New Retro-Themed Xbox One Racer 'Spectra' On The Horizon

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When I think about the Xbox One, the last thing I think of is retro gaming or the indie scene. Whether we like it or not, Sony seems to have sewn up the indie market on consoles in recent times; and retro gaming is pretty much the realm of systems built without online functionality (unless you include the Dreamcast. Or Saturn. Or N64 Randnet. Or SNES Satellaview).

Regardless, The Vita and PS4 have played host to an unprecedented number of outstanding independently developed titles up until now, and I for one can't help but be impressed by the Japanese firm's embracing of the scene. Microsoft appears keen to turn the tables however, and has allowed more access to the Xbox One for indie devs, and one of the more promising titles on the horizon is Spectra - a high-speed racing game featuring procedurally generated courses and a thumping soundtrack from highly-regarded chiptune musician Chipzel. On first glance, you'd be forgiven for mistaking Spectra for just another F-Zero rip off, but you'd be sorely mistaken: Spectra is more like a melding of Vib Ribbon and WipEout, as ridiculous as that sounds.

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While there is a track, and a futuristic racecraft that the player must pilot; the similarities to other games it is visually similar to end there. Taking the form of a reaction-heavy score attack, players must negotiate the courses and collect point bonuses whilst also trying to stay on the track (there are no crash barriers) and avoiding the many obstacles that pop up aling the way. Developers Gateway Interactive do cite games like F-Zero and even Mario Kart's Rainbow Road as influences on the game's aesthetic design, but the amazing soundtrack, branching routes and heavily twitch-based gameplay also reminded me of Quantum Redshift (but not Aero Gauge, happily). Spectra is out now on Windows Phone and Windows, but will be coming to Xbox One in March. With a soundtrack this good and the fantastic retro stylings, along with the ridiculously addictive gameplay, you'd be mad to miss out on Spectra once it launches.

Spectra Trailer

Link: Spectra Official Website


Last Updated ( 16 February 2015 )  

Tom Charnock

A true connoisseur of failed and obscure console hardware, if Tom isn't extolling the virtues of the Jaguar CD's texture smoothing abilities or the Dreamcast's vast array of useless peripherals he's usually on Twitter asking where all the Super A'Can games are.

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