Home > 1, Video Games (Main) > Somewhat Thorough Review: DEATH BY CUBE Demo

Somewhat Thorough Review: DEATH BY CUBE Demo

From the brief previews that were available before the release of this game I was pretty intrigued.  It had simple graphics randomly injected with gratuitous blood, had a simple premise, and just seemed like it had a lot of personality overall.  The day it was launched on the Xbox 360 dashboard I decided to give the demo a shot.  I’m not opposed to impulse buys but once you cross into the $10 realm on Xbox Live you need to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

After playing the demo I have to say that DEATH BY CUBE isn’t much fun and can even be annoying at times.  First you’re greeted by some clustered but unique and colorful menus.  Then as you try to select your options the cursor starts flying around the screen.  Yeah, you read that right.  I honestly can’t say if it was a bug or if there was some aesthetic purpose, but it was incredibly frustrating.  Select “Help & Options” and the game flies through the pages at 100 mph without you touching a button.  Weird.  The same thing happens when you’re simply trying to select a level to play and a robot to control (and there’s only one of each unlocked for the demo).  Whoever thought this was funny or a good idea must’ve had major connections in the gaming industry.  Again it could also be a bug, but that’s arguably worse.  A buggy demo that’s supposed to convince me to buy the full game?  That doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the developer’s work.

So I finally stop the cursor randomly by smashing the A button a dozen times and I can finally play.  As mentioned before I was pretty intrigued and even more so when I noticed the controls and gameplay were similar to that of Smash TV, an arcade classic that I still play sporadically to this day.  Unfortunately this game is no Smash TV.

Your robot walks around a level made entirely of white blocks and your view is that of a top down perspective.  You fire lasers by tilting the right joystick in the direction you wish to aim.  The enemies you’ll be shooting at are black boxes.  Again, yeah you read that right.  Some are small, some are large, some shoot at you.  Yay.  You can also perform a dash move that will render you invincible for a brief period, which comes in handy when there are a mob of black boxes pursuing you.  The right trigger enables a shield that deflect enemy fire back at themselves.  That’s really it.

The problem is the game is way too fast and gets way too difficult right from the word “go.”  You’re constantly being assaulted by tons of enemies and once you get the hang of evading them then come the tiny black boxes whose job is to pretty much wriggle towards you at maximum velocity and generally be a pain the ass.  Soon you’ll find yourself smashing the left and right triggers with no real strategy behind it, and you’ll end up dying anyways.  Your dash move will at some point expire right in the middle of a dozen foes and your shield will be rendered useless since you need it to be equipped ad infinitum.

I’m sure people will cry foul that I’m a baby and I just can’t hack it when a game turns out to be very challenging, but that’s really not the case.  There’s a difference between “challenging” and throwing tons of enemies at the player without any forethought.  This game falls into the latter category, and I can’t see the full game being any less frustrating.  Try it for yourself by all means, but I have a feeling you’ll agree that your $10 is best kept in your pocket.

Kneejerk Reaction:  3.o out of 10 Slow the game down and make it more purposeful and you might have something.

Back after the weekend, enjoy everyone!

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