Indies at First Sight: Robofish and Racedrome Offroad
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This title is absolutely gorgeous. But with it being so flash and gorgeous makes it hard to actually play the game. As a bullet hell shmup, it is certainly hell. At some points you will not be able to know the difference between a bullet and a power up. Everything will be too close together in the later levels, thus making the difficulty level rise. You play as a robotic fish, equipped with a few weapons, you are able to purchase upgrades in order to destroy the horde of underwater nemesis hurdling towards you. Robofish seems to be amongst a hardcore set of shmups. The visuals are absolutely astounding, but the constant flashing will have you forcefully taking a break every 10 minutes. You would probably end up getting too tired to continue to play. Soundtrack was a nice euphoric touch, the effects were not too noticeable, as the visuals just keep you hypnotized. Altogether Robofish gets a 4 out of 5, if the difficulty or the amount of enemies on-screen changes near the end of a wave, I would consider it a higher score. It is a great game, but might be too hard for some people and you might become irate in the later levels. The game serves a challenge to those whose reflexes are up to par.
For all the racing games on the Xbox Live Indie Game service, I do have to say this one has somewhat of a quality look to it. The visuals are pretty well crafted, from the track, to the car itself and more importantly the menu design. I found the controls to be way too forgiving to those who like to playing racing game, especially ones that are considered offroad. You will find that drifting with your dirt racing vehicle is basically impossible. I don’t know if this was intentional, but I know when I play offroad games, my car does slide a bit. I just found the control aspect a little too unrealistic. I would have liked to see some sort of crash damage as well. A fire here, a broken piece or some sort of irreparable damage would have been suffice. I had these nitpicky issues, reason being, I like racing games but suck so bad at them. The lack of realistic controls made me rate this on a family fun level. There is no violent crashing, nobody getting hurt, and it is quite hilarious to just watch your vehicle topple over someone and you gain the lead. One last issue, the physics, will probably piss you off a bit, but it’s all in good fun. Just a fun game. Altogether, Racedrome Offroad gets a 4 out of 5. The family fun factor is strong with this one.