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 Post subject: Fluxteria (PlayStation 4 - Nintendo Switch)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 7:43 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 506
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
No opening, no explanation whastoever.
Pick a game mode and good luck.

Playstige is back at it. After the horrendous Blastful, they bring Fluxteria.

After Burner "Space Edition".

The first mode to play is Assault Mode, which most of the times is like a clone of After Burner II and Galaxy Force II, where the objective here is to survive regardless if you take down all the enemies or not. However, the enemies have full range mobility since they can follow you from behind and there's nothing you can do to shake them off.

Full range boredom.

The controls are some of the worst I've found for a 3rd view shooter. There's three camera modes, the first one is the After Burner-like 3rd view where the ship moves freely, the second locks you in the center like in Ace Combat and Top Gun: Hard Lock, and there's the first person view where you see the sight. The speed controls, unlike After Burner II where you can hold the accelerate or brake buttons to control the ship, here they're more like in StarFox, the speed up is a momentaneous boost and the same for slowing down. This couldn't be too much of a trouble except for the timed missions (I'll talk about that in Time Attack Mode), which will keep you pushing the speed boost button constantly and worse, you don't accelerate too much.

Obstacle Course...gone really bad.

The second mode is the Obstacle Mode, which focuses on dodging obstacles and avoiding collisions on improvised "race tracks", although there's no borders to tell where's the limits, most of the times you'll be crashing and losing lives like in the factory like stage, and things go out of control in the desert level as the game goes at high speed and it FORCES YOU to switch to the crappy third view camera 'cos if you pick another one, you'll be crashing again, and again, and again, and again, and again until you ran out of lives since the speed is of the screen scrolling and not from your ship, so pressing the brake button isn't worthy. Yeah, you're granted spare lives in all the modes, making each stage a slightly tolerable exercise of "Trial and Error", but makes me wonder if the developers really tested this game due to the near unplayability issues mentioned before.

With more than 30 lives by default, you have all chances of clear the stage.

Survival Mode breaks with the basic concept of "How far you can get with one life" that became a standard of said mode. This time, is to defeat enemies without losing all of your lives, this is basically an expansion of Assault Mode since the gameplay mechanics are the same, so there's not too much to talk about this mode when it's compared to Assault Mode.

It's the "Finders, Keepers" in space no-one asked for.

Time Attack Mode is the last mode and this mission focuses more on picking gold objects within the time limit, if time runs out, the mission will fail (regardless of how many lives you had left) and you'll have to start all over again. This is where the speed button becomes the problem that I've mentioned before, especially on the final mission since you'll have barely enough time to get everything.

After clearing all the four modes, you are treated the same way as in Blastful: NOTHING!, No ending, no congratulations, no staff roll, just back to the main menu as if you're planning to select any stage you want. This is when you pull the plug on playing this and uninstalling the game after getting all the trohpies, which basically means playing all the stages on every mode, so this game becomes useless after all the levels are cleared.

Graphics, ah, well... Like in Blastful, looks like a PS1-early PS2 demo of some sorts since the planets look quite too polygonal, but the artificial structures like space stations are fairly decent and the same goes for the mechanical city you're sometimes pitted on full 360° missions. However, there's a point in favor and is that the overall graphics look HD enough and not like cut-and-pasted stuff crammed in the game which is a lot of steps forward compared to Blastful's visual disgrace. So they're almost there on the graphical quality.

While the game has some small plot and you take the role of Commander Hazel who's never seen in the game, you take orders from your unnamed Autobot-esque robotic superior as your mission is to take down a regime of some sorts, the basic rebellion against an empire premise.

The music is somewhat in the style of techno-thriller as if Blade Runner and any sci-fi thriller film served as an influence as it is quite dark and heavy as suspense is, but with some pace as a prelude to action. The only thing to do is to drop down the volume to hear it appropiately since the sound effects are too loud.
It is worth to mention there's spoken dialogues on the game, which is kinda new for Playstige's low budget shooters, but its a detail to appreciate.

Fluxteria is the Diphtheria of shmups. A complete trainwreck of controllers, camera trickery, those "Way too much spare lives" instances and slowdowns that make the After Burner-esque experience frustrating.
If you're looking for an alternative for After Burner II is not this game. You'd be better off dusting off the Genesis.

A pic that says more than a thousand expletives.
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