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 Post subject: Project Starship (XBOX One - PlayStation 4 - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:33 pm 


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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 268
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
"Gone Retro" seems to be the fad of this millennium since we're watching game after game after game based on old consoles. For instance Sega's Fantasy Zone II which looks like a missing game of the late 80s that saw the light of the day or even Capcom's Megaman 9 and Megaman 10 which look like genuine NES games.

However, there's a thin line between good retro style and bad retro style, and the game that I'm gonna review is the example of retro-style gone wrong. That example of Anti-Nostalgia is Project Starship.


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Nice, [EXPLETIVE] beautiful, do you think its fair to have stealth enemies?

To begin with, the game lacks of other modes, so it starts already like a simple shooter. As soon as we begin, we're given the option of picking between Garret or Gwen, Both characters have the same frontal rapid fire, the only difference is that Garret pilots the blue ship while Gwen's ship is red. With the game lacking of a bomb function which is fatal on a bullet hell, the game relies on using the "Slowdown" function that slows the game's speed so you can move through the intense bullet hells without causing you too much trouble.

The game also drops items that can either help you or screw your gameplay, like the EMP which releases a screen clearing pulse, the Super Ultra Mega Laser which fires 5 superbeams, the President's Call that summons a missile strike, or the Shuriken which changes your lasers to powerful ninja stars that explode on contact. But the items like the Irresponsible Driver (Cellphone) or the Broken TV (TV icon) are useless since the cellphone doesn't do nothing and the TV makes the screen go static, making you vulnerable to a cheap collision or death.

Along with the items, you can find Power Ups like the Power (P) that increases your weapon's strength, the Shield (S) that grants you 1 shield point to your life bar and Speed Up (R) that increases your ship's speed, but the worst of all is the Hardcore (H) that depletes all your hit points making the game way too hard at the point of become almost unplayable, and i say unplayable since the game is one of those frustrating "1 Life, No Continues" type of games. Yeah, die once and you'll have to start all over again.
Sometimes a green mushroom will pop up granting you an extra life so you can continue playing for a little while until you get shot down again.



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I guess there's no choice but to go evasive.

There's instances where the game will unleash a "Mad Event" where the game will throw a bizarre situation like a large snowball that fires a curved curtain of bullets, falling hands or dodging bullet hells while evading large bubbles that slows you down. But the worst of all is when the screen goes negative colored and the controls are inverted (down is up, left is right, etc.) while dodging huge laser beams.


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It dies three times, and was reborn twice.

During your mission you'll be facing boss battles where the boss has three life bars pretty much like the VBAS feature from Triggerheart Exelica, and each boss form has its own bullet patterns. Sometimes you'll be facing an instant death attack like the green dragon boss who's capable of squash you out of existence with his hand, sending you back at the beginning of the game.



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Another sacrifice of money, time and effort if you ask me, Natsuki.

You know what's the saddest, most pathetic thing of this game? The ridiculous ease of how you unlock all the achievements.
It took me around 20 minutes of gameplay to get everything, making this game another "Gamerscore Milker" where the feeling of triumph is non-existant. I mean, I've unlocked the Hero Ending in Super Hydorah after all these years of being defeated and the feeling of triumph and victory can be felt despite being only a game and 140 Gamerscore points, but it was a hard earned achievement that made your efforts worthy, while in Project Starship unlocking an achievement was more of "Oh, an achievement? Nice.", "Another one? Shyeah, right.", "One more?, Ah-hah." again and again until I've checked the list and find the "Nice Work! You've unlocked all the achievements for this game" message on the screen. Then, that "¿¡What...ALL ALREADY!?" feeling came up, realizing I've paid for another piece of videogame junk food and I just wasted my time with this game.



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I've seen better NES-styled art than this.

The graphics of this game are terrible beyond belief, starting off with the character portraits, which look even worse than the Amstrad CPC. Yeah, this failed attempt at 8-Bit looks terrible, and while i applaud the approach to the anime style in those portraits, the graphic quality makes the pics almost unrecognizable, and let's better not talk about the rest of the game, but there's one question to ask: ¿What happens when you combine black backgrounds with black enemies?, the answer is simple: Invisible enemies. That's what's you're gonna face on the first level of the game, enemies that fire a laser from side to side, enemies that you can't see until the weapon makes contact with them, all of this because of the idea of "All Space-based" game, yeah. Most of the stages are in outer space resulting in black backgrounds with a few nebulae in the background just like Xenoraid and Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo. The game breaks the monotony with a few colored stages like the "Solar prominence" stage and a moon-based one.

The game tries to pull some humorous gags as you take a hit by popping an image of your pilot controlling the ship, while the words "AHI!" and "OUCH!" pop out of the ship.

The music is a combination between NES chiptune with electronic ambient style that feels like an experimental genre rather than a game soundtrack. Also, everytime you take a hit it pitches down as if it was played in an old turntable and it speeds up when you pick certain items or you're one hit from dying.


PROJECT CURIOSITIES
- The Ring item and the quote "My Precious" is a reference to Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.
- The green mushroom is a reference to the 1up item from Super Mario Bros.
- The item box looks very similar to the one from Super Mario World.
- The expression "AHI!" means "There" in spanish, while the correct one is "AY!"



In the end, Project Starship is a bad attempt to a retro game and humorous gags. Not to mention its another addition to the still growing list of "Buy-Play-and-Forget" videogame Gamerscore Milkers that want your cash for 1,000 Gamerscore points. If you're desperate too see your console saying "Nice Work! You've unlocked all the achievements for this game." then pick it. But if you ask me, you'll be better off with ACA Neogeo Aero Fighters 2, Triggerheart Exelica and Raiden V. Paying 5 bucks for this game will just encourage Panda Indie Studio and Eastasiasoft to make and release more trash like this, and I hate to say this since they're the same guys who released Ghost Blade HD, Gunlord X and Pawarumi.



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Wish I had the answer...

Bad games like this one makes any XBOX shmupper wish to have Ginga Force on XBOX One. Somebody call Qute Corporation, please.
We need them. But as far as i know, i guess XB1 shmuppers like me would have no choice but to make the switch to the PlayStation 4. Anyway, stay the hell away of Project Starship.
_________________
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki


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