XBLA Review: Shred Nebula

Shred Nebula sounds quite an odd name for a space shooter, is the game just as weird?

Shred Nebula combines the best elements of arcade space-shooter action with free-roaming exploration and multiplayer excitement. Pilot the experimental R.I.P. Rocket through the galaxy in search of the Lost Expeditions … no ship has ever returned from the vastness of interstellar space!

This top-down, fast-paced ship-combat game features three loaded modes of play—Adventure, Score Attack, and Multiplayer. Play co-op with your friends, or go head-to-head in a deathmatch dogfight. No one knows what lies in the center of the galaxy. Will you be the first to discover the secrets of the gravitational region known as The Shred and make it home alive?

  • Special effects: The revolutionary ship physics, cutting edge controls, and fresh gameplay help re-define Arcade space combat. The awesome special effects and spectacular space environments utilize 3-D to create infinite depth and a colorful look unrivaled in any space game to date.
  • Game modes: There are three different intense modes of play for all styles, such as Adventure, Score Attack, and Multiplayer Space Death Match. Get ready for insane multiplayer action for up to eight players on Xbox LIVE and system link or take a friend online via split screen guest account!
  • Space combat: The deep multiplayer space combat system, with weapon vs. weapon counters, defensive maneuvers, amazing special attacks, and more features have never before been seen in this genre.
  • Heroic ship: Play as the R.I.P. Rocket vs. tons of unique enemies or become the enemy in multiplayer selecting from eight ships all with totally different abilities. Battle to conquer all foes and become the top dog of the leaderboards!With the Summer of Arcade, we got some great shooters like Geometry Wars 2 and the ok-ish Galaga Legions, now that the holiday is over…it’s time for another, but one that’s more of an adventure-style blaster. Does it pack enough punch to make it a worthy purchase?Indeed it is, it adds in classic gameplay for a shooter but lets you go hunting for items for achievements, and you can scan ships for more clues about the mystery of the Shred. The story is actually quite good, despite being told through text logs and the like. It won’t win any awards for it but it definitely does a reasonable job of telling the story and leaving extra bits for the hardcore to find.

    Instead of just pushing forward with the analog stick, you need to hold down the trigger to accelerate and the bumper to reverse, shoot with X instead of using the right analog stick to blast anywhere you like…there are some odd controls here, but it mostly works. It can be frustrating to die because you put too much boost in and end up in the nebula and explode, but it can be controlled with some dedication and patience.

    There are a few secret levels and plenty of things to hunt down, but once you do you won’t have much to do besides frag people in multiplayer. Multiplayer is a blast and probably where you’ll find the most fun for your money. Sure, single player is good but its limited and that’s where the package takes a nosedive, albeit a very small one.

    The presentation in Shred Nebula is very good, load times are short and the framerate never seems to dip. It would be nice if the team added downloadable content to the game, say a few extra multiplayer stages or maybe another single player level? I know I’d pick that up, so it’s possible..

    The Verdict

    Although the single player is rather brief, apart from if you are a hardcore collector…Shred Nebula is a fun and enjoyable shooter. Multiplayer is where it’s really at and is a worthy addition to your XBLA collection.