As you get older in life certain experiences thrust you into a state of nostalgia, more so when your hobby is videogames. Some of the best games in history follow a formula, and I challenge anyone’s top five not to include a side scrolling 2D shooter. Finland’s Vasara Entertainment have released Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax and this follows this formula, and follows it well.
Stardust Galaxy Warriors is a fast paced 1-4 player co-op game that tests your reactions and patience. The game has a loose RPG element to it and takes it’s aesthetic inspiration from Japanese anime. There are few different modes but the campaign mode and gauntlet mode are enough to keep you busy. I mainly played the campaign mode, which is 30 stages set across ten different environments that throw a variety of enemy types and massive bosses at you.
You can choose between four characters that are essentially the same but with a different signature power weapon. Once you’re happy with your character and their weapon’s load-out you are then expected to plough through waves and waves of enemies to reach the boss at the end. Your arsenal ranges from small rapid fire weapons to larger, slower but more devastating cannons. Each player’s signature is basically a panic button for when things get too much. Once you activate it you then get a few seconds to compose yourself and dig in to the rest of the stage.
There is a vague story-line playing in the background but it’s easy to become completely detached from it when your main aim is pure survival. Like any of these types of games, your score is important. Once you have finished the level you can then upgrade certain aspects of your character using currency based on your score. Your upgrades include armour, speed and damage.
Everything in your arsenal is available from the start meaning there is no grinding to get the better weapons, however, to really upgrade your character you will need to unlock the perks for a better survival chance when things get hectic. The core gameplay can also be customised by increasing enemy amount, rate of fire and power-ups, which is a nice touch if you’re not satisfied with the already seizure inducing moments on offer by default.
Stardust Galaxy Warriors is fast paced and with more than one player on screen be ready to get lost and confused should your concentration lapse for a second. Every enemy fires multiple projectiles at you in a constant stream, meanwhile, you’ll be following suit with your own hail of fire, leading the screen to become very messy indeed. Once you reach the boos they follow a set sequence of attacks, which are easy enough to learn but sometimes they throw in a random attack that can throw you off your guard.
My only real gripe would be the power-ups, games such as R-Type gave you power-ups that you can keep until your demise, however, these are timed and you only have them for a short period. You can unlock a perk that allows you to keep the power-ups longer but they are ultimately still temporary. Stardust Galaxy Warriors is a beautiful looking game with a fast paced techno inspired soundtrack, with all the on screen chaos thrown in you know this isn’t going to be a relaxing affair. I was completely hooked, and like I said at the beginning, this brings back so many memories of tirelessly ploughing through enemies to defeat a super difficult boss at the end, repeating the phrase “Just one more go” after every death. Stardust Galaxy Warriors is available on the Xbox store now and definitely worth a go.
Thanks to Xbox and Dreamloop Games for supporting TiX