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At 800 MS points, it’s completely worth it if you are a fan of Geometry Wars or anything like it and with all the unlockables and medals, you’ll be playing for awhile. Just remember, it’s not blood, it’s red oil!
Death by Cube is such a simple game, yet so much fun and so satisfying once you dig in to the upgrade systems. The graphics are cute, but do leave a lot to be desired. But in this case, good progression design trumps all, and a variety between levels keeps things from getting boring. For 800 points, it’s a nicely priced way for you to work on your twitch reflexes.
Death by Cube has some great potential to achieve in a sequel; it’s just that right now there are some serious flaws that are holding it back from achieving commercial success. Did we mention that it soon becomes frustratingly, bang your head against the wall hard? DBC is fun for a good thirty minutes, and after that you are better off putting it down, which is not worth the 800 Microsoft Points ($10) to download. Just go for the trial version.
The A.V. Club
Anyone who plays Cube will, at times, absolutely hate it—probably when they are retrying the same hopeless mission for the 75th time. The game is too hard by design, and it differs from another unyielding game that has captured the zeitgeist, Demon’s Souls, in that Cube’s difficulty is unleavened by elegant presentation or social innovations. It’s raw and anti-mainstream, like a hardcore kung-fu movie that confounds the general public but delights its niche. Don’t mistake “raw” for “shallow,” though. Players with the ultra-competitive wiring to endure Cube’s frustrations will find a satisfying level of strategy beneath its berserk facade.
Yet another downloadable Robotron clone, but one with some interesting, if peculiar, ideas.
Death by Cube leek aanvankelijk een erg goede game te zijn. Het eerste halfuur wist ik me dan ook enorm te amuseren, maar al snel begon ik meer en meer rood te noteren in mijn 9lives-schriftje wat eigenlijk staat voor slecht, slechter, onmogelijk slecht. De game heeft zeker potentieel, maar het feit dat je een level acht keer opnieuw zal moeten spelen om genoeg coins te hebben om iets te unlocken is er net teveel aan. Ook de pure chaos en moeilijkheidsgraad zorgen ervoor dat er maar weinig tactiek aan te pas komt. Uiteindelijk ga je je controller gewoon manueel verkrachten in de hoop levend uit de veldslag te komen om dan een schamele 350 coints te verzamelen. En dat terwijl het volgend level 4.600 coins kost. De game is niet superslecht, maar doet zijn naam alvast alle eer aan, sterven door cubes is je hels lot in deze game.
Death by Cube est un shoot'em up sympathique mais sa difficulté parfois excessive et le manque de clarté de certaines situations pourront excéder les joueurs les moins patients. Les autres accueilleront avec curiosité ce titre atypique qui ne révolutionne pas le genre mais qui apporte toutefois un petit renouveau bien sympathique.
To conclude, Death by Cube is a surprise hit. Whilst there are better titles of a similar nature available on the Xbox Live Arcade, the game provides great enjoyment amongst a vast amount of frustration, mostly caused by the high difficulty setting. If you enjoy the trial, Death by Cube is a worthy purchase, even at 800 Microsoft Points.
It shows that this most predictable of genres is still capable of throwing out interesting surprises.
Basically it's too hard, the gameplay mechanics unnecessarily complex and the strange exploding gore (you're shooting boxes and robots, where does all the blood and guts come from?) frequently obscures the too-fast action so much that you can't see what's going on anyway. Twin stick shooters are normally awesome - this one isn't. Avoid it unless you like extremely hard games or pretending things are good to just to annoy people.
There's some enjoyment to by found here, but by the end of the experience fun will be nothing more than a fond memory.
In the end, Death by Cube is a decent, cheap arcade shooter for any fan who needs a quick fix. The action is very frantic and the challenge level will certainly keep you playing for a while. Well, that is if you don't lose your cool and throw the controller through a window.
The folks at Premium Agency were clearly inspired by Geometry Wars, and just added some blood and cubes. But, in the end there is a dead online multiplayer community, with little hope of attracting players from the single player campaign. Anybody looking for a less frustrating Shooter/Strategy should take a pass on this one. I would only recommend this to the hardcore crowd.
Cheat Code Central
Death By Cube is unique and challenging, which will undoubtedly go a long way toward giving this title initial and lasting appeal for many arcade enthusiasts. I, unfortunately, became bored quickly, making the majority of the game feel like a repetitive and unrewarding slog. I guess, in the end, it all comes down to your taste in gaming. If you are a patient connoisseur of stick shooters, there is probably a lot to like in Death By Cube. However, if you are simply looking for a great arcade game to fill the gaps between AAA titles, you'll definitely want to pass this one up in favor of other proven gems on XBLA.
You see, unfortunately, as much as Death by Cube is adequate, I found that that's all it is. Even as I re-read this review, I'm finding that it's very indicative of how Death by Cube plays; it's not bad - there's nothing objectively wrong - it just feels played out (teetering on generic). With Retro Evolved, there was a rivalry between my group of friends always trying to up each other score. So much so that I probably played it far too much for such a simple game. Since then, however, the dual-analog arcade game (including great examples like Super Stardust on PS3 and PSP) have had a tough time maintaining my interest. With DbC, I got bored quicker than any previous dual-analog game I've played, and it's far from the worst one available in terms of action AND visuals. Long story short, unless you still fantasize about the dually-analog genre, you may find your money better spent elsewhere.
Death By Cube looks, plays, and feels like a community game, which makes the $10 price tag all the more upsetting. It’s generic, frustrating, and not really fun. I don’t see why you’d pick this up over Geometry Wars or any of the other twin-stick shooters out there.
MS Xbox World
Leo's quest to find out what happened to him should have been more about a journey why gamers won't pay 800 Microsoft Points to play Death by Cube. The story, graphics ,and sound are mediocre at best and not something Square Enix fans would expect from such a distinguished company. The challenge of the gameplay is entertaining, but can become wearisome if played in long sessions. Unfortunately the multiplayer component of the game is dead and will add little to the overall experience.
It’s unfortunate that Death By Cube doesn’t attempt to take on any modern 360° shooters, as that might’ve at least provided the developers at Premium Agency with the incentive of creating something more formidable. This is just another reminder of why companies like Square Enix shouldn’t be backing games like Death By Cube. With the Square Enix name, a certain level of quality and polish ought to be expected. The only thing Death By Cube has to offer that its competition doesn’t is an excessive level of blood (or red robot oil), but that alone doesn’t warrant a purchase.
Amateurish is probably the best way to describe Death By Cube. While the action can be gratifyingly frenetic for a few minutes here and there, the overall game design is simplistic and repetitive, the varying difficulty is incredibly frustrating, and the look and sound of the game are too primitive to hold your attention for long. With this many flaws and so many superior rivals to turn to, it doesn't make sense to spend 800 points on this subpar dual-stick shooter.
The sad truth is that there are better looking, better designed twin-stick shooters on the Indie Games channel for a fraction of the price, produced by inspired individuals who have moved on from Beat the Blockoids. Give them your Microsoft Points instead.
DBC's trouble goes deeper than simple poor design; there's no vision here, no sense of what the "point" of the game is. In Hollywood, before you pitch a script, you're often asked for a one-line description of its overall concept, called a log line. I would like to hear what Square Enix's log line is for this game, because I'm betting they just don't have one, and couldn't generate one if they tried.