Nex Machina Review: Beautiful Bullet Hell
Housemarquee’s Nex Machina is now available for the PS4 and Windows PC, and if you were a fan of their other arcade style twin-stick shooters, then there’s a great chance you’ll fall in love with yet another instant classic. This game embodies the notion of Bullet Hell, and does so with perfect controls and balance to make it a very fun and memorable gameplay experience. I can’t say enough positive things about it, nor can I really find match to bitch about, so you can catch my full review below via the embedded video or accompanying script.
Hey now Arcade fans, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review Housemarquee’s Nex Machina, or what I like to call Beautiful Bullet Hell.
Nex Machina is the latest top down arcade title from the developer behind Resogun, Alienation and Matterfall, so its pedigree is strong. It’s gameplay and fun factor are even stronger though, as this twin-stick shooter that embodies the Bullet Hell spirit is easy to pick up, hard to master, and even harder to put down once you get started.
The game features an Arcade mode with up to six levels depending on the difficulty you have chosen, which range from Rookie to Master. This mode can be played Solo, or with a partner via Local Co-op, and it offers the deepest experience out of the available modes, which also include playing Single Worlds for Leaderboard runs, and an online Arena mode.
The gameplay is simple to pick up, but challenging to master as you frenetically battle seemingly endless waves of robotic death machines trying to take you out. All you have at your disposal is your main gun, which can be upgraded with range, power, and spread abilities, as well as a secondary weapon from pickups, and a dash ability. One must always be on the move and looking for upgrades and weapon pickups, because with your standard gun Nex Machina’s challenge becomes ever greater than what it already is.
On each level you play through a series of hops that provide anywhere from 10-15 different zones to conquer before fighting the level’s boss. The pace of play is super fast and twitchy, and the controls are perfect for pulling off the precise moves needed for victory. The boss encounters all have an old school arcade game feel to them, so they’re all challenging, but all have patterns that you can predict to try and best their onslaught of attacks.
Every single encounter in Nex Machina, regardless of them being boss battles or not, feels like the definition of bullet hell excellence. This game will either make you feel like an arcade gaming god and provide just the right amount of nostalgia for the genre as you dodge and weave your way around swarms of killer bots while simultaneously wreaking your own havoc with your equipped arsenal. There is no prettier site in this game than having a fully souped up weapon with spread applied, while using the dash ability to phase through laser beams and bullets as you lay waste to hordes of enemies closing in on you.
The gameplay experience is thrilling to say the least, but blasting your way blindly through Nex Machina isn’t the only way to play. Each level has all sorts of secrets to find including exits, humans to save, as well as enemy variants that can yield extra score bonuses. These little excursions definitely ramp up the difficulty as you must scour for them while being relentlessly pursued by your attackers.
If you’ve been looking to get into some pure Arcade-style gameplay action, then Housemarquee has a little gift for you by the name of Nex Machina. It embodies the twin-stick arcade shooter genre perfectly through having precise controls, twitchy gameplay, fair difficulty levels, and quite frankly a fun factor that will put and keep a grin on your face while playing it. Depending on difficulty you can beat the Arcade Story Mode pretty quickly, but there is still plenty of relplayability if you’re a gamer who loves a good and rewarding challenge.
I have no qualms in recommending this game for a purchase, because it truly has earned a 9 out of 10 review score from your friends at EB. There’s nothing wrong with playing an old school type of game in a modern setting, and Nex Machina manages to blend retro gameplay with extreme levels of fun to make it a standout in 2017.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided a PS4 code by the publisher for the purposes of this review.