It’s here! The Xbox One has officially launched, and the only question left is “What games do I buy?” Sure, people are going to tell you to go with first party titles like Ryse and Forza, or triple-A blockbusters like Battlefield and Call of Duty. These choices are perfectly fine, but it’s important to remember the little guys–or “arcade games.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to digital there are no refunds or trade-in credit, so you have to be a bit careful with what you choose to download. So knowing that, what did I do? I bought them all. On the upside, I get to tell you a little bit about them. First up, is LocoCycle.
The LocoCycle Skinny:
- On-Rails Arcade style shooter from developer Twisted Pixel.
- Originally announced as an Xbox360 arcade title, before being bumped up to next gen.
- With no multiplayer modes, LocoCycle’s only gameplay mode is a single player campaign.
- Priced at $19.99 with no additional charges or DLC.
If you’ve seen any trailers or gameplay videos for LocoCycle, you’ve probably thought to yourself ‘Hmm, this really doesn’t seem like a next-gen game.’ Sadly, you would be correct.
Receiving little hype or coverage over it’s time in development, LocoCycle hasn’t necessarily been a fan favorite. If you’ve seen the trailers and gameplay videos already, you probably thought to yourself ‘Hmm, this really doesn’t seem like a next-gen game.’ Sadly, you would be correct. LocoCycle’s standard visuals, lack of innovative features, and bare/disappointing menus left much to be desired, and raised a few questions as to why I was playing it on an Xbox One.
That being said, I quite enjoyed it. LocoCycle does not look or feel like a next gen game, but it’s a fun game nonetheless. LocoCycle’s developer TwistedPixle has been a part of the Xbox Live Arcade for a few years now, releasing popular titles such as ‘Splosion Man, and The Gunstringer on Xbox 360. True to TwistedPixle’s M.O, LocoCycle is a wacky thrill ride that’s sure to leave a smile on your face. Between the campy live-action cutscenes and the interaction between superbike I.R.I.S. and her human mechanic Pablo, LocoCycle incites cackles and cringes every step of the way. Well, maybe not step, but you get the idea.
The core gameplay behind LocoCycle is fun. It might be on rails, but it’s a solid blend of shooting, hack and slash, and racing genres. Oddly enough, the gameplay would always send my mind wandering back to Ryse, as the string of combos and quick time events are all too familiar on the Xbox One. However, unlike Ryse, you’ve got some shooting and racing to take a bit of a break from the button sequences.
My major gripe with LocoCycle’s gameplay, is that almost all progression ends halfway through the game. As your crazy roadtrip goes on, you’re being introduced to new weapons, new bad guys, and new mechanics. Unfortunately, Act 3 (of 5) seems to be the peak of new introductions, as features grow stale from that point on. You still have the final two acts to upgrade I.R.I.S.’s systems, but by the time you really start to feel the changes, the game is already at a close. LocoCycle had a few fun surprises, but it just didn’t mix it up enough.
The closest thing you’ll find to multiplayer in LocoCycle are the completion percentage leaderboards. No strikes against LocoCycle here, as a multiplayer mode outside of maybe co-op would be entirely out of place. As the game has just released, there‘s not a lot of talk about upcoming DLC but seeing as how LocoCycle does feature two superbikes, I wouldn’t necessarily rule out that co-op option just yet.
While shipped as a launch title for the One, LocoCycle shows no signs of visuals from the next generation, so when they say that it was originally intended as a 360 release, it’s easy to see why. The backdrops and environments that you ride through are fun to look at when you first get to a new zone, but are quickly recycled for the remainder of the act.
The one thing that stands out visually for LocoCycle is the replacement of usual cut scenes with live-action clips. The game kicks off with about 10 minutes of backstory and set up, with scenes taking place between each act to keep the story moving. I’m not sure if it’s real-life actors portraying video game roles, or just the cringeworthy script, but shortly into each clip I found myself wanting to get back to the cartoonish gameplay.
LocoCycle is different, but it doesn’t bring anything remarkable to the table, which is a huge deal considering that it’s a launch title for a new system. The core gameplay is fun, and I.R.I.S. is nothing short of lovable, but the game has no “it” factor. It’s worth mentioning that within hours of completing the game’s story, I found myself wanting to be back on that road trip, shooting up trucks full of agents and smacking around a few robots. I’d guess that the campaign maybe took around 6-7 hours to complete, which was just enough time to win me over, yet leave me with nothing to do.
Buy or Pass? Pass. Normally, I’m a firm believer in the fact that graphics don’t make a game, and solid gameplay is enough to warrant the purchase of a game. With LocoCycle, under the circumstances of it being a launch title, just doesn’t perform. The saving grace would be if the game had some kind of replay value, but outside of beefing up I.R.I.S. and her arsenal if you still haven’t, there’s really nothing to keep you playing after you finish the game’s story. For that same $20, there are other titles that better showcase your new system.
Xbox One Digital Rundown Part 1 of 4: LocoCycle
LocoCycle launched digitally with the Xbox One. How does it stack up to retail titles?What Our Ratings Mean