Tempest 4000 Xbox One Review – Retro Action, New(ish) Look

Tempest 4000 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and delivers a competent, fast-paced, and generally fun arcade shoot-em-up experience. Not only that, but there’s a much bigger market for it since it’s not on the Atari Jaguar, thank god. So, has anything really changed since the last game or is it still the same simple arcade-style bliss that it once was?

Well, this isn’t so much a big change from the last game as it is an update with a bunch of new content. The game looks great, with all of the crazy visual effects on-screen, it reminds me heavily of Geometry Wars when the action gets particularly heavy. Obviously, they can do a lot more on current-gen consoles than they could have back in the 90’s, and they take full advantage of that. The game is a spectacle, whether you’re playing or watching someone else played, but it never gets so busy that you don’t know what’s happening. For those that don’t know, you’re basically a giant claw that shoots lasers that sits on top of a wall, and must keep enemies from reaching the top and killing you. The levels are all slightly different from each other, some are just plain circles you have to move around, some are straight lines, and every shape in between, basically. You fire a rapid-fire laser to dispatch enemies with by default, and you can pick up various power-ups for the laser as you play. It was a great time-killer before, and it still is now. It’s mind-numbing fun that you can play for 15 minutes or a few hours

The gameplay is simple, and so is the premise, so what does this game offer that the previous game did not? Well, for starters, it’s available on platforms that actual sane people would own, how about that? It’s got 100 levels, and you can either play the normal mode, which lets you use a level select to go back to the last level you played, if you quit or game over. You can also play Survival mode, which is where you play through the whole thing at once and try to get as far as possible. It’s a great mode for people who care about high scores, although, let’s be honest, not too many people care about that anymore.

I suppose what Tempest 4000 boils down to is that it’s a good game, but still not worth the money to everyone. If you think you need to experience a Tempest game and never have before, then go for it, it’s fun and I think anyone could sit down and enjoy it. However, if you’ve already played, say, Tempest 2000, and think this will be a radical update and will blow your mind, it won’t. This game looks better, for sure, and has some newly-produced music, and some new levels, but it’s still very much the same game. I see a lot of people seem to be disappointed with the game on Steam, from the reviews I’ve read, a lot of people feel like they’ve been misled into believing that the game was going to be a radical new thing. That just wasn’t going to happen though, it’s Tempest, how much could you really change before it’s no longer a Tempest game anymore?

I think it’s a solid game, in general, it’s fun, it’s just not much new, and I certainly wouldn’t find myself playing it more than once. For an arcade-style game, that’s not really a good thing, since they sorta thrive on being played over and over. I’m sure mega fans of the series will say differently, but for now, it’s above average, but not much more than that.

Tempest 4000 - Xbox One

Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 6.5
Sound - 7.5
Entertainment Value - 6


Tough Call

It's great for fans of the series, and great for people that want to experience a Tempest game. The average person likely won't find much here though, and it's hardly an upgrade from 2000 outside of graphics and sound.


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Nathaniel Smyth

The author Nathaniel Smyth

Born and raised in Plymouth, NH, Nat has been gaming since he was 3 starting on his brother’s Sega Genesis, all the way up to the Xbox One. Well rounded in a range of game genres from beat-em-ups to shooters, to role-playing-games, and more, he’s had a passion for all things gaming as long as he’s been able to hold a controller. While busy with school, sports, working, he still finds time to sit down, play, read up on the latest news, and hunt for deals on new and classic games.