‘P-3′ Review – Striking A Twin-Stick Nucleus
The market is jam-packed when it comes to twin stick shooters, but that doesn’t stop people from making even more of them. This was the case when I picked up P-3 by Batcat Games to play on Xbox Live Indie Arcade. I was a bit skeptical from the get-go, but may have actually been a bit surprised after giving the game a fair chance. Just read on to find out.
I’ll start this one by saying that P-3 has good graphics, especially when compared to the thousands of other games that can be found on the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace. Everything on the screen is lit up and most objects have some nice particle effects to show off when moving about the screen. The colors all stand out and really feel like they are jumping off the screen at you. The models are well made and nothing here appears cheap.
P-3 sports some techno music that fits well within the genre. While not everyone’s cup of tea, the crazy beats and sounds work well with the style of game.
As far as gameplay is concerned, P-3 does a few things that are different than your typical twin-stick, but it doesn’t necessarily make the game any better than the rest. While most twin-sticks have the player flying around the map shooting things to rack up a score, P-3 has the player protecting the nucleus of a cell in the center of the map. The enemies are flying towards the middle of the screen and you have to be able to move around and kill them before they can make it to the center and deplete the health of the cell.
A large circle around the player’s ship represents the health of the nucleus, but I found it getting in the way more than anything. Beyond just firing your weapon there is the ability to lay down mines that will explode when an enemy crosses them, a boot button, and also a last resort weapon that will send bursts of energy outward from the nucleus to kill any enemies near it. The catch with this weapon is that the longer you use it, the more health it drains from the nucleus.
Players can refill the health of the nucleus by killing the small enemies on the screen and picking up the circles that they drop. Each circle will zoom towards the nucleus and replenish a small amount of health upon making contact. The whole nucleus idea and interaction with it is what makes this game a little different than usual. The controls are tight and there won’t be any flaws on the game’s end when you crash into an enemy and explode. Nearly everything will be player mistakes and lack of planning ahead that leads to your ultimate doom.
The good graphics, tight controls, and decent music would all be great if there were some newer ideas used to transform this game into something more. After playing the game for the first hour or so I had no inclination to pick it back up and put in some more time, and if it weren’t for this review I probably would have just forgotten about it. This one is only 80 MSP, which is about the equivalent of $1. For the price, the game may be worth your time, but don’t expect to get a whole lot of playtime out of it. When competing at the low price point like this, it is important that a game really does something better than the rest, and ultimately P-3 just felt ordinary. Pick it up if you just need something to do for a couple minutes or enjoy collecting indie games.
Check out the official website for more details or just head over to the Xbox Live Indie Arcade to pick P-3 up now!
Review summary Pros:
Fun to look at
Same old, same old; gets stale fast