Review: TxK

TxK (6)

Glowing vectors, explosive particle effects and a pulse-pounding soundtrack are core elements of many modern arcade shooters – a style that Llamasoft defined with its seminal 90s tube shooter.  TxK is the spiritual successor to that genre-defining work and brings you 100 levels of engrossing score-chasing game play

TxK (14)

Pros:

  • Old school tunnel shooter harping back to the glory days of Tempest 2000.
  • Collect pick ups and upgrade your guns, earn jump so you can jump off the tunnel and shoot enemies who have taken over the top, and unlock a AI droid used to aid you in destroying enemies that may be getting a little bit too close to you.
  • Three game modes: Pure which is your traditional, heres three lives now see how far you can get. You can collect extra lives and do the bonus levels. Classic game is your restart best, this mode allows you start from any level you have reached. Your best scores are saved every time and so is are your lives.  Finish the level and you get your previous score added as a bonus. Hit level 12 with three lives and you can continue from there with your three lives. Last mode is survival and as you would imagine, This is a mode with no extra lives or bonus levels.
  • Collect power ups and they may contain a warp triangle which when collected shows on your hud. Collect 4 of these and you get whisked off to a bonus round where you must navigate through a series of triangular hoops. Finish it for big score bonuses. Fail it and you just get kicked back to your run through with no penalties.
  • Controls are simple and responsive. You can use the d-pad or left stick for movement. X is your shoot button and can be kept pressed down. L button allows you to stay still but lean into other lanes. Bonus rounds can be controlled via button input or by tilting the Vita itself. Touchscreen can be used for activating smart bombs, If you prefer you can use the O button.
  • You get a smart bomb on every level so there is no downside to using it, Time its deployment right for maximum points.
  • In between levels you always do a travel bonus type event. A bit like the triangle bonus event but with more gates to pass through, Missing them does nothing and does not result in a failure, Hitting them in the middle gives you bonus points. Again you can tilt the Vita or use the input buttons for steering.
  • The soundtrack is simply amazing and fits the game every way possible. A collaboration of some seriously talented people have come together to elevate your experience with the game. But for the love of god please use headphones, They do nothing but make an already great sound track…EPIC.
  • New players may not be used to the graphical styles of Minter but be rest assured that this is a true revamped classic with a lot of new age techniques squeezed in.
  • Online leaderboards and can be filter to just friends and each mode has its own leaderboard.
  • For thew first time ever, the credits section deserves a mention as Minter keeps the humour coming in a way only he knows best. Lines upon lines of thanks for his sheep, his curry house and even your mum! Do check it out and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
  • You can go into the credits section and actually browse through the songs and even listen to them in their entirety. A lovely touch and one that I like to see.
  • All Vita specific controls like touch screen, tilting or swiping the screen in menus is optional, For every Vita control their is the classic button, d-pad control available.
  • Over 100 levels to master with each of them getting progressively harder. With the addition of leaderboards, the game has so much replayability and longevity to it.
  • The price, At just over a fiver (under a fiver if you are a  you cannot pass up on this much game for the monies.
  • Pick up and play mentality, Yes you will die a lot at the begininng but the key is to keep trying, keep trying out new methods, learn when and where to use your smart bomb, Learn the layout and most important of all have fun.

TxK (15)

Cons:

  • Leaderboards look a bit chaotic and do not group active players together some of the time.
  • Going through the menu options like changing levels seems to have a bit of input delay? I can never quickly browse through the levels.
  • Highlights how crap the Vita battery life is.

TxK (18)

In Summary, Its a brilliant game and one that shows off Jeff Minters talent and why he is so highly regarded in the coding community. He is old school but knows how to roll with the new school and bring it hard. This is some of his finest work and I just pray that we see a lot more of him, For if there is one thing Minter does best, He knows how to work new systems and try new ideas and is never afraid to voice his opinion. If you have never heard of Minter then shame on you! But in all seriousness, get on his site and read his work and see just why he is part of the coding elite council. This game will consume you and you will let it as the graphics entrance you, the music grips you and you feel yourself floating off into a rave listening,sometimes techno shooter orgy of explosive particle flying fun. I cannot praise the game enough, Gamers want to play it, coders wished they made it, all you have to do is buy it!

Keep an eye out on our YouTube channel as I get better at recording gameplay and the game.

 

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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