Superbeat Xonic and the grinding of gears

Superbeat Xonic is a rhythm game that offers players options. While many song-centric Vita titles provide people one control scheme, here you can use touch-based or analog controls to keep with the beat. That applies to actions which would perhaps feel more comfortable only triggered with fingertips. No matter which one feels more comfortable for you, there’s a trick to properly grinding along the gears.

There are two movement-based actions in Superbeat Xonic. The first is a general up or down movement known as a Swipe Note that comes up when a circular, yellow icon with an arrow on it appears. The idea is to quickly swipe up or down on the track with a finger or move the appropriate analog stick in the proper direction when the icon lines up with the gear.

It isn’t as simple as going up or down. Speed is key with Swipe Notes. Hesitation will break your combo. You need to quickly swipe up or down with your finger or the joystick, though I found it was easier to properly hit these notes with the analog option. The second it comes to the edge of the gear, flick the stick up or down. Don’t delay. You know the motion you make when you snap your fingers? Do that on the analog stick and you’ll nail that move.

superbeat xonic scratch note
There are also Scratch Notes, which are essentially held Swipe Notes. When these appear on the track, you’re going to see a pink arrow icon with an extended trail and joints that may require you to pause and change directions of the scratch. It’s tempting to look at these and thing you may need to move gingerly and exactly within the realms of the lines, as you would in perhaps one of Square Enix’s Theatrhythm games. This isn’t always the case.

That kind of thinking could earn you another miss in Superbeat Xonic. Again, speed is key. Rather than needing to match the progression, it’s often more about a quick swipe, then holding your finger in the uppermost position on the screen before lifting it when the note’s trail ends. Initially, I found the analog stick option more difficult to pin down for Scratch Notes, but now I would actually recommend it for hitting these finicky icons.

Using touch controls on a Superbeat Xonic Scratch Note means you’re blocking the screen. You might block part of the trail, missing when you’d need to switch course or stop holding the beat. Using the analog sticks allows for greater position. Treat it as you would a Swipe Note. Quickly flick in the initial direction of the arrow, while holding it down. If you can see a direction change coming up, then head back down the second a joint comes up indicating the shift in movement and keep holding.

Both Swipe and Scratch Notes in Superbeat Xonic are especially tricky and delicate beats. It’s only through actual application that you’ll learn the proper means of triggering each one and find strategies that work for you. There’s a delicate nuance to each strike. While I’d recommend being ready to swiftly execute each one with the analog sticks, it’s up to you to determine which will work best for you when the game is released on November 10, 2015.

Questions? Comments? Talk to us on Twitter or Facebook!