|Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo looks like your run-of-the-mill SHMUP but it does have some welcome features|
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Synset
- Publisher: New Blood Interactive
- Release Date: 6 Mar 2017
- Time played: 1.5 hours (INCOMPLETE)
What is itNick Clinkscales is the developer behind Super Galaxy Squadron and the game was initially released back in 2015 with proceeds going to the charity Child's Play. The game was updated to Super Galaxy Squadron EX in 2016 and Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo in 2017 (so if you think the name of the game sounds rather silly for the sake of sounding silly, think again)! It was included in the Humble Freedom Bundle which raised over $6 million for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in February 2017.
Like most shmups, in Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo you control a starfighter in a top-down, vertical scrolling shooter where you fight waves of alien enemy ships until you reach the end of the level where you fight the boss alien. The game features 17 playable ships, 6 stages, a range of difficulty options and even fully voiced cutscenes (apparently for the benefit of "the two people looking for a good story" - hey, I'd be one of them!).
The game is set in 2438, eleven years after Humanity (fighting for the United Interstellar Federation) fought an alien race called the Ceti. A second war appears to be brewing and this is where the Federation's most elite unit (the Super Galaxy Squadron) is tasked to turn the tide.
Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo doesn't have a Metascore but it has been well received on Steam with a "Very Positive" rating based off 126 user reviews.
How I got itAs mentioned earlier, Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo was included as part of the Humble Freedom Bundle back in February 2017 and that's also how I managed to get the game. The Humble Freedom Bundle contained an eclectic mix of genres and I don't normally go out of my way to purchase shmups which is one reason why I haven't touched the game until recently. However, Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo apparently only takes 1.5 hours to play according to HowLongToBeat.com and since I really need to get some reviews out, I decided to give it a go.
|The game has a whopping 17 playable ships to pick from|
What I like:
Story complete with voiced cutscenesAs mentioned earlier, the game has fully voiced cutscenes and the developer at least took the effort to include an unoriginal but passable sci-fi story (which is more than can be said of a lot of shmups from the golden era i.e. the 80s).
Set in our local region of the Milky WayIf you're into astronomy, you'll immediately recognise some of the star systems you visit in this game such as Alpha Centauri, Epsilon Indi, Barnard's Star, UV Ceti and Sirius.
Retro soundtrackThe game has an awesome retro chiptune soundtrack thanks to Random Encounter and it suits Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo perfectly. Check out the album on Bandcamp and name your price if you like what you hear :).
Retro graphicsThe retro pixelart style definitely delivers the goods in the nostalgia department.
ChoicesAs mentioned before, there aren't just a handful of ships to choose from, there's 17 of them and they all have different attributes in terms of offense, defense, speed and superweapon.
Steam LinkThe game apparently works on the Steam Link and I can confirm that this is the case when using a Fritz!Box 7490 modem on the 5GHz band and a Logitech F710 controller.
Steam Achievements and Trading CardsThe game has 13 Steam Achievements you can work towards and 5 Steam Trading Cards to collect.
Accessible, at least at the beginningThankfully, Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo caters for "shmup schmucks" like me and not only has an easy difficulty setting but a Casual mode as well which is more forgiving and gives you health boosts every so often. This is great for those who hate bullet hell games because of its insanely high skill ceiling and it means people like me can actually make it through 95% of the game. It's just when you get to the end of the game, you're in for a rude shock. This brings me to...
|The game features some neat fully voiced cutscenes|
What I dislike:
The final boss battleThere I was thinking "hey, shmups and bullet hell games aren't so bad after all. Maybe I should give this genre another chance".
And then I reached the final boss battle.
I tried for more than an hour to beat the final boss but thanks to a huge difficulty spike I don't think I'll ever be able to finish the game, even on the easiest difficulty settings. Apparently, the developer was aware of this and a patch was meant to correct this issue, however, I'm not sure if the patch has been implemented or not as it still remains quite the challenge.
Score – 7/10 (Good)Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo has a lot to offer for a shmup/bullet hell game with great cutscenes, sweet looking pixelart graphics, a perfect soundtrack, 17 playable ships and several difficulty options to choose from, with the easiest difficulty setting even allowing mere mortals to make it through most of the game. I was almost of the opinion that this was the perfect game to introduce to those who'd normally avoid shmups/bullet hell games, but alas, the difficulty spike at the last boss battle did a good job putting me back in my place: I'll wear my "shmup schmuck" hat now, please.
Is the game worth $14.50 AUD?: Yes, if you're into shmups since what you get is a very well polished game for your money. If you're not into these sort of games but are curious to give it a try, it often goes on sale.
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[ LINK: Official New Blood Interactive Website ]