Death By Cube Review
Death By Cube box art
System: X360 (XBLA) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Premium Agency 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Square Enix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 20, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-8 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In terms of presentation, the game is really well organized - it's very easy to navigate the menus and unlock all of the content. On the downside, the diversity of the visuals and sounds is quite poor. Though your robot skins are nice, the lack of creative enemy types and the super-confined, uninspired, arena-style levels make DBC look amateurish. In fact, the best part of DBC's visual presentation is the gore-filled explosions. Otherwise, levels essentially look like a jumbled mess - it really can be quite difficult to concentrate on what you're supposed to do because there is often far too much action on the screen at one time. The aural complements actually fare even worse. The only noteworthy sound effect, and not because of its quality, is when you get close to death; a shrill warning effect is unleashed - you'll recognize it as the busy tone during phone calls. Sampling from the public domain in this way lends no credence to the game's final polish.

Death By Cube screenshot

The tide of downloadable games that hit XBLA week in and week out means many praiseworthy and even more lackluster titles are often neglected. Such is the case with Death By Cube, making the multiplayer side of the title essentially unplayable. Hooking up with eight players online in games of deathmatch and domination could conceivably be decent fun, but when there are only a few players hopping on at any given time, the action is decidedly dull. This is a shame for those who've purchased the game and have grown tired of the repetitive single-player. Hopefully consumers of Death By Cube will eventually be rewarded for their purchase with a thriving, competitive community. However, as it stands right now, plan on honing your skills in single-player for awhile longer.

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Death By Cube is unique and challenging, which will undoubtedly go a long way toward giving this title initial and lasting appeal for many arcade enthusiasts. I, unfortunately, became bored quickly, making the majority of the game feel like a repetitive and unrewarding slog. I guess, in the end, it all comes down to your taste in gaming. If you are a patient connoisseur of stick shooters, there is probably a lot to like in Death By Cube. However, if you are simply looking for a great arcade game to fill the gaps between AAA titles, you'll definitely want to pass this one up in favor of other proven gems on XBLA.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
The visuals are crisp, but the uninspired level and character design are poor. Also, the confined arenas make for an overly stimulating spectacle.
4.0
Control
Shooting, dashing, and shielding your way through the levels is effectively executed, though it does take some time to get used to.
1.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Absolutely barebones.
2.8
Play Value
There are a lot of levels and unlockables to discover. Also, earning ranks and setting high scores could keep you busy for days. However, the multiplayer component is not well supported, and gameplay soon gets dull and repetitive.
2.7
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Over-the-top action: Faced with an overwhelming number of enemies, retaliate with formidable weapons.
  • Defensive abilities: The main character Leo has a special power called "Force." Absorbed bullets can be unleashed as an attack!
  • Unlockables: When each stage is completed, you'll get chips that can be used to unlock new player characters. Each player character has a unique characteristic and choosing which character dramatically affects your strategy.
  • Online play: Join with up to eight players divided into two teams and fight against each other. Modes include Deathmatch, Domination, and High-score challenge.


  • Screenshots / Images
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