Slayers X Review - Screenshot 1 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Fans of unconventional narrative-driven games may be familiar with Hypnospace Outlaw, a cool project from a few years ago that aimed to simulate an alternate take on the social environment of the late '90s internet. Though Hypnospace Outlaw will be receiving a proper sequel with the upcoming Dreamsettler, Tendershoot decided to give waiting players a more unconventional spin-off release that takes things in a much different direction. Dubbed Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengeance of the Slayer, this classic-style boomer shooter launched on PC and Xbox in 2023 and sort of bears some narrative connections to Hypnospace Outlaw. It’s a decent game in its own right, and even though it didn’t manage to ‘wow’ us, we’d still suggest you give it a look.

The story of Slayers X is rather fascinating, as there are essentially two levels to it. On the first, you have the premise: this is the in-universe game that Zane Lofton from Hypnospace Outlaw referenced. He essentially designed this with the help of a friend, so the experience you’re ultimately getting with Slayers X is something an immature, horny teenager would make if he was given free rein to express himself. This leads to the second narrative level, the ‘in-game’ plot. You play the role of “Big Z”, an X-Slayer in-training who is forced into action when the monstrous Psyko Sindikate attacks his town, kills both his mom and mentor, and kidnaps one of his fellow X-Slayers. He thus sets out on a quest for revenge, blowing up a whole lot of baddies along the way as he fights to free his friend.

Slayers X Review - Screenshot 2 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

There’s an absurdly irreverent and juvenile kind of humor constantly on display here that (initially anyway) can be quite charming. The sheer ridiculousness of your protagonist calling his foes “turd holes” or shouting “Your dad is stupid” as he blasts them into a fine red mist adds a lot to the experience at first, but this kind of comedy gets old pretty fast. After that point, it starts to have the same energy as your mid-30s coworker who brags between smoke breaks about how he still ‘gets away with’ being invited by teens to the local high school prom. In small doses, gross-out, childish humor can be funny, but there comes a point where it feels like it’s purely going for shock value and starts being plain gross.

Divisive gags aside, Slayers X still has the bones of a solid, if unspectacular, boomer shooter. You roam through a brief campaign that tasks you with exploring self-contained, maze-like levels that are littered with enemies, health and ammo pickups, and secret rooms to discover. Along the way, you have to manage dwindling resources, effectively use cover, and make sure you’re using the right tool for the job.

All the expected staples of a diverse gun arsenal are present and accounted for, and you’ll have to decide on the fly whether the situation calls for the single target power of the Glass Blasta (shotgun) or something more like the crowd control capabilities of the Sludge Launcher (grenade launcher). There’s a decent lineup of weapons on offer here, neatly walking that line of making you feel like you have plenty of options without any weapon overlapping too much into another’s niche.

Slayers X Review - Screenshot 3 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Levels are satisfying to explore and movement feels sufficiently tight, but perhaps the greatest shortcoming of Slayers X is that it just feels like another bog-standard shooter. Aside from the irreverent early-2000s humor, Slayers X lacks that all-important ‘X factor’ to help it stand out from the pack. Fashion Police Squad had the benefit of its unique and flamboyant premise. Ion Fury has the distinction of being a genuine new title built on the famous Build Engine. Quake is one of the greatest games ever made and was instrumental in setting the standard of what a 3D shooter could be. What does Slayers X have? Poop jokes. If all you’re looking for is an enjoyable new boomer shooter for your Switch, Slayers X isn’t necessarily a bad choice—the issue is simply that there’s no shortage of games you could play instead that do the same things, but better.

And though this may be a bit of a nitpick, Slayers X feels like it’s also sorely in need of some gyro controls to help out with aiming. This problem isn’t unique to this game, but the travel on the Switch Joy-Con sticks simply doesn’t feel sufficient for a game that demands this level of precision and quick reactions. Playing in docked mode with a Pro Controller is a better experience, but this assumes that players have a Pro Controller, and even then, motion controls would offer a superior experience. To reiterate our previous point, other genre entries have done this better on Switch by including motion controls, and their omission here makes Slayers X feel that much lesser of an experience.

Slayers X Review - Screenshot 4 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Fortunately, the visuals are up to par—Slayers X feels like a genuine artifact from the era. Though we would’ve liked to see a little more biome diversity (the cheap apartments and sewers tend to blend together after a while), it’s still nice to see the charming juxtaposition between the simple 3D environments and the detailed 2D sprites. Everything runs at a smooth frame rate and special mention needs to be made about the handful of FMV cutscenes, too; they have a charmingly low-res and cheap production quality to them which feels authentic without being overly cheesy.


Slayers X is an enjoyable but basic entry in the boomer shooter genre that manages to satisfy without excelling in any one area. The levels are fun to explore, the gunplay feels good, and the gags can be amusing in small doses. Even so, little things like the increasingly grating sense of humor and lack of gyro controls drag this one down a bit, while the core gameplay feels just a little too vanilla. We’d give Slayers X a recommendation, but with the caveat that you should probably first play through a few other old-school shooters before getting around to this one. It's pretty decent, but this isn’t a top-shelf example of the genre.