Responsible for the recent DSiWare releases Trajectile and Starship Patrol (along with the PixelJunk series on PS3 and PSP, and more!), Q Games has resurrected X -- an obscure 1992 Game Boy title from Argonaut and Nintendo -- as X-Scape, and it seems more than a little familiar. X was a first-person tank shooter; X-Scape takes the fight to the land and air, reminding us of a title Q Games founder Dylan Cuthbert made for Nintendo while at Argonaut: The never-released Starfox 2. X-Scape is entirely stylus-driven for air and ground maneuvering and features a ... unique art style. The different worlds all have monochromatic color schemes; red, green, blue and so on. The training stage looks eerily like a Virtual Boy game with its varying shades of red. My time with the game was brief, but I was struck by its production values and intense combat. Like most of Nintendo's downloadable titles, this one currently has a blanket "spring" release date.
If X-Scape brings back fond retro gaming memories, Metal Torrent reminds me of a time I'd rather forget ... when the market was flooded with shovelware shooters. Developed by Arika, it's a total bullet hell shoot-'em-up with less-than-heavenly gameplay. Level after level essentially scrolled past my ship while I held down the fire button and moved to avoid bullets. Yes, Metal Torrent sounds like a lot of shmups, but it lacked any soul. Unlike X-Scape, it really feels like a low-priced title that the developer didn't see fit to take past the basic "if it moves, shoot it" phase. Metal Torrent is due out this spring.