In this months Thirteen1 we covered the XBLA game Dual Zone. Due to personal issues the reviewer that was covering the game things were running a little on the late side.
To be on the safe side, I grabbed a copy of the game myself and threw together a review of my own. That way if things went wrong and the reviewer couldn’t make the deadline we would still have something we were able to print.
As it turned out that the reviewer was able to get his version in on time, so never one to waste hard work I have decided to print my version of the review here.
For that bit extra I will also throw the first of many drinking games that I intend to put on this site over time
Dual Zone XBLA Review
There are many games out there that claim to tax your reflexes and coordination. Dual Zone is one such game. At its core it’s a very simple game, but the challenges it poses to the player are not so simple.
The basics of the game are that you control one of two ships that hover around the play area. The ships are colour coded in red and blue and are controlled separately by the left & right thumb-sticks. This in itself is the challenge.
While running around the play area, your task is to protect each ship with the other as various enemies spawn around you. All the enemies are similarly colour coded, with blue enemies able to harm the red ship and able to be destroyed by the blue.
The skill of the game is being able to get the blue ship chased around by the red enemies, then swoop in with the red ship to take them all out. The challenge lays in the fact that the red ship is having to do exactly the same thing at the same time.
When you play though the campaign mode the early levels are rather simple and get you to grips with the concept, but as you progress it gets steadily more difficult. To start with the enemies start spawning faster and more randomly around the map. Around level 10 a third type of enemy starts spawning, the spiker who are invincible and just have to be dodged.
The campaign mode has 50 levels but I’ll admit I’m stuck at level 14 now, but I have no intention of giving up. For those who get stuck in the campaign or somehow manage to beat it there is the survival mode. In this mode it’s simply a case of staying alive for as long as possible and killing as many of the enemy as you can.
If you don’t have the co-ordination to control both ships at once, both modes can also be played cooperatively, with each player taking control of a ship. While this simplifies some things it also adds a new element of complexity in having to make sure you both coordinate your efforts.
In all a very addictive and challenging game, that completely justifies its 240 mspoint price tag
Dual Zone Drinking Game
As I state in the magazine, I will never tell anyone what to drink – everyone has their own tolerance levels when it comes to beer. What I do say however is use some common sense, playing one of my heavy games with a with spirit could end up redecorating your room. I always play my games with shots of beer, that way I can make them last quite some time. So when I refer to a ‘Drink’ I mean to a shot of beer.
So let’s get to the drinking, this is designed around coop survival mode. As you need to focus on the combat I suggest that you remember which rules you have broken (or have someone else do so for you) and drink at the end of the round
OI! Watch where your going – 1 Drink for causing the death of a team-mate by running into them or causing them to crash into your trail.
Racking up the points – 1 Drink every time you rack up 10 kills
Its been a long time coming – 1 Drink for every minute you manage to stay alive
I don’t recommend hugging cacti – 1 Drink for every time you die at the hands of a Spiker
Only good players get rewards – 1 Drink for every life you have remaining when the second player loses his last life.
I will stop here as those should be enough to see you well on the way of being drunk. I would recommend playing the game with at least three people in a winner stays on mentality, and the ones not focusing on playing help keep a track of the penalties invoked.
Well that about wraps it up this time, Enjoy