Super Weekend Mode – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Super Weekend Mode
On the outside Super Weekend Mode looks and sounds like a video game transported through time, one that should not have a place on the Xbox One, however 5 minutes into this game and you can’t help but feel that air of nostalgia of all those years ago, rocking the NES, or visiting the local arcade! There is also this feeling that you are somehow tapping into your Rock ‘n’ Roll star days on Guitar Hero… if Guitar Hero happened to be designed for the NES! Look, off the bat this game isn’t going to win any awards for it’s ingenuity or revolutionary gameplay, and it’s a game that looks and feels a little dated but maybe, just maybe that’s why people will love it!
The concept of the game is simple enough “That Guy” has stolen the Princess’ belongings, and it is as this determined Princess that you must survive “the labyrinths of despair” in order to retrieve your belongings. On the journey you will collect an assortment of different coloured hearts (learning the movement paths of these hearts is crucial!); take out a load of nuisance Dust Bunnies; dodge the increasingly more frustrating skulls, and shoot down a number of bosses each with a wonderfully unique design. I’m still not exactly sure what some of them are, but it’s a classic top-dropper game, with classic graphics to boot! There are 9 levels in total, with each level getting faster and more bonkers!
One nice little touch, adding a much needed element of depth, is that there is more to your character than expected… At the beginning of the game you get to choose which outfit your Princess will wear on her journey, with a choice of 6 outfits altogether each with different boosters or handicaps. The boosters are certainly a help for new players to get used to the game, (I’d recommend using the Tank Outfit first that offers a very helpful shield each level!) whereas the outfit handicaps go alongside a 3-tier difficulty setting, meant to be Easy, Normal & Hard, that can turn this game into a crazed 8-bit nightmare!
I’ll be honest, this game’s difficulty curve is steep even on easy mode and you will die a few times, for instance the game quickly asks of you as soon as Level 2, to move the two platforms in different directions simultaneously. One way of looking at it is that if you are determined to complete the game’s most challenging setting, then it will take a significant amount of game time, and trying to complete the game with all 6 outfits adds some level of replayability too!
On a lighter note, if you are trophy hunter rather than game completionist then the good news is you should only need to complete level 3 on easy mode to get 9/10 achievements, and you are very kindly rewarded with the final achievement ‘My hands are tired’ just by starting a game on the hardest mode (3x hearts).
When it comes to controls the game is simple enough in that it is just 3 buttons – Move Left (LB), Move Right (RB) & Shoot (A). You can even turn Autofire on so then it becomes just two buttons, but timing and multi-tasking is everything which is where ultimately, just like any co-ordination game a lot will fall short and run out of patience…
I am sure at this point a lot of you are thinking “Ahh bring it on, what’s so difficult about pressing two buttons and dodging some skulls?” but the truth is there are times that the game feels a little slow to respond and clunky which, in the later levels when your eyes can no longer differentiate between the shapes on your screen, you have a microsecond to make a choice and you are down to your last life, the delayed response can, let’s say add rather a downer on your experience (speaking from experience!)… the delay does seem to get worse as the levels progress too which makes me wonder if the game is not quite polished but whilst it can lead to frustration, the game is beatable. Whether that is luck or skill is another question for another time!
A side-note on the subject of frustration, there is one aspect of the game that may get a little frustrating for some players, and that’s the 8-bit style game soundtrack. It didn’t bother me so much, as a gamer of over 25 years there is something nostalgic about the music, however I don’t think it will be for everyone.
All in all, this is a simple and fun game, albeit one that may be 20 years out-of-date, but if you are looking for a new game with a sense of nostalgia on a modern day console, then this is the game for you. It’s certainly one that old-school gamers and arcade regulars will love!