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 Post subject: Star99 (XB1 - Series X - PS4 - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:41 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 379
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Space Battles as boring as they can get.

Remember what I've said about "More trash in the horizon" in my review of Grood? Well, I hate to say it, but once again we're witnessing more trash games. Star99 is another trash shmup.

No homies around the globe to play this game? No worries, you can always count on the Bots.

The main concept of this game is the massive multiplayer mutual battle as the game's premise consists of a "99 contenders, 1 winner" battle with users around the world. You can also have the option to select a local "couch" 2 or 3 player battle if your friends want to play this trash with you.
If you can't get online or local 2/3 players gameplay, there's no big problems, you can create a private play session with a number of "bots" from 10 to 100.

BONUS FEATURE: Eye-hurting Fever Mode!

The gameplay of Star99 is very, very, very basic for a "Battle Royale" (or a Twinkle Star Sprites clone), because unlike Twinkle Star Sprites where the characters had unique shot types, all the 6 characters of Star99 have the same Twin Shot which kills the variety and strategy potential of a mutual fighting game, the only difference is the ship size. In a fighting game like Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat you have a variety of characters with unique habilities and powers, making your decision something strategic since your character could had a projectile attack or relies on close combat techniques. Now, remove that and imagine a game where all the characters had the same "Hadoken" moves, feels boring right?, That's what happens in Star99.
Since the game lacks of a ship weapon variety, it relies on the basics of Twinkle Star Sprites of throwing attacks to you and your opponents when someone destroys an enemy formation. In this game you can bounce back the enemy attacks when they're blue fireballs. While your main weapon can be used as a chargeable weapon or a rapid fire depending on which button you're pressing and having the screen clearing Special attack, you can also utilize items like the Bombs which allows you to fire on any side by pressing either left or right and then the B button. You can summon a boss to attack using the same pattern and there's also the "Fever" which turns every enemy destroyed into an attack against your opponents instead of destroying the whole formation to throw one.

The Bots AI is what I can call pathetic, because the game doesn't bother to put up a challenge as if the Bots don't want to play since you'll be getting rid of your rivals very quickly, the most "Common" threat from them will be the projectiles thrown at you when they destroy an enemy formation, but like I said before, they can be bounced back. And when you throw them a boss, they don't even fight it back at the point of turning your boss summon into the Instant Victory attack (Best example Hachi's "Bee Swarm" Boss attack that fires "auto aim bees"). At first I thought the game's difficulty was on Easy, so I went to the "Options" and guess what?, There's no difficulty settings!, Options are only for adjust the volume settings. Even Strikers 1945 III on Easy is more challenging than this.

The water looks so real you can almost dive on it!

Graphically, the game is a mixed bag, as we have ships that look a bit overpixelated, but yet animated like Hachi's ship that moves up and down using a simple sprite scaling effect, or Duke's ship with its recoiling cannons.
Scenery is an important aspect of the overall visual look of the game, and that means a diverse variety of combat zones. Star99 fails on that as it only features 3 different battle scenes: Sea, Clouds and Space. While the three scenes are very very well made, like the space one due to its realistic planets and vibrant universe that breaks with the oh-so-common black screen with stars, it is worth to mention the ocean scene due to its realism, but the cold fact about the variety remains since the game could include even more stages for the characters.

When Triggerheart Crueltear made the DBZ Fusion with Jubilation Lee, the result was Hachi.

At least the game has some decent character designs that give the game a little identity and a short profile for them, not to mention they used the fan-favorite anime style which is always well received by today's gamers. Kevin Liang made a great work here. By the way, you can check the concept sketches for Jill, Hachi, Duke and Kato on ArtStation.

The music is the only positive aspect of the game as we have this techno-alternative mixture that makes its best on keeping you on the game, and the best track is "Gates of Chaos" by Isidor.

- The name Hachi means "Eight" in japanese.
- The game mispells criminal as "CRMINAL" not once but twice.
- Hachi's profile mispells her name as "Hatchi" once.

Oh my...
Get a hold of yourself, Lea 'cos things are getting worse...

In the end, Star99 does nothing than being just another god-damned addition to the ever growing list of Gamerscore Milkers that want your cash with false promises ("The Ultimate Showdown", shyeah right) to caught unadverted players thinking they'll be playing a great game. On the bright side, all of the achievements/trophies can be unlocked unlike Switch 'N' Shoot or Grood.
Unless you're a Super-fan of Twinkle Star Sprites at the point of tracking its clones, then pick it, otherwise stay away, which is the best idea for everyone else.
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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