Sixty Second Shooter Prime Review

By Jonathan Barnes, 2 years ago
When it was announced that all Xbox One titles would have a full 1,000 Gamerscore, many achievement hunters rejoiced at the possibility of easy, quick infusions to boost their overall total. Gamers on the other side of the fence saw something worse; the possible dilution and cheapening of their hard-earned total. While Microsoft will always maintain some quality control over the games to be put on their system, the massive influx of ID@Xbox titles suggests that gamers will soon be offered a plethora of ways to boost their Gamerscore on the cheap.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that time is at hand. This is Sixty Second Shooter Prime.

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Sixty Second Shooter Prime is one of the most pure twin stick shooters on the marketplace to date. Think of it as Asteroids on a hefty dose of amphetamines and hallucinogens. There's no story or fancy graphics, music options are limited, power ups are basic, and there are only five "looks" from which to choose. The basic premise is that you have sixty seconds to rack up the highest score you can. Helping along the way are power ups like "boom" which explodes a bomb that damages all enemies in a radius, gun upgrades which can boost the ship's firepower from a puny, single shot to double, quadfire, and octofire, "precision aiming" slows down the action on the screen, allowing for more accurate shooting, "invincible" speeds up the ship and makes it invulnerable for a short period of time, and a basic score multiplier which... well... you get the picture. In addition to enemies and power ups, each map features a portal which advances up to a harder level offering the opportunity for more points and tougher enemies. Chaining together fifty enemy kills also unlocks a brief "chain reaction" which slows down time/enemies and ramps up scoring potential.

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Enemies have a nice variety to them, ranging from cubes which behave exactly as the asteroids of Asteroids by breaking into smaller pieces all the way to invulnerable (to standard attacks) enemy ships that will seek and destroy yours. Some enemies will follow the ship around the level, others fly in kamikaze style, some fire shots that have to be dodged, and others simply float around the map. The fast-paced nature of the game and quick portal transitions means that focus must be maintained at all times if a big score is the goal.

As one can expect from a game with a title like "Sixty Second Shooter Prime", going fast is the name of the game. Like most twin stick shooters, the controls take some getting used to, but primarily focus on the two sticks (one for movement and one for shooting) and the right trigger (which fires a missile capable of wiping out groups of enemies). Once mastered, the game functions very well, although the accuracy and sensitivity of the right thumbstick left something to be desired at times. The game also suffers from the occasional bug where an enemy will instantly spawn on top of/next to the ship upon the game starting, causing immediate failure. Fortunately, though, these gripes are mitigated by the fact that the game can be quickly restarted with zero load times. You can literally die, return to the menu screen, and start a new game in under a second. Unfortunately, said menu screen can only be navigated using the thumbsticks as the D-pad is disabled.

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While the game's primary mode is the eponymous "60 Second" mode, the game also offers an "Infinity Mode" which goes on as long as the ship can stay alive and pick up "time bonus" power ups. Each mode features its own separate leaderboard which is handy for keeping track of how well friends are doing.

Pleasantries out of the way, let's jump to the achievements. Gamers looking for a quick 1k need look no farther as this game is easily completable in under a few hours. I am by no means the most skilled of twin stick shooter gamers, and I was able to knock out every achievement in two play sessions over the course of a day. That being said, the two toughest achievements, Infinity Black Belt (get two-million points in "Infinity Mode") and Final Countdown (reach level 20 in "60 Second" mode) may require a bit of patience and practice.

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The ID@Xbox program is a wonderful tool that allows developers the opportunity to get their smaller games onto the new generation of Xboxes. It's also wonderful for achievement hunters in search of a quick hit of Gamerscore. Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a prime example (no pun intended) of both of these results in action. The game is cheap (less than $5), fully completable, and a very competent twin stick shooter. That being said, the presentation is very bare bones and there is little (aside from wanting to one-up friends on the leaderboard) to warrant keeping it on the hard drive after all of the achievements have been unlocked.

The reviewer spent approximately two hours with the game, gaining the full completion and laying waste to all of his friends' high scores (lookin' at you, DaveKinetic). A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review.
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.