Twisted Pixel’s first title on the Xbox One launched on the Marketplace a few weeks ago by the name of LocoCycle. It’s a rather mad, yet slightly insane racing title featuring a bike that can perform a number of stunts and trick shots both on the open road and in mid-air. With live-action cut-scenes that further fuels the insanity between levels – LocoCycle is a decent enough arcade game, but nothing that grabs you by the balls. It’s pretty average, but as a budget priced download title it’s not trying to be anything else!
LocoCycle was first announced during E3 2012 and was shrouded in a little mystery, but assumed to be an Xbox 360 exclusive. Now, with the launch of Xbox One it’s been lined up to be a digital launch title and I would like to say Xbox LIVE Arcade equivalent for the Xbox One, but on the newer console the game store is just a “Game Store” where only the price really sets the difference between retail-to-digital-equivalent and the more arcade style games such as this. The developers’ claim the idea behind LocoCycle came when a team member watched the movie Torque and the final scenes where two biker girls are performing wheelies and fighting gave him nightmares. I kind of see where the idea came from and how it has been incorporated to form the concept within this game, and in all honestly it’s really uplifting to see a developer take a risk and step away from the ‘norm’. LocoCycle is maybe just too weird to handle because as fun as the game plays, it just isn’t addictive or has anything about it that hooks you in. I felt whilst playing that I could take it or leave it because after a while it becomes repetitive.
In what appears to be a game split between driving sections and fighting sequences followed by occasional quick-time-events, you as the character Pablo, set out on your journey being dragged along the road with your leg caught (or rather held at force) in the wheel of your futuristic motorcycle known as I.R.I.S. This back-talking ride must be protected at all times as an onslaught of enemies firing will cause damage leading to your ultimate death. You have the option to shoot at your enemies, or perform combo attacks because the enemies are varied you do have to think about how you survive each little wave (so to speak). Enemies come at you in vehicles, others robotic and fly overhead so whilst you can simply shoot at enemies in vehicles, the ones above the road need a little more tactical approach. Optional choices of using counter attacks and melee will see you through with many of the games Bosses requiring a combination of all which could see you deflect Rockets back into different directions.
When the game kicks itself into a quick-time-event requiring you to press certain controller buttons to overcome some dangerous obstacles, this is all based around timing. However, it is a little unclear of when to actually press them and more times than not a wrong press of the button still pushed you forward anyway! As well as these little events here and there come mini-games too, such as timed events to repair I.R.I.S before being smashed to pieces by an oncoming truck! I’d happily let a truck smash her to bits, especially as the annoying voice in robot form really begins to grate on you after the first hour or so!
There are ways in which you can improve the gameplay experience by choosing to upgrade I.R.I.S through the Upgrade Screen. Here you can spend XP points on improving Melee Combat Techniques, Health and Turbo Boost, and Weapon Upgrades, that will allow you to choose to deal more damage, have more Turbo and cool down your guns quicker. There is a catch, you can’t simply just buy an unlock because a requirement is that you also have to complete certain levels beforehand.
Visually as an Xbox One title I was expecting better from LocoCycle on the graphics front. It doesn’t even come close to anything the Xbox 360 can produce visually and will not blow you away or amaze you. The scenery in the background is repeated and rather basic looking, the roads and character models are repeated and again basic looking. If this was the first game you bought and downloaded on the Xbox One you would be given a bad impression of its capabilities.
LocoCycle is an ugly game to look at and the only parts that impressed me was the cut-scenes with real actors looking like parts of a comedy movie, but there isn’t much about it that will make you laugh or even crack a smile because the story within it doesn’t really present itself all that well. LocoCycle was born from a nightmare and although not a dream to play you will gain some form of fun and enjoyment from the driving and fighting action, but the bland use of visuals and repetitive repeated enemies will not drive you enough to enjoy the overall experience. It’s as if Twisted Pixel wanted to make a comedy short and threw in some gameplay in the middle of it. Overall it’s not as good a game as it could have been looking like it should have been an Xbox 360 release all along!
An average game for a budget price that will not blow you away!
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