Uhhh… what the hell, you are right! Did the forum eat my post?
I have a copy somewhere…
My first impressions of this game are good!
Nice graphics, with a fairly distinctive art style, the colors combined with the black outlines reminded me of comic line art.
The game works very well as an action game. Controls are tight, there is a good variety of weapons with different pros and cons (70 of them counting items!) and importantly, it isn’t superfluous. Do you want to have a second mmg to kill things twice as fast, or do you equip a shield and play more conservative, or do you equip a weaker energy weapon that in exchange don’t use up ammo. And if you equip a shield, what type, etc.
There is a good variety of enemies too, and fighting each feels different. It isn’t the same a small zippy enemy that wants to ram you, that a bigger enemy that attacks after a spinup phase, that a tough enemy with shields you have to avoid to damage him, that a enemy that uses cluster grenades, or another that has a beam able to push you around. Each one needs different tactics. Same with the ship systems, I really liked the idea of somehow converting them in impromptu static mini bosses, each one with a unique mechanic (avoid the rotating laser fire, or do a qte or hit the weak points or whatever).
But the variety doesn’t stop here.You have the different suits you can unlock with different perks. The suits together the variety of loadouts allow enough freedom to allow different gameplay styles. You can play fast and aggressive, melting everything with 4 weapons installed and trying to do quick runs to get the time bonus, or more carefully, trying to advance in a way that you don’t attract many enemies at the same time, trying to block all the damage with the shields.
Each spaceship you explore have a different ‘theme’ going on depending on their type, so some have fewer but tougher enemies, another is full of traps and laser trips that trigger alarms, and another is full of small drones and maybe it has a bigger chance of finding new types of items; each type also usually have similar ship systems.After that you have the roguelike facto, obviously the layouts and enemies in each levels are random.
This could make a decent action roguelite already, but additionally there is a nice strategic layer going on here. First you have the economic management, where you have to balance loadouts vs money (each bullet fired has literally a cost in the game), and risk vs monetary reward.
And also, choosing what spaceship explore from four options feels meaningful, not only because each one has a difficulty levels and different rewards (in money and artefacts), but I noticed lots of times the extra optional objectives are important. Really, if you want to earn money doing a run you have to try to get a pair of them (with the consequent risk, of course). Can you really beat that ship without destroying a repair system? Can you play with a cheap loadout? If the extra objectives seems hard, would be better to ignore them and instead go for the quick path to victory? You will win less money that way but you surely will use less ammo, items and will get the time bonus. From all the options which is the most efficient one?
Finally, the idea of the ship systems really spice up things. Having to choose what are the ones to attack and the ones to ignore, planning your point of entry, what path are you going to use and in what order are you going to destroy them, it’s all very interesting. It’s the final feature that makes it an unique game, and not just another Enter the Gungeon/Binding of Isacc/Nuclear Throne clone.
What I feel it’s missing, it’s some more options to customize the game, and the same with the difficulty. The game is so rigid. You can’t change the length of the game. You can’t change the difficulty of the game. You can’t save in rogue mode, not even between levels.
I would like to determine how long want a campaign (4, 6, 8 levels) instead of the fixed 6 ships. And for god’s sake put a difficulty setting, I’m so tired of games that think it’s something ‘not for this type of game’ and ‘the game is intended to play as it was designed’. Thanks god it seems it’s very trivial to give yourself more money editing a save game, maybe with 650K it will be ok, with that extra 150K you should be able to max your hull points in all the runs making it a bit easier, as the game is perhaps too hard for more casual players, at least the first 8-10 attempts. And in the other hand if you happen to be someone who love the game and are going to sink 150+ hours into it, the game will conversely be a bit too easy, eventually, so an extra hard mode would be nice.