It’s been 2 days, I should post impressions.
TxK is the true sequel to Tempest 2000 (T2k) that we (or just I) have been waiting for. Many aspect of this game feels like it had only minor improvements or tweaks from T2k, but that’s perfectly fine for those of us (or just me) who found Space Giraffe utterly foreign. For example, the powerup mechanics of collecting “pluses” that fly up the web is the same, and the progression of gifts are indentical (with 2 additions, 1 is a new powerup “maximum bullets”, the other being…bonus scores or something?). All enemies from Tempest returns with tweaks: flippers flip slower on the rim, giving players better chance to kill them; pulsars have much longer down time between pulses; fuseballs don’t seem to hang around the rim (or maybe won’t do this until much later level?). As of level 24, there seems to be only 1 new enemy that I noticed.
But there’s gotta be something new, right? There’s Vita-specific controls: tap the O button or the screen to fire the Supertapper, and tilting the vita changes the camera angle slightly. There’s a minigame in between webs now, which is like a short version of the Warp bonus level in T2k. The webs can shift and change shape…I’m expecting a level where the ends join up to turn a plane into a circle.
The graphics are much cleaner and more vector-like than T2k. The Vita’s OLED screen is just perfect for displaying the saturated coloured lines, and the trademark Minter psychedelic visuals are more subdued. This means that enemies crawling up the web are now easily identified! I made less mistake from getting zapped by pulsars now, because I can actually see them.
The music is…more techno stuff in the same vein as T2k. There are sheep bleating sounds in the game, of course.
The manual doesn’t describe any enemies, so it’s up to you/me to play the game lots to get familiar with enemy attacks and movement patterns.