• While twin-stick shooters saw a brief resurgence a few years back, there hasn’t really been a truly great one to be proud of having played it. A game that could be highly recommended. I think that time is now, as Nex Machina hits nearly all of those bells.

    The game is a twin-stick shooter in the vein of arcade games of yesteryear, like Smash TV or Robotron. But it also incorporates a few mechanics from Japanese danmaku shooters, where bullets can litter the screen. But imagine if the game gives you the keys to avoid death rather than be cheap and steal your metaphorical quarters. There are 5 levels with 15 rooms each, all which have scads of enemy waves to deal with. To help you out, there are powers ups that range from wide shot, long shot, and secondary firing options like power shot or laser shot. There are also power ups like shield that lets you take a free hit, or explosive dash, which makes your dash feature leave behind an explosion which damages enemies on your tail. Speaking of the dash, it will become increasingly necessary to use it to clear dangerous shots, get through a trap, or a few enemies that would be hard to otherwise clear. The last room of any level will face you off against a boss, and many of them will throw multiple objects, bullets or energy waves to evade. This is where the game goes into ‘bullet hell’ territory the most, as there are a lot more bullets on the screen than any single room in the game. The game doesn’t really emulate the intricate and beautiful patterns of bullets to weave through, but it’s still pretty intense.

    One of the nice things about the game is that if you die, your progress in the room is reset. This let’s you get a new opportunity to save the humans from the enemies, which will help you build up your score multipliers or get power ups that you missed, as well as giving you a new opportunity to expose secrets or destroy extra targets for even more points. All of this is done to a cool soundtrack that helps put you in the shooter groove. And you can even play on rookie mode to get unlimited continues, just to see all the levels and open them up for practice in Single World mode. The game also has it’s own achievement system to help keep track of all of your trophies rather than just going into your PS4’s GUI and checking there. The only areas where this game falters a bit is that there’s no online co-op mode to match the local co-op mode. There is only online competitive play and the leaderboard for those interested in online functionality. The other issue is that the game’s hitbox for your character could maybe afford to be smaller. The last complaint is more of request than a complaint, but I’d love to play this game on the Switch. It’s a really polished twin-stick shooter, and it needs to be on more console platforms. Highly recommended.

    Nex Machina - Review
    This is a terrific little twin-stick shooter that hits almost all of the right buttons.
    Our Score9
    Positives
    • The gameplay really harkens back to that Smash TV like twin-stick shooter from yesteryear while being less cheap and more precision bullet hell.
    Negatives
    • You can't explore once you've killed an entire wave.
    • No online co-op to match the local co-op.
    9Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
    0.0

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