(3DS eShop)

Zombie Slayer Diox (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Zombie Slayer Diox Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Dead to us

It's too late. The zombie apocalypse has not only begun, it's already over. The zombies have won, and there are few — if any — survivors other than Diox, who continues to roam the streets, slashing away at the undead with his guitar. Diox is on a mission: if he can find the magical amp, he just might be able to destroy all the remaining zombies at once, with the power of rock and roll.

Are you enticed by that description? We certainly were. Which makes Zombie Slayer Diox a special kind of failure, as it just doesn't seem interested in living up to its can't-miss, tongue-in-cheek premise.

Zombie Slayer Diox — the 'X' is silent, the game helpfully informs us — is a rhythm game mashed up with a zombie brawl-fest, and it's a combination that doesn't quite work. That's mainly because it tips much more heavily in the "rhythm" direction, but doesn't have a strong grasp on what makes that kind of game work.

Stages are broken up into "songs"; while each song plays, Diox walks automatically to the right and must slay every zombie that crosses his path, lest they deal minor damage as they pass. His weapon is a measly guitar, but that's okay as zombies are weak. What's not okay is the control scheme, which is awkward at best and outright awful at worst.

The game is controlled entirely with the touch screen and D-Pad. There's an alternate set up for lefties, but that's where the good news ends. The combination of moves to take down the zombies is far too plentiful and not nearly responsive enough for a game as fast-paced as Zombie Slayer Diox wants to be.

For starters, there are four slashes available to him, each unleashed by sliding your stylus in the appropriate direction: vertical, horizontal, diagonally up and diagonally down. That could make for the basis of a decent rhythm game, but Zombie Slayer Diox requires some sweeping stylus work if it's going to recognise your input properly, and with a large number of zombies speedily closing in on you, you'll need to trust the game to understand your attack and then quickly start tracing the next one. It doesn't always work out that way, and you'll end up taking damage — or failing the song — because Diox wasn't clear on what you asked him to do. In terms of input, Zombie Slayer Diox either needed to accept faster swipes or give you more time to input them. Either would have helped, but neither was implemented in development, and the flow of the game suffer for it.

Additionally, the four types of swipes are further complicated by adding four colours to the mix. Red, green, blue and yellow are all mapped to directions on the D-Pad, and you'll need to hold down the correct colour and swipe in the correct direction in time to the music in order to complete these levels. The zombies each, for some bizarre reason that's never explained, require a particular colour to be taken into consideration before your swipe is even unleashed, and while that could lead to some frantic fun it's actually just a frustrating irritant piled on top of an already picky control scheme. The relationship of the colours to the directions on the D-Pad isn't indicated on the top screen and you won't have time to glance down at the touch screen, so you'd better hope you commit each direction to memory.

It's worth pointing out that the early stages allow for a good deal of error. Each song has a target score that you're expected to reach, but that's in addition to surviving the zombies. In the beginning the target score is low enough that simply surviving will get you through, but before long you'll need to hit all of your direction and colour prompts correctly as well, and that's more of an aggravating demand for perfection than it is a satisfying challenge.

Games like the BIT.TRIP series knew how to turn a punishing experience into a thirst for perfection. Here it's an experience that instead feels like wrestling against shoddy level design, and there's not likely to be many gamers out there thirsty for that.

Presentation is decent; it looks nice enough and the animation is fluid with no noticeable slowdown. The 3D effect might as well not exist, as the game never does anything useful, interesting or impressive with it. Switch it on and the characters will stand out slightly from the background; switch it off and you'll barely notice a difference.

In a rhythm game the songs should shine, or at least feel like an integral part of the experience, but Diox fails on that front as well, as the music is completely forgettable. It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's boilerplate knock-off rock and roll. Whatever you're hearing in your head as you read that sentence is completely accurate in terms of what Diox provides. The levels also don't feel like an organic outgrowth from the music, as they should. It's there, and zombies ideally should be slaughtered to the beat, but you can slash away like a maniac without any regard for what's happening aurally and you'll do just as well.

There's also a free play mode that allows you to slash through any song apart from the story, and there are various guitar picks that function as achievements, are are earned by meeting certain gameplay conditions. Those could potentially lead to providing Zombie Slayer Diox with some replay value, but when it's not exactly worth playing in the first place that point is sort of moot.

Conclusion

Rhythm games and zombie slashers both have the potential to be a lot of fun, but their marriage here in Zombie Slayer Diox is one of conflict, and the weaknesses of both genres are far more vividly on display than the strengths. The music is passable and the visual presentation is clean enough, but the repetitive gameplay and clumsy controls turn the experience into a chore. We could possibly recommend it as a time-waster, but with less expensive and better options already in strong supply in the eShop, there's nothing that merits a special mention for Zombie Slayer Diox.

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User Comments (35)

JustAnotherUser

#1

JustAnotherUser said:

Ouch...
I was hoping this would be good.
Oh well, we still have Rhythm Thief R and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy to look forward to. :)

CorbsAdmin

#2

Corbs said:

Awww that's a shame. I was hoping this would be good. Guess I'll just wait for the Final Fantasy rhythm game to hit stateside. :D Great review Big Phil.

Chobi

#3

Chobi said:

Good review Philip. When i saw the trailer in the Nintendo eShop. I kinda already knew this game wasn't going to be good. Sad, the game had an interesting concept too. It's unfortunate but what can you do.

Bobhobob

#4

Bobhobob said:

Was kind of expecting this. I wanted it to good, but UFO just made another terrible game. Oh well, at least there's more 3DSware, maybe OTHER developers would finally take notice if there was a lot. So go ahead UFO, keep making games I want become terrible. Who knows, maybe one day you'll get it right. >:/

Shotgunryugan

#6

Shotgunryugan said:

I had hopes for this since it tried being different from other Zombie games,i'll buy a better game then,great review.

Dodger

#7

Dodger said:

Doh they missed. :( This game looked like it could be cool but I wasn't hopeful after seeing UFO made it. I'll keep playing through Elite Beat Agents. Got that recently with the remains of a gift card.

BalrogtheMaster

#10

BalrogtheMaster said:

LOL, saw this coming. UFO is one of the worst publishers right now on the market. Thanks for the heads up, NL!

Undead_terror

#11

Undead_terror said:

if they were smart they could of either made something like guitar hero for the eshop since this is like a zombie version of guitar hero or they could of made a zombie shooter(either overhead/2d/3rd person/first person)

Flowerlark

#12

Flowerlark said:

After Samurai Sword Destiny, I figured this would be a flop as well. Looks like the e-shop is going to have its fare share of garbage just like DSiware.

Mowzle

#14

Mowzle said:

Thanks for the nice review, Chicken.
I see you drew the short straw again :)

chewytapeworm

#15

chewytapeworm said:

Another week, another zombie themed game. Ho hum. Just please stop it already!. And is the "Diox with the silent X" an indirect reference to Ronnie James Dio? If so, then kudos for that.

shinobi88

#16

shinobi88 said:

Isn't the Japanese name for this "Zombie Diox Suckymuch"? Ive never played so I can't pass judgement for certain. I'm not into gore for the sake of gore so I won't be trying it anytime soon

Kitsune_Rei

#17

Kitsune_Rei said:

I was afraid of this. Looked like it could be cool, but yeah you have to make a fun game if you want your style to fly. At least there are a couple good rhythm games to look forward to or I'd be more disappointed.

pariah164

#18

pariah164 said:

Man, if Rhythm Thief and Theatrhythm weren't on the horizon, I'd be more upset by the horrid review. Thanks for the heads up, NL! That's money saved in my wallet.

ueI

#19

ueI said:

At least you got to review something better than Pirate's Assault.

Kagamine

#21

Kagamine said:

aww i thought this would be good! guess it showas how much controls really matter after all.

sinalefa

#22

sinalefa said:

As with most games that involve colours, do they forget about us colorblind people too? That is what I love of games like Peggle and Groovin Blocks, as they have colorblind modes.

In any case, if it is that bad, then it won't matter as I would not get it. And Chewytapeworm is right, maybe after December passes and the world does not end, all of these zombie related games will finally stop.

grumblegrumble

#25

grumblegrumble said:

Wow. A 4? I was thinking it might get a 1 or 2. LOL. UFO Interactive sucks. Complete shovelware company. Everybody avoid.

Nintenbro

#26

Nintenbro said:

@dark-insanity

Stars like our Sun never explode my friend, because they die out in phases. The Myans never stated the earth would meet it's demise. They only believed the entire universe would go through a change. :P

ueI

#27

ueI said:

I thought we didn't know WHY the world would end. The Mayan calendar only goes as far as 2012. My theory is that all the good games coming out this year will lead to the apocalypse. Sorry, Zombie Slayer Diox, you are not responsible.

Undead_terror

#28

Undead_terror said:

@G4L well i didnt know but i did say that it could get destoryed by something,if the sun dies out then the planet would freeze

TheGreenSpiny

#29

TheGreenSpiny said:

Didn't they already make a game called Rock of the Dead for Wii? Same thing but used an actual guitar perephrial...

Whopper744

#30

Whopper744 said:

And they could have just gave us Kid Icarus: Myths and Monsters and avoided this mess, but nooo.

MercifulLemon7

#31

MercifulLemon7 said:

Im not very surprised by the score, I wish that UFO Interactive would stop making 3dsware games or any games.

DavmanTheSpy

#32

DavmanTheSpy said:

I was actually expecting something from this game. But I wouldn't be surprised, UFO has the worst ratings on the market.

bhornburg

#34

bhornburg said:

ugh, I bought this on an impulse buy when I saw it drop in the shop, and almost immediately regretted it. the music is horrible (i thought it was going to be real heavy metal), and I agree with the review above 100%...it's simply not fun to play. also, they were so lazy with the graphics...the background and characters are all "flat" on the same layer, so it barely looks 3d. Wish I had known UFO interactive was such a terrible publisher. Never again....do not buy this, it's a waste of $6.

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