5/29/2014

NYXX

Oh, hey, remember when I said I was going to be writing more?

Ahem.... Well, anyway,  this past weekend an up-and-coming German shmup developer by the name of Infinite Vile released an independently published, dubiously titled  manic-shooter, NYXX. How does one pronounce NYXX? Is it a word? Is it an acronym? After the bump, all these questions, and more...will be rendered irrelevant since NYXX is a damned good shooter.



NYXX (PC)
Developed & Published by: Infinite Vile
Released: May 24, 2014

NYXX attempts to recapture the simplicity of early Manic Vertical-Shooters, such as DonPachi, and Batsugun, so you won't be finding any scoring strategies involving: building meter by point blanking enemies, so you can cancel pink bullets with your yellow bullets, turning pink bullets into gold stars, or growing steel-orbs by chaining kills using your laser, to convert into steel-swords by using your hyper-mode, and firing your swords into bosses, and cancelling the bullets with your shield to turn into gold, and other madness requiring knowledge of the arcane, as found in Cave's more recent titles.

Finally! A shooter that won't require goat's blood to play for score!

Putting an emphasis on survival, your score constantly increases, so long as you're ship is ''alive'. 'All you have to worry about sustaining is a respectable number of consecutive hits, which translate into multipliers, which gives you a higher score the more consecutive kills you can earn. Enemies point value increases if you're at point-blank range as well. In short, it's Chaining 101. NYXX, plays, feels and even looks like a love-letter to Cave's early efforts, such as DonPachi, featuring a constant barrage of enemy gunfire and a simple, yet gratifying combo-based scoring-system, all set to a hype-as-hell Euro Drum and Bass soundtrack.

Also worth noting, the obligatory, No Bomb, No Miss bonuses are included in the results tally; the game also rewards bonus points for grazing, and features a dedicated ''focus'' button, enabling you to exploit this mechanic to it's fullest extent, a la Touhou, adding an element of risk/reward. These (obviously) contribute to perfecting your score runs.

It sounds like a nightclub. And presuming you do E, it looks like one too.

NYXX offers your choice from three different ship types: Spark (A), Boese (B), and Elysia (C).


Spark is about average in terms of speed, and strength of it's gunfire. However, it benefits from homing-fire, enabling you worry less about aiming, and more on zoning. However, the near-inability to choose a target to fire upon, means enemies are shot-down less efficiently than when using Elysia's massive tidal wave of neon-colored-napalm-death.


Boese is the slowest, but the most powerful, able to take out a significant number enemies in one hit. Unfortunately, it's rather narrow spread-of-fire, combined with it's slow movement speed make Boese more difficult to use.


Elysia is noticeably faster than the other two ships. It's spread also increases
considerably when powered-up. This is a go-to choice for learning the game, it's wide-spread and speed require less movement to be effective, allowing you to focus on herding and dodging.


More than meets the eye...
Each ship is lusciously designed, showing off meticulous details, such as visible rivet-lines in the metal-work,  lights, and wing-flaps; great composition overall. This care extends to the stages as well, lending NYXX a professional appearance rarely seen in independent games (hell it's prettier than most beige AAA games). The bullets, explosions and other special-effects all have a nice "glow"to them, being bright and vivid enough to both look pretty, and stand out against the background.

The enemy sprite-work, on the other hand, clashes a bit with the design of the player-ships, and backgrounds; with their thick black outlines, the enemies have more of a ''comic book'' vibe than the gritty mid-90's sci-fi shooter feel the ships and stages evoke, but théy are expertly crafted nonetheless, And with all this viewed through a faux-scanline filter, NYXX offers an outstanding visual-package, that compliments it's top-shelf gameplay quite nicely.


Enemy Bullet-Patterns, and Chain-Combos demonstrated

But talk is cheap, and pictures don't do NYXX justice-
 so here's a blind-run of Stage 1:



Support Infinity Vile and the Shooter scene by purchasing NYXX right now!!

God knows, this planet needs more shmups.


Why haven't you bought this yet?! It's, like, Five Bucks.

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