Review: Superbeat XONiC (PlayStation Vita)

Superbeat XONiC: Official GBAtemp Review

Reviewed by Krista Noren, posted Nov 8, 2015, last updated Nov 8, 2015
The Playstation Vita hosts quite a number of great rhythm games. Is this one good enough to stand out?
Krista Noren

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The team behind the popular DJMax series is back with a new rhythm game; Superbeat XONiC. Superbeat XONiC, developed by Nurijoy, is a spiritual successor to the DJMax series that was popular on the Playstation Portable. While this new game carries over a few traits from the DJMax games, it also makes marked improvements.

Move to the rhythm of the beat!

As soon as you start the game, you’ll be met with catchy music and an array of different colors that grab your attention right out of the gate. The game feels like it belongs in an energetic dance club. That being said, Superbeat XONiC is a very colorful game, and the visuals are incredibly eye catching, especially during the songs. Everything is vibrant, and pops on the Vita’s screen. Notes contrast well against the backgrounds, and are easy to see.

Much like most rhythm games, you play by pressing buttons to the beat when notes appear on screen. Superbeat XONiC has 3 variations of difficulty levels; 4 Trax, 6 Trax, and 6 Trax FX. 4 Trax utilizes up, right, down, triangle, square and cross face buttons for input, while 6 Trax adds circle and left buttons to the equation. Finally, 6 Trax FX includes the L/R buttons in the gameplay, making songs progressively more challenging.

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Superbeat XONiC offers up a couple different modes to choose from. Stage Mode lets you pick from the aforementioned difficulty levels, while also allowing you to increase or decrease the speed of the song. This gives players a wealth of difficulty options to play with. Touchscreen controls are also an option, though it makes the game feel much easier.

If you don’t want to go through those modes for specific songs, then you can choose Free Style, which lets you play the songs you've unlocked in any order you want to. A total of over 60 songs are available in Superbeat XONiC, with genres ranging from K-Pop, to J-Rock, to Metal, or even pieces from BlazBlue or Guilty Gear. Each time you successfully complete a song, you will receive EXP points that raise your “DJ Level”. Increasing your DJ Level rewards you with unlockable songs, all the way until you max out at level 99.

Superbeat XONiC also offers a “World Tour” mode, where you play three songs in a row, with some sort of condition added, such as having less time to hit the notes, or keeping your combo above a set number. The first set of missions is almost ridiculously easy, but once you get to the second set, things amp up, and Superbeat makes a sharp difficulty curve. Those not too well versed in the rhythm game genre will most likely need to brush up their skills in Stage Mode first.

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Once you reach the higher speeds under 6 Trax mode, the game gets quite difficult. Notes will zip by at insane speeds, as you mash buttons on the Vita at a supersonic rate. Superbeat requires a lot of focus, as you have two sides of three rows that you need to pay attention to at all times. In some cases, it just feels like there’s too much going on at once to keep up, as the four different button combinations flash by in the course of a half-second. Moving the left analogue stick slowly up and down, while pressing combinations with triangle and square all at once, or even sometimes having notes-within-notes can get confusing, but the game is fantastic at acclimating players to the intense difficulty. Unlocking all the songs, and mastering every level and speed, as well the pure, simple gameplay makes Superbeat XONiC something that will last Vita players for a long time.

Superbeat XONiC is a welcome entry to any Vita owner's library, especially for completionists and music lovers. There's enough fun and enjoyment to be had from this title to make the game very easy to recommend.

 

Verdict
Pros
+ The gameplay is fluid and addictive.
+ It looks great.
+ Easy to learn, difficult to master.
Cons
- Touchscreen controls seemed unresponsive at times.
8 Presentation
Colorful, bright, and captivating, the presentation of the game is fantastic. Notes stand out very well, and there's a wide variety of catchy songs offered.
8 Gameplay
The gameplay is smooth and fun. Higher difficulties become complex, and require a good deal of practice and focus. Button controls are very responsive, though the same can't be said about the touchscreen control style, but it works well enough.
8 Lasting Appeal
With the amount of modes, difficulties, and speeds, as well as a robust track list, playing through each song and unlocking everything should take a good while to do.
8.7
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Simple yet challenging, Superbeat is an exceptionally fun game. There's enough music to please most rhythm game lovers, and enough to interest newcomers to the genre.
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