Sunday, December 12, 2010

Score Rush

Pixel Perfect Production Proudly Passes Peers, Presents Players Performance Proudly.

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I must admit to being a little concerned about my ability to play this game. My concerns were unfounded of course, especially once I realized that my ship's collision box wasn't actually the entire ship. No, that tiny pixel there in the lower right of the screenshot above, surrounded by a green energy field is. It's actually a 4x4 pixel grid.

Maneuvering that tiny dot through the stream of rainbow colored bullets required me to sit extremely close to the screen and my speakers. Something I highly recommend that everyone does. Please remember to always go to 11.

Score Rush, developed by Xona Games as a part of the indie games winter uprising is not quite horizontal and not quite vertical. Actually my knowledge of SHMUPS is not extensive. Luckily others have expounded on the matter in great length and detail. The playfield under consideration is similar to Geometry Wars, as in slightly bigger than my television set. It allows for a bit of movement to the game's camera which is nice but I'm still a bit undecided about the style, part of me wants to see everything and part of me likes to imagine the unknown.

The Geometry Wars reference is not without its merits, indeed,

Brittany says, "It looks like Geometry Wars, MAKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Stop writing everything I say." She doesn't call herself a gamer but I know better.

I don't mind that Score Rush recalls memories of such a classic game, and the fact that we are only charged a tenth of what we were charged for Geometry Wars is pretty interesting I think. I still play Geometry Wars from time to time, and that game is going on five years old. Will Score Rush hold up to this test of time?? Or is it even supposed to? 

Xona Games The developers of Score Rush, call it a spiritual sequel to Duality ZF, their upcoming XBLA release. Score Rush uses the same engine as Duality ZF. I believe that Score Rush is more of a tech demo actually, showcasing to the gamer what their engine can do. But here we begin to blur the lines of what exactly constitutes a game and so we must retreat.

At any rate, Score Rush is probably in the top five percent of enjoyable titles on the indie channel, at least to me. 1500 games on the channel, 75 that I have thoroughly enjoyed. That sounds about right.

When I play SHMUPS, score is not my main concern. In fact I purchased Geometry Wars about the same time I got my first HDTV. I was interested in how the colors would look mostly. Score Rush definitely delivers in this regard. My only problem is that my ship always tends to explode just when the screen is being lit up to its full capacity. But is this problem worth looking into and fixing?

Whenever you start a playthrough you are offered a helpful tip on the loading screen. One said, "Find your path through the stream of bullets." A bit Zen there but I did make some attempts. Perhaps this game does require the player to enter into a sort of trance while they play. To that end,

Auditory stimulation of the senses. Sound is extremely important to any game,  perhaps even more so than the Visual aspects. 

Copy from the Xona Press Release,
"The 60 fps adrenaline-rush experience is complemented by a hard-rocking Dragon Music Productions soundtrack" 

I'm not much of a fan of the game's soundtrack but I just load up whatever I think will get me into the zone and blast it at maximum value. Adult Contemporary usually results in very short games, but I've been having excellent results playing along to Dan Deacon,


One of the game's menu screens encourages the user to Blog about the game and SHMUPS in general. Which I am doing now as you are of course aware. Matthew from Xona Games has also asked bloggers to blog about XNA Connect issues, which affect the future of the XBOX Indie Channel and so are good to vote on. Making and voting on Connect issues is one of my guilty pleasures in this life,

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