The developers at PM Studios have had a long track record when creating exemplar rhythm games. As previous developers of the DJMAX series, one could say with Superbeat: Xonic it's created a spiritual successor to the rhythm franchise. What was originally a Japanese arcade-only experience has now become one of the most polished and enjoyable rhythm games in recent years. Thankfully, with the PlayStation 4 version of the game, PM Studios has finally brought the critically acclaimed Vita game to a broader audience.
Aside from a few Guilty Gear intro songs, there weren’t any songs of the 65 included in the game that we recognised. The selection of music in Superbeat: Xonic is mostly Korean and Japanese, but a majority of it was sung (marvelously) in English or lacked vocals with mostly electronic instrumentals. Feeling the beat is easy as the mixing for each song accentuates the parts of the song which you need to focus on to correctly execute button presses. Among this, most of the songs are easy to listen to (except for personally one song which is literally a specific profanity continuously screamed), and the soundtrack will become quite the memorable selection as you repeat songs in the extensive quest system. With a variety of genres, the music selection is prime and engaging, and there’s a lot of content which justifies the purchase.
The gameplay is the closest to describe if you can imagine a combination of DJ Max’s speed and intricacy, with the visual appeal of Persona 4: Dancing All Night. There are approximately six different inputs that can be scaled down to four depending on how many plates you want to spin; every right note is satisfying and the gameplay progression means that you’ll be ready and prepared for some of the game’s harder songs. Even if you’re not quite the perfectionist, you can use the customisation options to allow your combos to continuously not break even if you make a couple mistakes (which of course comes with some trade-offs). The ceiling for skill in Superbeat: Xonic is one of the game’s most appealing aspects.
The systems of gradual difficulty coupled with great music solidify this title as one of excellence. We haven’t been able to put down SuperBeat: Xonic since it released on the Vita in 2015, and as a result of this it’s a commendable addition to the PS4 library apart from some input lag (which can easily be fixed by going into the settings and calibrating it). While lacking the portable aspects of the original, the ability to plug in some expensive headphones or utilise a home theater system is a mandatory experience if you’ve only played the Vita version, as the astonishingly high quality of the music and visuals deserve to be played in the biggest way possible.