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Superbeat: Xonic is a rhythm game developed by Nurijoy, a team comprised of former Pentavision employees. Rhythm fans of the DJMax series will recognize Superbeat: Xonic for its similar artwork and gameplay design and as a spiritual successor to the DJ Max series, there is plenty to love about the developer’s latest title on the PlayStation Vita.

There are three different modes of gameplay with respect to difficulty: 4 TRAX, 6 TRAX and 6 TRAX FX. Song performances are graded with additional tracks being unlocked as you reach higher scores and secure top marks. Breaks are treated as the equivalent of “misses” during a song that is revealed when the song is successfully completed. Each break leads to a small decrease in the player’s life bar as they carefully work with single, trigger, hold and stick notes. On the Playstation TV system, inputs range from the directional and regular buttons to timed presses of the analog sticks to match the beat of the respective song. Music selections are filled with various Korean DJ music songs with colorful backgrounds and character art. If the going gets tough, you have the option to slow down the music to a more comfortable pace or speed it up to suit your preferences. The timing of specific notes requires practice as there are often off-beat notes and multiple notes that will test your eye and hand coordination as well as your rhythm.

 

The World Tour mode is ideal for veteran rhythm fans as you are required to complete timely objectives and challenges. It serves as a true test of your rhythm skills as certain challenges demand perfection that will infuriate many players as much practice and trial and error is necessary. If you’re really looking to up the ante or difficulty, the modifiers in the game allow you to customize and tweak the appearance and timing of notes during a song. It is strongly recommended that players go through the 6 TRAX and 6 TRAX FX to hone their button pressing and rhythm skills prior to jumping into the World Tour mode. As the game was designed with the Vita in mind, the World Tour mode poses an especially bigger challenge for fans playing the game on the PlayStation TV system. As for Freestyle mode, you are able to play songs acquired independently to your liking.

As a reward for your progression and hard work, special items like extra songs, DJ avatars and new missions in World Tour mode are unlockable. The higher your rank, the better the chances of acquiring them with the specific use of DJ avatars that provide song enhancements like bonuses, extended life bars and stronger hit shields. Much like an RPG, you gradually gain experience and level up and the option is available to view your status on the global leaderboard to see where you stand with other Superbeat Xonic fans. The cover art and imagery used for each song varies with respect to the artist and serves as visually appealing eye candy to an enjoyable rhythm-based game.

Superbeat: Xonic is the perfect addition on the Vita for fans of rhythm-based games. The psychedelic visuals, stimulating gameplay and unlockable content make it the ideal music on Sony’s portable handheld. Though the difficulty is punishing at times, it’s the best title to pick up and play for casual and veteran fans on the PlayStation Vita. 

SCORE – 80%

This review is based on a digital copy of Superbeat: Xonic on the PlayStation Vita provided by Acttil. It was reviewed using the PlayStation TV system.

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