Review: Superbeat: XONiC – PS Vita (9/10)

Superbeat: XONiC has been developed by the talented people from PM Studios and Nurijoy and is the first co-published PS Vita title by PM Studios and the Los Angeles-based publisher Acttil in North America. In Europe, Superbeat: XONiC is published by Rising Star Games.

Superbeat: XONiC can be seen as a spiritual successor to DJ MAX as former DJ MAX developers have created this new PS Vita exclusive rhythm game.

Presentation

The presentation of Superbeat: XONiC is absolutely awesome. Every song is visualized with beautiful and fluid animations and the crisp and colorful laser show-like graphics give the rhythm game a unique touch.

Music

The song collection of Superbeat: XONiC is overwhelming and features 59 songs from genres like Pop, R&B, House, Techno, Electro, Rock, Metal, and many more. Most of the tracks are in english, some of them in Korean and Japanese as well as some instrumental songs and one Spanish track.

The wide variety of the soundtrack offers many good songs which guarantee a long replay value.

Controls

Superbeat: XONiC can be played via the PS Vita’s touch screen and/or via the gamepad which means that it is also fully compatible with PlayStation TV. Unfortunately only with the touch screen controls you will be able to master the songs perfectly in the more difficult play modes as with the touch screen you can hit the upcoming notes more intuitive.

The gamepad control scheme is a bit complicated for the higher play modes and makes it more difficult to clear the most difficult tracks. It seems that the game was designed for touch screen controls in mind and that the gamepad controls were added to achieve PlayStation TV compatibility.

Gameplay

Superbeat: XONiC’s main game mode “Stage” includes the gameplay modes 4 TRAX, 6 TRAX, 6 TRAX FX and Free Style mode which are available from the start except the 6 TRAX FX mode which will be unlocked through leveling up during your play through.

Beginners should start with 4 TRAX as this is the easiest mode which consists of songs with 4 Track notes only. 6 TRAX and 6 TRAX FX are for the experienced rhyhm gamer as these modes include 6 Track notes and 6 TRAX FX also a special FX note.

Each play session includes three songs that can be selected individually from the available songs. You can also adjust the speed of the upcoming notes between 0.5 and 5.0. During your gameplay you will unlock special DJ icons like Shields, EXP+ or Recovery Items that you can use to get special boosts or protection when you break a note. Many available and unlockable key sounds can be used to individualize your music experience.

New songs for the 4 TRAX, 6 TRAX and 6 TRAX FX modes will be unlocked by leveling up which happens automatically when you have cleared several tracks. New songs for the Free Style mode will be unlocked when you play the available songs in the three difficulty play modes.

The difficulty setting can be adjusted for all available modes and defines how fast and how many notes will appear when you play a song. Beginners should set it to easy and only change it with enough experience to normal or hard later as this will result in gaining higher experience points.

Besides the “Stage” mode there is also a World Tour Mode where you can tour famous Clubs all over the world. Each “Club” contains three sessions in Easy, Normal and Hard where you play three different songs with different mission settings and various play patterns.

With the online DJ Ranking system you can compare your achieved score in all play modes with players from all around the world or from your region.

Most of the time you will play the “Stage” mode in 4 TRAX, 6 TRAX, 6 TRAX FX or Free Style mode as this is by far the best part of the rhythm game. These game modes allow you to play the songs in the order you like and adjust the difficulty setting according to your game experience. As further you progress you definitely will get better and you’ll be able to play songs which seemed nearly impossible to master in the beginning.

The online DJ Ranking adds a big motivation system to the game that whenever there is time you wanna try to improve your ranking.

The World Tour mode is the only part which would have needed more polishment as the Club experience is getting too difficult too fast. Although you can use your aquired DJ icons to protect your power gauge or your combo or to add a special Recovery item, this mode gets frustrating in the higher levels as the mission settings are not well balanced and demand too much from beginners and even experienced players.

Conclusion

Superbeat: XONiC offers a unique and never-before-seen rhythm game experience on the PlayStation Vita. With 59 songs and 4 different play modes you can play through an awesome music collection for many hours. Although the World Tour Mode is a bit frustrating you can skip that part and concentrate on the game’s fantastic “Stage” mode.

The best experience for Superbeat: XONiC you will get on the PS Vita as the gamepad controls are more difficult to master in the higher play modes. Superbeat: XONiC is still very enjoyable on PlayStation TV but the game feels different and is more difficult than on the PS Vita.

Superbeat: XONiC | PS Vita
  • 10/10
    Presentation - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Music - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Gameplay - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Lasting Appeal - 9/10
9/10

Summary

+ Fantastic presentation and graphics
+ Awesome song collection that includes all important genres
+ Addictive and challenging gameplay
+ Realtime online DJ Ranking System
– Gamepad controls and World Tour Mode difficulty not well balanced

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for the latest PS Vita, Nintendo Switch and 3DS news.