Xel test | GamersGlobal.de

Xel test |  GamersGlobal.de


Tiny Roar sends you into a colorful SF world as a heroine with amnesia. The Zelda-esque gameplay offers some charm, but the tech gets in the way of the fun.

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With Xel Tiny Roar and publisher Assemble Entertainment release one of The Legend of Zelda inspired action-adventure that mixes science fiction with fantasy.

You play a heroine who lost her memories after her spaceship crash-landed and has a mysterious stone in her head that gives her a hell of a headache. However, that doesn’t stop the protagonist, who will soon be given the name Reid by other people, from having a snappy joke on her lips at every turn. The humor quality may be inconsistent, but Reid not only knows how to use her sharp tongue, but also a blade and has fun Zelda-style dungeons ahead of her. But over all this lies the shadow of technology.

You can only defeat the spider boss of the first dungeon if you use the self-recharging electro traps, which you discovered as a new item in this level.

The Legend of Xel

Reid is the first to receive a sword and shield, at the top of the screen hearts give you information about your remaining life energy. Not only in this respect does Xel make you think of Zelda. At one point, Reid even hums the legendary series’ “mystery solved” tune – although the humor rarely leaves a pop culture nod and, for example, Reid can’t help but say “That sounds kind of familiar” after an NPC said: “I used to be an adventurer like you, then a dingbot ran into my knee.”

Dingbots are the first standard enemies you meet in Xel. They were supposed to keep the mysterious world in order for the people, but then turned against them. The fights start very easy, but remain entertaining due to the good hit feedback and the precision of Reid’s movements. In addition, new items later open up more tactics for you to deal with threats. With crowds of enemies, it’s a good idea to electro-trap parts of the enemy and take them down before the stun wears off. If you bite the dust, then there is no continue, but you have to load the last save in a very old-school way – and you can only save at distributed checkpoint columns. Xel also does not offer levels of difficulty.

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The mentioned traps can be found in the first big dungeon of Xel. With the new toy, but also with the successful level design with small, fine riddles, Xel best conjures up the Zelda spirit at this point. Here, too, there is little fun in solving two puzzles again after a death, because in the meantime no pillar has appeared and the healing items have been used up. Of course, there is a pillar in front of the boss’s door. Said door laughs in your face right at the beginning of said dungeon, but the path to the key is long and confusing. It even extends through time, as puzzles often require Reid to use her stone to jump into the past, where platforms that have since collapsed still exist, but cages that have in the present half fallen apart and acted as ramps still stand let use.

This trader in the overworld sells recipes with which you can stock up on camp fires with items that are useful or essential for survival. Unfortunately, after the first purchase, he never responded to me again – and yes, I paid!

Trip to Bugdad

On the one hand, Xel does not cut a good figure technically, because there are always many small errors that catch the eye. Sometimes it’s just about rather funny animation errors, Reid’s comments about the environment, which she repeats every time she visits again, while story dialogues often jump on too quickly and the speakers choke off in the middle of a sentence. Elsewhere, you can’t just rely on your eyes when exploring, because when you return to an area, picked flowers of life, which have already given you an extra heart, appear again unused and looted chests are closed. Only a good memory or a look at the icons on the mini-map will help to avoid wandering to the empty chest again. Many of these small bugs are so obvious that Xel simply leaves an unfinished impression.

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Other bugs make the game more difficult: It’s annoying enough that some switches and boxes only react when I’m standing in front of (or on) a very specific spot. One prescription vendor was unavailable even after the first visit because he never responded again when I tried to speak to him. With the aforementioned spider boss, on the other hand, I had to reload my save several times. Because although the door had closed behind Reid in the cutscene before the fight, I stood in front of the impenetrable gate to the arena for the first three attempts after the cinematic.

Another technical shortcoming is the performance: although the graphics have been noticeably slimmed down compared to the PC, depending on your running speed, whole parts of the level appear before your eyes and frequent small stutters become tangible stalls in the further game until I finally crash in a certain one with repeated crashes area had arrived – which, in combination with the storage system, puts an enormous strain on the thread of patience.

Author: Hagen Gehritz (GamersGlobal)

Opinion: Hagen Gehritz

My first impression of Xel wasn’t that great. Although I like Sandra Schadt in her role as the protagonist Reid and also the almost extravagant soundtrack of (almost) every NPC in the central hub, the dialogues are too rolled out and the flippant humor didn’t always ignite with me.

Exploring the nested overworld after the prelude soon became fun, however, and Xel peaked in the first dungeon, which also introduces the time travel power. In addition, I got new items at hand, which also spiced up the entertaining fights. There the flair of the classic Zelda titles is well captured. In my opinion, however, Xel didn’t need the rigid storage system that often threw me back. There are also many small imperfections – the Jank is strong in Xel, but it unfolds charm.

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However, Xel feels unfinished with its many obvious little blunders like dialog skipping mid-sentence and animation glitches. There are also more serious annoyances such as soft locks or slipping into the floor. The PC version also seems to be plagued by bugs, and Tiny Roar is already delivering the first patches on Steam. It is questionable how far the Switch version can improve. The version all too obviously struggles with the hardware: although Xel significantly reduces the details there, the frame rate often fluctuates or the title falters when fighting a larger group of opponents. As it stands, I cannot recommend Xel for Nintendo’s hybrid console. I gave up in frustration after almost four hours (around mid-game) when I had to start over a stage in an enemy faction’s camp for the fourth time because the game crashed.

XEL switches


  • Clear control
  • Tutorial gradually introduces features
  • Part of the character is covered by objects in the foreground
  • Control partly notchy (especially jumping)
  • Sometimes there is a lack of feeling in which direction the next main goal lies

Game Depth/Balance

  • Dungeon design with successful Zelda vibes
  • Fun puzzles
  • Fast fights with a good mix of enemy types
  • Items relevant to both puzzles and battles
  • Neither free save nor continue if the density of save points is not too high
  • Crashes severely torpedoed midgame progress
  • Slow performance sometimes affects fights
  • Entry up to the first dungeon a bit tough


  • Weak graphics
  • Some horribly popping up level parts
  • Crashes and softlocks
  • Myriad of little mistakes


  • Good German dubbing
  • Almost all of the numerous NPCs in the large central hub have voice acting
  • Speech samples repeat themselves constantly (e.g. marveling at a large tree over and over again, as if seeing it for the first time)





hardware info

Nothing special

input devices

  • Mouse keyboard
  • gamepad
  • steering wheel
  • Other
virtual reality

  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • PlayStation VR
  • Other
copy protection

  • Steam
  • Copy protection-free GoG version
  • Epic Games Store
  • uPlay
  • Origin
  • Manufacturer Account Connection
  • Constant internet connection
  • Internet connection at startup