Published on May 14th, 2024 | by Edward Gosling

Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer (Switch) Review

Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer (Switch) Review Edward Gosling

Summary: A trip into the mind of an angsty adult who never left his teen phase, Slayers X is a ridiculous, hilarious send-up of 90s teen angst, with some minor performance issues on Switch


A 90s royale with extra cheese.

[This review is based on a pre-release build of the game.]

I have something of a soft spot for 90s-themed things in general. Videogames, analog horror, movies and TV, you name it, the aesthetic of the 90s represents something of a hiraeth for me, and it seems many others. There’s plenty of games out there, such as Hypnospace Outlaw, Broken Reality, Last Seen Online and the like, which all scratch that hiraeth for that bygone era of the Fresh Prince, arcades and garishly coloured McDonalds. Enter Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance [sic] of the Slayer – a spinoff of the aforementioned Hypnospace Outlaw fresh from the mind of a ’90s kid who never grew up… for better and “worse”, so to speak. Originally released last year, Slayers X is now coming to Switch and PS5, and an additional campaign is being teased as well.

That told them.

The story is more or less a send-up of what every teenage boy from the 90s was into. In-universe, Slayers X is a shooter game developed by Zane Lofton, a notable character from Hypnospace Outlaw. The story goes that back when he was a teenager, and engrossed (no pun intended) in more or less everything that teens were into at the time, he scribbled down an idea for a videogame in his journal, and originally developed it as a mod for one of his favourite games, “Kataklysm.” Now in 2023, Zane has grown up on the outside, but not at all on the inside, and has decided to turn his teenage idea into a standalone boomer-shooter, classic graphics, poor spelling, incorrect grammar and all. It stars himself (as a self-insert magical “X-slayer” warrior) and his favourite rock star, Mikey Sikey of the fictional band Seepage (whose music forms a decent chunk of the soundtrack), as he battles against the Psyko Sindicate – as told through cutscenes that look straight out of a late 90s PS1 game. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a 90s kid who’s still 15 on the inside – plenty of edge, plenty of gross-out humour and plenty to laugh at.   It’s like someone genuinely took a 15-year-old’s game pitch and turned it into a real game, with all the cringe intact and played completely seriously in what now registers as comedy. And it’s just brilliant.

Die, Psyko crybabies!

Gameplay-wise, it’s fun as well – though the game is rather short (at only 9 levels total), the selection of weapons, which in their own right are pretty fun to use, is quite meager and the level design is dubious, other reviewers have even noted that what flaws the game has may well have been deliberate on the developer’s part, since after all, Zane’s mentality hasn’t changed since 1999. In a sense then, any shortcomings on the developers’ parts come off as shortcomings on Zane’s part, further building on the premise that this is Zane’s game. It’s rare that a game does that, taking its premise to its core and running with it all the way.

As for the porting job to the Switch though, everything is there and everything works, nothing much else to say, save for one minor criticism. In both docked mode and handheld, and especially on the first level, I was surprised to find that the performance left quite a lot to be desired. The rain effect on the first level really puts the Switch’s graphics through its paces, even though it really doesn’t look like it should, and in handheld mode I experienced a small, but still noticeable input delay during more crowded scenarios. The second level played a bit more smoothly, albeit not quite as well as I hoped it would. Compare for instance David Szymanski’s Chop Goblins, which manages a relatively steady 60 frames per second on the Switch and has very similar level of graphical fidelity. I wouldn’t have thought that it’d be difficult to get any boomer shooter to run at 60 frames on the Switch.

Ultimately though, Slayers X is still as fun on the Switch as it was on PC and Xbox in 2023. If you told me that Zane Lofton was a real person and had genuinely made this based on his real-life teenage comics, I would probably believe you, and would probably laugh about as loud at the (deliberately) poor graphics, writing and ridiculous premise. That it is all deliberate on the developers’ part elevates the game to a new level; a masterwork of parody and a brilliant sendup of, let’s be honest, the exact sort of thing a lot of us probably did when we were in primary school, and I’m hoping the new campaign will bring more of what makes this game worth a play, as well as for patches to improve the performance, which is the only thing that holds this version back in any way.

About the Author


Ed has been playing games since he was in primary school, and now has a Steam library of over 2000 games, only a fraction of which he has actually played!

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