Thanks to Mommy’s Best Games for the review code
Title: Explosionade DX
System: Xbox One
Release Date: 03/18/2021
In this screen-by-screen action game, you take control of someone left behind as the rest of her squad goes on a huge mission. Tired of having to maintain the place by herself, she ends up searching the storage shed and finding a powerful mech in hiding, which inspires her to board it in order to explore the underground with it. Not much of a plot here, though it does at least explain all the banter back and forth between the main character and her disapproving officer.
I gotta say, Explosionade DX goes for this cool gritty art style that somehow manages to work very well, even though I usually am not a fan of such attempts. The dark colors go together nicely and the animation on your mech is pretty smooth, plus the enemies look delightfully creepy. Definitely feels a lot closer to how I’d imagine a modern take of Baraduke to be, which makes sense considering how this game plays a bit like that one! On the sound front though, I can’t say I found any songs that ended up being memorable to me.
At first glance, you may think that Explosionade DX plays a lot like Cybernator, due to the presence of a cool mech and all that, but it actually feels more like Namco’s Baraduke, due to stage-by-stage arcade-y action, with the main objective being to reach the manhole to the next floor as fast as possible.
Thus, you’ll have to fly, shoot, and bomb your way through each floor while destroying all the enemies in your path. The controls are very comfortable as well, with the right stick being used to aim and shoot your normal weapon, the back-right trigger being used to shoot bombs, and the back-left trigger being used for your shield, which can be used with good timing to bounce off the walls, just as long as it doesn’t overheat.
Since you don’t technically need to kill all the enemies to progress, you could just speed through the stages by finding the quickest route to the exit, but then you won’t get nearly as many points, since clearing a room of enemies will give you a nice bonus, and will mark one stage towards your “all-clear” total.
Plus, it’s honestly pretty darn satisfying to clean these rooms out, since aiming with your mech is rather comfortable and easy to get used to. Of course, you’ll have to dodge enemy fire and other hazards, since your mech has a limited amount of health, with more hazards going after it on higher difficulties, so you need to be cautious if you aim to clear every floor of this 60-level journey, especially in boss rooms where bigger, tougher, meaner enemies won’t hesitate to swarm you in no time.
Thankfully upon death, you can save and quit to resume your playthrough later, rather than having to start from stage 1 every single time, so you’ll at least be able to see the ending this way even though it won’t get you too high on the online leaderboards.
Indeed, this game does have a big score-chasing focus, so while you could just continue to the end of each difficulty and see everything the game has to offer that way, trying to 1CC each difficulty to get on the online leaderboards is another good way to keep engaged, and with all the ways you can get cool bonus points in this game, it really feels incredibly satisfying to chain things together and speed your way through the floors once you’ve memorized them, making this a very satisfying loop.
In conclusion, Explosionade DX is a pretty superb scorechaser, with great scoring mechanics, varying difficulty options, tight controls, and just being a lot of fun to mess with overall, Yeah, the long stretch it’ll take to reach the final area can make the action get repetitive after a while, but if you manage to feel a comfortable zone and adjust to the comfortable controls, you’ll find a pretty solid scorechaser harkening back to the alien busting classics of old, and with a handy save & quit feature, it’s pretty much doable for anyone who just wants to see the ending, while also being a blast for scorechaser fans. There’s even co-op, but I couldn’t try it due to the current situation.
Even if the dialogue can be a bit crude with toilet humor at times and thus, not amusing to everyone, this game is still very well worth your time if you’re at all a fan of games like Baraduke and Cybernator, and for $6 Exposionade DX is an excellent value.
I give Explosionade DX an 8 out of 10.