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Xenon Racer – 24hr Charity Game-a-thon – Gaming the Pandemic: Day 106

I'm going to split up games from my 24 hour charity gaming marathon over the next few days. I played 19 different titles, with more than half of them being from my back-log. Until now I've been playing one a day, every day, for as long as I've been furloughed from work…

24 Hours of Gaming – Games Eighteen & Nineteen

Previous days' entries are linked in my profile.

Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity close to my heart, so, when my wife brought the Macmillan Game Heroes (24 Hours non-stop sponsored gaming) incentive to my attention I decided to do it for Gaming the Pandemic: Day 100.

Despite my original plan to play games from across my collection of 30 or so consoles, technical issues meant that, as I entered the early hours, I restricted myself to PC games in the name of simplicity.

Game 18: Sniper Ghost Warrior 2

I didn't get to play much of this before it crashed. From what I did play it seemed like an extremely 'guided' experience and the feel of the guns, and bullet impact, was very light.

If I'm going to play a game about murdering guys from a mile away I needs to be more tactile, satisfying effort than this.

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Game 19: Xenon Racer

I love an arcade racing game, so what better genre to get me over my 7am finish line? I think by this point the stream was stuck on my 'BRB' page with just audio but I didn't really care.

Picked up for pennies recently, Xenon Racer is a slick future-racer with it's wheels firmly on the ground. Drifting and boosting (and managing the relationship between the two) is the name of the game and it's literally impossible to come close to winning a race without liberal application of both.

The central mechanic of the game is that drifting builds boost (much like the more recent Ridge Racers) and, honestly, there's not much more to it than that besides slick visuals, heaps of EDM, and a poorly translated announcer.

The cars all look fantastic in a way brings to mind, Rocket League, Speed Racer, and a five year-old's doodle. The tracks, too, are all stunning. Rugged, snowy alpine tracks rub shoulders with more stereotypical neon drenched cityscapes in a way that gives Xenon Racer an atmosphere very much it's own.

Playing the game's Championship mode I've manged to complete two series and two checkpoint events, gradually improving each time as I started to get the hang of the unusual drift system – and then, suddenly, last place. Restart. Last Place. Restart. Again, and again.

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I've revisited the game since to see if it was my sleepy brain causing the issue but, alas, no, there is a huge wall in the middle of the Championship mode that I cannot overcome.

There's some menu screen text that suggests "Playing all modes unlocks vehicles and customisation", but I'm not really interested in time trials or online, so the idea of trudging through them to be competitive in the mode I am interested in, does not fill me with joy.

Xenon Racer – Stunning visually, but the most polite way to describe the gameplay would be: Inconsistent.

And that brought to an end my Charity 24hr Game-a-thon. The clock ticked past 7am with me inauspiciously crashing into walls and spamming the restart button. I turned everything off, let the chickens out, and was in bed asleep half an hour later having raised £220 for this great charity.

Macmillan Cancer Support is a fantastic charity that does amazing work whatever else is happening in the world. Find out more about them and the 'Game Heroes' programme by searching for 'Macmillan Game Heroes' online.


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