Before writing this review, I really wanted to stay away from any references to Metroid. However, that’s pretty much impossible as Renegade Kid’s latest outing, Xeodrifter, is basically a huge love letter to that classic Nintendo franchise. This isn’t an issue however as Xeodrifter is itself a hugely fun game that takes us back to the days when games were about pure enjoyment.
In Xeodrifter, you travel from planet to planet in order to find a way to repair your ship’s hyperdrive engine. In order to progress, you must defeat boss aliens who give you specific power ups that will help you further explore the interconnected areas of each world. Along the way, you’ll gain enhancements for your weapon and items that help you extend your health. If this all sounds familiar it should, because that’s the whole point of this game: to be Metroid without actually being Metroid.
Graphically speaking, Xeodrifter bears the resemblance of a Sega Master System game with its 8-bit graphics. However, there are some modern touches like blurring effects when you are fighting in different planes on-screen. Each planet has a similar look and feel to them but their colors are distinct enough to let you be able to tell them apart.
On the audio side, this game sounds like a title from the 80s with its chip tune music soundtrack and bleeps and bloops for sound effects. The music itself has an otherworldly vibe to it, but it’s also pleasant since it airs more on the casual, and carefree side and isn’t as ominous as it could have been.
The alien enemies that you face aren’t exactly challenging if you watch for their specific patterns. However, some enemies, particularly the bosses, will change up their patterns so you need to be aware of how they’re behaving before taking any action. Certain enemies fire projectiles, some of them all at once, so being quick on the d-pad or analog stick will be essential during portions of the game.
If you’ve played a Metroid game before then you’ll feel right at home with Xeodrifter. Since the PlayStation 4 obviously won’t get that Nintendo game added to the PSN, this is about as close as you can get to playing it. This is fine as Xeodrifter is easily one of the most fun nostalgic trip games currently out there.
This review of Xeodrifter is based on a digital review copy for the PlayStation 4 provided by Renegade Kid.