Capsule Review: SUPERBEAT: XONiC

A rhythm game where notes flow from the center of the screen to the left or right sides of an outer circle. Depending on the note type and the portion of the circle it hits, the player must press the correct button or stick (or on some platforms, tap the screen) in the correct way with the correct timing. There are several kinds of notes that require different actions and will take some getting used to.

It’s a standard enough formula and it works fine, though the asymmetric Switch or Xbox controller is a poor match for the symmetric gameplay - it becomes problematic that the stick is “up” on the left side and “down” on the right. And of course touchscreen controls are only available on the Vita and the Switch.

While the game’s branding and opening movie feature distinctive characters, the visuals during gameplay are largely abstract. There’s no platformer metaphor like in Muse Dash, no choreagraphed dances like in Persona 4: Dancing All Night, no full-on music videos like in Hatsune Miku. Some players may prefer this lack of distraction; I found it made the game harder to engage with.

You level up as you play, which unlocks “DJ icons” that can be equipped to change your profile image - but because they also come with varied bonuses, you can’t just freely use them for cosmetic customization. There’s a mission mode which gives you specific goals to accomplish during songs (like reaching a certain combo length) but the missions are also level-gated, so you have to go back to the normal “stage mode” to grind out experience to get access to more.

The overall package is adequate, but hard to recommend over other similar rhythm games that have more polish and richer experiences.

I Stopped Playing When: I played for about forty minutes and got into it somewhat, but was left feeling I’d rather play Muse Dash or Hatsune Miku.

Docprof's Rating:

Two Stars: Meh. The game has some merit - it probably held my attention for at least an hour or I came back to it for more than one play session. But there wasn't enough draw for me to stick with it for the long haul.

You can get it or learn more here.