Black Paradox – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Black Paradox
Black Paradox is a Rogue-like shump from the developers Fantastico studios. The game combines the RNG elements of a Rogue-like with the face paced action of a Shump into something, one can only be described as a bullet and death hell.
The story for this game is simple. Your the Bounty Hunter Black Paradox and your mission is defeat the largest criminal organisation the Hellraisers. To do this the player must defeat the seven bosses. Along the way the player collects power ups and strategy. Do you have what it takes to defeat the Hellraisers?..
When you first start the game you are greeted with with the main menu and the pumping synth soundtrack. Black Paradox allows for Co-Op play but for this review I will be sticking to the solo mode. The menu also gives you access to the options which include vibration and a filter called “VHS”; for those of you too young to remember the good old VHS tape, it was a black box with a film reel inside and you had movies on them. So basically an old fashioned DVD disc.
Once you press play prepare yourself as you blast off in a…. Delorean??
Yes you read that right the player’s ship is a good old Delorean that can travel through space and time. I wonder if it is the brother of Doc Brown’s Delorean… Where was I..? Ah yes the players ship is fitted with a standardized machine gun that can be fired by pressing down A. This starter weapon should do whilst you dispatch the first few randomized enemy ships, once you see a floating blue chip fly over and press B this will give you a dropped enemy weapon. Your ship can hold up to two weapons at any one time which can be interchanged with the X button.
In the Top left corner you will find the Ships health bar (which you will be thankful you have trust me) above that is another bar that slowly fills as you kill the enemies and also whilst you collect blue canisters not to be confused with the blue weapon chips. Once that bar is full you can press RT+LT at the same time this will launch the Black Paradox, this is a second ship that will have a randomized weapon and a life of 20 seconds. This comes in handy when dispatching one of the 7 bosses that you come across.
To help along the way the player after defeating a boss or after being defeated has the ability to spend the accrued points on ship upgrades. This ranges for shields to self repairs and even weapons. This in my opinion adds an extra layer of strategy to the game and also replay-ability as there are so many different combos to try out.
One issue you will find when you play Black Paradox is that the game is played like a Gauntlet there are no saves or checkpoints and once you have died you will be sent back to level 1. This coupled with a very steep difficulty may make this game unsuitable for most casual gamers. Whilst I do personally enjoy difficult shooters the fact that the game starts at high difficulty will annoy/put a lot of people off. In my opinion their should be a difficulty curve which would make this game infinitely more playable for the casual market.
You will also come across some slowdown if a lot of bullets are on the screen all at once. This thankfully doesn’t happen that often but the fact we are in 2019 and screen slowdown is still prevalent does knock a bit of shine to what is a very nice looking game.
The graphics have a very specific 1980’s Sci-fi style motif with the choice of the players ship and use of VHS filters. The players ship is big and easy to see which in turn is a good and bad thing. Easy to see but Easy to hit. The enemies are very varied both in design and use. There is a nice mix between big pix-elated ships and small rotating cannons. The bullets are easy to see and don’t melt into the background which is good because your going to need to see where everyone is so you can dodge them.
The Boss sprites are nice big and detailed and make up a good matchup against the player equally large ship. Each Boss has its own pattern of attack that will need to be learnt by the player if you want to succeed!
The background music fits and compliments the game play giving the game a nice fast beat which long synth chords just oozing of 1980’s class.
Unfortunately the sound effects leave much to be desired in my opinion the bullets and explosions are quite weak against the music and are too soft and really don’t mesh with what your seeing on screen.
All Bosses have there own voice which is said during the boss cut-scene, this is very reminiscent of those mid to late 80’s arcade shumps with the cheesy synth voice which totally fits the overall games appeal and style.
In terms of longevity with the fact the game is rogue-like adds to it with every level up to the boss being randomized the combinations are endless and there is always something to see and blow up.
Where it might be let down is its extreme difficulty which may put most people off from ever touching it again.
Overall Black Paradox is a very good game with a very high difficulty curve. But I feel it is worth the try and is a good game to play a quick 15 minutes before work.
Review code supplied by Digerati
Review written by Boouya