Rhythm games come in a number of shapes and sizes, especially on a Nintendo handheld. You can solve people’s problems through the power of music. You can pretend you’re banging on giant Asian drums. You can sing along with pop singers named after states, or find yourself in a musical heaven. I haven’t seen a rhythm game that also has you saving the world from a zombie apocalypse before. UFO Interactive thought that was a huge gap in people’s gaming library and stepped in to fill that hole with Zombie Slayer Diox. By the way, the (X) is silent.
What You Need to Know
Zombie Slayer Diox is a side scrolling rhythm action game. You play as Diox, who is roaming the earth trying to rid the world of zombies. Your enemies come on from the right side of the screen with a directional arrow over their heads and you have to swipe the stylus on the touch screen in the appropriate direction to kill them. There are 12 tracks available in the game, playable both in the story mode and the Free Play mode. Along with that there are dozens of achievements to earn.
I’ve said before that if you’re going to be using something like zombies in your game just have fun with it, make it something totally ridiculous. Zombie Slayer Diox works on the principle that while zombies have basically taken over the Earth, they can’t resist the power of heavy metal music. They’re drawn to it. Diox uses that to his advantage and roams the world with his guitar in hand and an amp on his back. When the zombies get close, he slices them down. All of this is done in his search for an amp that once played with wipe out every zombie on the planet in an instant.
It’s a silly concept, but the game never tries to take itself seriously. It’s all basically done to give you an excuse to play through the 16 songs available in the game. The characters are funny looking. Diox is an exaggerated stereotype of a heavy metal musician. The zombies, all color coded, have goofy expressions on their face. The bosses throw bones at you, shoot you with pistols and you can take care of anything thrown at you with a swipe of your katana.
I really like the soundtrack to the game. Everything is stylized after heavy metal music from the 1980’s. The game does a good job of putting together some really good guitar licks and backing them up with some heavy drums with lots of bass. The songs are really good, and the developer has made them all available to download for free from their website.
All of the motions in the game fit really well and give you a good sense that you’re really playing the game along with the music. The hordes of zombies march in perfectly to the music. Rhythm games should have great soundtracks and I really think this one is a good one to have. The mixture of the styles of music is also very good. You’ll go from a very guitar heavy song and that will be followed by a slower power ballad. It’s like living in the 80’s all over again.
If you’re like me, you want to be as perfect as you can possibly be, especially in rhythm based games. For the most part Zombie Slayer Diox works really well. There are only four directions that you need to swipe in the game and all of the controls are those four swipes. There’s no additional taps, slide or combinations that you need to do. Just swipe the stylus on the screen.
However, you run into a big problem if you’re trying to make a perfect run through a song because the controls are a bit too touchy for their own good. Horizontal and vertical swipes need to be perfectly straight or many times the game will register it as a diagonal swipe. Early on in the game it’s okay. All you need to worry about is the direction of the swipe. I still haven’t gotten a perfect score.
As you progress through the game it becomes even harder to do as there as so many zombies shambling towards you and you have to move so fast it’s nearly impossible to register every swipe perfectly. In the normal and Hard difficulty modes you have to pay attention to the color of the zombies as well. The d-pad will have four colors that correspond to the colors of the zombies and you have to press the correct direction while also making sure that you swipe in the right direction. As the hordes of zombies get bigger it gets extremely hard to make sure that you’re pushing the right direction and swiping correctly at the same time.
It’s Over Too Quickly
The biggest drawback to the game is that there just isn’t really a whole lot of content available. There are 12 songs available and you can go through them in about an hour. I’ve played through all of the songs twice and on the easiest difficulty level have almost “S” ranked all of them. In addition, there are only two play modes that you can play and they both function nearly identically to each other. The only difference is that in the story mode you picks the songs from a map. In Free Play mode you pick the songs from a list. The game keeps track of your scores and the number of times you’ve played each song and both modes contribute to those stats.
There are no bonus modes to unlock, no additional songs outside of the story mode and no real reason to play through them over again unless you just have to get the S rank to unlock the pick for your pick collection.
Zombie Slayer Diox is one of the only rhythm games available for purchase from the eShop at the moment. If you’re looking for a fun game with a really good soundtrack then you’re in for a nice treat. The controls are a bit mushy and you can expect that you’re not going to get perfect scores for a long time, if ever. However the developers did a good job of at least making it so that a wrong motion input can still net you score and keep you from getting hurt. It’s not as good a game as something like Elite Beat Agent or Rhythm Heaven, both of which are playable on the 3DS. However, if you’re looking for a decent downloadable rhythm game this fits the bill.
Review copy of the game provided by UFO Interactive.
Played through story mode on Easy and Normal.
Total Play Time: 3 hours