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Xyanide Resurrection

version: pal (it) - year: 2007 - developer: playlogic - publisher: playlogic - format: psp, umd - condition: mint - rarity: uncommon

This PSP version was only released in Europe and Japan, but like all PSP software, it is region free.

 

The star-child looks both innocent and wicked

 

The first boss is really cool to look at. Xyanide Resurrection takes a little while to get used to but all levels can be finished in about 4 hours on the easiest difficulty setting.

 

The architecture of Xyanide Resurrection is definitely reminiscent of ancient Rome

 

Bosses require some thought to be dealt with effectively. You can use smart bombs if you are really in trouble but you only have 3 in stock per continue, unless you collect extra ones.

 

In some occasions, the game will be hit by slow down because the UMD reader of the PSP can't always keep up with the constant background streaming

 

The star-child is actually a witch named Aguira and since she looks like a little boy, this is even freakier...she is the last boss, and you'll fight different versions of her depending on the path you have chosen.

 

In the easiest path you get to fight the witch, while in the hardest path, you fight her skeleton and in the intermediate paths, you'll fight her at various levels of decay...

Review - The story of this little known Dutch shooting series can be traced back to Xyanide on the original X-Box.

Surprisingly, despite being a European production, Xyanide (the first) was only released in North America. A couple of side-stories were reportedly being in development for portable systems : one was a promising GBA 2D side-scrolling shooter commissioned by Playlogic to Engine Software and the other one was a color-starved 3D version in development for the Nokia N-Gage phone. Both these versions don't seem to have hit retail though, despite looking advanced in the development process judging by the material floating online.

Xyanide Resurrection in turn made it to PC, PS2 and PSP across Europe, the PS2 and PSP versions made it also to Japan in 2008 although in a funny turn of events, no version ever landed in North America, the only territory in which the first game was ever released...

Really, I have to admit I never even heard of Xyanide in any shape or form until recently when walking into a store and finding this PSP copy sitting in the bargain bin for 5 euro.

Having a weak spot for anything shooter, I just gave it a go.

When I came back home, here I was looking in the internet what kind of game I just purchased and needless to say, the couple of reviews I came across weren't very flattering.

Nonetheless, enticed by the screenshots on the back of the game's cover, I revived from the grave my dusty PSP (the venerable 1001 model) and I slid in the UMD disc.

After a few seconds, a beautiful and eerie introduction screen greeted me, with a worrying ethereal star-child looking right into my iris. I later found out it is actually a witch, which is even more freaky...Laughing inside, I told myself that I should always expect some cool graphical shit when I get into euro-shmups territory.

And as any respectful euro-shooter out there, the first thing I came across when launching a game was a store to trade weapons, using a currency dropped by destroyed enemies called...are you guessing it already?...Xyanide!

About the game itself, it's basically a free-roaming 3D shooter viewed in third person (behind your ship).

Levels tend to look very impressive for a PSP game given that they consist of filmed backgrounds streamed directly off the UMD, a bit like Laserdisc games. This can be good and bad though because sometimes, you'll feel like you're not advancing at all as you 'll be waiting on the spot for enemy waves to materialize.

Graphically, there is somewhat of a clash between the really nice-looking backgrounds, the inspired bosses and the look of your ship, which is clunky and really silly-looking.

Other than that, you have a target to aim at enemies or to lock onto them depending on your weapons layout, and the shoulder buttons allow for quick dashes to avoid enemy fire.

In an obtuse move, Playlogic didn't allow to configure controls, so you'll be stuck using the analogue stick to move your ship around which will require some time getting used to and will make controls feel loose, which isn't exactly exciting.

The really nice thing about Xyanide though is that levels split into a tree-structure as seen in Darius with the upper path being the easiest and the lower path the hardest.

Different levels, with different bosses and altered attack patterns will await in every stage, and the incentive to go through everything is also reinforced by really cool unlockables such as an impressive gallery of artwork and an awesome and let me repeat this, an AWESOME, digital comic book split in 12 chapters that gives some vital info on the background of the story.

Really Xyanide is a mix bag in terms of what it offers, and it is most definitely a euro-shmup since it tends to put the audio-visuals on top and the gameplay in second place.

Gameplay could be more intuitive and controls could feel tighter, but let me tell you this, if you get into this game with an open mind, you may get surprised.

Bottom line: This is by no means a masterpiece or anything of this sort, but it is a shooting game with a personality that you may enjoy or not. For the price it goes for, you have nothing to lose if you decide to give it a chance. 7/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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