Developer(s) – PhobosLab
Publisher(s) – Nintendo
Starting out as a simple browser game developed by the proprietors of the site PhobosLab.com, I was at first surprised to find a game like X-Type+ appear on the Wii U Virtual Console. But after playing it, and seeing just how addictive it can become, I found myself increasingly less surprised by it’s inclusion. After all, Nintendo know a good game when they see one.
Graphics – 5/10
One of the less strong points of this game however, despite its addictiveness, is the fact that the visuals are almost non-existent. Even though this is an arcade game at its core, there have been many games release like it that have implemented much more breathtaking and interesting visuals than this. Essentially, all it encompasses is a blank background, and ship after ship that looks exactly the same. Though it may have started out as a browser game, I think even under those circumstances better visuals could have been implemented.
Gameplay – 10/10
The objective of X-Type+ is simple; destroy each ship that appears on screen, and rack up the highest score possible; all the while dodging bullet after bullet and rocket after rocket thrown at you. Like such games as Galaga and Gradius, it is incredibly addictive, and will compel players to play again and again in order to simply improve their high score and post it on either the website or the Wii U score board.
Controls – 10/10
The best way to play this game is to use a third-party Wii U controller. I found that with either the GamePad, or on the original website, the control scheme is not so easy to cope with, and poses a number of problems. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of using a keyboard to control PC games that aren’t simulators, and the GamePad also poses the same problem of the hands cramping up that I’d previously experienced whilst playing through Hyrule Warriors.
Originality – 4/10
The worst thing about this game, however, is how little it stands out compared to the likes of Galaga and Gradius. As I said, the visuals are almost non-existent, and do little to differentiate this game from other of its kind, and unlike many other recent games released within this particular genre, such as Titan Attacks, there are no new elements introduced, such as upgrades or experience points etc.
Otherwise, however X-Type+ is an extremely addictive game, and certainly one of the most interesting indie experiences available on the Wii U. Despite it’s flaws, it makes me wonder why Nintendo don’t keep a closer eye out for other indie developers to work with, as opposed to relying primarily on their own IPs to get by.