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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Review: Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PS Vita)

I doubt if my son will ever look fondly back at the side-scrolling shooter as a genre. I didn't think I looked back at that genre fondly, but then one look at Soldner-X 2, and I thought back upon R-type, Scrambler, etc, and of course had to pick it up during a sale for about $3.

The best thing about this genre of games is that even though they were considered high intensity games in that era, with modern hardware, this type of game fits easily on something like the PS Vita. The Vita can throw up as many sprites as the game designer can dream of, and still treat the game as though it was merely doing word-processing: the machine doesn't even overheat, and you can play the game through on one battery charge!

On an arcade machine, games like these are basically quarter-eaters, so designed to throw tons of sprites at you and then eat up your lives and force you to dump another quarter into it. On a portable console with infinite credits, and a well-set difficulty setting, you can feel like you're a great player without spending quarters. To make up for this, the game gives you ratings, A to F for each level, depending on your performance. In addition, you can pick up secret keys to unlock levels, or participate in the PvP challenges to climb the leaderboard.

The game is fast, running at 60fps, and frequently will overload your ability to keep track of objects on the screen. In fact, it's incredibly overwhelming. Nevertheless, the ship you pilot is maneuverable enough and the patterns easily detected, so it's not too bad.

I'd say I got my $3 worth. It's not Resogun, but it doesn't overstay its welcome, which makes it well worth the time spent. Recommended.

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