I couldn't even hear LocoCycle when I played it on the bustling PAX Prime show floor, and yet it still made me laugh. Twisted Pixel, creators of irreverent action games like 'Splosion Man, The Gunstringer, and Comic Jumper, are going to a new level of arcade action with LocoCycle. LocoCycle begins when I.R.I.S., a self-driving war machine of a motorcycle, becomes sentient and drags hapless mechanic Pablo along with her. Twisted Pixel cites classic 1986 film Short Circuit, anunassailable cinematic masterpiece, as their main influence, winning major points with me. Twisted Pixel also wants to recreate the feeling of walking into an arcade, looking at a garish, neon-lighted arcade machine and wondering, "what the hell is that? I need to play that!"
Players guide I.R.I.S. side-to-side as she relentlessly moves forward. Each face button on the Xbox One (or 360) controller corresponds to a different attack, useful in different situations. I.R.I.S. has machine guns, karate kicks (yes, performed with her wheels), and poor Pablo as different weapons she can use depending on if enemies are up close, far away, or behind her. At times, the camera will zoom and swoop to highlight incoming danger, prompting the player to press the A-button to counter-attack. As the A-button is pressed, colorful text fills the screen, the music changes, and a comedic death animation is played.
LocoCycle moves forward at a frenetic pace. I was hopping back and forth between different face buttons so often, I was glad that I didn't have to consciously pilot I.R.I.S. forward. As score numbers flew at the screen, colorful explosions rocked all around me, and enemies cartwheeled through the air, LocoCycle hit all the satisfying notes of its arcade action influences. Cinematic camera angles show off the action without distracting the player, and swoop in closer when between-level exposition is going on. LocoCycle represents a big step forward for Twisted Pixel, both in terms of deeper, more satisfying arcade gameplay and a strong story guiding it along. Whether you want to experience a fun story, or hone your play to get the highest score possible, LocoCycle has you covered.
Most importantly though, when I asked Twisted Pixel Marketing Coordinator Jay Stuckwisch about FMV in their next game, he confirmed that they will have, "a few surprises" in store for long-time Twisted Pixel fans. I can't wait.
LocoCycle will release for Xbox One and Xbox 360 on November 22nd, for $20.