ZP2KX: Zombies & Pterodactyls Review (XBLIG)

Game Review: ZP2KX: Zombies & Pterodactyls
Release: 12/17/2010
Genre: 2D Shooter
Developer: Ska Studios
Available Platforms: Xbox Live Indie Games
Players: 1-10
MSRP: 80 msp ($1)
ESRB Rating: Unrated
Website: Ska Studios

In today’s society, a dollar usually doesn’t buy you a whole lot. You could go to a dollar store and buy some cheap China made junk, but that isn’t fun. You could buy an item from the dollar menus from all the various fast food joints, but that will just ruin your health. Heck, when I was a kid, I used to go to the “Little Shopper” (a little Mom and Pop store in my town) and buy a bag of penny candy and a Spider-Man comic book for a buck. You just don’t get that kind of value for your money that often. Well, Ska Studios is here to remedy this economic problem by delivering an action packed gem called ZP2KX that is chalked full of bang for your buck!

ZP2KX is a fast paced 2D shooter designed specifically for online multiplayer mayhem. There are 5 different modes that you can partake in across 10 different maps: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, and Zombie Hunt. These online modes will also work offline in a single player experience with bots, and you have quite a few options at your disposal to customize your game.

You start off with a handful of charcters that you can choose from. Each has their own distinct look and set of skills. For example, you can pick the Assassin and he comes equipped with the skills: Kung Fu Hero (Increased kick attack), Quick (Increased run speed), Stealth (Radar invisibility). These skills are tailored to make the Assassin excel at what he does best and that goes true for the rest of the characters. If you don’t like these skills though, you can change them around after just a short time of leveling up and unlocking the ability to modify your characters.

Ahhh, leveling up. This really adds a lot of depth to ZP2KX and helps push it from just another shooting game to a really cool shooting game. You gain experience after every kill and also for kill streaks and other feats of awesomeness. The experience then adds up until you reach the requirement for the next level. You don”t get to assign any skill points or stuff like that, but leveling up unlocks different aspects of the game like the above mentioned ability to change your skills. You can also unlock more characters, skills, and other items to change the appearance of your characters.

As for the actual gameplay, ZP2KX controlled pretty nice once I got used to the set-up and nuances of the control scheme. The left stick moves your character around the map while the right stick aims and fires your equipped weapon. You can carry up to 4 out of 23 different weapons that will be assigned to each of the 4 different directions on the d-pad. Pressing up with equip the weapon that is assigned to the up direction, and the same goes for the other 3 directions. You can also carry two out of ten different types of grenades. They are readied with the right trigger and then thrown with the right stick. The weapons range from swords, to your standard pistols, machine guns, and shotguns to some really bizarre but totally awesome weapons. One of my favorites is the “AK 47 That Fires Cats”. Yes, this AK shoots out a barrage of tiny black kitties that bounce around and terrorize the enemy. One other feature  that needs mentioning is your jetpack. This will help you get around quicker and traverse across wider gaps. It comes in very handy when you are in between a rock and a hard place.

There’s a lot to like with ZP2KX. It has a ton of cool weapons that are a “blast” to use, especially the unique ones. The character designs are varied and fun to look at. The graphics are pretty damn good for just being an Indie Game. I know a lot of times you can get either crappy looking games or old school blocky designs (which are ok for certain types of games like old school rpgs), but ZP2KX’s are nice to look at. The gameplay is smooth and easy to get into. All around, a very good design.

I honestly can’t think of anything that was wrong with the game. I would have liked to have seen some achievements, but that isn’t anything that you can fault the developers for. I can’t even complain about playing online. I never once played this game where there wasn’t at least a couple of rooms already set up online. I even tried at various times of the day and still was always able to find somebody online. This is a pretty good sign for just being an Indie Game.

Brian’s Final Say: I am “blown away” by how much you get for only a single clam. Buy this game. What have you got to loose? If you enjoy online FPS and have a dollar, pick this game up. It is a refreshing take on the genre with some really great gameplay. Tack on all of the variety with the character customization, weapons, modes, and maps and you have yourself a winner.

+ A lot of bang for your buck

+ Great online/offline multiplayer gameplay

+ Awesome weapons

+ It’s only a dollar

Final Score: 9/10

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