Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sixty Second Shooter Prime Review (XONE)

Just when you thought twin-stick shooters peaked with Geometry Wars more than a decade ago, Happion Labs’ Sixty Second Shooter Prime injects new life into the genre.  With addictive high-score chasing gameplay, nice presentation, and a perfect $5 price point, it is a great indie game on Xbox One that is easy to recommend.  See our review.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Happion Labs
  • Developer: Happion Labs
  • ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
  • Genre: Twin Stick Shooter
  • Pros: Cheap; addictive gameplay; appealing presentation
  • Cons: Lame unlock system
  • MSRP: $5

Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a twin-stick shooter where you move with the left stick and shoot with the right stick.  The hook here is that each round of the game starts with a 60-second time limit, but you can pick up time extension powerups as well as trigger a slo-mo mode that makes the rounds last longer.  Even with the powerups, however, each round is over fairly quickly, which gives the game a very addictive “just one more round” feel since you can chase high scores over and over and over again in rapid succession.

The gameplay isn’t just addictive because it is fast, but also because the scoring mechanics are incredibly clever.  There are various powerups that randomly appear on the play field along with gates that take you to the next level.  Using powerups effectively is important, obviously, but using the gates to go to the next level is the real key to earning high scores.  Each level becomes more difficult, but also gives you much higher scores, so there is a risk/reward system to knowing when / if you should go to the next level or not.  Snagging score multipliers and taking advantage of chain reactions caused when enemies explode (which also triggers slo-mo) plays a major role in earning high scores as well. 

When you put all of this together, the game has a surprising amount of strategy to it.  Unlike Geometry Wars where you ultimately just get overwhelmed with enemies, you almost always simply run out of time in Sixty Second Shooter Prime instead of “dying”, which is sort of more fun, I think.  You only have a limited amount of time, so being as efficient and effective as possible within that time is how you get high scores.  Because the powerups and everything are doled out randomly, no two rounds are ever the same, either, which keeps you coming back again and again.  It really is a ton of fun.

The only thing I don’t like is that the powerups have to be unlocked first before you can use them.  That is fine, except for the fact it only takes you 20-minutes or less to unlock everything, which makes having an unlock system totally pointless.  That really is the lone blemish on the game. 

The presentation is nice and simple and attractive.  The gameplay takes place on a 2D plane and all of the ships and bullets are basic 2D shapes.  It is easy to see exactly where enemies / your ship / bullets /powerups, etc. are at all times, which is important in a game like this.  There are a couple of different graphical options to change the colors of everything, which is appreciated.

The sound is also well done overall.  Simple, just like the graphics, but still very effective.  There are a couple of different music tracks, but the real star is the sound effects of your bullets and exploding enemies.  They’re awesome.

All in all, Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a great twin-stick shooter on Xbox One and is a must-buy at just $5.  The gameplay is incredibly fun and addictive and the presentation is perfect for what the game is trying to do.  You can’t go wrong here.  Buy it.

Sixty Second Shooter Prime Xbox.com Page

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