CGRundertow DEATH BY CUBE for Xbox 360 Video Game Review

CGRundertow DEATH BY CUBE for Xbox 360 Video Game Review

I know how to deal with cubes. I’ve played
Bombastic, I’ve played Voodoo Dice, I’ve played Intelligent Qube (and really wish I
could track down a copy today). Cubes work for me. So I went into Death By Cube, feeling
kinda full of myself. Oh, how wrong I was. The cubes… the cubes are coming to get me.
I’m going to fortify the door of the studio now. So you’re this little cute robot thing.
Kinda like Marvin the Paranoid Android, only with better weapons systems. In classic Robotron
style, you’ve got one stick to move and one stick to shoot, as wave after wave of
boxy foes come after you. Blast one apart, and… my that’s a lot of blood. Just raining
down all over the place. I mean, these things aren’t even any semblance of human! They
look like dolls at best! I wouldn’t even expect them to contain blood, let alone hundreds
of gallons of it. I have to wonder if this game was designed
just to be a figurative middle finger to the censors. I mean, seriously. It’s RAINING
blood. This is supposed to be the future! Things are clean! The graphics are nice and
all, but very red. Awright. Let’s look past the blood for a
second. As soon as someone gets a mop. The goal is to shoot down all the cubes and cube-like
allies while completing a goal, ranging from “KILL EVERYTHING” to “DON’T DIE.”
Your android, who happens to be suffering from amnesia (this is a Square Enix game,
after all), is equipped with a basic weapons system, an invincible dash that disorients
enemies and causes them to drop their guard, and a reflector shield which can absorb and
return volleys of enemy fire. By spending the chips you earn in each stage, you can
upgrade your android (named Leo, or 037 if you look at it right-side up) with homing
missiles, spread fire, greater defensive potential, or other improvements. And then you spend chips to unlock the next
world. And spend chips to unlock each stage. The whole game runs on money. Unfortunately,
this hypercapitalism creates some issues, especially if you’re having trouble with
the tough-as-nails survival stages. Each mission has three goal scores, each worth 1000 chips
apiece… but often, achieving these scores isn’t a matter of simply completing the
mission, but a function of HOW you do so. Close-quarters kills yield not only higher
points, but also increase your multiplier, meaning if you stand back and let your homing
attacks do all the work, you’re going to succeed in your goal, but it won’t be pretty.
More technically-impressive actions, like multi-kills, causing mass confusion with your
dashes, and absorbing high levels of enemy ordnance will improve your weapons systems,
opening access to reverse fire, homing fire, and spread fire regardless of your current
build. The soundtrack is a comfortable techno backbone,
accented by a friendly voice delivering instructions. I hope that wherever she is, she’s not getting
blood on her. All in all, Death By Cube is a strange little
piece of shooter fun, but the whole thing seems a little unbalanced. I don’t know
if it’s because the game starts at such an extreme speed, or if it’s a matter of
how much flak you have to survive on-screen, but it’s an experience that takes quite
a while to get used to. The learning curve is all kinda of steep, and unfortunately for
your traction, it’s covered in blood. Just soaked in it. All over the place.

14 thoughts on “CGRundertow DEATH BY CUBE for Xbox 360 Video Game Review

  1. I know kids today LOVE bloody geysers (I blame the media) but that doesn't mean EVERYTHING has to bleed. Even in Conker's Bad Fur Day there were some intangible beings that didn't bleed.
    Ranting aside this looks like a decent game.

  2. I'm not generally one to say "fuck it" and give up on a game due to high difficulty, but this one did me in in a hurry.

    It sits on my hard drive, having not seriously been played for well over a year.

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