AiRace Xeno

AiRace-XenoCover
7.25 Overall Score
Gameplay: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 7/10

Good 3D Graphics | Tight Controls

No Opponents To Race Against

Game Info

GAME NAME: AiRace Xeno

DEVELOPER(S): QubicGames

PUBLISHER(S): QubicGames

PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS

GENRE(S): Racing

RELEASE DATE(S): June 12th, 2014

Sequel to AiRace Speed and the fourth title in the AiRace franchise, AiRace Xeno brings more of what fans expect from the series to Nintendo’s handheld for a bargain price.  While the production value feels high, does the game differ enough from the previous titles or does it reign supreme?

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When you launch AiRace Xeno you are greeted by a visually stunning opening cinema that rivals any big publisher video I’ve seen on the 3DS handheld.  From this moment I knew that visuals weren’t going to be an issue with this title.  The game setting is a futuristic racer but I never really got a sense of racing in the game.  There aren’t any opponents to race against and instead it is a game where you race against the clock, similar to the time trials mode in the Mario Kart franchise.  If it weren’t for the online leaderboards, I would label this game disappointing, but racing against real peoples times make it slightly more interesting and also the inclusion of achievements give the game a lasting value.  AiRace has 3 different airships for you to test out to see what the best fit is over 9 different courses.  You start out with one course and the others can be unlocked by earning starts for completing the races in a certain amount of time.

There are two control schemes in the game, buttons or stylus.  While the stylus controls felt good, I felt the precision of the analog stick made for better course times.  The left and right bumper buttons are used for rolling your spacecraft aand the A button is for Nitro and the B for braking.  Flying is the easy part, but knowing where and when to boost and brake is where the learning curve comes in and can be the difference between a top score or bottom of the rankings.  It is a difficult learning curve, but feels super rewarding once you see your time at the top.  The respawns when you crash are pretty sporadic, so if you crash I recommend getting ready to have to pull yourself out of harms way, right away.

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The in-game graphics are just as gorgeous as some of the top-tier 3DS games.  You will really feel like your are twisting and turning inside the levels.  QubicGames did a great job with the 3D mode, making me have a sense of when turns and dips where coming up and it makes use of some of the best 3D I’ve seen on the system.  The soundtrack is okay, nothing noteworthy or memorable but the sound effects are good and make you feel like you are in the cockpit.

The Recommendation

If you own previous AiRace titles you knock what you are in for, some good clean time trial racing fun.  If you like flying and/or futuristic racing, at $2.49, this is a great entrance point into the series to see what fun you’ve been missing.  It fits the great handheld title mold of being able to pick it up and play a few races and feel like you accomplished something.

 

 

 

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Author: Anthony DeVirgilis View all posts by
Managing Partner / Editor for Sony/Nintendo I prefer Indies to AAA titles... unless it's Nintendo or Sony Google+ Author

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