Developer: Rising Star Games                                Publisher: PM Studios

Release Date: 11.21.2017

I have been a rhythm game junkie for quite some time, so it’s easy to say that my expectations for rhythm games are pretty high. I had watched the trailer for Superbeat Xonic Ex and was definitely intrigued, but sitting down and playing it is what would really give me a feel for how good (or bad…) the game actually was.

The Features

Superbeat Xonic Ex separates difficulties in to “Stages”; 4 Trax is the beginner mode, 6 Trax is the moderate mode, 6 Trax FX is the advanced mode…but if you just want to play individual songs for fun or for practice, they also have a Free Style mode. I have spent a substantial amount of time in Free Style so that I can play a song over and over to really get a feel for it. It doesn’t just end there, though. There is also a World Tour where you play missions to hit achievements (ie, achieve 50 combo) and you earn a reward such as a new DJ Card (and these DJ cards are really important!).

By performing the 4-6-6FX-World Tour modes, over time you achieve a worldwide rank which you can check to see where you score among all of the Superbeat players (it’d be nice to have an option to see local ranking among you and your friends…maybe in an update?). 

The songs, as with any rhythm game, start off slow and easy to get you used to how the game works. After a short tutorial to show you all the different ways to play the game, you’re thrown right in to it. I did find that there was a lack of explanation for the “Effector” and what all the different modes are for. I had to play around with them a bit to get a feel for what they did. With the Effectors, you can toggle things such as flashing beats, no guide bar, when the beats appear or disappear when they get closer to the guide bar, etc. Each one poses a unique challenge, so you will never be left with completely mastering the game (or will you?).

The DJ cards will really help you throughout the game depending on what you are wanting to do. As you level up, you will receive new DJ cards, but you can also receive them by completing missions in the World Tour missions. DJ cards offer bonuses such as shields (protects you if you miss a beat), extra EXP, extra HP, and so on. They really help you out, especially when you’re learning how to play.

The Gameplay

I have to say, this is probably the most fun I’ve had with a rhythm game since Hatsune Miku on 3ds. It has definitely been a new way to play. The obvious pressing of directional buttons to match the beats, but you have to use both joy con’s d-pads as you will receive beats simultaneously on both sides of the screen. Oh, but there’s more! You will have to flick the joycon’s around (sometimes at the same time) and sometimes hold them in a particular direction in order to “scratch”. It took me a while to get used to the game, but man was it worth it. I haven’t been able to put it down.

Playability

Docked – Great
Handheld – Great
Joy con detached – Awkward
Joy con controller – Great
Pro Controller – Awful

The music is A+, the graphics are A+, and the game play is A+.

My only criticism would be to utilize the fact that we have friends on Switch to have a local rank among you and your friends.

Buy today for $39.99 (Wow!)

Follow Rising Star Games