September 16, 2010
You know what kind of games I dislike? Games that you just breeze through. It’s becoming more and more common for the only effort you have to make to beat a game is picking up the controller. I like to feel a sense of accomplishment when I beat a game; not like I just sat through a 10-15 hour interactive movie. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. This is why I am here today to tell you about Crossfire.
Crossfire is the second release from Radiangames released in July of 2010. I was trying to think of the best way to describe the game and I came up with this. If you put Space Invaders, Geometry Wars, and steroids in a blender the result would be Crossfire. Crossfire has a look similar to Geometry Wars, but has game play aspects that are influenced by Space Invaders. The difference being it’s much faster, the enemies are more challenging, and you can fire from either to the top or bottom of the level by warping. Warping adds a whole new dynamic of game play. Warping is great to avoid getting hit by enemy fire, but at the same time if you’re not careful you will find yourself accidentally running right into enemy fire. This is especially true in the later levels where the game really gets intense.
You will get to play through 50 waves of enemies each with their own unique enemy configuration. There are eight enemy types. Naturally, the game starts you off easy with one enemy type per wave, but quickly starts to mix enemy types together to create some rather challenging waves. Some enemies follow the direction you’re in, some fire in multiple directions, some fire diagonal, and some explode at you when you hit them. But there are even support type enemies that will shield other enemies from your attacks until they are destroyed or reflect your shots back at you. There are even some enemies that you can only shoot from one direction; so on some waves you will need to clear out or have to wait for an opportunity to hit them. On average you will get one to three types of enemies per wave. That is until you get to the final wave and all eight are present. There were definitely quite a few waves that left me cursing my fingers for not moving as fast as my brain told them.
Crossfire has several upgrades to help you out. As you play you will come across waves that provide a Power Upgrade or a Speed Upgrade. A Power Upgrade increases the number of bullets you shoot per shot. A Speed Upgrade increases your movement and warp speed. Both upgrades can be upgraded four times. There are additional power ups in the UFOs that you will see pass by at least once per wave. If you destroy the red UFO you get Superammo, which fills your ammo gauge. If you destroy the yellow UFO you get Slowdown, which will slow down the enemy movement and firing rate temporarily. As you noticed I used the word ammo. What do you use ammo for? It’s used for Superfire, which allows your bullets to fire faster and be stronger. You get ammo from enemies that you destroy and of course the red UFO I just mentioned. You will probably want to use your ammo sparingly though. For as much as you collect, it drains very fast.
There are multiple game types. You can play normal, which takes you through the 50 waves. After you finish normal you will open Turbo. In Turbo enemies, shots, and ammo move about 2x faster. Completing normal mode also unlocks Megawave. Megawave is almost like Normal in the fact that you will clear enemies out one set at a time. The difference is that in Megawave if you lose all of your lives, you start right back at part 1. There are 20 parts total in Megawave, and if you lose at part 19, you’re going back to part 1. If you manage to finish Megawave, there is a Turbo Megawave mode waiting for you. If you beat Turbo Megawave then you will be man enough to start eating bullets and gun powder for breakfast.
I would recommend this game to anyone who appreciates a challenge, but also likes to have fun. I think you get way more value out of this game than what you pay. You can hop in for a quick game or dig in for the long haul. Then, when you think you’re done with the game it kicks it up a notch and makes you want to play again. I found myself getting frustrated at some parts, but I really couldn’t place any blame on cheap antics from the developer. It was me; I just didn’t react in enough time. There is co-op available as well, so you and a buddy can destroy some waves together… or just try to beat each others scores. Overall, I really enjoyed the game and still play it; especially while I wait for my 4v4 Starcraft II matches to start. I would highly recommend checking it out. It’s only 240 points (I think that’s $3 on XBLA), so skip the dollar menu for a day and pick it up. If you like the music the developer has also made that available for you here. $3 for an awesome game and soundtrack? It’s a recession folks, take advantage of what you can!
Out Of 5
I really enjoyed the visuals. It felt very new age, with a retro kind of feel at the same time. The lighting and glowing effects are very nice. The frame rate was high and steady which helps for fast, smooth game play.
I thought the sound track was well done. Even though there is a limited amount of repeating music tracks I really didn't find myself getting annoyed with it. I thought the sound effects were done well; they really fit the game.
Control was fast, accurate, and very reactive. Can't ask for much more. If you die, it's your own fault.
I enjoyed the game play. With each new wave I really didn't find myself getting bored, which can easily happen in a shooter game. The Megawave and Turbo modes added replay value to the game. The game was challenging. You have to earn every wave once you get past the beginning stages.
I had a lot of fun playing. Some parts were frustrating, but thats what you get with a challenging game.