Game Review: Superbeat Xonic (Switch)

Superbeat Xonic, a music rhythm game based upon the Japanese arcade game Beatcraft Cyclon makes the leap to the Nintendo Switch; but is this a game thats worth putting on repeat or just another one hit wonder? Well let’s find out!

  Title: Superbeat Xonic
Publisher: PM Studios / Acttil
Developer: Nurijoy
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Resolution: 1920 X 1080
Audio: English
Subtitles: English (White)
Local Players: 1
Online Players: N/A
Install: YES (6.9GB)

Our View:

*NOTE: For the purpose of this Review a North American Code was provided to us by Acttil*

Originally released onto the PlayStation Vita, and then later re-released onto the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, comes Nurijoy’s Nintendo Switch version of Superbeat Xonic; a music rhythm game that focuses entirely on the music rather than a brand name. It is safe to say that when compared to popular brands such as Hatsune Miku or DJ Max, Superbeat Xonic is a newcomer to the music rhythm franchise; but for me Superbeat Xonic stands up as one of the best rhythm games available and it makes a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library.

Featuring more than fifty tracks, two distinctive gameplay modes and a level progression system, fans of rhythm games will find themselves playing songs over-and-over again in order to unlock all the content that the game has to offer. In this case simply levelling up your profile will unlock new songs, new avatar items for your in-game profile and new ‘beat sounds’ that are used when hitting notes; additionally by levelling up new challenges within the gameplay mode ‘World Tour’ can be unlocked which, once complete, will unlock further content for the player to explore.

For the most part the mode known as ‘Stage’ will be the most played game-mode; with players able to choose between three different difficulty modes known as 4-TRAX (Easy), 6 TRAX (Medium),6 TRAX FX (Hard), each of which will allow three songs to be played and an overall score awarded at the end – much like the arcade games Dance Dance Revolution and Dancing Stage. This ‘Stage’ mode also offers a Free Style mode whereby songs acquired through natural progression can be played at any chance so players are free to play (and practice) their favourite songs.

The ‘World Tour’ mode on the other hand will continue experience found within Stage mode, expect it will be a predetermined selection of songs, and expands upon it with challenges such as obtaining a specific rank or achieving a set combo. Naturally these challenges get harder the further you progress through the ‘World Tour’ mode; but fortunately the experience is made easier with most challenges being considered complete so long as it is done within one of the three songs.

From a game mode stand point Superbeat Xonic is simplistic and lacks variety, as it only offers these two gameplay modes, but from a content stand point the game features a wide variety of unlockable content with everything locked behind ‘beatable’ wall. It may seem like a simplistic approach to gaming but this is the classic ‘arcade’ experience that most games have opted to forego and personally I like it. Not being tied to a story or a restrictive progression system means we can play whatever songs we want, on the difficulty we want, whenever we want and (more importantly) wherever we want; it’s just good fun.

Naturally the most important aspect of a music rhythm game is the music on offer and how it plays; and both play exceedingly well that, as a result, makes it difficult to put down. Superbeat Xonic features over fifty songs that span a wide range of different music genres such as RnB, indie pop, progressive metal and J-POP from different music producers such as 3rd Coast, ND Lee and Tsukasa.

These names may not mean anything to you (as they don’t to me) but it further reiterates that Superbeat Xonic is not the ‘newcomer’ we expected it to be and instead offers a wide variety of songs with each song being enjoyable to listen and play; regardless of the music genre. Most rhythm games feature a song we don’t like or do not get along with as it may be difficult or boring, but I’ve yet to find a song I don’t like – even if it is difficult. The songs are just that good and enjoyable to listen too.

So how does this music turn into actual gameplay? Well as with most rhythm games players press corresponding buttons when notes appear on screen. In this case a semi-circle on each side of the screen dictates when the notes, which appear from the middle of the screen, should be hit. To make things slightly more confusing each semi-circle is separated into two halfs and is also linked to the corresponding input method of your control input. In short the top part of the semi-circle on the right-side of the screen relates to the X & Y buttons whereas the bottom half of the semi-circle relates to the B & A buttons. The semi-circle on the right meanwhile is linked to the D-Pad buttons with the top part linked to the UP & Left buttons with right & down buttons linked to the bottem part of the semi-circle on the left.

It may sound confusing but it is actually quite easy and after a song or two it becomes almost second nature. The challenging aspect of this game relates to the analog stick as harder songs will use the analog stick to be moved up and down in a motion. On its own it is easy to pull off but on harder difficulty settings, which see the opposite side requiring multiple inputs, it does become a challenge (a fun challenge that is).

From an input perspective it is simple to learn but difficult to master; especially in the later stages. Of course if you wish to play the game from a different perspective you can do as the game also features touch-screen input. Touch screen controls are, in some instances, easier than control input but it simply requires players to touch the screen when notes are about to hit.

Superbeat Xonic is a game I have often wanted to try but have been put off with its unknown music and difficult looking input commands; but after several hours of playing this Switch version I regret not trying the game anytime sooner. It’s fun, looks good and sounds great; but most of all Superbeat Xonic rewards those willing to spend larges amount of time with the game.

Score: review-stars-5

Superbeat Xonic will be available within North America on the 21st November 2017 by Acttil & PM Studios as well as Europe on the 30th November 2017 by Rising Star Games.


About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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