Wow, this game came out of nowhere. I was just browsing around the latest XBox Live Arcade games, and there it was.
It’s a top-down free-scrolling exploration/combat game along the lines of the classic Star Maze for the Apple ][. One difference I noticed is that it seems you can bounce off the walls with out taking damage, unlike Star Maze.
It’s combat is a bit Star Control/SubSpace/Sniper-esque as well, with ship thrust playing a major part. It seems like you can upgrade your ship as you explore around the levels… getting better main guns and “super weapons” along the way.
I just put about 30 mins into the demo, and I’m strongly tempted to pick it up. Anyone else try this thing out?
I bought it, I couldn’t resist. So far it’s a blast. It took me a while to get used to the controls, but now that I have, it’s a blast. The game is a little light on story, and there’s only one kind of ship, so it feels more like Subspace than Star Control, but it’s still a blast.
But I’d just like to take this opportunity to point out that ToysForBob really needs to bring Star Control 2, or even just StarCon2 SuperMelee mode, to XBLA/PSN.
Played the trial version, wasn’t bad, but I am really not liking the controls. Might get better if I spent more time with it, but I’m not likely to spend more time with controls that unintuitive to me.
As someone who was also flummoxed by the controls initially, I can only say: keep at it. Once you get to the harder fights, the controls start to kick in. It’s like playing the first Halo and not being used to dual stick controls for FPShooters, the secret was to play on Legendary difficulty in Coop and for some reason that made you pick up the controls faster. Here I picked them up faster once I was fighting the harder enemy ships at the end of the demo levels.
You’ve just got to think of the left thumbstick as a directional control like in Geometry Wars, and the left trigger is used in combination with that to change your momentum. Eventually you can start using LB for reverse thrusters, but don’t worry about getting too familiar with that in the beginning.
The hardest part for me was learning that the left thumbstick doesn’t drive the ship left and right from the ship’s point of view, like in Subspace/StarCon, but that it’s relative to the overhead camera instead. Every other game of this type I’ve played has never had the ship’s direction relative to the camera, but now that I’m getting used to it, I think it’s the better control scheme. If they ever do port over StarControl to XBLA, I actually hope they use this control scheme instead.
As for the game, I hate that you can’t configure the controls. Having thrust on RT instead of on the brake trigger (LT) would be much better. Also, I would love to be able to continue rotate clockwise by holding to the right, and continue rotate counter-clockwise by holding to the left.
That being said, the controls grew on me so I bought the game. But I can see why the demo would put people off. It takes time to get into the controls, and I’m definitely still in the learning phase.