Review by blueb11
You cannot escape the Mongoose! Mwahahahahaha!
A man wakes up somewhere on a beach with amnesia that is total: the only things he can find to identify himself are his tattoo (XIII) and a key to a safe in his pocket. Oh, and by the way, it appears that he's wanted, and that some officer who calls himself "the Mongoose" is hot after his head.
XIII is also available more expansively for consoles, but I hope that after reading this you will give the cell phone version a try.
Because of XIII the character's amnesia, XIII the game is subject to both the allure and repercussions of being a game with zero background story. As the player jumps straight into a rapidly-developing plot that begins from the crumbled dust of nothings, they have no idea what kind of person they control. As the story progresses at a high trot, the background/XIII's past makes itself known in hefty chunks that seem a tad hard to swallow. But, hey. It's only a game. Things could be crazier.
GAMEPLAY: DUCK, RUN, SHOOT, REPEAT
The gameplay itself sure hasn't dished out a lot of whim. This game combines shooting, strategy, and stealth. XIII may slink carefully up the large steps of the staircase formed of wayward crates to get the upper hand on his enemy, or duck down low as a bullet that resembles something Johnny from the Fantastic Four shot out sails over his head in bullet time. XIII may have to wait for tingling lasers to toggle on and off, and make good use of Jones, his on-and-off partner-in-crime (as a figure of speech and otherwise). There are four guns that you can collect, each with its own ammo, but you lost the gun when you run out of ammunition or start a new chapter. There are seven chapters, all of which can be completed in under three minutes. There are also boss fights which range in difficulty like the bosses in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 range in difficulty: from easy to medium.
REPLAY: AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN
The good thing about having such a short play time is that you can literally complete the game in less than 20 minutes. And, what are you to do when such a thing happens? You play it again, of course. The short levels and engaging plot make this game prime real estate for several playthroughs. (And the Aaahs, but I'll get to that later.) Forget before dinner. We're talking before lunch. Easy.
GRAPHICS: THE ANSWER IS AAAHHH
Imagine this: every time you take down an enemy, the word "Aaahh" appears in bold, white letters equipped with double exclamation points. That alone should make you want to buy this game, just to see that, right? XIII is refugeeing through a vibrant and detailed world (by detailed, I mean for you to look at everything EXCEPT for the flaming bullets--fool.) Grenades pop out of the assault rifle smoking and arc down in a bell-curve trajectory; blood spurts as thick as cream; the background looks realistic to the setting. (Of course, with this background you are bound to get that Flintstones' feeling: Gee, haven't I passed that computer/cloud/frustratingly inaccessible door 15 times already?)
CONTROLS: NICE, NICE BABY (OK, BAD PUN, SORRY, I KNOW)
The controls are seamless. This is due largely in part to the fact that there are no complicated maneuvers; it's all pretty basic, yet fun.
Other than the schnazzy tunes you hear while visiting the title screen and at every debriefing, get ready to welcome silence. For silence is your friend. At least there is nothing to distract you.
Is six bucks worth it to get this game? That depends. If you want a fun, fast-paced shooting game, then go for it. Besides--don't you want to know who XIII is?
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