Score Rush (XBLA) Review (2)
Posted by Trace Aber on 12.21.2010
Score Rush is another title in a long line of bullet hell shooters - does it do enough to stand out on its own?
Score Rush is another title in a long list of shooters on the Indie Games Channel, and the most recent release by Xona Games, who have a short history of making shooting games. They donít go too far from their typical formula, which in this case means you get a competent shooter that unfortunately has a couple of pitfalls that makes up the difference between a decent game and a great game.
Score Rush has you controlling a small ship that is on a mission to kill any and everything that stands in its path; it just so happens that any and everything wants to destroy your ship as well. Score Rushís best asset is the sheer number of bullets that fill up the screen at any time, meaning the action is non-stop. Thereís no backstory here, all you have to do is earn the highest score possible.
Each game begins with three lives and three bombs that destroy all enemies on screen. Killing certain enemies will cause them to drop a powerup that increases your attack or even grants you an ally that follows behind you and shoots enemies. As you advance further through the level youíll take on a series of bosses that cover the screen in bullets, meaning moving around looking for open spaces is a must in this game. The bosses have predetermined patterns (as do other enemies) and after a few games become almost laughingly easy, assuming you can dodge their endless barrage of bullets.
The game also supports four player co-op locally, which really makes things interesting. All four players can share lives with one another and powerups go only to the lowest player, but the real fun is watching all of the chaos that ensues on the screen. Games are hectic enough with one person; adding three more almost adds a whole new level of difficulty in itself trying to find your ship amongst the sea of bullets.
Score Rushís presentation is a series of colorful explosions and streams of bullets in front of a watery background with some great music to motivate you along the way, and it all comes together for a great visual experience. Itís one of the gameís defining features and makes the game feel more unique that it really is.
My biggest problem is that it depends on high scores yet lacks global leaderboards. Yes, you can brag to your friends about your score and post on their forums, but in this day and age that doesnít cut it. I understand that Microsoft doesnít allow for global leaderboards for indie games, but if thatís the case why build your game around that concept? I think Score Rush would have been better suited if there was some other end goal in mind.
Score Rush is a technically fine shooter that fans of the genre will be able to pick up and enjoy with ease. But it does very little to innovate and outside of the pretty explosions thereís not a lot to recommend. The gameís entire premise is cut short due to the limitations of the platform and even though itís only a dollar there are many similar, if not better experiences you can obtain out there for the around the same price.
Bright, colorful and explosive
The mechanics and controls are perfect to the genre but do little to improve upon it
The music reminds me of old shooters, giving it a nice old-school feel
With no global leaderboards and predetermined patterns, the lifespan on this game is rather short
The game itself is fine but I can't help but feel like I've played this a thousand times over