Game Review: Xenon Valkyrie+ (Xbox One)
Xenon Valkyrie+ is a rogue-lite platformer game with RPG elements thrown in by Cowcat Games. A game where you must fight to the deepest part of a moon and halt the plans of a wicked witch. A revamped version of the original PC game and already available on PS Vita. Xenon Valkyrie+ is coming to PS4 (Feb 20th) and Xbox One (Feb 21st) now!
The first thing you’ll notice about Xenon Valkyrie+ is just how much of a throwback to the classic 8-bit/16-bit era it is, boasting colourful & retro visuals. It looks great & is accompanied by high quality chiptune music.
The second thing you’ll notice is just how urgent it feels & just how fluidly it plays. Choose one of three characters each with their own special ability. Each character comes with a sword, gun & couple of grenades with many more weapons obtainable. What marks them out as different is the special ability with one’s extended jump being the only real difference maker.
Characters earn XP by defeating enemies & bosses throughout the randomly-generated world. Levelling up rewards you with ‘talent points’ which can enhance your character going forward. Something that is really needed as the game has a steep difficulty curve and once you’ve started taking damage it isn’t easy to heal yourself.
Levels are broken into acts & see you working your way from the top to the bottom getting as much XP as possible before leaving through a portal. After two acts, a boss battle ensues testing all your skills up to that point. There’s a lot of imagination with these beasts even if their attacks are easy to telegraph.
Xenon Valkyrie+ real difficulty comes from its perma-death state. Once your character dies, it’s game over with nothing carrying over to a new game except Teamerite. This stuff is used to unlock much better weapons but annoyingly you don’t instantly get the weapons, instead unlocking opportunities to find them during the acts.
After finishing an act you’ll get a chance to spend ‘cells’ buying yourself some upgrades like shields & health. These little hubs help propel the story onward as you talk to the characters waiting inside. It’s an interesting tale & builds anticipation for the eventual face-off with the witch.
Xenon Valkyrie+ plays brilliantly, the controls are fluid & gameplay is fast-paced, the levels are fun & the difficulty, not unfair. The only really flaw in the game is the portal system, once an act is complete you can unlock a fast-travel portal that brings you to the next unlocked act should you die.
Considering the increased difficulty as you progress, using these portals also gives you some TP to spend. However, what it doesn’t do is give you better weapons. So, you’ll be entering tough levels with your basic starting equipment & won’t be making it very far at all. Basically pointless.
Rouge-lite games with perma-death can be really be hit & miss so it’s really nice to see Xenon Valkyrie+ fall into the hit category. It’s easy to pick up & play, the kind of game you can spend hours playing or just a quick 20 minutes.
A copy of the game was given to us by the developer, Cowcat Games. You can check out some of our gameplay footage below.
The Final Score - 7.5/10