Originally released in 2015 for the PlayStation Vita, Superbeat: Xonic is a hardcore rhythm game that’s only real failing was being released during one of the Vita’s rocky patches (i.e., post launch). Now it’s out on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, ready to show a much bigger audience around some great music.
Developed by Nurijoy, a Korean studio formed by former employees of now-defunct DJMax development house Pentavision, Superbeat: Xonic takes basic lane-based rhythm gameplay and wraps it around the edges of the screen. Like arcade classic Tempest, the enemies (notes) fly out from the center of the screen. Players strike the beats using a combination of face buttons, directional pad and analog sticks. It’s a bit of a juggle initially, but once you know the music it’s not so tough.
Unless you’re trying to give a guided tour of the game on video while playing. Oh look.
There’s plenty of great music in Superbeat: Xonic, with genres running from easy listening to the evil opposite of easy listening (uneasy listening?). Korean rhythm games have never been very concerned with whether or not the songs follow any sort of uniform theme. It’s one of the reasons fans love them so.
With three levels of difficulty, songs to unlock, DJ icons to earn and a challenging World Tour mode to master, there’s a lot to do in Superbeat: Xonic. If you’re a fan of eclectic Korean rhythm games, it might be your new jam.
Check out my 2015 post on the Vita version of the game if you want to see more of the game in action.