SpeedX 3D is a first-person, tube-racer that was originally released for the Android OS by developer Gamelion. It has now been brought over to the 3DS via Nintendo eShop for $3.99. Is it a solid title that’ll grab your attention or something that you can simply bypass?
SpeedX 3D’s premise is all about getting from point A to point B without colliding into obstacles or falling off the track. As you start off the campaign, the speed will be relatively slow, giving you a chance to acclimate to the game’s style. Initially, you’ll be in an enclosed tube with cubes and pillars sticking out that try to obstruct some of your path. Colliding into these will instantly result in a game over unless you have a “shield”, which can be acquired by speeding over the lit-up pads placed on the track. You can collect up to four shields but they slowly deplete over time, regardless of whether you collide with an object or not. The game tries to throw a few curveballs at you by incorporating “hazard zones” such as Blackout, Gravity Well, Hue Shift, Dark Nebula and Plasma Cloud. The hazards make things interesting and dodging cubes, pyramids and pillars certainly a bit more difficult. Aside from hazards, you can receive “bonuses” that give you certain abilities such as Time Dilation, Quake and Space Fold. As with shields, these can be collected by going over the lit-up pads but can used at anytime during your run by simply pressing the A button or tapping the icon on the touch screen.
You can play with two different control schemes: the Circle Pad or Motion Sensor. The Circle Pad provides a comfortable experience but it’s the Motion Sensor that makes the game feel more immersive. Although, if you plan to play the game with the 3D on, then I would avoid Motion Sensor controls since it will cause a strong amount of “ghosting” effect. Speaking of the 3D, the depth it provides is way too deep that I personally couldn’t play with it on all the way. It’s not that my eyes aren’t adjusted to the 3D, as I’ve been playing through a ton of 3DS games with the 3D full blast, but it’s just not easy on the eyes to view in 3D. Visually, the game is very basic looking but it works as that was the intended style. When you’re speeding through space, that looks much more appealing than staying enclosed in a polygonal tube. Unfortunately, you’ll only see the inside of a tube and some of space…with no other environment changes, leading to a monotonous appeal. Also, the draw distance is very limited. While that’s fine when you’re enclosed in the tube, it looks odd when you’re out in space and the track is magically appearing in front of you in a short distance. The one visual aspect that bothered me most was the framerate. It just doesn’t feel “right” with the game’s sense of speed. SpeedX 3D isn’t exactly a graphically intensive game where it couldn’t push a smoother framerate.
Aside from the campaign mode, spanning four stages, each with 12 runs, you can tackle the Endless, Survival and Zones modes as well, testing out how long you can last. There are four difficulties to choose from, allowing beginner players to stick to their speed while the more advanced players can zip through at ludicrous speed. In Endless mode, it’s basically the game’s core mechanic and just goes on until you crash. Survival mode is the same as Endless except you can’t use any shields, making it a sudden death mode essentially. Zones mode is basically the same as Survival except it will have you focusing on collecting fuel on the lit-up pads so that you can keep going as far as possible. Ultimately, each mode plays very similar with only slight variations. SpeedX 3D has an in-game, stat-tracking system but only tracks the furthest point you’ve achieved in each game type. It’s basic, but still a nice addition to have in the game.
For a synopsis mentioning how “great” the electronic music is, it had quite the opposite effect on me. It practically had me dozing off during my playthrough and never engaged me into the experience at all. It’s a shame really. I look forward to the audio portion of a game and if there’s nothing there to engage me, a good chunk of the experience is ruined for me.
Unlike Gamelion’s previous efforts (i.e. “I Must Run” which was a solid, fun title), SpeedX 3D doesn’t have enough that will keep you glued to the screen for more than a few minutes. While some may find enjoyment out of it, it’s still tough to fully recommend to everyone. If you have an Android device, then I’d say you’re better off downloading that version as the framerate is significantly smoother. SpeedX 3D isn’t necessarily a bad game, just a monotonous one that wears off very quickly.
Overall Score: 5.5 out of 10 = Reconsider the immediate purchase…