Damned to repeat itself.
Variety may be called the spice of life, and if that is ever proved to be the case, SpeedX 3D’s repetition won’t earn it any favour. Despite a handful of modes, this eShop title feeds players the same loop of gameplay, ad nauseam.
SpeedX 3D has players steer themselves in first-person through and along a grid-based track. Littering the tracks are obstacles that are to be avoided; make contact with one and its back to the beginning. The courses are littered with shield pick-ups that negate the effect of a collision. You can store up to four, but they disappear one at a time when not put to use. Occasionally negative statuses occur, making your vehicle harder to control, darkening the course, etc. Balancing out these negative effects are pick-ups that negate them. As its name implies, SpeedX 3D becomes a very fast game as you progress through the Stages portion of its content. Your score is accrued as you race, increasing through progression from stage to stage without failure.
Aesthetically, SpeedX 3D keeps things simple, which works in its favour. The courses are monochrome, with the only colour coming from the obstacles. If you place yourself in the pathway of one of these objects, the track before you will change to that object’s colour, turning red the closer you get. The visuals work well as they don’t distract you from what lies ahead, which is very important for what SpeedX 3D is trying to do. However, the game does falter with its music. It never seems to match the intensity of the environment, oftentimes being very slow. There are even moments when the music will slowly fade to nothing as it begins to loop back to its beginning.
Careening through the courses and avoiding obstacles is your sole objective. SpeedX 3D is a test of reflexes. It’s also nothing more.
In every instance of making itself unique, SpeedX 3D falters. Is it a racer? Nope. While the courses have a defined beginning and end, you can’t compete for time or against other racers. It’s a solitary affair, just you and the track. Certainly unique, but problems arise when it becomes clear that there’s nothing to achieve beyond getting to the finish line. While points are doled out as you race, they only last as long as you do, whether that be by crashing and starting over at zero, or even quitting the game when life gets in the way. These aren’t stage based scores; it’s a culmination of all the stages you completed. Manage to get three stages in and crash? That’s your new high score, and the only score that’s saved. There’s no way to try to better yourself at a particular stage, nor any reason. It’s either complete the stage and move on, or quit. Any need for competition will not be met.
While these complaints are lodged against the Stages mode, the remaining modes don’t offer much variety. Endless is simply an endurance mode, take the between-level break out of Stages mode and this is what you’re left with. Survival takes away the chance of surviving an impact, and Zones forces you to contend with a fuel gauge (in the place of shield pick-ups are those that add fuel). While these modes are different from one another, it all just feels the same. There is no feeling of progression in SpeedX 3D, if you can dodge obstacles in one event, you can and will in any other.