Xyanide review

Because "Xarsenic" just doesn't sound right

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Eye-popping special attacks

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    Earning free ships

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    Roving camera angles


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    Repetitive enemy waves

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    Paralysis with missiles

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    Monotonous soundtrack

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A fusion of 2-D and 3-D shooters, Xyanide tells the story of a cute manga-style witch named Aguira and an aptly-named Executioner sent to destroy her. But it’s not what you think: instead of fighting to protect Aguira, players are out to kill her.

The opening cut scene shows Aguira headed for her intergalactic capital punishment. But before Executioner can strike the killing blow, the spaceship which houses Aguira is struck by an asteroid made of Xyanide. Xyanide causes a person's thoughts to manifest themselves in reality, and, naturally, Aguira's thoughts take the form of spaceships with weapons ranging from particle beams to homing missiles. It’s up to the player to navigate Aguira’s psychic defenses and close in for the kill. Though Aguira’s thoughts initially manifest themselves mechanically, halfway through the game her thoughts become organic. Spaceships become manta rays and explosions of metal become explosions of gore. Cool.

Players steer their ship with the left analog stick and can fire 360 degrees with the right, making Xyanide reminiscent of Midway’s arcade classic Robotron: 2084. Face buttons correspond to the ship's various special attacks in offensive, defensive, shielding and support categories. Like Aguira’s thoughts, the player’s ship packs two different arsenals: mechanical fire will bring down colossal capital ships, while organic attacks work best destroying smaller fighters. Additionally, you can fire missiles, but you'll sacrifice regular fire and movement temporarily.

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DescriptionThis dark shooter explores just how many weapons and power-ups you can pack into a simple, quasi-3D shoot 'em-up.