In a world where there are not enough Shoot em ups, former Retro Studios developers Squarehead Studios, have brought their own spin on the genre exclusively to the Wii U this March with Star Ghost. It is an interesting take on the classic genre, where you control of the Star Ghost, and patrol the galaxy.
The story is simple, you control your ship as you go through wave after wave of enemies to help defend Astron from the evil Metagon Empire. Sounds simple enough? Yup. That is where the game throws you for a curve ball, your ship has only one life and when that life is gone, game over. This sounds like it would give you a major headache, and artificially increase the difficulty of the game but honestly it just adds another interesting side to the game play.
There are 12 beautifully rendered star systems to navigate, each with multiple levels that are dynamically generated, so each play through is different, and you will have multiple play through, with each play through giving you different enemies in different spots to fight. The graphics are simplistic, yet amazingly beautiful to watch with no hiccups along the way.
The game-play is extremely simple, and very intuitive as the game will control the shooting for you, which you can upgrade throughout the game by collecting power-ups and buying power-ups at the end of each level. There are multiple different power-ups you can pick up, from a wider spread fire, to faster fire, even a shield generator. All of which you have to constantly refill or you will run out of the use of them, and have your weapons downgraded back to their former self.
Imagine Flappy Bird, but with guns and a shield, and you can get a basic idea of how the game is played. As with the aforementioned game, you only need one button to play the game, You hold the A button down to fly your ship up, and let go to let the ship fly back down. While I personally would have preferred to be able to control the firing of the weapons myself, you do get used to the auto fire the game presents you.
The music, and sound effects in the game are very well made and you’ll find yourself entranced by the background music, only to be disturbed by the sometimes annoying comments of ‘the voice’ as I call her.
The game doesn’t make any special use of the gamepad, which I found disappointing but I did enjoy the off-tv play that it offered. Overall, the game is varied enough, and offers enough of a challenge that you will want to keep playing and playing. Once you get past the first level, which you will play a lot, the game really opens up and shines. This is a game I can see myself playing for a long time, both through casual gaming sessions and hardcore gaming sessions.