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FixEight Review

Overall - 80%


Official Score

For those that don’t mind a bare-bones package, FixEight and its run-and-gun action is a bona fide arcade hit that is well worth the attention of any classic gamer.

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A run-and-gun from days gone by (1992, to be precise!), Bitwave Games and Toaplan are giving players all the firepower they could ever want with the Steam release of FixEight. Should players bring others along for some good ol’ co-op blasting, or does this throwback feel a little musty?

FixEight Review

For those who have yet to play FixEight, it serves as the spiritual successor to the cult arcade classic Out Zone.

For those who have yet to play Out Zone (don’t worry – Steam has got you covered with last year’s release), they’ll come to learn that this vertical run-and-gun series hits hard and fast. Taking control of one of eight different mercenaries with the most radical of designs, they’ll have two different weapons and their own special. Much like the shmup genre, players can then upgrade each of these weapons with dropped power-ups and chuck out the occasional bomb for good measure.

We especially like this system, as each FixEight character has their own unique weapon system. We were partial to the lizard Vistario and his wide range of attack via the Gel-Burner and Acid-Wide sprays. Did we mention that even the attacks have cool names? No matter who you choose, getting the right weapon in your hands and upgrading it to hit an enemy’s weakpoint for massive damage is a thrilling feeling. Put simply, FixEight and its action never gets old for the Rambo wannabes among us.

Throughout the surprisingly robust 50-minute runtime of each FixEight playthrough, players will navigate a number of different levels against the Gozzu alien menace – some of which are truly the stuff of nightmares. As players progress, they’ll come across a boss at the end of each stage before moving on to the next stage. While the power-ups to the score-based system to the flow all follow the typical arcade formula to a T, FixEight nails the run-and-gun formula with style.

Of course, it’s not all predictable; gameplay provides a hefty challenge if you’re not credit feeding, and there’s the occasional wrinkle like controllable hovercrafts that turn FixEight into a shmup.

While the core game is solid, the outside options of FixEight are fairly bare-bones. While we do appreciate the option to rewind to our heart’s content (up to minutes at a time!) and play with hitboxes and credits, there’s little here to really celebrate this deeper cut in Toaplan’s library.

FixEight does have the usual Steam accouterments like achievements and leaderboards, there just isn’t enough to really have this as a tribute. This is the first release of the game outside of arcades, that much is true, but at the same time the suite of options is not unlike what can be found in a tool like RetroArch.

For those that don’t mind a bare-bones package, FixEight and its run-and-gun action is a bona fide arcade hit that is well worth the attention of any classic gamer.

This review of Fixeight was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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