Sixty Second Shooter Prime
If your next-gen console has left you with a quadrilateral-shaped hole where Geometry Wars used to nestle, then the appearance of Sixty Second Shooter on Xbox One will likely seem an intriguing prospect. Indeed, this ‘Prime’ edition of the previous PlayStation and Chrome title owes a lot to Bizarre Creation’s cult game, from the revival of the twin-stick shooter genre to the concept of fighting oblique geometric shapes in a neon, arcade-like, two-dimensional landscape.
SSSP adds a few new ingredients into the pot though. Some seem well thought out and executed whilst others come across simply as a way to differentiate proceedings. Of the former, the inclusion of ‘levels’ works rather well. Instead of the flat, singular playfield we’ve become accustomed to, there are several layers that are accessed via a portal on whichever field you are currently fighting on. ‘Smashing’ down these levels (as is the way of the game) brings higher point rewards from the enemies who follow but at the cost of a stiffer difficulty level. It’s a simple but classic risk-reward scenario.
Collectibles fare less well unfortunately. In a game where lasting the allotted sixty seconds can be an achievement in itself, the notion of using tactics where these are concerned can often go out the window. It’s certainly worth mastering these basics in order to get the highest score possible, which is the whole point of the game, but they can seem a little too numerous and excessive to do much more than just burn through them as they appear. It’s compounded by the fact that the more you use them, the more these power-ups will spawn.
There are other little pros and cons littered throughout Sixty Second Shooter. Sound design and the thud of exploding shapes is particularly effective through the Xbox One controller, whereas the waves of enemy classes feels a little repetitive and indistinct from one another. Its difficulty over one-minute of frantic, twitch shooting seems well judged, yet it throws un-lockables and achievements at the player for the most mediocre of successes. For every positive, there seems to be a countering niggle just around the corner.
However, as a straight ahead score-chaser, albeit one that borrows heavily from the aforementioned source, Sixty Second Shooter Prime does come up with the goods in small bursts. The simple premise and brevity of an individual play-through is a good concoction for brewing up that ‘one more game’ mantra and whilst your passion for it may be as fleeting as its title suggests, you’re likely to have a good time whilst it lasts.