Xenia (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 28.08.2017 3

Review for Xenia on PC

Metroidvanias aren't uncommon, to put it mildly. That's why it's important to try new things to keep the formula from growing stale. For new indie title Xenia, the goal, per the Steam page, is to create an arcade style experience. Regardless of whether or not this has been accomplished, Xenia is a simple take on platforming, made by one person over the course of just eight months.

Xenia's problems begin with its soundtrack. The music seems as though it's meant to be menacing, but it comes off as haphazardly written. In fact, it almost seems like it wasn't written, and instead ad-libbed while someone watched the game. On a few occasions, it abruptly stops and then picks back up just as abruptly, and even on occasion feels like it's off time all together.

Xenia's next issue comes in the form of its look. Now, not everyone is an artist. Even if you can't draw, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be allowed to make a game. That being said, it's clear that the artist behind Xenia is at least a decent artist. However, the game still looks rather unimpressive, if not bland. What's depressing is that some of the art actually stands out as being pretty nice. An early boss fight has a weird crispness that actually looks like it was an intentional art style.

Screenshot for Xenia on PC

The biggest issue facing Xenia, though, is its gameplay. Moving feels alright, and the combat is, at its worst, passable. In fact, it could be argued the gameplay manages to be both the best and worst part of Xenia, as it manages to function properly, but it fails to do much more than that.

The main problem is that the game itself is entirely too difficult. As early as the third level, it's easy to get stuck with nowhere to go as the player clears a checkpoint with one hit point left, and find they are unable to proceed at all. This means they will have to restart the level, because, despite being a Metroidvania, Xenia takes that term very loosely. It's an oddly linear game, which just so happens to occasionally break off into paths. This leaves the player unable to proceed, as they have nowhere else to go and no health to find.

The most annoying part is that the game does have some interesting ideas. Collecting gold to grab potions between levels is a smart way to integrate inventory management. Unfortunately, collecting a sufficient amount of gold to use this feature is much easier said than done. The level select screen also acts like a mini-level, which is a nice little touch, but overall adds nothing to the gameplay itself.

Screenshot for Xenia on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Xenia may have the heart, but it feels more like a student project than a fully fleshed out title. It lacks polish in every area, even to the point where it goes from feeling charming for it and moves right over into being annoying. It still manages to function as a game, though, and for that, it may be worth a bit of your time if this sort of game peaks your interest.

Developer

Dimitrios Floros

Publisher

Loresoft

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

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

The Greek indie community is one of the most disappointing out there, and I fail to understand why...

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I've played anything out of Greece, though I could be wrong.  Has anything else notable come out of there recently?

 

Nnnnnnope. Everything feels like a student project, and rarely an interesting one.

There's a general lack of interest from the state here, whereas in other countries there are conventions to go to, funding to start such projects, and so on...

...but I don't want to fall in the typical trap of my fellow Greeks and just blame the country. There's definately talent here, but I have a feeling that no one has tried to put it to good use

( Edited 28.08.2017 16:36 by Ofisil )

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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