There has been a decent amount of games that have come out recently that harkens back to the days of 8 and 16-bit graphics. While the nostalgia feel of these titles are refreshing sometimes, it can sometimes get tiresome because of the tongue and cheek approach to it; referencing of old NES games, and jokes in game. It has been a long time since I have played an old style “bullet hell” game and with much surprise, Super Galaxy Squadron EX did not disappoint.
Super Galaxy Squadron EX is a remastered and rebuilt game, from Synset Games, that originally came out about a year ago. This game is not a typical shump game as it caters more the common gamer. When playing on the casual difficulty, I found the overall campaign rather easy in comparison to others, like Ikaruga for example, when I set it to a similar setting. It actually made me feel a bit more relaxed as I haven’t played a game like this in years and it let me ease into it again. You can watch the gameplay here.
That is not to say that the game doesn’t cater to veterans of the genre. There is an expert difficulty for all masochists that love to get blown to hell by enemies. The final boss will decimate you the first time no matter what difficulty setting you are on, and that leads me to the another point.
The game just seemed to be too short. I know that most games like this don’t typically have many levels due to the difficulty for the most part, but this is a game that I thought could have used a couple more levels just for story telling alone. This, of course, is a gripe, but a good gripe depending how you look at it. There is always the ability to change the difficulty, trying out each of the fourteen ships each play through, and even a mode where the action is non-stop.
The controls in Super Galaxy Squadron EX are easy enough. You have your regular controls that move you all around the vertical board, a regular fire button that you will probably just hold down most of the time, and a when it fills up, you can fire your special weapon to take out some alien scum. The controls are tight for each of the ships and each ship’s attacks are unique. However, I did feel that one particular craft was a little more overpowered than the rest as its normal attack spread through a wide area on the board. Then again, that ship may have just a particular preference.
The sound and graphics, as stated before, is reminiscent of old Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games like M.U.S.H.A. and Truxton. Super Galaxy Squadron is a very noisy game, as it should be. The music in the game is great as well and gives you a sense of urgency as you play the game, as if you weren’t already going to be vested in it enough.
For me, Super Galaxy Squadron gave me that feeling I used to have when I was a kid at the arcade; the loudness, the excitement, and the want to get the high score. In a game that seems to be inspired by Japanese shumps before it, Super Galaxy Squadron is a great game to have on Steam and worth the price.