure it is never the fault of the game when the ship gets caught out.

Owing to the fact that the game relies on twin-stick precision, three control options are supported: the Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller, and the Classic Controller Pro, all of which work as intended. One strange omission - and one the developer has even acknowledged to be included at a later date - is Off-TV play, which would have benefitted the game's pick-up-and-play nature greatly.

XType Plus is strictly for the solo player, and its one base concept may seem jarring to those looking in from the outside, but what it does, it does better than a vast majority of digital shooters on the market today. It is yet to be seen what the promised update will add to the game in the future, but what there is now is certainly worth the asking price.

Screenshot for XType Plus on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

XType Plus is the essence of the Wii U eShop's potential for quick, cheap and accessible games, wrapped up in a tightly controlled and satisfying game with endless potential for replayability. Lack of variety and missing Off-TV play options aside, XType Plus is a highly viable option for lovers of High Score tables and those looking for a quick gaming fix.

Developer

PhobosLab

Publisher

PhobosLab

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Sounds rather like Nano Assault Neo from your review, Shane! I've just downloaded it, but until it gets Off-TV play, I don't think I'll be able to play it as I tend to prefer playing pretty much all Wii U games on the portable screen.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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JeremyOK (guest) 28.11.2014#2

Same here -- I only play off-TV, and Nano Assault already does this genre very well. Still looks like great value, though...

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