Review: Super Galaxy Squadron, vertical shooters are still a thing

Game Name – Super Galaxy Squadron
Platform(s) – PC
Publisher(s) – Psyche Studios
Developer(s) – New Blood Interactive
Genre(s) – Vertical Shmup
Release Date – Jan 23, 2015
Price – $6.79
Steam Link – http://store.steampowered.com/app/345860/

If you like vertical shmups (shoot ’em up) from the 16-bit era then you don’t want to miss out on New Blood Interactive’s Super Galaxy Squadron. Now before you go and say that the whole 16-bit pixelated look has been over and over, don’t worry, it works out good here. So getting back on track, Super Galaxy Squadron is a throw back to the top down shooters of old, in fact it feels like you’re back on a Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis or even an old school arcade machine and brings that nostalgia feeling.  As far as gameplay goes, there’s not much to do here; Aim, fire, dodge and repeat. It’s pretty simple but when you start to see how many bullets and beams are being thrown at you, i’m sure that simple is going to be the last word that comes to mind as you play. 

sgs_1

Upon starting the game you have access to 14 different ships that all have different attributes such as speed and power so choosing the ship is an important factor on how well your game is going to go. That is unless you’re an ace with all the ships, then I suppose it doesn’t matter. After that it’s off to blast through 6 specific stages, all that have a nice amount of enemies and a big bad boss at the end of each level. Along the way you’ll be able to pick up power ups that power-up your ships weaponry, but be careful as getting hit will resort in you losing those power-ups and a type of item that counts to toward your hyper weapon, which when filled can blast the playing field with an overpowering weapon of mass destruction. It only lasts a few seconds but the hyper comes in handy when you need to pick up a ton of enemies in a hurry or if you find yourself in a jam since the hyper also provides a few seconds of invincibility as well. Your ship also has a health meter instead of a 1-shot kill, unless you switch the game to hardcode mode (more about that below), which is displayed in the upper left hand corner.

And for all you shump purists, yes the ship’s hitbox is pretty small, which lets you glide in and out of fire. But you can still be hit, small hit box or not, so watch yourselves.

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Super Galaxy Squadron includes several modes; Normal mode, Hardcore mode which removes your health meter (1 hit kills) and Endless in which you attempt to blast through wave after wave of enemies with the exception of the bosses missing. It’s a good idea but sadly since this game lacks a leader-board system, the only scores you’ll be attempting to beat are your own. Hopefully this gets patched in since these kind of modes is what extends the life of short games like Super Galaxy Squadron.  Sadly the game does not include any type of co-op mode, so it will be you flying solo. It would also like to have seen some side-bars included on the sides of the playing field as well or a way to switch up the screen ratio.

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* Copy was not provided by developer / publisher *

Super Galaxy Squadron, top down shooters are still a thing

All in all, Super Galaxy Squadron is a short but fun top down shooter. Between the selection and variation of ships, attempting to learn the boss patterns and even the hard & endless modes, the has the potential to be played beyond the 2 hours of normal gameplay it provides. However the the lack of a Steam Works enabled leaderboard, the lack of ability to re-bind your controller or for that matter not being able to use my joystick or even my gamepad’s d-pad brings my enjoyment of the game down. Hopefully New Blood Interactive will patch those features in and correct the issues with the controllers but that’s an if and when. Even still those negatives aren’t enough to say that the game is bad, because it’s a lot of fun, it just just needs to be polished up. The fact remains that this is an enjoyable shmup and everyone who loves the genre needs to check out this Super Galaxy Squadron.

The fun factor is high with this one!

Pros:

  • 14 ships to choose from
  • Despite being a short game, provides a lot of fun
  • It’s a top down shooter and man is it fun

Cons:

  • No Steam works enabled leaderboard system
  • In the heat of battle, sometimes your bullets overlap the enemies and you’ll take hits due to not seeing them
  • Not able to use joysticks as they aren’t recongized
  • Gamepad d-pads aren’t able to be used
  • 8/10
    Should you pick up Super Galaxy Squadron - YES! - 8/10
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