Schizoid is the first Xbox LIVE Arcade title to be released created using the XNA Creators Club. Despite having a weird name, the concept of Schizoid is simple. Players must eliminate glowing enemies of their colour and protect their partner from trouble. They do this by moving around red or blue ships and making contact with enemies of the same colour. For example, if a red ship touches a red enemy, the enemy is destroyed, however, if a red ship makes contact with a blue enemy, the player’s lose a life. The level ends when all enemies are cleared.
During the campaign, consisting of over 100 levels, players get ten lives which can be regained by successfully completing seven levels. Within each level, players can earn gold, silver and bronze medals. These are earned by completing the level without losing lives. Losing 0 lives gets you gold; losing 1 life gets you silver and so on. Most players will fly through the game within a few hours or end up throwing a controller around with utter frustration of your AI ship crashing into an enemy, which I found happened a lot, especially in levels which contain a huge amount of enemies.
The controls for Schizoid couldn’t be any simpler as it’s just waggling the left thumbstick around. The only other time you’ll need another control is with the right thumbstick which can be used to control the second ship in Uberschizoid. Uberschizoid is one of the most challenging aspects of Schizoid. In this mode the game has been cleverly designed so that the player controls both ships. This proves to be a lot more challenging and stretches your brain’s limits controlling two ships at once.
Graphically, Schizoid is fairly average and very colourful and the sounds can get a little tedious over time. Like many Xbox LIVE Arcade titles, the chances of finding an opponent online are very slim, luckily local multiplayer is also supported. The multiplayer can be great fun and, quite regularly, a challenge though the excitement fades after a while as it can get quite repetitive.
Whether Schizoid is worth the 800 Microsoft Points tag is debatable as it’s one of those titles where you’re likely to finish once and never play again, unless you have a “co-op” partner, but on the whole, Schizoid is a good title.