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Hands-on: 0 Day Attack on Earth (XBLA)

Hidden in the back of its large TGS booth, Square Enix had three Xbox Live Arcade titles on display last week, one of which was 0 Day Attack on Earth.

A twin-stick shooter -- finally! -- 0 Day puts players in control of a fighter jet fending off an alien attack. Throw darts at a board littered with game premises and this is where many of them land. The problem isn't that the game mimics the mechanics of so many other titles available on XBLA -- because twin-stick shooters can still be good -- it's that 0 Day Attack on Earth just isn't compelling.

Gallery: 0 Day Attack on Earth (XBLA) | 17 Photos

The game does feature co-op play; and three computer-controlled ships flank the player's as support when playing offline. This is arguably 0 Day's best (if only) original feature. Players fly through an environment with a view comparable to the recently released Star Trek: D.A.C. and attack large, incomprehensibly-designed alien invaders.

0 Day may not present an interesting experience, but it does manage the tight controls needed for a solid twin-stick shooter. As enemy ships rotated and shifted position, I followed alongside in a tight circling pattern, rotating the game's camera with either trigger. However, even the most daunting of enemy raiders went down with barely a fight, which made surviving less a game challenge and more a battle against my personal interest. The game suffers from very slow gameplay, and even my ship's boost ability couldn't break free up this tortoise pace.

It doesn't appear that 0 Day Attack on Earth is on track to release outside of Japan, but if Square Enix does decide to bring it to North America and elsewhere, the publisher needs to ramp up the game's generic gameplay to compliment an otherwise engaging visual style.

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