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Nexagon: Deathmatch

Platform(s): Arcade, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PSOne, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Genre: Action

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PC Preview - 'Nexagon: Deathmatch'

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on March 19, 2003 @ 11:55 p.m. PST

Since we last saw it, Strategy First's Nexagon the Pit has been renamed to "Nexagon Deathmatch." I had played an earlier build of the game and was eager to check this out to see what had changed. Let's find out, shall we?

For the most part, the driving force behind the game is the same. For those who haven’t had the chance to check out this game, I'll provide a short and sweet synopsis. Based in the future, Nexagon Deathmatch is essentially a TV show owned and operated by a huge network company, Musework, that seems to own everything else. The Pit is an arena where warriors fight to win money, with the ultimate prize being their freedom. You are the manager of one team of brutes, and you need to make sure that your team wins in order to gain ability points that will allow you to hire new units and upgrade your battle arenas and current units. Ability points will also allow you to increase attack, speed, strength, and other areas. Spend your ability points as you see fit, but it is vital to know what each of your unit does.

Right off the bat, I notice that the GUI menu has changed. All of the buttons and options have been rearranged to make them more appealing. For example, the game now includes scrolling text bars and a slamming soundtrack. Overall movement from menu to menu is now smooth and seamless; menus just don’t appear out of thin air, as they had in a prior build. Additionally, the background of the menus is of one of the arenas you fight in, and you can even scroll around the arena if you like. Multiplayer mode was disabled in this version, as it was in the previous version, if my memory serves me correctly. Unit selection is now simplified, and everything you need to know is explained to you when you purchase your units.

The playable sides in this version have changed. There are no longer four sides to choose from, but only two, the Tekkan and Ghandros. I don’t know what happened to the Stunar or the Olfrun sides, but I hope they will be returned in the final release. The unit names have also changed, while unit types have remained the same, and each side has its own name for each unit type.

Gameplay hasn’t been changed either. It still is an action strategy-based game where you must manage your units and strategically place them to defeat your opponent and achieve victory. The game arenas have been updated with interactive objects, as well as traps. The changes to the arenas add an extra bit of fun to an already solid game. The game now offers a tutorial mode to accustom new players to the game. Credits are still the mainstay in this game, as everything requires credits. Whether you're hiring new units or constructing improved sanctums, you'll need ... yes, credits. You receive more credits by slaying your enemies by billboards that advertise during each match. Also, hand-to-hand combat receives more of a welcome than long-range attacks.

Graphically, Nexagon has remained unchanged. The arenas are still highly textured, the units have fluid movement, and the effects are crisp. I have noticed that the graphics have been optimized since I've last seen it. In the first test version, I couldn’t have loads of units on the map at the same time, or the game would crash, or my frame rate would drop to about two frames per second.

A new improvement to the game is sound. Nexagon now sports a full set of music tracks and sound effects. When you play, you hear the roar of the crowd, and depending on how you play, you can hear whether they approve or disagree. The units are now able to utilize sound, and you can hear laser gun fire and brutish slams of the fist. There was sound in the first test version, but it was not nearly as polished as this.

To sum it up, the updated version of Nexagon Deathmatch shows that this game is headed in the right direction and looks to be a killer game when finished. However, I did dislike the fact that I was limited to only two races, and the game seemed to be a bit more unstable as I crashed a lot while loading and playing the game. As stated before, this game will rule when finished, and just being able to have an old-fashioned beatdown fills me with that warm fuzzy feeling. Note: I don’t enjoy giving beatdowns….. most of the time.


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