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Xeodrifter is Out of this World.

It’s been years since a Metroid title came out. With Nintendo seemingly ignoring the series, many fans are looking to fill that hole in their heart. Renegade Kid saw this, and set out to create Xeodrifter, a sidescrolling adventure in which you control a stranded space nomad. When your warp drive is damaged by asteroids, you’re stuck to explore a small group of four planets to find the materials to repair your ship.

The title originally started as a demake of another Renegade Kid’s 3DS titles, Moon. The original design came together better than expected, and the developer ran with it! You may also recognize Renegade Kid for their work on Mutant Mudds, one of the eShop’s top platforming shooters! All of the past works have made the company very good at what they do, and Xeodrifter is the proof of that.

xeo_screen_09Xeodrifter features brightly colored sprite artwork, not too different from Mutant Mudds. The transition from foreground to background also appears in the game, albeit being an unlockable upgrade. This offers a great use of the 3DS’ 3D effect, and I often found myself playing in 3D for this reason. The upgrades help to traverse the different planets in unique ways. There’s no set path presented to you, so exploring each planet you’ll often find a dead-end that you simply can’t pass. Later on, when you get an upgrade you realize that you can pass those obstacles now, and you’ll return. While there’s a bit of backtracking, the game does a great job of making you feel more powerful as you explore by hiding power-ups around the stages and in the walls. Health upgrades and gun upgrades make traversing the same area just a bit easier each time, and you quickly get to the point where it just feels fun destroying the enemies that once posed a threat.

The game has an atmospheric charm found mostly in┬áspace themed metroidvania games like these. The great chiptune-based soundtrack helps to provide an interesting atmosphere, often making the isolation feel just right. While it’s a bit more upbeat in most places than games like say, Metroid, Xeodrifter’s soundtrack has earned its place among my favorite on the handheld. You can find the soundtrack available for Pay-What-You-Want HERE! I highly recommend giving it a listen if you like chiptunes.

As stated before, Xeodrifter gives a great progression not often seen in eShop titles. You’re thrown into the abyss, and have to figurexeo_screen_11 things out on your own. While the game starts difficult, as you explore and grow you become more and more powerful alongside the world and enemies. One simple complaint I’d have is that you fight a similar boss on each planet to unlock powers. While the fight changes slightly each battle, the mechanics stay mostly the same. I would’ve liked to see more variety in the bosses, but overall loved the fights and was often on my toes the entire time. Some may also complain about the game’s length, but I feel that the bite-sized adventure is something that we could use more of in busy times, especially the holiday season.

Overall, Xeodrifter shows just how far Renegade Kid has come. The game was announced in July and released less than six months later. With amazing sounds, great art, tight controls, and interesting level design and abilities, Xeodrifter really shines on the Nintendo 3DS, and has become one of the eShop’s must have titles.

If you’re interested in learning more about the development of the game, check out the Developer Diaries!

Pros:
  • Tight controls.
  • Fantastic soundtrack & art style match the feeling of the game.
  • Perfect for bite-sized play.
  • Great use of 3D backgrounds on the 3DS.
Cons:
  • More unique boss fights would have been interesting.
  • Game can be a bit merciless until you find a couple of upgrades.
Graphics Pixl Score 5 5
Story Pixl Score 4 4
Sound Pixl Score 5 5
Controls Pixl Score 5 5
Fun Factor Pixl Score 5 5